Warrior Wellness

News From Health, PE, and Family & Consumer Science

Physical Education in Review


Hello and welcome to the inaugural edition of Warrior Wellness! This semester, our physical education department has been working hard along with our students to ensure a valuable, rich curriculum with opportunities to express physical abilities, social respect, and personal responsibility.

Click here to access our contact information, curriculum and syllabus.

Highlight #1

Students take on specific team roles using the sport education model in units such as ultimate frisbee, archery, and invasion games. Using this teaching strategy, students are put into teams at the beginning of the unit and choose roles based on their preference. Typical roles are captains, coaches, equipment managers, fitness instructors, and statisticians (record keepers). The teams then work together to help each other with their skills to take ownership of learning and practicing the game. A point system is used throughout the unit to keep track of skills, sportsmanship, warm-ups, and challenges based on the focus/objective for the day. We always end with a round robin tournament and the team with the most points (from the whole unit) is typically awarded a prize.

Highlight #2

In the Hall fitness center, students were exposed to various exercises through QR codes. QR codes are an easy and effective way for students to quickly link to videos and online resources. Using their mobile learning devices or smartphones, students scanned the QR codes to view and practice performing the various exercises. After learning many exercises, each student was able to create an individualized full-body fitness plan focusing on their own personal fitness.

Highlight #3

All freshman physical education classes have participated in a Ballroom Dance unit. Students were exposed to the Waltz and Cha-Cha. Students learned various steps in sequence, had the opportunity to work with others, and finally performed their dances seamlessly taking either the role of a leader or follower.

Highlight #4

This semester we have been piloting two brand new courses in our curriculum: Fitness and Nutrition for seniors and Leadership in Physical Education for juniors.

The fitness and nutrition course for seniors takes students on a more individualized journey for their personal wellness. Students choose one priority fitness goal and one priority nutrition goal to implement a behavior change in their lives. An in-depth discussion on creating an optimal meal plans, a personalized fitness plan, and goal setting takes place before they begin their behavior change journey. Students are required to track their changes and progress using journal entries and personal technology apps such as MyFitnessPal or SparkPeople. Upon completion of their behavior change, focus is turned towards their post high school plans and incorporating a healthy lifestyle as an adult.

The leadership course for juniors takes students through the life of a leader in the realm of physical education and physical activity. Students learn their communication strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to be an active listener in all aspects of physical activity. This course encourages risk-taking, challenge-by-choice, and taking initiative. Students also focus on being a supporter for the benefit of themselves and the group during physical activity. During this course, we use the sport education model to help promote a higher level of leadership through various active roles.

The main /objectives/ideas of the course are:

  • Defining Leadership through Experiential Learning

  • Practicing Leadership with Peers

  • Practicing Leadership through Sport (Badminton) - Physical Disabilities

  • Practicing Leadership through Fitness Activities - Autism

  • Practicing Leadership when Working with Younger Students (Elementary)

We are looking forward to the opportunity to venture out to apply our leadership skills by working with the youth in our community. Our leadership trips will include Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart and field days at Whiting Lane, Norfeldt, and Morley Elementary Schools. During these trips, students will take a leadership role by guiding, demonstrating and explaining various activities to the elementary students. Our primary goal of this course is to provide students with the tools and skills needed to become role models in our community.

Highlight #5

The PE Strategies students were afforded the opportunity to improve their bowling skills and learn how to score. Utilizing different size bowling pins, bowling balls and distances the students had the liberty to challenge themselves through choice.

The class begins with a dynamic warm-up including high knee lifts, lunges, and “super-heros”! Each student performs a series of fitness exercises, such as curl-ups, bridges, modified push-ups, etc to engage the core muscles prior to bowling.

Pictured from left to right: Owen Macca, Adam Kroll, and Catie Gadue.

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Health in Review

Our health education curriculum includes developing many important life skills in addition to core concepts and knowledge. Our focus in 10th grade becomes the application of skills students have developed in West Hartford during previous years.

In order to build and keep a conducive atmosphere to learn sensitive material and respect each others’ differences, all our health teachers provide opportunities for the students to get to know each other on various levels in the classroom. For example, we allow students to set expectations for speaking about sexuality, analyzing nutrition, managing stress, preventing substance abuse, handling harassment/bullying, and dealing with loss. Students are always encouraged to participate in class discussions and learn from each other while staying within their own comfort zones. We have chosen to highlight two of our top priority skills that show up multiple times throughout our curriculum.


