09 June 2014

Healthy Habits Unit: Spanish I

This summer, I want to establish some healthy habits, for me and my own kiddos. My plan is to  twofold: menus and exercise plans. I want to start making weekly menus to do a better job incorporating the neglected food groups and start cooking at home more. The idea is to model healthy meal planning (and make myself actually do it) while giving the picky little boogers input so maybe they'll eat. Likewise, I want them to help me choose--and stick to--a simple exercise routine that will keep us all moving every day no matter the weather.
And if it's something my two-year-old and six-year-old can do, it's something my novices can do!

Building on an idea I had for my defunct Governor's Teacher Network application to incorporate things like dates, numbers, commands, and cross-curricular real-life application, I'd like to spend the 6 weeks after Genius Hour establishing on doing basically what I plan on doing with my blood-related babies this summer: setting menus and exercise routines.

Activity and Food Journals
I pretty much know where the kids who live in my house are starting as far as their diet and exercise, but for my school babies, they need to establish a baseline, and so do I. I'm considering getting a bunch of tiny dollar store notebooks (they're so cute) for students to track themselves there, but we might just do little stapled booklets with a template that includes food types (e.g. carbohidratos, grasas, frutas, verduras, proteína) and minutes of activity (or, say, steps taken if they have a cool app like me) to begin with for them to track what they eat and do normally. Then we might use online calculators to establish appropriate calorie intake for the day. After establishing baselines and goals, we'll probably add calorie counts (maybe work a little magic with the math and science teachers to help out there).

Activity and Food Goals
The goals will NOT, repeat NOT be about how much students weigh or body measurements of any sort. The goals will have to do with increasing activity and desirable foods and decreasing undesirable foods. Basically everyone would set one Activity Goal and one Food Goal each week.

Activity Goals could be either increased time or steps, or simply trying different types of exercises (e.g. zumba, yoga, walking, lifting). I'll conveniently have assorted TL authentic videos, and we could take some time to have them explore some TL pins for exercises they would like to try. Maybe we could even arrange some TL demos from local YMCA reps!

Food Goals--I want to steer away from "diet" because of the weight it carries in our culture at least, though it would make for a fascinating discussion with community partners--would relate either to calorie counts which make me a little nervous so I'll do some checking) or, perhaps more importantly, food type monitoring,  ie fewer fats or sugars or more fruits and vegetables. They might even pin some new dishes (in the TL) they want to try to help meet those goals, maybe 1 each week.

Class Partners
I'd like for them to have partners in the class and beyond with whom they discuss weekly goals: reflect on what they accomplished ("have") for the week in their journals,  what more they still need, what they want to change, and how they feel about their progress before sharing advice on what to try next. I could even set up some conversation cards and an interpersonal playbook with encouraging responses for such discussions!

Community Partners
The tricky part is the community aspect, but it's probably also the most essential for keeping kids accountable 1) for their language usage and 2) for their healthy habits themselves. I would really love to do this with local kids who speak Spanish, perhaps through the local ELL classes as we did with cooking, but I know their time is at a premium. We could also partner up with the local YMCA again, but the percentage of Spanish speakers there was not high. We could maybe plan a special program for local Spanish-speaking families, but that would mean neglecting the regular interpersonal accountability factor. Alternatively, I may just end up falling back on my Argentina amiga or seeking new online buddies in other parts of the country or world to meet with virtually to discuss progress, which, actually might be even more of a thrill for my kiddos than local connections.

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing! I have a practicum to do this april (my first one) and I would LOVE to do something like this... something new for my mentor teacher too I hope. I thought of asking a local zumba teacher (I know many who speak Spanish) to come in and let us do a class with her! I love this idea... thanks!

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