ELMS Students Learn Healthy Habits through Heart Monitors

     Published on 6/12/19   Tagged under:    District News    Expeditionary Learning School   

This is a photo of two girls, standing in the school gym holding an iPad with a fitness app open on the screen.“I just want to win!” one ELMS student exclaimed as she jogged around the school gym.
“I don’t care about winning… I just want to get my 6,000 steps!” another responded.
Thanks to a grant written by Physical Education teacher Brett Cataldi and funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation, sixth and seventh graders are learning about heart health by using wrist pedometers and heart monitors during Physical Education class.
“I went to a New York State conference where I saw software available for these kinds of things, and I thought it would be a great motivating factor for our students,” Mr. Cataldi said. “I’ve been happily surprised at how naturally the kids use them and how excited they are to wear the monitors.”
Through the grant, ELMS was able to purchase software that shows real time heart monitor and step data on an iPad, as well as a set of 10 pedometers. Students take turns wearing the monitors during class, and Mr. Cataldi said they have been a great way to show students what moderate to vigorous physical activity looks like.
“Especially in this video game age, it’s important for students to be able to see visually what moderate physical activity looks like,” Mr. Cataldi added. “Some of them like the competition. Some of them are just trying to get more steps. Either way, they’re pushing themselves to do more and be healthier.”
Moving forward, Mr. Cataldi hopes to get enough pedometers and heart monitors for an entire class. He would also like to get a projector that would allow him to project real-time heart monitor data on the gym wall. He also hopes to explore the software and start sending daily reports home to parents, showing a student’s activity for the day. What a great way for students to learn about the importance of developing healthy habits!
This is one of 22 projects funded in 17 schools this year by the SCSD Educational Foundation, totaling more than $62,000. To learn more about this year’s grant projects, please visit www.scsdfoundation.com.