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Making Connections: Creating a HAL Team

Creating a Healthy Active Living (HAL) Team

The Healthy Schools Framework and the School Effectiveness Framework are connected via various links, including common goals, team members, teaching and learning approaches, and leadership. Both frameworks propose the close collaboration of children, parents, and educators to ensure that students learn in a socially appropriate school environment. Among the health-related topics that are targeted by the two frameworks, there are mental health, growth and development, physical activity, healthy eating, personal safety, and substance use.

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To establish the HAL program in the school, it is important to develop a comprehensive approach to teaching all of the mentioned topics that are related to healthy living and physical education. The document designed by the Ontario Government presents a structured guide for teachers, parents, school boards, and other community partners (“Foundations for a Healthy School”). The HAL team creation should include the dissemination of clear instructions to all stakeholders so that they can understand their responsibilities and roles. For example, with regard to the healthy eating topic, the school board should identify the ways to enhance food culture, while teachers and parents are expected to be aware of safe food preparation and storage. Cooperation with the local farmers may be one of the methods to accomplish these goals. The Foundations for a Healthy School document should be used to make sure each of the areas is covered and that teachers did their best to meet the national standards. In terms of the School Effectiveness Framework, the concept of Heathy Schools should be emphasized through assessment, student engagement, and classroom leadership.

Professional Development

The Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations and the Ontario Association for the Support of Physical and Health Educators provide conferences for physical and health education specialists. The conference implies that every participant of this event shares his or her experience and research findings with others. The most relevant topics are to be discussed, and the most critical questions are to be answered. This is also consistent with the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA) goals to reinforce and reinforce knowledge and skills about PHE (“The Ontario Curriculum”). As a rule, conferences are conducted once a year, but some organizations also provide more opportunities.

Workshops compose one more activity that aims to improve the teaching skills of educators through various instructional methods. For example, the OPHA ambassadors offer 2.5 hour-long workshops, each of which presents a particular topic, such as mental health, gaming, daily physical activity (DPA), and so on. It seems to be rather useful that the organizations’ website includes all necessary information, and the interested teachers may register for workshops online. The Ontario College of Teachers also proposes workshops for quality delivery of PHE to all students. Since the identified teacher development option is relatively short, it allows equipping educators with pertinent knowledge and skills promptly.

The development of teachers can also be supported via professional association activities, including meetings with leading experts and programs launched by the related organizations. For example, PHE Canada provides elaborate programs that can be used by a lot of educators in their practice under the guidance of this body. Move, Think, and Learn or At My Best (AMB) may be noted among the resource programs, which are focused on the ongoing professional growth of teachers. The membership in PHE Canada ensures that teachers stay aware of the latest news and trends as well as can contribute to Canada’s mission of upbringing healthy and active kids.

Literacy and Numeracy in HPE

Numeracy, literacy, and inquiry are rather significant for physical education lessons for all grades. It is evident that children of different ages need altered tasks, yet their purpose remains the same – a harmonious development of personality. One of the ways to integrate the mentioned components into the curriculum is to offer children some time and place for making decisions. Namely, movement competence and creative thinking should be targeted by teachers. The balancing exercise implies that each of the students is assigned the role of a leader who says a number, while others should balance on two, three, four, or five body parts. To develop literacy, this exercise may be extended so that children are to be asked to go to the board and read a sentence once they succeed with balancing. The inquiry is to be ensured by means of asking students’ opinions about the activity and offering ways to enhance it. After that, depending on the grade, students may express their ideas and communicate with each other and the teacher on the potential adaptation of the activity in the future. Thus, both linguistic and numeracy skills of children may be promoted via the described gaming method.

Another way to apply numeracy, literacy, and inquiry into the curriculum is finding common ground for them. Mathematical and written stories may be used to improve children’s understanding of numbers and words that they use in life. For example, a popular monkey game when one child stays between two others who try to throw a ball at each other may be suggested. When the middle kid catches the ball, he or she is encouraged to go to the boards and begin a story by writing a number and the name of the key character. Other children in the team are asked to continue the story by adding more words and numbers and creating the story. As an example, the teacher may explain the game with Gargamel and smurfs, where the villain kidnapped five out of ten heroes, two are going to save them, and the remaining number of smurfs should be found. Similar stories may be composed with any other characters from movies or cartoons that are of interest to children. In the end, each of the teams consisting of 3-5 children should collectively tell their stories and be ready to answer the questions of other teams, which is consistent with the need to target inquiry in the HPE curriculum.

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Response to Post 1 (SV)

The post presents several clear examples of how to implement numeracy and literacy into the HPE curriculum. They seem to be feasible and advantageous for children who need developing in a balanced way. For example, throwing a ball and subtracting or multiplying the numbers is an exciting method to engage kids and make physical education lessons more interesting and informative for them. In general, this post shows various ways that can be easily introduced in practice. However, it would be better if the author also focused on the point of inquiry during lessons.

