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Teacher: Dustyn Dustyn who teaches at Toyon Middle School in Valley Springs, CA. Dustyn Dustyn can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: 10-20-30 Second Club

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To motivate ALL students to improve their running times over various distances. It rewards students who show improvement and meet their set goals. Students are encouraged to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.

Suggested Grade Level: 6-8

Materials Needed: Stop watch, a written record of a students times on previous run course. (Students know what their times are from the last run).

10-20-30 Second Club

Students have previously run several times, over various courses/distances. A week before this happens we discuss that we will be running a run on last weeks course. This will allow them to become members of the 10-20--30 Second Club. ANYONE who improves their time by 10, 20, or 30 or more seconds will become a member of the "Club".

Students are in small groups for roll call purposes. They can earn 10, 20, or 30 points for their roll call group by improving their time. It rewards those kids who never feel important to their group because now they are motivated to improve. They are also the ones who can become the most valuable to their group, since they can typically improve their times. Many improve because now they have a reason to try. The fastest runners are usually still capable of running 10 seconds faster, provided the course is long enough, so the roll call groups (which are designated with college names) typically earn over 100 points apiece on "race day". THAT is a BIG DEAL to middle school kids!

The times are recorded as kids finish, comparing it to their most recent run over the same distance. When all students are in, they line up with their "college" and we award points on the spot -10 points for 10 seconds, 20 points for 20 seconds, 30 points for 30+ seconds.

Students are very motivated to improve, because they can ALL contribute to their team.

A nice looking poster on the computer shows off the names of all the 10-20-30 Club Winners. The students really look proud when they find their names on it. It is posted in the gym and locker rooms.


5 points are awarded for the students who finish in the Top 5. The Boys and Girls top 5 within each class period, and 10 points for students who are Top Ten for the whole day (about 120 boys and 120 girls). The competitive kids work hard to place, and ask me at lunch if they're still in the top 10 for the day. There are also several each period who really surprise themselves when they finish in the Top 5, because they never knew they could. The results are ready to post the next day - they are asking the minute they are getting off the bus! The Top Ten Poster is made on the computer and it looks "cool" to draw attention to it.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Give the students notification about a week in advance so they are prepared. You will probably be able to use it only once or twice in the year. It is easiest to implement when you have previous results to refer to, instead of from last quarter. I often use a half mile, and the following week repeat that, which helps them get ready for the mile.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Students with disabilities are able to participate as well, with improvement rewarded on a similar basis and participation / activity/ distance adapted for the disability.

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Posted on PEC: 3/14/2004 and has received 167 votes.

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