Teacherpreneur participant combines exercise with math to boost student learning
When Dan Basler participated in PEF's Teacherpreneur Incubator program two years ago, his project idea included incorporating student math practice into the physical education curriculum. Thanks to PEF's partnership with the Benwood Foundation, Hamilton County Schools, and the Company Lab, Basler was able to bring his idea to fruition through Teacherpreneur.
Basler is Lookout Valley Middle High School's Wellness & Physical Education teacher and is the creator of Allstar Fitness Cards. With sets of 15 different math cards for Pre-K, Elementary and Middle school levels, these cards incorporate both math and wellness into each activity. During the exercise, students are not just traveling from card to card in a circle; however, they have to solve math problems along the way to figure out which direction they must take to the next card. The solution to the math problem on the card lets students figure out which card to travel to next.
Basler collaborated with his school's middle school math teachers to determine which math areas students needed help with most. "I asked my middle school math teachers what areas students struggle with," shared Basler. "Their feedback included areas like adding negatives, using percentages, tougher multiplication, and adding decimals. I incorporated these type of math problems into the cards, so that they're getting more practice in those focus areas."
Altogether, Basler has been combining math-based problems into his P.E. classes for around seven years, starting out with white boards and laminated paper. While participating in Teacherpreneur's 2017 cohort, he was able to transform his idea into a sturdier, longer-lasting option with these durable Allstar Fitness Cards.
"This activity works for every class," said Basler. "We never have any issues with it, and the students really enjoy participating in the exercises. They're learning math, while getting exercise and having fun at the same time."
Basler has put his Allstar Fitness Cards on the Teachers Pay Teachers site, free of charge. This website gives teachers the opportunity to sell their learning creations online to other teachers. So far, Basler has had over 113 downloads for the elementary level set. "I've given a free set to all the Hamilton County elementary schools," shared Basler. "Part of my Teacherpreneur project was to be able to give it to other teachers, many of whom have sent me videos of their classes participating in the exercise."
To check out this year's Teacherpreneur cohort pitch their ideas to the community, be sure to register for Teacherpreneur Pitch Night! Join PEF this Sunday, October 20 from 4pm-6pm at the Chattanooga Whiskey Event Hall. This event is free and open to the public, and registration is encouraged.
During the event, several Hamilton County teacher leaders will pitch their innovative project ideas that they hope to implement in their classroom to transform their schools. Teacherpreneur teams will share their project plans as they vie for cash prizes awarded to three teams as judges’ selections, as well as a crowd favorite. This is a really fun event to kickoff Startup Week Chattanooga, and we hope to see you all there!
How can I receive a set of Allstar Fitness Cards for my students?
To download a free digital copy, visit the Teachers Pay Teachers website. Those who do not already have an account will need to create one.
For those who would like their own printed set on the corrugated plastic, those orders can be placed on the Allstar Fitness Cards website.