I've been using the mixed method approach while gathering data for the THIINKFit project. Data is very valuable to the success of my program. Unless you are in our gym in the mornings at Claymont Intermediate, you truly cannot experience the impact of what this is doing. For those of you who are oblivious to what this is, my students are using the Wii & Wii Fit system to exercise M-F, 7:15-7:40 AM. It has proven successful in the following areas: 1. An increase in attendance, 2. Increased GPA jump from the first nine weeks to the second nine weeks, 3. Significant increase in practice OAT testing scores (Ohio State Achievement practice tests given in Sept. and Jan.). We test just math and reading, 4. And in behavior. I am comparing my testing group (my homeroom students who are participating in this project) vs. a non-testing group (the rest of the sixth grade in our building). Please note that Claymont Intermediate is at a 60% free/reduced lunch percentage. We are located in an Appalachian area, which includes a low-social economic status within the state of Ohio.
WHAT IS INVALUABLE
I spend 20-25 minutes with my students exercising in the morning. I've connected with them in ways I wouldn't have until later on in the year in passed years. They are also have grown close as a class, and I don't encourage, but it happens, positive feedback among peers ("Glad you are here today," "Way to go!," "You got a new record!"). I've been able to reach out, as well as students who are shy or laid back. I've been able to ask about grandma or listen to a story about a sleepover they had on a snow day. I'd like to think that I've always had a great rapore with my students, but this year is just, well, different. They easily motivate me. A few are always waiting in the morning to eagerly set up, and I never have a problem with THEM picking up after themselves prior to going up to our homeroom to start our morning. If you know me (or you don't know me), I'm true to heart; what you see is what you get. And what you get with this program is a way to fight childhood obesity & increase test scores. If anyone knows Mrs. Obama, tell her if she wants to know how to fight childhood obesity, join us one morning at 7:15am at Claymont Intermediate. We will be there!