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Teacher: Sean Conlin who teaches at Center Elementary School in Willington, CT. Sean Conlin can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: The PAL Reading, Writing, and Exercise Program (The Exercising Koosh Ball)

Rationale/Purpose of Event: The PAL Program encourages students to read, write and be physically active.

Suggested Grade Level: K-5

Materials Needed: Koosh balls and journals

The PAL Reading, Writing, and Exercise Program (The Exercising Koosh Ball)

PALl (physically active learner) is a koosh (ball) that I send home with my students. He (It) goes home with my students with his journal. My students are encouraged to do a variety of physical activities with him, read to him, and then write about their adventures with PAL in his journal. When he returns to school we share what he did with the class.

Physically Active Learners Program

Dear students,

My name is PAL. I am a koosh and a physically active learner. I, like everyone else, need to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Please help me get the physical activity I need by exercising with me. I enjoy playing catch but that isnít the only thing I can do. Included in my journal is a list of activities that I can do. If you and your family have me do activities that are not on the list please add them to my list. I want everyone to know what I have done. I am also writing a journal of my adventures so if you could write a story of our adventures together I would appreciate your efforts. If you decide to include pictures or drawings in my journal I would be proud to include them in my journal. One of the nights that I stay at your house please read me the story MichaelĎs Golden Rules. ItĎs my favorite bedtime story.

PALís to do list
* Exercise 30 minutes a day
* Complete journal
* Read to PAL
* Return to school at next physical education class

PALís Physical Activity List
Palís list includes physical activities that promote physical fitness.
Please add to the list as Pal tries new activities. Feel free to copy into a Word document and handout.

Frisbee Golf (at Thompson Dam)
Tai Bo
Push ups
Sit ups
Jumping Jacks

Palís Journal
(Please attach pages if this isnít enough space)

Journal entry written by:________________________________________________________________


Physical activities:______________________________________________________________________



Books that were read to me ____________________________________________________________


Adventures (What did I do? Where did I go? Who was I with? Be descriptive)



Some teachers might use tennis balls for more inexpensive alternative to koosh. Students could draw Pal's face on the ball.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Ask the classroom teacher if students that don't have books at home can borrow from the classroom library.

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Posted on PEC: 10/12/2008 and has received 99 votes.

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