Current Issue Back Issues Cards
Issue 10, Spring 2013
Click here to have this issue shipped directly to you.

An Artful Thinking Classroom,
   Jessica Ross
Solving Real-World Problems With
Open Source Software
   Tim McNamara
Change Leadership For Learning,
   Tony Wagner
Deeper Learning In Common Core
Math Projects
   Sarah Strong
Design Thinking and the Shift
from Refrigerator Projects
   Lindsey Ott & Eric White
Deeper Learning For Professionals,
   Karen Fasimpaur
Gaining Perspective: Guiding
Student Reflection
   Tara Della Roca
A Differentiated Lesson, A To Z,
   Cara Littlefield
Taking A Stand On
Controversial Issues
   Mary Hendra
Scaffolding Creativity Through
Design Thinking
   Mindy Ahrens
Don’t Just Talk About
Character: Teach Habits
   Liza T. Eaton & Cyndi D.Gueswel
Teachable Moments: A Lesson In
Listening To Students
   Beth DeLuca
Mindsets and Student Agency,
   Eduardo Briceño

1: Energy Puzzles
2: Food For Thought
3: Historic Rap Throwdown
4: Turning Points, Toy Theatre
5: The End of the World Uncovered
6: Matter All Around
7: The Learning Landscape
8: Are You Fitter Than a 5th Grader?
9: The Great 9th Grade Odyssey

Are You Fitter Than a 5th Grader?

download pdf

Over the course of 11 weeks, 5th grade students studied the human body, learned about types of exercise that support healthy growth in kids, and worked diligently to improve their own fitness levels. Most importantly, the class developed a solution for motivating their schoolmates to exercise more frequently. They designed and built a parcourse for the school—a permanent fitness circuit consisting of 13 exercise stations including a climbing traverse, tire run, balance beam and log jump.

Teacher Reflection
In addition to giving students a chance to study the body and explore children’s health, this project provided opportunities for students to develop their decision-making capabilities as they made the many choices required in designing and constructing the parcourse. The class also learned to manage hurdles that arose at various times related to the installation of their work and additionally, challenged themselves to pursue and surpass their own fitness goals throughout the project.

Student Reflections
It was challengings deciding among a lot of ideas from the class. It was hard to come up with one thing for how the signs should be designed to how the climbing traverse should be painted. But after making all those choices we ended up with a parcourse we’re really proud of. —Raymond

In this project I learned that if you make a mistake then learn from it because when I painted the signs for the parcourse I made some mistakes and figured out how to fix them. It was challenging to make them look just right!      —Alex

The measurements for the frames was challenging because you have to be exact. If you’re not, then pieces won’t fit together!            —Jaddin

Kids need to get fit and if they’re not it might not seem bad now, but it can lead to diseases in the future. I learned to not only stay healthy, but help others stay healthy.          —Jessica