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What’s My Heart Doing

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Here’s a way to emphasize practical math skills in the gym.  
Submitted by Wayne Flint from Keswick, Virginia. 3-8 



Background: In our school district, we have been encouraged to help our students emphasize math skills through practical application. Through our physical education lessons, we have found a variety of ways to demonstrate this concept with our upper elementary students.


- Jump ropes
- Step aerobics platforms
- Mats
- Pedometers
- Cones
- Task score sheets and pencils
- Heart rate monitors and/or stopwatch

How We Do It: After we have taught the students to calculate their resting and target heart rates, we provide them with opportunities to monitor and record their heart rates in a variety of fun and/or challenging activities. For example, upon entering the gym, the students pick up a heart rate monitor, task sheet, and a pencil. They list the lower and upper ranges for their individual target heart rate zone on the sheet.

For Example: if you use a lower limit of 70% of maximum heart rate and 85% as the upper limit, then a 10-year old student’s range would be 147-178 beats per minute.

The students are expected to check their heart rate after each task. They adjust the intensity to their personal range, increasing or decreasing intensity as each of the tasks on the sheet are completed.

Task Sheets: The task sheets can be designed to be completed as an individual or in teams of 3-5 players. Because we have both heart rate monitors and pedometers, the teacher-designed sheets were used to record heart rate and/or steps. Additionally, we were able to create a fun challenge called the “Stony Point Iron Man/Lady” Award. Examples of our Task Sheets can be found below.

We hope your students enjoy these interesting fitness challenges!








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