Teachers say they’ll find a way to keep Ontario’s updated sex-ed curriculum alive.

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As many of you are aware my I’ve spent nearly 15 years in public education, teaching and consulting on health and physical education. In 2008 I was part of the technical analysis of the 1998 curriculum identifying areas that needed to be revised, and then in the summer of 2009 I was a member of a diverse writing team for the health and physical education curriculum from grades 1-12. This was an amazing experience which connected me with awesome leaders across the province and led to my consulting position at Ophea and experiences trainer teachers from across the province for the past 8 years.

Last week, in less than a month in office, Doug Ford announced that Ontario public schools will revert back no the 1998 curriculum, disregarding all research, parent and student consultation, and international best practices on sexual health education. This 42-page document refers to “Sexually Transmitted Infections” and “STDs”, the Internet as the “World Wide Web,” and has no mention of consent, social media, and the devise families we see today. It also contains minimal reference to mental health, and the application of relationship and social skills in a sexual health context.

Last week I was interviewed by Macleans Magazine on what I thought Teacher’s would do regarding this change. I know great teachers will make the best decisions for their students. That’s our job. As the article statesTeachers, she explains, will be able to have discussions in the classroom about current events happening in their communities, or issues arising from their use of social media, which will serve as opportunities to introduce ideas from the 2015 curriculum. ‘It’s about having valuable conversations with students that they might need in a way that’s relevant to them,’ she says.”

Read the full article here: https://www.macleans.ca/education/teachers-will-find-a-way-to-keep-ontarios-updated-sex-ed-curriculum-alive/

Ophea has also put out a statement saying that they will not be revising their health lessons  reverting them back to the 1998 content and state “Ophea and OASPHE continue to believe that students have a right to learn from an up-to-date, research-based Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes human development and sexual health education.” View Ophea’s advocacy tools here.

 

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5 Ways to Use Ophea’s Yoga Alphabet Cards in the Workplace

yoga cardsOctober marks Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month, a web-based initiative that aims to “build awareness of the importance of workplace health for the short and long-term success of organizations and for the well-being of their employees.”1 In order to help you and your team move more during the workday, we’re sharing 5 ways you and your colleagues can move  and stretch using a few of your favourite Ophea’s Yoga Alphabet Cards.

When selecting cards to use in the different activities, be sure to keep in mind the ability and safety of all participants. Remind participants that they are free to modify stretches and poses, as needed.

 

1. Stretching Scramble. Select 8-10 of your favourite cards from Ophea’s Yoga Alphabet Cards and place them face down in a common area of your meeting space. Set an alarm (e.g., phone or computer alarm or timer) for 3-5 intervals depending on the length of your meeting. Once the alarm sounds one person selects a card and leads the team in a stretch for 30-45 seconds. Once complete, cards can either be returned face down or be held onto by the stretch leader. Each alarm gives an opportunity for a new stretch leader.

2. PowerPoint Power Up. Display 6-8 of your favourite cards from Ophea’s Yoga Alphabet Cards at the front of your meeting space. When presenting to your colleagues using PowerPoint (or a similar program) place a yoga themed image in the bottom right corner of every 5-6 slides. When this image appears, meeting participants select one of their favourite poses from those displayed at the front of the room. This can be structured where the entire meeting stops to stretch, or simply allow participants to take the lead and stretch for as long as they need.

3. Stretch and Seek.  Place 8-10 of your favourite cards from Ophea’s Yoga Alphabet Cards in common, but hidden, areas of your workplace – think coffee cup cupboard, freezer, and photo copy room door. Encourage colleagues who come across the “hidden” cards to perform the stretch for 30-45 seconds while in the space. Consider changing the card locations daily.

4. My Stretch. Meeting participants select their favourite Ophea’s Yoga Alphabet Cards and keep it at their meeting space face down. At random intervals, determined by the participants, one participant will lead their colleagues through their stretch holding it for 30-45 seconds. Consider displaying optional cards for those who might want to perform an alternate stretch.

