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Teacher: Junne Ulbrich who teaches at Troy Crossroads Elementary in Shorewood, IL. Junne Ulbrich can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: TARGET Fitness

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To give the students a theme to focus on throughout the school year and serve as a visual reminder of their physical education/fitness goals for the school year. This concept emphasizes health-related fitness.

Suggested Grade Level: K-5

Materials Needed: Any materials that you can create with computer clip art related to a target. Many small archery practice target sheets. (About 150 depending on your distance of jogging space). Laminated large archery target poster.

TARGET Fitness

As a theme for the school year I have adopted the acronym TARGET, meaning "Taking Aim, Reaching Goals, Excelling Together." A banner is posted on the wall with this acronym as students enter and leave the gym area.

We spend time at the beginning of the year discussing about setting personal goals related to behavior, fitness and physical education game skills that include teamwork and cooperation. When students have an idea of what their goals are, they write them down in their required PE portfolio binder. The students also set monthly goals the first week of the month specifically related to fitness and the particular unit(s) we will be introducing that month. When we use the pedometers, the students can predict how many steps they would like to achieve or they can predict how many laps they would like to complete for their 2 or 3 minute run. They also have the option writing down a general fitness goal.

Each day as students enter the gym they put on their pedometers and begin walking in place until the music begins. Once the music starts, the students run laps for approximately 2 or 3 minutes in a designated area. As they pass by me I hand them a small laminated target. When the 2 or 3 minute time limit is finished, the students from this weeks "Target Zone Squad," collect and count the targets. The total are then recorded on a large archery target that is laminated and hanging on the wall. The class from each grade level that runs the most laps gets a bonus sticker on the Target Challenge Sticker Board. They can also collect additional stickers each class period for good behavior and hard work. he class with the most stickers claims the "Target Zone Banner" that I made from scrap material donated by a parent. The banner is displayed in their classroom for the month.

I also have a TARGET ZONE recognition corner for 2 students from each classroom to be showcased. They are chosen based on their performance in P.E. as well as my observations of them in the hallway, lunchroom or at recess. They receive a TARGET ZONE Certificate, small prize and their picture is displayed on the wall for the month.

In addition, when the students are entering the gym I have the TARGET ZONE trivia question of the week. Each Monday I put up a new trivia question related to fitness, sports, or the human body. Students take an answer sheet from the provided envelope and submit their answers. If they are the first to answer correctly their class receives an additional sticker on the chart.

This theme and activities are continued throughout the school year as a constant reminder of our focus on fitness fun and friends.


Every year a new theme can be used as a focus, it just takes time and creativity to come up with a way to tie it all together in a way that will motivate the children.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

You need to promote this to the students. If you don't emphasize this everyday the students will not buy into it. Be positive, excited and upbeat! Continue reminding them of the theme throughout the school year and it will be successful.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

This can easily be adapted for students with disabilities by having the student set goals that are attainable for them. Since the goal setting is for each individual, the use of a students IEP goals could be included.

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Posted on PEC: 8/5/2003 and has received 96 votes.

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