Health is Wealth

Health is Wealth
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Seventh grade students are developing plans for a healthier lifestyle with teacher Pete Banaszak leading the charge.  The health and wellness class is using technology to create improvement plans and sharing strategies with participating school districts.

“Many of our children have developed poor health habits that affect them currently and will continue on later in life,” said Banaszak, who has taught physical education and health in the district for 25 years. He went on to say, “Simply put, unhealthy children usually become unhealthy adults.”

By setting up a Google website, Banaszak is steering students towards a path of exercise and healthy eating habits. The site allows students to complete surveys to collect data and plot an approach to a wholesome lifestyle.

Seventh graders are examining habits and resolving to make a change by composing a personal plan of action using Google Slides. They are proposing new approaches to consuming plenty of water, minimizing the intake of sugar and fast foods, limiting screen time on mobile phones, and staying clear of side-stream smoke. They are exploring ways to increase daily exercise by volunteering to walk the family dog, taking a younger sibling for a walk, or participating in a school sport. And they are promising to get at least eight hours of sleep each night.

With Google Hangouts, young teens are connecting in classrooms miles from Carlynton to share tactics to remedy bad habits. Engaging conversations have occurred with peers from Seneca Valley Middle School, Hillsborough Middle School in New Jersey, Spartansburg Middle School in North Carolina, and several other local middle schools.

“This is an exercise in critical thinking when it comes to their own well-being,” said Banaszak. “By adjusting their behaviors toward better health, they can see firsthand how current health habits are affecting their lifestyle.”

The use of technology in the health and wellness class was facilitated by Digital Learning Coach Ryan Gevaudan who used knowledge and expertise to guide Banaszak and students across several Google platforms. Linking the project with other schools has amplified the experience for students. The surveys alone garnered over 1300 responses, providing a resource for students to examine and compare the trends among peers.

QR code Students scanned a QR code with a mobile device to take a survey about sleep, exercise, and eating habits.

Google Slides Using Google Slides and Google Hangouts, seventh graders are presenting suggestions for a healthy lifestyle.

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