Tag Archive | applied learning

Zamzee at St. John Nepomucene School

By Linda Maly, St. John Nepomucene School
zamzee

Inquiring minds want to know…did we get our Zamz? That’s what the students in St. John’s kindergarten and first grade class wonder after every recess and activity break! Our Zamzee is a very important part of our daily routine, but how did that come about?

I am, yes, the kindergarten and first grade teacher at St. John Nepomucene School in Weston, Nebraska. I am also one of the program advisers for the Fuel Up to Play 60 program at our school.

I learned about Zamzee at the Fuel Up to Play 60 national summit last July. Each of the students and advisers attending received one as a gift. The students were convinced immediately as to how valuable and exciting a Zamzee could be. They found a computer, checked out the site, and were moving and racking up points quickly! “We can get prizes by just moving,” they said. I didn’t know how that could be true. I must say, I didn’t grasp the potential of this meter until I got it home and began using it myself. Then, I was hooked!

I started thinking about how I could use Zamzee with my students, and decided to include Zamzee as one of the jobs posted on our job chart. I called it being the “Zamzee Leader.” You know…we have a line leader, calendar helper, clean up crew helpers…and a Zamzee leader. The Zamzee leader is responsible for helping to choose a Challenge, taking the meter out for recesses, and doing his best to make sure the meter keeps moving. The leader can pass the meter off to a friend if he wants, but needs to bring it back to plug in after recess. Our Zamzee has been part of football games, tag around the jungle gym, swinging with friends, and leaf pile jumping! It’s even been lost beneath a leaf pile over night!

The students love being the Zamzee Leader! When I asked them why, the replies were numerous!

“You get to exercise, be healthy, and earn things,” said a first grader. Continue reading

The Shushan Shake

As many of you know, the middle school students at Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta use Zamzee to track their physical activity. A few months ago the Atlanta Hawks visited GHA students. This month, the GHA students are doing their own version of the Harlem Shake!

All we have to say is this: You guys rock!

What’s a Histogram? Learning Math with Zamzee

Learning abstract math concepts – like how to make a histogram – certainly isn’t easy. But it’s often even harder for students to understand how histograms apply to the “real world,” and why they should even be learning about them in the first place.

This year Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta, Georgia has a foolproof response to that age-old student question of, “Yeah, but how does this relate to MY life?” The entire middle school is using Zamzee meters to try to move for a million minutes of activity. In math class the 7th and 8th graders are learning how to make histograms using movement data recorded by their Zamzee meters. These histograms are helping students understand how close the school is towards reaching its goal of a million minutes of moving, and how much different subsets of the student population have been moving.

Bella and Dustin show us that 12 7th graders have moved for 0 – 1000 minutes.

Continue reading

Zamzee in Math Class

“36 5th graders have logged a total of 9,154 minutes with Zed”

This year Mrs. Klein, the 5th grade math teacher at Greenfield Hebrew Academy (GHA), has exciting new tools at her disposal to make learning math easier and more fun for her students. Mrs. Klein’s 5th graders are learning addition and division using authentic data, recorded with their Zamzees, on how many minutes they’ve moved so far this year. They are answering big questions, like how many minutes each 5th grader has spent being physically active and how many minutes GHA has to move in order to reach their goal of moving for a million minutes. This type of applied learning is making a big difference in Mrs. Klein’s class already – students enjoy relating math to their daily lives and activity. It makes math more tangible, and numbers more personable.

Here’s what Mrs. Klein has to say about teaching arithmetic with Zamzee minutes:

“The kids were excited to learn that these were the real numbers, and not just made up for the math problem.  We learned by using our addition skills that there are 124 students using Zamzees at GHA.  The students then learned that we have a total of 149 Zamzees at GHA, so how many must be teachers?  We learned that 25 teachers have the Zamzees.  The students then all commented that the teachers must have the most minutes (more than any of the grades) because we have Mrs. Gordon!  Boy, are we lucky to have her on our staff for MANY reasons! Continue reading

A Million Minutes of Activity: The Greenfield Hebrew Academy middle school gets moving with Zamzee

Girls on the move at recess with Zamzee

By Sue Loubser, Director of Technology at Greenfield Hebrew Academy

This year at the Greenfield Hebrew Academy middle school in Atlanta, Georgia, we are taking on a very exciting project. We have 126 middle school students and 25 teachers wearing Zamzee meters all year as part of a school-wide project to jumpstart physical activity. We’ll be incorporating the data we collect from our Zamzees into our school curriculum to teach statistics, the Scientific Method and to even discuss contemporary applications of Jewish teachings. We call this project “A Million Minutes of Activity.” 

The idea for A Million Minutes of Activity began brewing in my head last year. At the 2011 ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference, Dr. John Medina gave the keynote address called “Brain Rules for Education.” One of the things that he said – which stuck with me – was that exercise improves executive function in students, and can help students increase test scores. It needs to be cardiovascular exercise – and the effects can last into adulthood. In fact, this is Dr. John Medina’s “Brain Rule #1.” He lamented the fact that schools cut down on P.E. even though the benefits of exercise is proven.

Then, in November last year, I went to a presentation by Barry Joseph from Global Kids, who talked about badging systems. He whipped a Zamzee from his pocket as an example of a site that was both cool – and used badging to recognize milestones – and explained that he and his son were exercising together and that he was being motivated by the meter! I put two and two together and came up with the idea for “A Million Minutes of Activity.”

Our project is a cross curriculum Middle School project. Our primary goal is realistic – together we will try to be active for one million minutes. We believe having a common goal will help unite our students and will increase school spirit. Continue reading