The concept of TRAAP is embedded into all units of instruction for health education at Hall. It is a critical skill when considering one's health due to the fact that TRAAP teaches students how to evaluate the information they find during research. It is extremely important that we help students find accurate information regarding these potentially life-altering topics. TRAPP is defined in our classes in the following way:

T - Timeliness

Is the information current? When was it published or posted?

R - Relevance

Does the information relate to the topic or question?

A - Authority

Who is the author? Is it credible?

A - Accuracy

Is the information correct, reliable and/or supported by evidence?

P - Purpose

Is the intention and purpose of the information clear?

This concept is intended to provide our students with the skill to access valid information with respect to their health. When students leave our health class, we want them to be able to recognize any future health concerns they may have, find reliable resources and advocate for themselves regarding their personal health. This is, of course, is a lifelong skill that can also be applied to many other areas of their lives.

Interpersonal Communication

Throughout our semester, students are provided with several opportunities to practice assertive communication with regards to refusing offers for underage drinking (peer pressure); seeking help for themselves or a friend experiencing harassment, bullying, depression and/or signs of suicide; and communicating healthy relationship boundaries.

For example, students partake in role play skits and scenarios for choosing healthy foods and practicing refusal skills in pressure situations involving underage drinking. Students also partake in written responses to scenarios involving themselves or a friend in trouble with regards to harassment, bullying or depression.

These classroom assignments connect student learning to real-life scenarios/situations.

Students learn the steps of how to react to these situations and where to go for further help.

Family Consumer Science in Review

----Introduction to Foods----

Most of our Freshmen (although open to all grades) take the Introduction to Foods course. It is one semester and we focus on introductory skills in the kitchen. We do a lot of baking to practice measuring skills, we practice proper knife skills, learn how to read a recipe, and emphasize organization, teamwork, sanitation, and communication. Many of of our lessons and lab work culminate at the end of the semester into a final brunch project the students cook at home. Parents and families love it!

Click here for a 5 minute video on pizza making from Mario Batali

----Culinary Arts----

Culinary Arts is a cooking course students can take after they have mastered Introduction to Foods. We take their previously learned skillset and work on advanced culinary techniques. We recently just finished a unit on making candy. The students learn to use a candy thermometer to differentiate between the desired candy texture. We made homemade marshmallows, hard candy, learned how to make a ganache for chocolate truffles, and melted chocolates into peppermint bark all just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Peppermint Candy Bark Recipe

Homemade Marshmallows


Here is some good news for chocolate lovers!

We are currently learning about appetizers and will focus on soups, salads, casseroles, vegetables, specialty desserts, and cake decorating.

Down the road, Culinary Arts Students will learn to work with all different types of grains. Here is a link to get them started!

How to incorporate grains into your diet

Students will take these skills home with them to make a 3 course meal at home for their final meal project at the end of the semester.

***Don’t forget to have your kids sign up for Regional and International Cuisine to broaden their tastebuds and learn about foods from around the nation and world!

---Careers in Foods---

In this class, students are focused on learning the restaurant business. We spend some time early in the year talking about menu planning, pricing, and marketing and eventually learn how to “prep” the menu and run a live lunch-style restaurant for our faculty and staff. Our menu consists of soups, salads, sandwiches, sides, and specials. The name of our restaurant is The Lunch Box.

We also cater special events; such as, the Veteran’s Luncheon, Cultural Fusion celebrations, Empty Bowls dinners, Relay for Life staff luncheon and fundraiser, and many other community-style dinners as they arise. Be sure to check out our next big event coming up Thursday March 26, 2015 in the Hall Cafeteria at 5pm. This is the 2nd Annual Farm to Table Dinner. Our students will be working with chefs from our local West Hartford restaurants to prepare the meal. More information will be on the Hall’s website.

----Allied Health----

This course if offered to juniors and seniors that are interested in entering the medical field as a career. It is important to note that the course name has changed to Introduction to Health Careers. This course runs consecutively with the Health Career Internship.

During these courses, students are First Aid, CPR, and AED certified, in addition to learning how to record vital signs. We discuss current events, which happen to revolve around measles, infectious diseases, cancer, and pharmaceuticals. We will routinely go off-site to a nursing home and learn about dementia, alzheimers, and recreational therapy. We will also take many field trips to various health related facilities. I also encourage all of my students to look up volunteer opportunities at our many health facilities located in and around our town. Most websites will provide detailed information on how to get started.

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Here we have our appetizer sampling of mini mac’n cheese, deviled eggs, artichoke dip, arancini, and mini strawberry shortcakes.
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Here is our sandwich and side display for the Veteran’s Luncheon.