31 Jan

Health and Wellness Happenings

The cold winter winds are blowing, snowflakes are dancing in the air, and icicles dangle from the roofs of buildings, but the warm sounds of laughter and joy of our students fills the gymnasiums of the Modell’s Sports Complex as they attend their Health and Wellness classes. As we embark into the third marking period and begin to sail towards the warmer months, the children will be participating in classes such as the Introduction to the Fitness Centers, Cooperative Games, Team Sports Skills, Creative Games, Indoor Team Sports.

The D-E Health and Wellness team recently completed their FitnessGram Review and Reflections with our Middle School students. Each student received a personal report in which each one of the five test areas of the FitnessGram was displayed. Students had the ability to view their scores from last Spring in addition to their results from this past Fall. Results of this evaluative test fell into three categories: 1) Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ), 2) Needs Improvement (NI), or 3) Needs Improvement – Health Risk (NI-HR).

The FitnessGram is a helpful assessment that assists each youngster in helping him/her to discover a personal fitness level in the areas such as core, leg, and back flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, core and upper body strength. The test also explains the importance of maintaining each one of these areas to a healthy fitness level and ways to improve scores that may not be acceptable to the student.

Some of our students have been learning and discovering new material in their Health classes such as hygiene, puberty, the male and female reproductive anatomy, pregnancy, child birth, and nutrition. Our Health education program builds students’ knowledge, skills and positive attitudes about their own health, the health of others, and healthy—or unhealthy—practices in our world. Armed with knowledge and coupled with our emphasis on decision-making, our Health program helps our youngsters improve their health, prevent disease, and reduce risky behaviors.

15 Dec

Health and Wellness Highlights

The Middle School Health and Wellness Department has been busy this past month, involving students in a variety of fun and healthy activities and assessments. The students just finished the physical assessment program, the FitnessGram, in which individuals were tested for their core strength, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and muscular endurance. The results of these measurements will be shared with each student and their parents in the near future. Students have also been involved with some other class activity courses such as Cooperative Games. Cooperative games are a way to practice the skills of relationships—skills such as communication, trust, problem solving, empathy, and cooperation—in a way that is fun, engaging, and real.  Another experience has been our fitness. Fitness classes explore various ways of exercising.  Students spend some time learning about circuit training, interval training and experimenting with different types of cardiovascular exercises, including the fitness battle ropes. While learning about muscular anatomy, the students participated in some light weight training using dumbbells and kettle bells.  The unit ended with yoga lessons, where the students practiced “sun salutations” learned meditation, breathing techniques, and partner yoga poses with their classmates.

20 Oct

Health and Wellness

Ready. Set. Go! And we’re off! Our MS students are off to another great year filled with learning experiences, enjoyable lessons, and fitness-focused exercises during their Health and Wellness classes.

The sixth graders are gaining a first-hand experience in our MS curriculum acclimating themselves to their new environment and understanding the importance of physical fitness, proper nutrition, the development of spatial relationships, and the enhancement of hand-eye and foot-eye coordination. The sixth grade classes began an inaugural program of learning about nutrition in a “hands on” approach. The Health and Wellness department worked together with Ms. Urbanowski, our DIG (D-E in the Garden) Discovery Class teacher and Grade 6 Dean. Each class hiked to the garden, picked their own vegetable, learned about the six areas of nutrition, then finally discovered how to categorize their vegetable or fruit. In the days to come, each student will create their own nutritious lunch which will need to contain all six nutrients.

In our seventh grade classes, students have been enjoying their “Sticks and Racquets” unit in which they learn how to play sports such as lacrosse, tennis, field hockey, badminton, and especially pickleball…a student favorite!!

 Our eighth grade students have also learned the skills, strategies, and rules of “Outdoor Team Sports” such as football, soccer, rugby, softball, and an assortment of frisbee activities.

There are many exciting things that our MS students will soon be experiencing in their Health and Wellness classes during the second marking period. Students will take part in a bi-annual assessment, called FitnessGram, in which each individual will be tested in areas such as muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. Some classes will begin participating in Health programs in which they will learn things such as the male and female anatomy, stages of development, nutrition, along with other things.

Our race towards learning has just begun!

17 Mar

Annual Health and Wellness Week

Our Middle School enjoyed the invigorating experience as we participated in the 2017 version of the “Annual Health and Wellness Week,” with the theme of  “Building A Stronger Community.”

  • The week’s Opening Ceremonies introduced the focus and schedule of various festivities during our Monday Morning Meeting. Dwight-Englewood’s executive chef, Luke Kuchavik and Director of Dining Services, Terri Pisack, shared the importance of eating good, nutritious, and healthy food with portion control. Informative “Healthy Eating” posters were then unveiled, which demonstrated the importance of drinking water as well as “Pre-and Post-Exercise Nutrition.” The assembly commenced with a teacher vs. student push-up contest.
  • Tips for “Healthy Living” were sent to each teacher and student via email from our Middle/Upper School Nurse, Sara Schulman and Coach Muller throughout the week.
  • Each day during recess, there were “Teacher vs. Student Competitions.” The challenges included activities such as jump roping, planks, the iron cross and wall-sits. Some students enjoyed “The Quiet Zone” meditation session during Tuesday’s recess, and every HomeBase and Upper School Advisory Groups participated in a Walk-a-Thon during the home base period.
  • On Wednesday, each HomeBase took part in playing one of two games, “Health and Wellness Jeopardy” or “Gratitude Pictionary.” It was a time of fun, group bonding, and learning some fun-facts of healthy living. The day featured a healthy meal that included grilled chicken, brown rice, vegetables, and…SMOOTHIES!!
  • Finally, on the last day, the week’s focus culminated with the “Health and Wellness Assembly” in which each MS grade level went to separate locations and experienced activities such as yoga (taught by H&W teachers, Mr. McCarthy and Ms. Wood), meditation (Mrs. Segar), and Zumba (Ms. Wittner). Everyone had a great time!!


zumba-youtubeClick here to watch the Zumba class during MS Health and Wellness Assembly.

