I'm currently piloting the program grades 3-5, then 1-5 next year. I am testing the following:
Quarter-mile speed run
Flexed arm hang
Monkey bar passes (how many times)
This is a SUPER-malleable program so you can decide what's important for YOUR program! Bonus: Many of these exercises (or the ones you choose) are able to be practiced during dreaded "rainy day" PE sessions.
Most schools have the ability to create class rosters, including mine. I took each class list and tossed it into an Excel spreadsheet. This lets me have a square to mark results in, and I can use this for the year – a horizontal line for "School Qualifiers", vertical line down the middle for "School Finals", then shade in each quarter section for each National Finals stage. If a student-athlete beats the final stage his box is fully colored in! There is a clip under the "Videos" showing how I track, as well as the spreadsheet used in the "Downloads" section.
Introduce the program with some ENTHUSIASM! We used the school morning news to broadcast the video of NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" host Matt Iseman introducing the program, then utilized PE class to break down the details and answer questions. EVERY kid saw a TV celebrity host encouraging them towards goals they now want to achieve!
Once a month we show one of the videos from the "Video" tab of a selected Ninja to air over the morning news. This serves to continue to keep the motivation and the program fresh in our student-athlete's minds, and encourages continued self-practice of the testable events.
I'm using "choice days" which are built into my PE program once a week to test a few events weekly. A colleague is using her assistants to test during their initial warm-up time at the beginning of class. Experiment with what works best for your schedule!
What does "Gate the program" mean? Only let kids test up to a certain level each month. Example: We start in October, and for the first month they can only test up to "city qualifier" which is five push-ups for that particular fitness test. This lets kids have to continue their fitness so they do not "max out" in the first attempt then go back to video games and the couch! It also gives struggling but motivated student athletes plenty of time to continue to work on their fitness for the next testing round. As the school year progresses, kids are allowed to test from stage one up to the current stage. It will not be uncommon for a child to *finally* reach five push-ups in April while the kids next to him hits forty - and both feeling like absolute WINNERS!
Printable certificates are available under the "downloads" tab. At the end of each Month you can print out and award certificates in a manner that best suits the instructional flow of your classroom. This tangible artifact motivates kids to put in the time and effort to work towards that next level!
" At Diplomat Elementary, PE coach Morgan Wright is using a unique alternative to mandatory fitness testing and students can't wait to exercise. Produced by Lee Schools TV Student Intern Rahmah Alamoudi "