Tag Archives: health education

Wisconsin is full-steam ahead for #Skillsbasedhealthed

Two claps and a Rick Flair  . . . WOOOOOO!

 

This was the attention grabber Dr. Sally Jones used in our skills-based health education pre-conference session at the Wisconsin Best Practices Academy in July. I don’t know why but it has stuck with me and will always remind me of this amazing conference! (here is a link to the Rick Flair Wooo on YouTube in case you are interested)

 

One of the best parts of presenting at and/or attending conferences is the positive energy and enthusiasm that everyone has. I never fail to leave a conference energized, empowered and excited to continue the important work we are all doing.

 

There are so many great things happening in Wisconsin – they are working hard to get skills-based health education throughout the state. It was a pleasure to watch their training cadre, a group of skilled educators who are leading the way for other teachers, present their work – skills-based health ed is going strong in WI and it was inspiring to see how these teachers have taken the foundation and made it their own. Some people you want to follow on Twitter if you aren’t already (members of the cadre):  Mary Wentland @prideandjoymary, Deborah Tackmann @deborahtackmann, Meg Whaley @13_meggy, Kaitlyn Bloemer @bloemerPE.

 

Not only that, but Holly and I had around 45 educators who spent 6 hours (on a beautiful summer day) at our pre-con session diving into all things skills-based! We were so impressed with the ideas, commitment, and passion these educators had to skills-based health education and for helping their students to be healthy and well.

 

We were so happy to see many of those same educators (yes, they actually came back to see us two days in a row!) and some new people join us for a shorter, one hour session on assessment. This seems to be an area that many people are curious about and find challenging – especially thinking about how to translate performance-based assessments into grades beyond rubric criteria. Even if you weren’t able to join us in Wisconsin, we wanted to share the presentations with you and are including a link to some of the resources that we used. To access the presentations and resources from Wisconsin, click here. We are happy for you to use and distribute the resources but please give us attribution!

 

More to come soon . . .

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#KidsDeserveHealthEd – Building a Movement Together

Anytime you go to a conference, it is easy to get excited about what you learned or maybe you even vow to do something different to improve your practice once you return. Then, life happens…we dive right back into family, work, other commitments, and suddenly our excitement for our new learning fades and even our best intentions can’t pull us back on course.

Since we returned from the 2018 SHAPE America National Convention, however, we have been a buzz with excitement for the great work going on in the field of health education. We feel the momentum just keep getting stronger and stronger to make our health ed classrooms a place where students increase their self-efficacy, become more health literate, and recognize their role in crafting a healthy future. What started as assessment workshops for teachers back in the early 2000’s has turned into this exciting shift in how we teach health education.

 

In fact, in her address to the convention body, SHAPE America President, Judy Lobianco challenged us to make this the year of the health educator… and we couldn’t agree more.

 

For us, the convention also provided an opportunity to share new resources and connect with many health educators. Those connections and that energy is what prompted us to consider the WHY? of teaching health education. 

 

Why do you do this everyday? Why do we teach students and train future educators? Why does this all matter?

 

For us, the reason is fairly straightforward – kids deserve it. They deserve educators who are willing to challenge them to think critically, to help them work through discomfort in order to gain confidence and competence to make health-enhancing choices, and who understand that health is complex and ever changing.

We all have our own WHY. The momentum that health education is gaining is real, and it’s contagious (thankfully in a good way) and we challenge you this week to share your WHY.

Tell at least two other people your reason for working to ensure that kids receive quality health education. 

Share on social media and use #KidsDeserveHealthEd

 

There are lots of #healthedheroes out there – let’s share our stories and create a groundswell – one that benefits our students and their future. Let’s tell everyone WHY our students deserve high quality health education. One could even argue – their lives depend on it.

 

 

 

The “How” Part 2: Assessment and Learning Activities

 

At this point, you are feeling pretty solid on what you want your students to know and be able to do by the end of your course. You have even determined what you unit objectives are going to be and paired the performance indicators with the topic to provide a context for student learning. Now you are ready to plan your assessments and learning activities. Let’s take a look at how to do that.

 

Step 5 – Designing Authentic, Performance-Based Assessments.

I know, that seems really specific, and in a way, it is. If we want students to leave our classes not only knowing new information and being able to apply skills, but also having the ability to transfer that new learning outside of the classroom and in a variety of settings we must assess them in ways that have students show us they have the ability to do so. The best way to do this is through summative, performance assessments that have students perform the action we want them to do in their real life, in situations that are similar to what they will face in their real lives. In other words, demonstrate successful application of the skill. This is an important distinction because a test or quiz will show you what a student knows, but not necessarily their ability to apply their learning.

