Best Practices

Global Youth Service Day 2008

Be part of the ExCEL "Be Active, Move More" Challenge!

Complete 1080 Minutes of Physical Activity

Following are some best practices for getting the most out of the challenge:


  • Schedule with Intention
    Add Physical Activity Breaks (short bursts of activity of approximately 5-20 minutes) to regularly planned active time or after sitting for 20 minutes. Example: Try “Gallopers Movement Minute” from January’s Site Coordinator Meeting.
  • Model It!
    Want your students to MOVE more? Join them! Find an activity that you enjoy and do it. The more interested in physical activity you are, the more likely you are to promote it. Let them know how you are active, and share your passion.
  • Include Families and School Day Community
    Make sure to include pictures of physical activity on the after school bulletin board, in the program newsletter, etc. Invite parents to participate, share a “favorite physical activity break” with a classroom teacher.
  • Offer Specific Positive Feedback
    Help students strengthen their belief in their own ability to complete tasks and reach goals - self-efficacy. The more confident in their ability to be active, the more likely they are to be active. Rather than say, “Nice work,” try, “Wow, nice work, Li, you are really working hard and sweating today. I see your effort!”
  • No Time for Community Circles?
    Use the Restorative Practice Sandwhich Method.  Make sure to include the opening/bread (check in, game expectations), the activity/protein (dance, kickball, soccer), and the closing/bread (reflection, give praise).
  • Stay Positive, Stay Restorative
    Some students have negative feelings toward physical activity if they are forced to participate in physical activity as punishment. Withholding students from physical education or recess for bad behavior deprives them of the health benefits of physical activity. Having opportunities to be active readies the student's brain for learning.
  • Demonstrate Learning, Apply to SF Shine
    Maybe your program has been learning martial arts, dancing the tango or perfecting the hula hoop.  Time to let your students Shine and showcase that learning in a city-wide event. Apply by February 23 for April's Shine SF. Learn more and apply now.
  • Develop Rituals and Routines
    Having a clear signal or set of signals is important when working with groups of students in the after school setting. This is even more important when leading physical activity since getting students' attention outside can be difficult.  Choose signals, stay consistent with them and match the signals to the environment - i.e. make signals louder and more animated for outdoors.



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  Student, Family and Community Support DepartmentSan Francisco Unified School District