With funding from Learning ZoneXpress, I've created an on-line learning activity for you and your students to use to complete the Super Tracker activity on the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate website.
To prepare the students for this activity, I give the homework assignment of recording their food intake including the number of servings and serving size for three days. I also remind the students to keep track of foods that sometimes get forgotten, like syrup on the pancakes or ketchup with the French fries. The students at my school were all given planners, so this is where I have them keep track of their food. I give the students about 5 days advance notice to keep track of the food and remind them in class each day to be recording their food.
After their recording is done, I hand out the written assignment. You can either complete the written assignment on the computers in class or give it as homework. When I used to do the Pyramid Tracker during class, it seemed like the website was really slow when 30 or more students were working on it at a time. However, teachers have assured me that they no longer have that problem when they do the Super Tracker activity in class.
Prior to working on the computers, I walk the students through the website to show them how to log on, where and how to enter their food items, how to change the date, and how to find the nutrient intake page. This eliminates quite a few questions when you demonstrate first. In fact, if you have time, you may want to do this assignment yourself before you have your students complete the activity to help anticipate the questions your students may have.
Download this assignment here.
Knowing that many districts have their own grading criteria or rubrics, I did not include one with the activity. If I were to do my own grading on this activity it would look something like this:
3 Points Each on each of these sections:
• Day 1 and Daily Limits
• Day 2 and Daily Limits
• Day 3 and Daily Limits
• MyPlate Diagram
• Nutrient Analysis Graph
• 3 points for each question on the Self-Reflection and Evaluation Page for a total of 21 points. I would give 3 points for Problem Area 1 and 3 Points for Problem Area 2 and the same with Nutrients 1 and 2.
To encourage and reward students to complete their work on time, I would also give 4 extra points for finishing and turning in their work on the assigned due date. Those that turn the assignment in late would immediately lose the four points. I do not collect the list of the food they have eaten. Total Points: 40 Points. If you like my grading scale, but don’t want to have so many points on one assignment you can half-weight the assignment in your on-line grade book.
My scoring points would be as follows: A “3” would mean it is completed correctly and accurately. A “2” might mean they have an error or two, a “1” means they have some of the information but have a gap or have some incorrect information and a “0” if it is done incorrectly or not done at all.
I would also give the students the opportunity to earn some extra credit on the assignment by playing the Blast Off game on the website. This is great for students who finish the assignment before their classmates or who are interested in earning some extra points. I would give 3 extra credit points. I have students print off the certificate they earn when they successfully complete the game. If they don’t have a printer, I have them draw a picture of the certificate they receive. The Blast Off game is designated for elementary students but junior high students love to play it. I am also told that high school students love it too.
If you use the activity, I would appreciate it if you would let me know how it goes at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you liked having this activity developed for you and shared free of charge, send Learning ZoneXpress a thank you! If you have other meaningful ideas for other classroom activities with the Super Tracker, share it with other teachers by responding to this blog. Let’s get a bulletin board of ideas to share with one another!