Here are some examples of performance-based assessments for different skills:

  • Students identify a health service in your community and evaluate this product or service using the ACCESS skill cues and then describe whether the source or product is a credible and reliable and justify their reasoning. Skill = accessing information, products and services
  • Have each student complete a personal wellness assessment and identify one are to improve. Once identified, set a goal and work through a goal setting process to improve the behavior. Students need to have time to work on their goal and reflect on their experience working toward the goal. Skill = goal setting
  • Evaluate and review local risk behavior data. Identify an unhealthy behavior students are engaging in and create commercials or advocacy campaigns that promotes the positive health behavior. Skill = advocacy
  • Have students create an infographic that provides tips and strategies for reducing stress for a target audience of their choosing. Skill = advocacy

You will notice that the emphasis here is on the skill. You could include any topic into any of the sample assessments. This is one of the great things about a skills-based approach – you can easily include a variety of topics but you also have opportunities for student choice! Your focus is on the skill so whether they advocate for healthier eating, crossing guards near the school, more open park space or stress management – you can skill evaluate their ability to perform the skill of advocacy and you can let me choose an area/topic they are interested in. It’s a “win-win”!

The opportunities for meaningful, engaging and relevant assessments are endless. Here are some tips to remember as you consider developing your performance tasks:

  1. One assessment for the skill – Ensure that the assessment measures ALL performance indicators being used within the unit. You want one final assessment that has students demonstrate their ability to apply the skill.
  2. Promote critical thinking – Go beyond memorizing new information. Have students get creative and apply their learning. Whether it is through a dialogue, infographic, comic strip, role play or  performance have students demonstrate the skill in action.
  3. Get personal – Write your assessments so they require students to apply the skill and their learning in ways that are meaningful or applicable to their world. Let’s get away from having students tell us how someone else should handle a decision and have them work through a decision that is meaningful to them.
  4. Get practical – There are so many aspects to health and we never have enough time to cover everything. Design assessments that make a difference. For example, while knowing the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions helps to raise awareness, instead consider focusing on ways to reduce stigma of mental illness, promote strategies to support a friend, or identify local resources for help and support.

 

Step 6 – Lessons & Activities

Now, you can think about all of those great activities and classroom experiences that will help prepare students to meet the identified objectives, prepare them to successfully apply the skill, help students develop the knowledge and skills they need to successfully complete the assessment and see the connection of the skill to their real life outside of the classroom.

Some of the activities you have been using in the classroom will not work when you transition to a skills-based approach. I repeat, some of the activities you are using – maybe even some of the ones that you love – will need to be modified or removed. I know this is a challenge – Sarah and I have found this to be one of the hardest parts for teachers and we get it! But we promise that you will find new activities that you will love equally as much – or more – and that you will not regret your decision to make the shift!

Here are some things to consider as you are planning your lessons and activities:

 

  • Participatory methods – focus on student-centered approaches where students are active participants, constructing their own learning and take ownership of what is happening in the classroom. Here is a link to a great blog post from Education Rickshaw about “changing the direction” of learning in the classroom: Time to Throw Out the Playbook
  • Purposeful planning – one of the benefits of a backward design approach is that you can maximize the limited time you have with students by planning activities that are aligned with your unit objectives and that help students work toward being able to successfully complete the unit assessment and to achieve the stated outcomes.
  • Make connections to other learning – as more and more schools move to a competency-based system, use your lessons as an opportunity to reinforce previous learning. We are making connections and helping students to transfer their learning.

You may also be able to provide a second (or third) opportunity for students to demonstrate a previously assessed competency. Note: only use this approach when students have already been assessed a first time. We don’t want to try to teach or assess two skills at once. 

  • Time is limited – even with thoughtful planning, time can get away from us and we can be forced to make important decisions about what to keep and what to pass up. Consider this when planning your lessons. When we know ahead of time what is the most important we can be sure to spend the most time there and in ways that will help our students to demonstrate the desired outcomes.

 

 

Until next time…remember,

 

The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.

-Jean Piaget

18 School Shootings are 18 too many – Support for Parkland, FL

Today, we planned to post a blog about curriculum development. Now, after the tragic events in Parkland, FL, it just doesn’t seem right.

Our hearts are breaking for the parents, families, and friends of those affected.

We must engage in the hard conversations because our kids deserve better. No student should be in fear of going to school. No parent should have to wonder if their child is going to make it home safe. No teacher should have to constantly be on high alert and scan the exits not knowing if/when they have to secure a room for their students.

Our children deserve schools that push them to their potential and are safe places of growth and learning. Parents deserve to know that their children are receiving a high quality education and that the whole child is being considered as a part of that education, teachers deserve to feel that they work in a school where they can meet the needs of students and help them to be academically successful without questioning their safety.

We must work together. We must do better. We can do better.

We cannot accept that this is how things will continue to be.

18 school shootings since the beginning of 2018 are far too many.