5. Drop Everything and Stretch. Place 10-12 of your favourite cards, from Ophea’s Yoga Alphabet Cards in a fun bag or decorated envelope, along with a staff list and pen. Participants perform a specified number of stretches from the bag before crossing off their name and passing the bag along to a colleague who hasn’t received it. Participants are encouraged to drop everything and stretch as soon as they receive the bag. Challenge staff to see how quickly they can make it through the entire staff list and challenge themselves to beat their combined time another day.


1Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month. (2017). About Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month®. Retrieved from: http://healthyworkplacemonth.ca/en/about/about

5 Ways to Use Ophea’s 50 Fitness Activity Cards in the Workplace

Image result for ophea 50 fitness activity cardsWhile Ophea’s 50 Fitness Activity Cards have been a much loved tool by teachers in the classroom and adults working with children and youth, have you ever considered using them in your office, or work setting, to get the adults in your workplace moving? Here are 5 ways you can integrate Ophea’s 50 Fitness Activity Cards into your workplace (e.g. during staff meetings, mid-morning surprise energizers, lunch, etc.).

1. Meeting Minute Movements: Randomly select 6 cards from Ophea’s 50 Fitness Activity Cards. Display the 6 cards in a place where all participants in the meeting can see them. Together all participants in the meeting perform each activity to the best of their ability for ten seconds, therefore moving for a total time of one minute. Consider having multiple breaks, and even choose optional cards for those who might want to perform an alternate movement.

2. Pick A Side: Find an open space large enough for everyone in your workplace. Divide the space in half and assign 1-2 of Ophea’s 50 Fitness Activity Cards to each side of the room. The leader will call out two choices. The first choice will be represented by the left side of the room and the second choice by the right side. Participants quickly move to the side of the room that they prefer between the two choices and perform the assigned 50 Fitness Activity Card. Consider choices related to your workplace or the following options:

  • Summer or winter?
  • Country or Rock-n-roll music?
  • Siblings or only child?
  • Morning person or night owl?
  • Elvis or The Beatles?
  • Apples or oranges?

3. Jack, Jump, and Squat: Participants find a partner and face each other. Select three of Ophea’s 50 Fitness Activity Cards and assign each a number from 1-3.  This workplace energizer is done in four rounds, with the first round helping to set the structure of the energizer:

  • Round 1: Participants count to three by taking turns. Partner A says ‘1’, Partner B says ‘2’, Partner A says ‘3’, Partner B says ‘1’, and so on. Have them repeat this pattern for several seconds.
  • Round 2: Participants count to three but replace the ‘1’ with the first 50 Fitness Activity Card (e.g., jumping jack).
  • Round 3: Participants count to three but replace the ‘1’ with the first 50 Fitness Activity Card (e.g., jumping jack) and the ‘2’ with the second 50 Fitness Activity Card (e.g., tuck jump).
  • Round 4: Participants count to three but replace the ‘1’ with the first 50 Fitness Activity Card (e.g., jumping jack), the ‘2’ with the second 50 Fitness Activity Card (e.g., tuck jump), and the ‘3’ with the third 50 Fitness Activity Card (e.g., squat).

4. Fire 5/10: As a group select three of Ophea’s 50 Fitness Activity Cards. In pairs participants face each other with 1 or 2 hands hidden behind their back. On the signal “1, 2, show” participants reveal their hands with any number of fingers showing. Participants add up the fingers of both/all hands as quickly as possible, with the goal to shout out the correct answer first. Participants perform the corresponding Ophea 50 Fitness Activity Card based on whether they shouted out the correct response first (e.g., if they answered correctly first they perform “Chicken jacks”, if they shouted the answer second: “Squat kicks”, and if it was a tie they perform “Coffee grinders”.

5. Station Scatter: Display 10 of Ophea’s 50 Fitness Activity Cards around the meeting room. Participants perform 10 repetitions of each card as quickly as possible before moving on to the next card. Participants can complete the cards in any order with the goal of completing as many cards as possible.

Do you have more tips on keeping active at work? Share them with us on Twitter @PARCOntario using #PARCBlog!

This post originally appeard on the PARC Blog September 20, 2017. View the original post here.