Response to Post 2 (LR)

The idea about the creation of a new game by children seems to be the most exciting in this post. Using the action words, children are to be encouraged to find a rhyme or compose a poem. This activity directly relates to critical thinking and problem-solving issues. Another example about oral language implementation and pronouncing words out loud is also especially beneficial for visual and audial learners as it helps them to use their strengths for playing.

Mental Health

The children and adolescents who encounter mental health problems need special attention from educators and parents. Anxiety is one of the specific forms of mental conditions that often impede a student from being successful at school. The students with anxiety tend to miss their lessons because of the feeling that they do not fit it, and sadness along with disappointment becomes their usual feelings. As declared by the Ontario government, these children need the strategies to identify and manage personal feelings to be reflective of how they behave and interact with others (“Supporting Minds”). Emotional literacy is the method to assist them, which can be utilized by the teachers through physical education. For instance, in case a tense situation appears in the classroom, the teacher may consider a break for an outside walk or using bicycles to calm down (“Mental Health”). The idea is to help children to construct self-regulation skills by focusing on their curiosity and persistence. If a teacher sees that a kid is experiencing negative emotions, he or she can say “I feel that something is bothering you. Can I help you with?” Conscious empathy for the current emotional state of a child is the key to treating anxiety.

During DPA or HPE, the teacher is expected to find time to discuss mental health with children and explain that kids with anxiety are not bad, but they need more attention and understanding from peers. While playing games or performing any other physical activity, other students should be encouraged to support those with mental problems, treating them equally and respectfully. Awareness of their own feelings, the ability to empathize and manage their emotions, and tuning in to the feelings of people around them need to be explained to all children (Hills 370). These abilities help a person to become psychologically stronger and use feelings along with a logical understanding of the cause of the problem. The development of self-regulation is one of the central lines of preventing and addressing tense situations in a classroom. The variety of activities that children master is united by regulating behaviors by self-control skills. The role-modeling method is another method to promote emotional intelligence and self-regulation in children via the observation of others. In case a child with anxiety struggles to perform a task, the teacher should carefully direct his or her attention to how others handle it, finding strong points of this kid and building on them.

Communication Tools

FreshGrade or Google Classroom applications may be used to connect with parents and facilitate classroom management. These applications are beneficial for quickly giving out marks and reporting – the service stores all the necessary information about each lesson for each class. Parents and children can track their progress and address the teacher for comments if required. The concept of digital citizenship should be promoted among parents in terms of privacy concerns caused by the mentioned applications (Selvarajah). To prevent information leakage, parents should be educated on how to properly use them, acquiring basic digital literacy skills.

Response to Post 1 (TA)

One should agree that ClassDojo is a useful application that connects teachers, parents, and children. All the data collected by the service is visualized as a chart, which is important to easily understand information. The teacher can instantly send messages to a group, for example, to remind students about homework or notify parents of a parent meeting. The scores obtained by each student are updated in the account of their parents, and the teacher also can send parents additional comments that appear during the lesson.

Response to Post 2 (LR)

The idea to use ClassDojo is appropriate as it implies a convenient and easily managed reward system for student behaviors with various roles and levels of access. The fact that teachers can display the class progress with the help of a projector during the lesson seems to be effective and motivating for kids to improve. ClassTag application is also relevant to communicate with parents/guardians to seek help with class activities. While the benefits are clear, it would be interesting to learn more about what parents think about using these applications.

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Learning Artifact

Emotional intelligence is a phenomenon that combines the ability to distinguish and understand emotions, manage personal emotional states and those communication partners. This artifact is selected due to the active emotional formation of children and the need for the improvement of their self-awareness and self-reflection. The development of emotional intelligence in terms of HPE is significant to master such qualities as emotional stability, a positive attitude towards oneself, an internal locus of control, and empathy. Thus, by developing these qualities of a child, one can increase the level of his or her emotional intelligence.

Works Cited

“Foundations for a Healthy School.” Ontario,n.d., 2019. Web.

Hills, Andrew Peter, et al. “Supporting Public Health Priorities: Recommendations for Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion in Schools.” Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, vol. 57, no. 4, 2015, pp. 368-374.

“Mental Health.” OPHEA, n.d., 2019. Web.

“The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education, 2010.” OAITH, 2018, Web.

Selvarajah, Manjula. “Rise of Classroom Management Apps Makes Hiding Your Report Card Obsolete.” CBC News, 2018. Web.

“Supporting Minds: An Educator’s Guide Promoting Students’ Mental Health and Well-Being.” Ontario, 2013, Web.

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