How do you start each of your lessons? Give a powerful start to each lesson by reviewing the “What, Why, How” of the day. As a class, look over the content to be explored in that lesson (“WHAT are we learning today?”), describe how it links back to the development of physical literacy (“WHY are we learning it?”) and identify the criteria of success your students can set for themselves (“How will we know we have learned it?”). This process helps give purpose and meaning to each and every lesson and contributes to developing a culture of learning in physical education classes.
This week our school celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with Read-in day.
To celebrate in PE, my K-3 classes do Dr. Seuss stations. The kids really get a kick out of it and love sharing that they know the books as they work on different skills that we have covered over the year.
My stations are:
1. Cat in the Hat ring toss: I use 6 cones and put paper cat in the hat hats on them (target dollar bin!). The students toss three small hula-hoops to try to get them on the cones. For my 2nd graders, I have them add up their points. The cone in front is worth two points, the second row worth two and the third row is worth three.
2. One fish Two fish: I put out 4 cones and create a “fish bowl” and scooters. They must scoot in the fish bowl or around it. I was impressed to see various games of tag each group created in the fish bowl.
3. Reading stations: Yes, I put out Dr. Seuss books (ones that we were doing at the stations) and they sat and read. Surprisingly they love this station.
4. Snow: This is a super old Dr. Seuss book! I have targets on the wall and also put out bowling pin. Using over hand or underhand throwing, they hit the target or knock down the pins.
5. 500 Hats of Barthalomew Cubbins: I changed this one up this year. I used to see how many beanbags they could balance and walk with, but this year I put out cups and they built “hat” towers. Very big hit!
6. Hop on Pop: I created a hopscotch board on the floor with floor tape and also put out 10 poly spots and a beanbag (to be used as the rock).
7. The foot book: I used waddle walkers. The students are encouraged to jump on them spin and balance.
8. Green eggs and Ham: Green scoops and green whiffle balls. Throw the “egg” in the air and catch or throw it to the wall.
My students and I really love this week in PE!
A couple times a year the librarian and I try to do some cross-curricular activities together to highlight reading and PE. Since I am an avid reader, it is really important to me for kids to see that you can be a physically active person who loves to read!
~Natalie Washington teaches physical education at Taku Elementary in Anchorage.
Many of us have been holding JRFH/HFH events for years at our schools, and are facing the difficult situation of having to explain to our parents and families why this year will be different. Feel free to use the letter below to help make this task a bit easier. Of course, feel free to edit the letter as you see fit to make it fit your needs.
January 14, 2019
Dear Parents & Families;
For nearly 40 years, the American Heart Association (AHA) has partnered with the Society for Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) to support the annual Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart programs in gymnasiums all around the country – including ours! Over the many years we participated in this program, our school has raised thousands of dollars and celebrated the importance of physical activity in the fight against heart disease.
We are sad to announce that this partnership was officially dissolved this past summer, meaning the Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart program no longer exists. We are proud to have been a part of this partnership for so many years, and for all of the money and awareness that our students have raised within our community.
Rest assured that our physical education program will continue to focus on the importance of healthy hearts through exercise, nutrition, and tobacco avoidance. We will also continue to focus on giving back to our community through fun events that celebrate movement and challenge.
As a matter of fact, we will be celebrating physical education in a BIG way, all across the state in just a few months! Stay tuned for more information about our school’s participation in the SHAPE Up 4 Break Up challenge the weekend of March 30th! We will be celebrating healthy lifestyles through physical education and physical activity, and raising money to make our students, and our PE program, even stronger!
Until then, thank you for your continued support! As always, if you have any questions or suggestions about health and physical education at our school, please contact me.
Have you checked out this great blog post from Gopher? A great, and simple, idea to help students group themselves in small-sided games: “Lions and Tigers and Bears” . . . Oh my!
I am so excited to share this new technology with you! If you haven’t heard about the IHT Spirit/Adidas heart rate technology, you’re in for a treat! My kids wear it like a watch, but instead of the time, it provides the current heart rate. My favorite part, though, is that it lights up! I teach K-2nd graders. Numbers don’t mean much when you have a hard time reading. But when the heart rate monitor (HRM) lights up in blue, the students can recognize that they’re still in their resting HR zone. When it turns to yellow, they know they’ve reached their target HR zone. When they see red, they understand they’re in the high intensity zone! They can see and feel the effects immediately, and when they touch the HRM to the reader and their HR data is displayed for them, they get so excited to see it! The software is also incredible! I can upload the data, get a readout of the class averages or break it down to see individual students. I am still exploring all of the possibilities of assessment reports and correlational data, but this sure is changing the way that my students view physical education class — and the way that their parents view it, as well!
I’m bringing the system to the SHAPE Alaska conference on October 18 & 19 at the Special Olympics Athlete Training Center in Anchorage, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!
Intentionally choose exercises that you want your students to know and be able to do. Then use those exercises consistently across all of your fitness activities. Choose exercises that can be scaled or modified for a wide variety of abilities. Then create a "Just Right" exercise chart with 3 different versions of the same exercise (Getting It, Got It, Wow). Encourage students to choose their "just right exercise" when engaging in fitness activities. Use pictures and color code whenever possible to make it kid-friendly! Take it one step further and categorize each exercise into the correct component of fitness for even more learning!
Focus on the can, not the can't!
A tip for meaningful inclusion for our students with special needs in PE is to focus on what the student can do, not what limits them. What are the best and most independent ways that your students with special needs move their bodies? Use their strengths, no matter how modified the movement may be during games and activities in PE for meaningful inclusion and independence!
Do you use FitnessGram for your students' fitness education & assessment? If so, click on the link for a great resource to help you with the PACER test.
Do you have a plan for kids to be active as soon as they arrive in your gym? One simple idea is to create an "ASAP Board" for the hallway outside your gymnasium door. You can list the instant activity for kids to begin upon entering, and for your youngest students who can't read quickly, the classroom teacher can read the instructions to the class as they drop off the students.
For our middle school lunch recreation we organize our gym by providing 24 yellow and 24 blue pinnie jerseys in a basket. This limits the action to a safe number of participants on the floor and identifies which activity they elected to participate- yellow for volleyball and blue for basketball. This keeps students committed to their activity with less chaos and increased safety.