Category: Elementary School

Within this category, essays and articles focus on effectively teaching children in the pre-school and elementary grades. It’s a great place to find teaching tips and get advice from experienced practitioners.

LMAS Interactive Infographic Promotional Kit

A new Let’s Move! Active Schools interactive infographic is now available to help schools find physical education and physical activity resources, programs, professional development, grants, training and technical assistance. Please use the assets and messaging below to share the infographic via your newsletters, social media, emails, webinars and trainings.

We encourage you to customize any of the below language to align with your organization’s audiences and priorities.

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Going UP? What’s your PE Elevator Speech?

I was recently challenged to come up with an effective physical education “elevator pitch.” What would I say in a brief twenty to sixty second speech – the time it takes an elevator to travel 4-5 floors – summarizing what physical education is and why it’s important?

People often ask me, “What do you do for a living?” This is the perfect elevator speech opening! If you’ve taught physical education for a while you know that when you tell people you teach physical education, they immediately reference their own physical education experiences either as a child or as a parent. Sadly, these experiences don’t always reflect positively or even accurately what’s happening in today’s quality physical education programs.

So, when someone asks, “What do you do for a living?” we all need to recognize that we’ve just been given the perfect setup for an elevator pitch to highlight the merits of physical education. What will you say? The success of your pitch depends on your ability to explain what makes physical education important, and in less than a minute, hook your listener.

Lessons Physical and Health Educators Should Learn from the 2016 Election

No matter your political preference, the results of the 2016 election surprised everyone. And while I don’t claim to be a political pundit – why would I since pretty much every prediction was wrong – I believe physical and health educators should learn an important lesson from this recent election.

Regardless of what you might think about the qualifications of either candidate or the two parties they represent, what’s striking is how effective Mr. Trump was and how ineffective Mrs. Clinton was in capturing voting support.

Please click here to read the full essay that was originally published on the GOPHER PE Blog. What do you think? Share your comments below this essay on PHE America.

We’re Not Different: We’re the Same and More

Over the years, I have heard many physical education teachers make statements such as, “Don’t they understand that we are different?” or “This doesn’t pertain to me, so why should I be here?” Comments like these are typically made when a policy or expectation is made for all faculty and the Physical Education teacher for some reason believes that he or she should be exempt from its implementation or participation.

While at times I understand why physical educators express these comments, personally I think this line of thinking is at the very least self-serving, and at the worst dangerous to us as a profession.  It’s vital that we think of ourselves first and foremost as part of the school teaching community. And  we need to act as such if we want others to value us as an important part of the educational system.

Most recently the concept of being different has centered around the implementation of Student Learning Objectives (SLO.)  Many physical education teachers and administrators I speak with are opposed to the idea of giving a cognitive assessment as a measure of student growth in physical education.

It Takes a “Community” to Role Model

To support a student’s physical literacy journey, health and physical education teachers need to consider and use all the skills and resources at their disposal. By effectively doing this, teachers can create learning environments that enhance their students’ development of physically active and healthy lifestyles. Additionally however, we believe that to provide students with the wide range of experiences vital to creating the necessary levels of confidence, self-efficacy and motivation for students to choose physically active and healthy lifestyles, teachers also need the critical support of many others.

A wide range of teaching issues including planning, lesson delivery, and assessment impact the success of health and physical education teaching. Less often considered is the importance of role modeling. According to Cardinal and Cardinal (2001) role modeling is a powerful teaching tool. However, getting students to choose to be physically active and healthy depends on more than just good role modeling by health and physical educators. This critical lifestyle choice needs to be supported schoolwide, in students’ homes, and across the community. Within these different environments students face choices that will impact their physical activity and health habits. Consequently, in order to develop physical literacy through physically active and healthy lifestyles, it’s critical students are exposed to positive role models throughout their entire “community”.

Understanding “Community”
When trying to understand the composition of a student’s “community”, it’s important to consider who students are in regular contact with daily. In addition to health and physical educators, students spend a considerable amount of time each day with other teachers and school employees, family, and their extended community of peers and adults. Below, we examine the possible role and impact of each of these “players” within a student’s “community.”