Name: Chuck Milsap (gobeehive.com)
Organization: Daniel Bagley Elementary, Seattle School District
Current title: Health & Fitness Instructor
Selected accolade: Washington State Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year, Voted best smile in 7th grade
What skill(s) do you feel are most important for today’s students to explore in academic settings (tech or non-tech related)?
By 5th grade, kids should have the skills to independently develop and follow a personalized exercise plan. This plan doesn’t have to be incredibly extensive, but students should consider personal fitness goals, various components of fitness, a variety of activities and other factors when creating a plan to enhance health. Creating such a plan is particularly important considering our current obesity epidemic combined with the fact that students generally see a decrease in PE minutes during the middle and high school years.
“K-12 Physical Education has evolved more than any other subject over the past decade and continues to make tremendous advances in the way technology is integrated to enhance instructional outcomes.”
How are you using technology in PE? As an organization tool for yourself and also with students?
I use some form of technology on a daily basis in PE. Heart rate monitors and GPS navigational devices are often used in class to enhance curriculum and maximize movement sequences. In the “Wellness Center”, we often meet for lesson overviews and class discussions. In this area of the gym, students can view relevant websites, student work and other images projected on the wall.
This is also were you will often find our iPad. This tool has had a tremendous impact on the way I teach and the way student move and interact in PE class. I use the iPad to log fitness scores, display exercise intervals, create short exercise videos, play music, administer customized assessments, communicate with students who are non-verbal or who have special needs and much more.
What are some of the results of using technology in your gym?
Post assessment scores are up from last year among my 4th/5th graders (both written and fitness assessments). I attribute this in part to our dynamic use of the iPad. One noteworthy connection could be seen in the area of nutrition. This year, students scored 10% higher on post (written) assessment scores following a 2-week instructional unit. During the unit, we used a variety of apps that supported student learning by: counting caloric intake and output, videotaping a variety of foods consumed in the lunchroom and videotaping a few nutritional public service announcements from teachers, students and our principal. We also used a popular smoothie app to decide which offered greatest nutritional value and what ingredients we needed to bring to PE class. Each of these instructional strategies combined to increase nutritional awareness throughout our student body.
What is the best part about your job?
The daily interactions with all of my students. We have over 400 students at DBE, and I see about 200 in the gym each day. I get to grow up with my students, seeing them through the elementary school system from kindergarten through 5th grade. We learn a lot about each other, our families, and we share a lot of laughs along the way.
What was your path to your current position?
I graduated with a BA in Physical Education from Seattle Pacific University in 2000. At that time I was a young PE teacher who entered the gym with little knowledge about what a PE curriculum looked like. Since then I have earned my National Boards and participated in hundreds of formal classes, but the time spent with my PE colleagues has proven most effective in my instructional development.
Do you have a single lesson plan, curriculum strand, or project that you feel exemplifies effective technology integration?
I have occasionally used a simple (and free) app this year called ChoiceBoard Creator. This app allows me to do a variety of things to support curricular goals.
First, I can create a customized assessment for selected students. This formative assessment strategy has greatly increased post assessment scores among my low and medium learners. Further, this app allows my to instantly create choices for students who are finished with given tasks or students who need structured choices.
ChoiceBoard Creator allows us to maximize movement time by instantly projecting selected activities and it has proven effective in communicating with students who are non-verbal and have not developed sign language skills.