The idea of  challenging yourself,  is not a new one.  Many people have used the phrase in a variety of situations.  In fact, it is an idea for which I give my parents most of the credit.  As I was growing up,my parents provided me with this ideal.  It was not so much a direct quotation as it was a concept by which to live.  Everyone gets different things from the parents, whether their parents intend it or not. Challenging myself to do bigger and better things, or just to improve on the things I was already able to do,  is something which I still feel is meaningful .  The idea of competition with oneself is the type that is most important.  Competition with others is not a bad thing but it can sometimes get overwhelming and loose its true meaning.  In contrast, the significance of competing with yourself  has great value.  People need to learn how to take risks in a controlled situation as they grow. Later these similar situations will present real life implications.  In physical education class, I hope to help the students to see that it is okay to make mistakes.  Learning through your mistakes can prove beneficial. "No one knows what it is that he can do until he tries."(SYRUS)
I have frequently used this concept in my physical education lessons.  Tasks given will provide a level of success for all individuals, and also items that are open-ended.  These open-ended activities allow for students to try difficult tasks without any real threat of failure.  I try to stress the need to stretch your limits, and learn along the way.  This, I believe, is the message behind the credo of challenge yourself.

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 "Trivia Challenge" Drain your brain... 

1.    Name and spell five muscles found in the human body.

2.  Name and spell five bones found in the human body.

3.  Name the winner of last seasonís Superbowl. How about the year before? and before?

4.  Name the winner of last seasonís World Series. How about the year before? and before?

5.  Name the winner of last seasonís NBA playoffs. How about the year before? and before?

6.  Name the winner of last seasonís  NHL Stanley Cup Champions. How about the year before? and before

7.  How many yards are in a mile?

8.  Explain how to take your pulse, and explain what it measures.

9.  What is the difference between a six yard kick and a corner kick?  What sport are they from?

Here are a few that might be tougher:( You may want to grab an adult and play together)
To check answers, go  to Trivia Answer Section

10.Who's the first baseman in Abbott and Costello's  "Who's on First?" routine?

11. "Mancinism"-does that describe a southpaw or a righty?

12. What heavyweight boxer, who defended his crown a record 25 times, once saidabout an opponent," He can run, but he can't hide"?

13. In the game of Yahtzee, how many points is a full house?

14.Columbia, Harvard, Yale and Princeton were the original four schools in a college athletic league.  The Roman numeral four is IV so they decided to call themselves the "Ivy League."...True or False?

15.In billiards (pool) are the low-numbered balls solid or striped?

Check answers, go  to Trivia Answer Section

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  "Fun Fitness Experiments" See if you can ...

                       How about a mixed up push-up?  Cross your hands when you try this one!             (Which muscles work the hardest for this one?)
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Trivia Answer Section
1. Biceps, triceps, pectoralis, abdominals, quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, deltoid, trapezius, cardiac
2. Skull (cranium), vertebrae, clavicle (collarbone), ribs, humerus (funnybone), ulna, radius, carpals
3. New England Patriots 2002  Baltimore Ravens 2001 St. Louis Rams 2000    Denver Broncos 1998 and 1999
4. Arizona Diamondbacks 2001  2000 New York Yankees 1999,1998 and 1996 
5. Los Angeles Lakers 2001 and 2000
6. 2002 Detrout Red Wings &Colorado Avalanche 2001;New Jersey Devils 2000   
7. 1760 yards
8. You can take your pulse(without machines), by placing two fingers on your neck and finding the artery.  Another way is to check your wrist, without using your thumb.  It is used to measure the speed of your heart.
9. A 6 yard kick and a corner kick are both from soccer.
10. Who
11. lefthandedness or southpaw
12. Joe Louis
13. 25 points
14. True
15. Solid
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 Multiple Intelligences 
  You may be 7 times smarter than you already know.  You may be smarter than you think because recent research has been able to show that there are more ways to learning then previously thought.  All individuals have certain areas in which they excel and those where they feel most comfortable.  A good example is the person who loves to work with numbers and figures just for fun.  There are other people who find reading to be both relaxing and enjoyable.  This may not come as much of a surprise to most people.  Many of us feel very comfortable in math or reading yet uneasy when it comes to the other area.
  The researchers have gone a step further; however, than just deciding whether an individual is stronger in the math and sciences or the language arts.  David Lazear, "Seven ways of Knowing: Teaching for Multiple Intelligence's,"  and other scientists now believe that there are at least  7 or 8 types of intelligence, and possibly more.  These intellect categories span a wide variety of topics from musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial and bodily-kinesthetic.  Adults as well as children are thought to have a varying degree of all of these subject areas, with concentrations in one or two most likely.  Things like interpersonal, or how we get along with others, intrapersonal, how we handle our own problems and even environmental intelligence all have a place in this theory.  It is for this reason that both the school and the workplace have been undergoing massive changes in the past few years.
  Changes in the approach to learning and business include the way in which problems are attacked and solved.  Students can and do learn in all of these classifications, student with their own individual breakdown for each.  The gymnasium presents the unique opportunity to address several aspects at one time.  The physical aspect has long been the focus and will continue to be the primary target.  In addition, the physical education class can serve as a link to traditional academic subjects.   Teams of teachers are working together to integrate the ideas of the classroom into the gymnasium.  Physical Education games now have a primary physical focus and a secondary academic concept such as geometry, maps, addition, volcanoes, etc.  We are now able to reach a new part of the student that may have gone untapped.  I have often heard people say "I can understand it better if I do it."  Your students are now doing just that in many physical education classes across the United States and the world.  "Physical education is the one subject matter where the Ďwholeí learner can be addressed on a continuous basis" (Curt Hinson 1993)

