Posts Tagged ‘gym’

On Saturday morning our instructor at the gym said, “Would you like to do stations today?” Everyone enthusiastically said they’d like to try something different! So she set up areas all around the room with equipment and exercises with which we were very familiar.

She reviewed how to do each exercise (that we knew from previous lessons) and then assigned each of us to a station. We spent 1 minute working out continuously at each one, and then our teacher told us to switch as she watched the clock (so we wouldn’t get worn out and not want to do the next one). She planned for a balance of what we would practice at each station… some for upper body, others for lower. We had a jump rope station, the chest press station with free weights and a bench, the kettlebell station for lower body strength, a biceps curl station with a body bar, a station for crunches with a medicine ball, the “plank” station on a mat, the ball rollup station with a large exercise ball, and the triceps station with free weights, to name a few. We got a great workout and had fun. The time flew by!

At the end of class, our instructor asked if we’d like to have stations on a regular basis. We all said we would. She’ll vary the activities from time to time so we don’t get tired of the routine. I kept thinking of all the parallels between what we did here and literacy and math stations.

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Makeover at the gym

Recently the gym in my neighborhood was remodeled. All the hand weights were put on a rack in a closet, but nobody was putting them back in any sort of order. As you can imagine, this was driving me crazy! The way I see it, the weights needed to be organized because we were using them in a strength training class. So, I talked with the instructor and then the health club director. They both agreed that it was a good idea to do something with those weights. In Spaces & Places form, I put like things together and then added labels! Here you’ll see part of the transformation. 

When I went to the gym on Saturday, everyone told me how much they loved the weights being so easy to find… just like materials in a classroom!

Disorganized weights

The bands were also all mixed up

Now the appropriate weights are easy to find

Doesn't this look much better?

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Instructor Marion and Jessica demonstrate kicking exercises for the rest of the class

My daughter Jessica, watches as our exercise instructor explains our next activity

This morning my daughter, Jessica, and I went to a new class at the gym. When we arrived, the instructor announced, “Get a mat, a ball, and a jump rope.”

“Jump rope?” I wondered. “I haven’t jumped rope in a VERY long time!” I wanted to bolt, but I didn’t. (My daughter was watching.)

“OK. We will do three sets of 100. The first set will be 100 regular quick jumps with feet together. The second 100 will be jumping from side to side with the rope. And the third 100 will be jumping one foot at a time as you count. You have three minutes to complete your jumps. Ready, GO!” And so it began. We all began to jump, some more successfully than others! After about 20 seconds, the instructor yelled, “STOP! Let me show you how to jump rope. Just move your wrists, not your whole arm.” (Guess I wasn’t the only one in the room who didn’t know how to jump rope!) He did a quick demo, and then said, “Now just jump with both feet together quickly. Try for 100 jumps in a minute and a half.” He then walked around and helped individuals – like me!

As I participated in this experience, I kept thinking about classroom teaching. My exercise instructor had monitored and adjusted. He did a quick informal assessment and then tailored his lesson to what he saw we needed. He varied from the plan, because we needed something different. That, in a nutshell, is differentiation!

Our instructor Marion and Jessica demonstrate a kicking exercise

Our instructor Marion and Jessica demonstrate a kicking exercise

We moved from jumping rope (once I finally had the hang of it!) to a new method of torture – I mean exercise! He asked Jessica to help him model how to do a kicking exercise with martial arts pads. Basically, one person held the pads and the other kicked the crap out of them with a kickboxing move. Jess told me she thought this would be a great activity for families in conflict! I, on the other hand, didn’t enjoy it all and I quit and wouldn’t try at all. (Kind of like those kids who feel like they can’t read or do math, so they stop trying.) Hmmm. I was a struggling student. I needed differentiation. So, I differentiated for myself. I marched over to the free weights and started doing bicep curls… something I knew how to do.

A few minutes later, we were all doing free weights… lots more reps than I’d planned for myself. But isn’t that the point of being in an exercise class?

Hope you do something physical to take care of your body today. Try something new. Jump rope anyone???

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