Friday, December 11, 2009
Just as an update, the DoEd is accepting new applications for PEP this year. The deadline they have published for application submission is in late May, so there is still plenty of time for you to get me the name and number of districts you would like to suggest that we work with. Please let me know soon so I can get them added to my list soon. I am about half-way to filling it up.
I am taking the family down to Dallas during the week of Christmas, so I will be reachable only via phone. If you have any questions for me during the Holiday Break, please let me know and I will be happy to help you as I will have my laptop with me.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I will be in Wisconsin for a training tomorrow and travelling on Tuesday. If you want to schedule a time to talk with me on Wednesday, I will be in the office most of the day and available to talk. There are a couple of you, my Project Directors, who I need to have a discussion with to make sure we are on course and will meet our deadlines. I am sure you are, but those deadlines have a way of creeping up on us if we don't manage them correctly.
In other news, word on the street is that the DoEd will be accepting new applications this spring. What does this mean to you? You know that AFS works solely on a referral basis, and I would love to talk with potential Project Directors in other districts that you would feel comfortable referring over to us. So, please take a couple of minutes and get me one or two names that I can contact and email them over to me when you get a moment.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
This district is in a high poverty area. Perhaps when I say high poverty, you think that a lot of their students come from low income households. Outside of Chicago Public Schools, Clairton may have the highest percentage of students who come from this type of household. Student motivation is a challenge within this district. Motivating students to collect their MVPA data is a challenge here more than anywhere else I work with.
But the PE instructors may be near experts in student motivation. The district administration is committed to supporting the efforts of the PE instructors not only financially, but with the time and energy they require. Clairton rewards all students who submit their MVPA data during the scheduled weeks by hosting a huge pizza party at the end of the term.
Now I know, Coordinated School Health states you should not use food as a reward or punishment. In this case, this strategy may be the most cost efficient and effective way to get their students to submit their data on time. All students who attend the party are also provided with an entry into a drawing. For the drawing the district provides enough gift cards to local merchants that about half of the students walk away from the party with something in their hands.
Many of the ideas we use and strategies we recommend come from Clairton. We appreciate their efforts in making sure that their students are able to walk away from their program with an understanding of how to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of fitness.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I know, my life is tough. If you need to get in touch with me this week, please make sure you email me and leave me a voicemail. I will most likely get back to you via email because of the time differences.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I actually started calling around and one of the other grant development people that I know and one of them had a district that had heard the same thing. So does that mean there is another round of funding? Could be. Stay tuned, especially if you submitted an application that did not fund...
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
So a couple of deadlines that you need to be aware of:
May 15th - For those of you who did not get the data for the Progress Report completed (and you know who you are), please make sure you work with me to get the right data in my hands so I can get the reports completed in a timely fashion.
May 21st - The is the deadline for you to request your funding from the Federal Government. The real deadline is May 30th, but we need to make sure we get the funding requested a little early just in case.
June 1st - The date we can cut PO's for the 2009-10 school year implementation. I will be on the road for most of April and May, so make sure I contact you to get a date to sit down to plan your implementation for next year. Let's be more aggressive with the evaluation calendar so we can get most of the data turned in during January 2010.
The main reason I go to the national AAHPERD conference is to meet with you, my clients. I did take the chance to meander through the trade show and attend some sessions that I think may be of value to you. I did find some new resources for equipment. The more I look around, the more I like SPARK, StationPE, and FitnessWise as the curriculum platforms to be used for the implementation of PEP programs. The curriculum for each of the programs is good, but the people behind the programs are also fantastic. I am still in awe at how well they know their jobs and the programs. I love working with the vendors that I have.
If you have any feedback on the show or ideas that have come up, please email me and let me do some research before I come out to your site this spring. I would love to talk them through with you to see if they fit within the scope and sequence of your program. I prefer to stick to the plan that was originally proposed, but small deviations in equipment, for example, are alright as long as they fit within the plan.
I am looking forward to meeting with all of you soon!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Enjoy your weekend -- I know I will.
Friday, January 16, 2009
So, I am going to start publishing those suggestions each week. Make sure you create an RSS feed for this site so you know when it is updated. I hope you find the information informative. If there are topics you would like to see additional discussion about, please email me and I will publish an article regarding the area you suggest.
- Save Time in Data Transfer: One PE Instructor in Kenosha WI suggested that instead of writing all of the student names into the data tracking sheets, you cut and paste the names onto the appropriate sheets instead. That will save you from having to write in all of the names yourself.
- When Timelines are Out of Order: When you have already conducted your fitness pre-test and you now need your students to note their performance data to assist in goal setting, copy the sheet you noted their data on and cut out the data for each student along with their name. This will same you significant time and effort. You will not have to meet with each student individually to help them note their data.
- Partner Up: Use SPARK classroom management strategies and have your students partner up for the portions of the fitness test that they can. Try and get them to accurately count for their partner and then have them switch positions. That will help you move more quickly through your evaluation piece.
- Work with Classroom Teachers: A classroom teacher can be your best friend when you are trying to get your students to journal the amount of time they spend each week exhibiting MVPA. As classroom teachers to give students time to record the data and they add the number of minutes up they have at the end of the week. Most classroom teachers will be happy to oblige.
If there are other tips and strategies that you would like to share, please email me and I will of course credit you and let the whole world know how smart and impressive you are!
Monday, January 12, 2009
I will take some time and publish my thoughts on the new guidelines once I have had the chance to carefully review them. I don't think they will change too much, but I do expect clearer guidance on the GRPA requirements for grant recipients. I am also hopeful that the guidance published for reviewers by the DoEd is clearer and put an emphasis on research-based programs.
It seems a larger than desired percentage of recipients that are approved are not exactly clear on what type of program they would like to implement nor the true scope and sequence of their program. It is a shame that some of the federal dollars go to these districts. Trust me, I have seen it first hand and it is a waste of this resource.
Monday, January 5, 2009
For PEP projects, it seems the Student Activity Level tracking (MVPA) that is required by the DoEd is the most difficult. I have seen some electronic solutions as well as solutions that require simple paper and a pencil. Whatever your budget and level of motivation, getting your students to recall and record that data is the challenge here.
Let me remind you of the five simple strategies we advocate to help motivate your PE students to complete a desired task:
- Make sure the behavior is easily measured. If you students are required to spend hours a week recording and reporting data, it won't happen. If you as the teacher or Project Director are required to spend hours a week compiling data, yep, you guessed it, your data will be raw for weeks. And you know what they say about raw data -- it starts to stink after a while.
- Group competition instead of individual competition. Make any competitions you conduct based on group performance instead of individual performance. Embed individual performance within the competition.
- Set clear criteria. Your students have to know how they are being judged. Without this information, they will undoubtedly throw in the towel before the end of the competition.
- Reward positive behavior. Enough said.
- Constantly remind and promote. Your students will need gentle and clear reminders of the expected outcomes. Make sure they know deadlines and are clear on what they are required to submit.
This post may seem like a rehash of the previous information and to a certain extent it is. But this topic is one of the most difficult issues that confront PE instructors. So tell me this -- what have you used in the past to motivate your students? What has been successful and what has failed?