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Physical Education..What is it all about today? 
     "Tell me, show me, but most of all involve me,"  this is a phrase which is very popular among physical educators.  Physical Education is still primarily about teaching our body to do a variety of skills.  The major change in physical education is the approach to reaching this goal.  Traditional classes held in the gymnasium were what is known as command style; where the teacher was in total control and the students followed "orders" of a sort.  This type of instruction did have its merit, but only for select students; this format falls under "tell me."  Many innovative teachers realized a need for more and developed a style called demonstration; this style is a little more approachable. Using this method could be referred to as "show me," where students would go through the steps of a skill or activity.  This style was able to able to reach even more students, but something was still missing.  The final portion of the quote says "involve me."  Representative of this idea, physical educators include their students more then ever in all parts of the classroom experience.
    Students are actively learning how their body works, not only how to shoot baskets, but the inner workings of physiology.  In the process of developing a better understanding of how their body functions and the direct effect everything that we do has on it students are able to improve the physical skills and knowledge of game and sport.  The students participate in activities in which they must record and/or monitor the own pulse.  Pulse measure the rate which a persons heart is pumping blood through the body.  Students become aware of pulse; what it is, what it measures, how their actions effect it, and methods of control.   The ultimate outcome is to participate in a lifetime of activity which will enhance each individuals life.  The knowledge of movement, proper exercise techniques, and how to play is important.  People have a need to play, a means of expressing their physical creativity and wisdom.  Play is important to those of all ages, the need for change and excitement are often fulfilled by the physical portion of any person.  It is likely that the idea of vacations grew out of this concept.  The mental part of the body is capable of building up large amounts of stress, this stress can be eliminated in a positive way through play.  Chemicals are even released during exercise which can help a person to feel better.  Children, and sometimes adults, need to be taught how to play.  It is not unfortunately a skill that comes naturally to all students.
    Many of today's physical educators integrate their physical curriculum with classroom subjects.  Areas like reading, spelling, geography, math, science, art, and  music are now reinforced in game format. With the help and support of classroom teachers the Physical education specialist can create new versions of games and modifications of traditional activities.  The terms, vocabulary and concepts of topics covered in the classroom can reach a different level of learning and a different style of learner.  Ultimately the education of the "whole" student overlaps creating "a healthy mind, in a healthy body. "  The main goal of any solid physical education program, is to provide the best learning opportunity for each student.  Reaching students at individual levels and then challenging them to stretch those limits.  The theory of multiple intelligence's defines seven or more separate types of learning.  Integration can combine the physical, or kinesthetic, with the areas of math, logic, science, verbal/linguistic, and even environmental.  In effect it allows for each students learning style to be strengthened through the use of a variety of subject areas.


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Pennsylvania Walkers Club 
  This fall the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students started walking in physical education class, but with a goal in mind.  The goal was to explore the great state of Pennsylvania by walking.  We decided to compile our distance and take a fictional journey to various places within our state.  We plan on stopping at many of the major cities and locations.  In addition, the students have sent their autographs and some holiday cards to 6 schools in other parts of Pennsylvania so far.  We intend to correspond with their students during our trip.  The next step, along with collecting more miles, is to get together some information packages on our local area.  The local areas which we decided to focus on include Yardley, Washingtonís Crossing, Doylestown and Philadelphia.  Student teams are working on mini projects to be sent to these other schools with the facts and fun stuff of these areas.  Letters, posters, polls and artwork are being created to be mailed to these other schools.  Our PA Walkers club penpals are located in the Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Hershey and Hazelton areas.  We are hoping to receive some information back from these schools when they get rolling.
The main object of the project is to get our students moving.  However; the 4th grade teachers and I thought it might be beneficial to combine the academic and physical aspects of study.  The goal is that it will be fun for all involved and we may get some insight not possible through just reading textbooks.   Below is a list of the schools which joined us in the PA Walkers Club.  They are compiling their own mileage and packets to be mailed.  Wish us luck!!

George Hasker                                                     Todd F. Bedard
HazleElementary                                                  Mountain View
Hazleton ,PA 18201                                              400 Gibbel Road Harrisburg, PA  17112
                                                                              4th - Mr. Daniels, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Farber

Earl  Bright                                                            Gerry Cernicky
Steelton-Highspire Elementary                               Allegheny /Hyde Park Elementary
4th and Walnut St.                                                 300 School Road
Steelton,  PA  17113                                              Leechburg , PA15656
                                                                              Miss Shirey(4A) &Miss Soska(4B)

Gerry Cernicky                                                       Gerry Cernicky
Weinels Elementary                                                  Laurel Point
6630 Shearsburg Rd.                                                RD#1
Leechburg,PA 15656                                               Vandergrift,PA 15690
Mrs. Soulier(4A) & Mrs. Carnahan(4B).                  Mrs. Duppstadt
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 Family and Physical Education 

                   Here are some activities you may already do, that are great fun to try as a family and wonderful for large muscle development:

                 Parents, try these with your children, turn back the clock a little.  Kids, get your parents up and moving, you may be suprised how good moms, dads, grandparents, aunts & uncles really are.  You might even learn a new game or two that they play!!  It is hard to fit these activites in everyday, but that can be our goal.  Even a couple times a week, for a few minutes can do wonders for your outlook on life and family.  Good Luck and have FUN!!!
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