Healthy Food Habits by Sheela Mahdavi, Horace Mann Health Aide
- The Health Office is the first in the district to implement preventative medicine by providing free fruits to the children to pick up at any time. The kids absolutely LOVE it—making it an adventure every day to pick some up. My goal is to get the students to be consuming more fruits. Frequent complaints of stomach aches, headaches, dehydration and even constipation has prompted me to bring fruits in and offer the kids a chance to eat their fruit every day. The courier covered this news back in November: http://bhcourier.com/beverly-hills-news-horace-mann-launches-preventative-medicine-for-student-health-this-week/
- Over the break, Bristol Farms agreed to donate their organic fruits to the Health Office!!! This is huge, as we rarely hear of any public school offering organic produce to their students. Now, every morning, I pick up a box full of fruits (apples, oranges, tangerines, pears, bananas, apricots, whatever grab-n-go type fruit are in season) and place them in a bowl for the students to take if they wish. And it has been a HIT. So successful that I’ve had to make a rule: “1 fruit per day” so that we don’t run out! 😊
- I’m also now hosting guest lectures on nutrition! So far I’ve taught the 7th, 2nd and 3rd graders about nutrition basics, importance of hydration, nutrition facts labels and ingredient lists, and in some classes we even discussed the chemicals in foods, pesticides, and the difference between organic vs. conventional/GMO produce!
Upcoming Nutrition lectures:
- Wednesday, February 28th – Ms. Arth’s 2nd Grade
- Wednesday, March 7th – Mrs. Goldstein’s Kindergarten
- Wednesday, March 8th – Mrs. Park’s 8th Grade Science
Healthy Physical Habits
Part 1 by Coach Franks
Coach Ryan Franks teaches PE for Horace Mann middle school, 9th grade PE at BHHS and also coaches the varsity girls’ soccer team. He is also a parent of 2nd grade twin daughters at Horace Mann.
- My passion for physical fitness and sports began when I was a student right here in the district at Hawthorne and El Rodeo school many years ago. I played 3 sports at Beverly and ultimately earned a soccer scholarship to attend Loyola Marymount University and Cal State Northridge while earning my Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. It was the relationships with my teachers and coaches in the district that made it obvious for me what I wanted to do as a career. I feel very grateful to be in such a wonderful school community as both a teacher and a parent.”
Physical Education Objective
- My goal is to help create a fun and safe environment where students can participate in a wide variety of activities. The center for disease control and prevention reports that obesity rates have tripled for children and quadrupled for adolescence during the last 30 years.
- The Physical Education curriculum is important because we are planting the seeds for a lifetime of physical fitness and health. Coach White and I have a comprehensive plan that we are very proud of. Our focus points are 3-fold:
- social skills including fair play and sportsmanship
- fitness and health
- sports rules and skills.
- Our units are 3 weeks long students rotate between each teacher. We do soccer, football, tag games, relay races, hockey, handball and many more activities.
- To start the year in the fall we do a pre-assessment for the Fitness Gram assessment. The fitness gram is the state mandated test for the 5 components of fitness which are cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body mass index. The test is administered in the spring for 5, 7, 9th graders. The results give us valuable feedback on what areas need to be emphasized.
New Equipment in P.E.
- I want take this opportunity to thank the PTA, for its continued support of the PE department. This year I was able to implement a new husky mileage reward program using the EZ Scan App. Using this app I'm able to track student laps on the field. Students scan their bar code. I put some good music on and students can run or power walk and accumulate miles for the year. Every 3 miles is a paw for a necklace and every 5 miles is a dog tag. This simple rewards program helps motivate students and allows every student to experience success in P.E. often they are shocked how many cumulative miles they've done.
Fitness Tip for Families
- I also want to encourage parents to use fitness as a healthy way to bond and connect with your children. Over winter break I challenged my daughters to do 5 hikes in 5 days and it was truly a great experience and challenge for the entire family.
Part 2 by Coach White
The Physical Education program at Horace Mann is based on the California State standards for this subject area. Within the standards, the major topics of sports skills, fitness, nutrition and social skills are covered.
In regards to fitness, we devote a portion of our time specifically to it. For 1st- 3rd grade that means once a week we have a fitness day, where students have learnt how to execute a number of exercises and can perform a ‘whole body’ fitness work out (ask your kids to show you!)
In 4th & 5th grade we start to concentrate specifically on the State Fitness Testing, which tests students on the 6 components of fitness. We complete a pre-test in the fall & a post-test in the spring. Practice with how to do the specific tests is provided, along with completion of additional exercises to engage each fitness component. Typically, fitness will be included once or twice each week.
Middle School takes off where 5th grade ends…….fitness testing continues & we try to include fitness workouts weekly. In addition, students are provided with examples of workouts they can complete at home & they also create their own weekly fitness plan. Written work is completed to teach about each fitness component and the benefits of exercise on our mind & bodies.
Additional information on Fitness Testing:
California Physical Education Standards:
Mindfulness by Mr. Joshua Reitzenstein, Special Ed Teacher
Our campus now has a Mindfulness Mentor! Mr. Reitzenstein is offering:
- Mindfulness Club for middle school on Wednesdays and Fridays at lunch
- Introductory Mindfulness lessons for elementary classes by teacher request
- The opportunity for students to opt into mindfulness instead of detention
- Staff meditation every Thursday morning!
- Here is the link to the viral video that was mentioned during the mindfulness presentation regarding the school in Detroit that has implemented mindfulness instead of detention. The video is a clear and powerful example of how mindfulness can transform a school culture.