27 Jan

Health & Wellness Update

There have been a lot of exciting things happening with the Health and Wellness department classes in the middle school. After the inaugural year of the Project Based Learning (PBL) teaching method last year, the successful program continued again this year when one class began their PBL project with the students creating their own activities which are fun and offer an enjoyable alternative to screening (watching TV, spending time on their computers, phones, etc.) Other PBL’s will be starting soon as well!

Our creative games unit encourages children to invent their own solutions to problems through innovative activities, thinking and discovery. It is the responsibility of the educator to challenge students and encourage their exploration of knowledge while providing the tools for them to become confident learners. 

Students have also enjoyed their Indoor Team Sports units in which they learn the philosophies, skills, and strategies of sports such as basketball, handball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, and indoor soccer. The children learn Student Learner Traits (SaL) such as working collaboration, perseverance, daily preparation and the importance of encouraging others.

16 Dec

Health and Wellness Department Update

The Middle School Health and Wellness Department has been busy this past month, involving our students in a variety of fun and healthy activities and assessments.

Our students finished the physical assessment program, the FitnessGram, in which individuals were tested for their core strength, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and muscular endurance. The results of these measurements, will be shared with each student and their parents in the near future.

Students have also been involved with some other class activity courses such as Cooperative Games. Cooperative games are a way to practice the skills of relationships—skills such as communication, trust, problem solving, empathy, and cooperation—in a way that is fun, engaging, and real.

Our fitness classes have also been a focus with some classes. Fitness classes explore various ways of exercising.  Students spend some time learning about circuit training, interval training and experiment with different types of cardiovascular exercises and also got to try out the fitness battle ropes! While learning about muscular anatomy, the students participate in some light weight training using dumbbells and kettlebells.  The unit ends with yoga lessons, where the students practice “sun salutations” learned meditation, breathing techniques, and partner yoga poses with their classmates.

18 Nov

Health and Wellness

The Dwight-Englewood Middle School began their Bi-Annual FitnessGram program in their Health and Wellness classes. The FitnessGram is an assessment program which is given twice a year, which measures an individual’s fitness level via tests in five areas: Pacer Test (Cardiovascular Endurance), V-Sit and Reach (Flexibility), Crunches (Core Strength), Push-Ups (Upper Body Strength), and Trunk Raise (Core Strength and Flexibility).

Once they are completed, test results are shared with both students (in the classroom) and parents (a report sent home.)

In other exciting news, one of Mr. Muller’s 8th grade Health and Wellness classes traveled down to the Lower School and visited one of Mrs. Franco’s 1st-grade classes. A student from one class paired up with a student from the opposite class, and then participated on an obstacle course together followed by a time of dancing together. All had a great time!! We look forward to continuing this new tradition in the year to come.

07 Nov

Keeping our Children Safe and Healthy

As all children move through adolescence, particularly in the middle school years, they encounter dramatic physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes. Developmental transitions, such as puberty and increasing independence, have been associated with alcohol use.  Indeed, according to the US Dept. of Health & Human Services, alcohol is the “drug of choice” among young adolescents.  For these reasons and many more, parents and guardians can benefit from learning how to effectively communicate around the subject of drinking, including helping children to become empowered in making wise decisions.

In partnership with the D-E Parents’ Association (PA) D-E School will be hosting Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) Prevention Works, a non-profit substance abuse prevention organization, the week of November 7. While they are here, FCD Prevention Works will be working with our 8th graders and Upper School Students. And on Thursday, November 10 from 7:00-8:30 PM in Hulst House, they will run an evening presentation for our parents of 7th and 8th grade students.  All Middle School parents/guardians are welcome to attend this free event, and it’s one more way we can help keep our children safe and healthy. Hope to see you there! (To learn more about FCD go to: http://fcd.org/)

21 Oct

Health and Wellness

The Middle School Health and Wellness Department has had a smooth start of the 2016-2017 school year.  Our students have enjoyed current class activities such as Tennis, Badminton, Football, Soccer, Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Frisbee, Fitness and Health. The young Bulldogs are presently preparing for the FitnessGram which will take place during the next marking period. The Great Pumpkin (aka Coach Muller) made his first ever appearance in a recent middle school meeting and challenged everyone to guess the weight of the giant pumpkin in the cafeteria. Coach Wood and Coach Carsten shared interesting, fun-filled, and educational facts about some of the foods of the Autumn season such as apples, squash, and of course…pumpkins!

pumpkin_table1 pumpkin_teacher1

14 Mar

HEALTH & WELLNESS UPDATE

This past Monday during morning meeting, the Health and Wellness team presented their March wellness theme.  The theme entitled “March Madness: Swoosh Your Stress Away” focuses on the benefits of exercise as a tool for stress relief.  Students volunteered to read aloud stress relieving tips and benefits associated with exercise and physical activity. Students were also asked to make predictions on winners for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournament and post their vote on the bulletin board in the Umpleby lobby. So far, it appears that UNC, Duke and Michigan State are early frontrunners!!!

Also, during recess, students will be encouraged to “swoosh their stress away” and compete in a free throw tournament that mimics the NCAA brackets. A bracket will be posted in Umpleby and a winner will be crowned prior to Spring Break.  With the Spring weather approaching, we encourage families to get outside and shoot some hoops or do some sort of physical activity together in whichever form they choose!

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