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Teacher: Jan Jones who teaches at Triton Elementary School in Fairland, IN. Jan Jones can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Fit For Life

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To provide "daily" physical activity for every student at Triton Elementary.

Suggested Grade Level: K-5

Materials Needed: Pre-recorded 10 minute audio tape composed of upbeat music of your choice.

Fit For Life

Every day following the morning announcements, I play a pre-recorded audio tape over the public address system at our school. The ten minute audio tape consists of music and exercises (which I put together using upbeat music and exercises that can be done in their classroom). Included on the tape:

  • two minute segment for a WARM UP

  • a three minute segment for a CARDIOVASCULAR WORKOUT

  • a three minute workout for a STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE WORKOUT and then a COOL DOWN which lasts 2 minutes.

It doesn't sound like a lot but the ten minute workout was difficult for students to complete when we first started. They are now able to do the whole routine without stopping.

Each workout routine is played for 2 weeks and then a different one is created. Prior to releasing a new routine, I train an entire fourth grade classroom to be "fitness buddies". These students go to the classrooms and lead the students through the exercises.

This has been such a positive program. I have teachers who are working out with the children and they are reporting improvements in the students strength and endurance. Teachers are also raving over the fourth grade students and the pride they are taking in being a "fitness buddy".

Students love to start the day off with this exercise program. We have students who have come in late to school disappointed that they missed out on the exercise. I had the students complete a questionnaire regarding the program and a couple of things were found. The students feel that they are getting physically stronger and they claim they are more alert and ready for a day of learning after participation in our Fit For Life program.

I had been searching for an answer to our scheduling problem at our school. I have always been an advocate of daily physical education in our profession, but I have been there for 14 years and there has been no move toward adding another physical educator. This program really helps. It sends shivers down my spine when I go from classroom to classroom each morning and see 650 students exercising at the same time.

Updated Information about this Program:

Submitted by Jan Jones, creator of this idea, August 26, 2001

This is the third year for Fit for Life at Triton Elementary School.
In that time we have done some tweaking to improve the program.

Students still participate in the morning exercise program daily. However, now I have provided each classroom in the building (23 classrooms) with a videotape. Monday - Thursday the videotape is used and on Friday mornings the audio tape is played over the public address system. This cuts down on the chaos in the building every morning plus it meets the needs of two different learning styles (visual learners and auditory learners).

The fourth grade students create the videotape as a class project each year. I divide each classroom into 4 equal groups and as a group they decide on appropriate warm up, cardiovascular, strength and endurance, as well as cool down exercises. They then select appropriate music that carries the appropriate speed/beat. I then dub their selected music with their chosen exercises onto a audio cassette. Then, they memorize their routine and this is videotaped. The completed tapes are then rotated from classroom to classroom throughout the school year. At the end of each week tapes are rotated.

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Posted on PEC: 10/9/2001 and has received 219 votes.

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