When we select a new Showcase School for the Heart Zones System, we are really looking for teachers, students and administration who has adopted the Heart Zones way. We couldn’t be more thankful for Tom Horner and Mary Mann from Lake City Public Schools (ISD 813) and their use of the Heart Zones System in their 7th-12th grade PE classes. Data driven, individualized physical education, aka Smart PE, has become a way of life at Lake City Public Schools, and we are thrilled to recognize them for their effort to revolutionize physical education over the past year and a half.
We recently sat down and asked Tom about his and his team’s story with the Heart Zones System. Read their story below in the words of Tom, Mary, Lake City administrators, parents and students!
Lake City Schools in action
Tom and Mary were nice enough to make and share this awesome video with us. Here they show off data driven Smart PE in action in the Lake City PE program. If you’d like to learn more about what Smart PE is and is not, visit this page to learn more.
Why the Heart Zones System?
I was at a TIES conference when I first ran into the Heart Zones System, and after visiting Stillwater (another showcase school), we were determined to find a way to have this be a part of our PE program.
How did you pay for it?
We applied for and received a grant through Covidien-Medtronic, and the Lake City Ed Foundation along with our district kicked in to help fund the rest to get 60 Blink HR Monitors, the System, and multiple wasps/bridges to use for various locations.
What have the teachers liked most?
Being confident in encouraging students to either work harder or slow down during a specific warm-up or fitness test. There is no more guessing, and grading is much easier to justify because of all the data that is provided after each class. We also do consistent recovery heart rate tests, and have seen patterns with a few students that caused us to encouraged them to see a doctor. It turned out for that some of those students learned of personal heart and health conditions. With safety of students as top priority, this ability to recognize irregularities is invaluable for us as PE teachers.
“We also do consistent recovery heart rate tests, and have seen patterns with a few students who we have encouraged to see a doctor after inconsistencies, and have turned out for the students to learn of personal heart and health conditions.” Tom Horner, Teacher
What have the students liked most?
“”I enjoyed being able to track my workout, and see how hard I’m working my body, or how much harder I need to try. It really put a perspective of how my heart is affected, and how important it is to stay in shape.”.” Lake City Student
After speaking and getting feedback from several students, the way that PE is now more individualized, helps emphasize personal health and fitness, and also fair grading makes a big difference. Students enjoy learning and now have a solid understanding in which activities affect their heart rates. Without this real immediate data, it was teachers observing and guessing who is working up to their potential. They like that it is objective and levels the playing field.
What features have been most important?
I love the FIT points. You can do so much with these. Starting with a consistent warm up, or competitions within class. I also like students to set goals using the FIT points, so they always have something to work for staying MVPA the majority of the hour.
“I also like students to set goals using the FIT points, so they always have something to work for staying MVPA the majority of the hour.” Tom Horner, Teacher
Quote from the Prinicpal
“The use of Heart Zones HR Monitors has transformed our Physical Education Department in Lake City! It is amazing to go into a classroom and see all students working extremely hard toward reaching their own personalized goal. This personalized approach to learning is a model for the direction that technology is taking us in all classrooms.”
Greg Berge – Principal, Lake City Jr./Sr. High School
Quote from a parent
“My kids love seeing the daily emails of their activity from PE class with how many calories they burn, and points they get in class”.
Lake City Schools Parent
Quote from a student
“I like being able to see my heart rate, and knowing when I’m working hard. They have points earned and we sometimes have a competition to see how can get the most points and it’s always fun because you are doing it with your friends.”.
Lake City Schools Student
Learn more from the Lake City PE Program
If you have any questions, please contact Tom or Mary, as they would love to share more about their experience with the Heart Zones System. As a showcase school, they are a great location to visit for any schools considering a Heart Zones System for themselves.
You can follow Tom Horner online at http://tomhorner.weebly.com/ or on Twitter via @hornerPE.