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.

2017 National PE & School Sport Institute Update!

What: 2017 National PE & School Sport Institute
When: July 24-26, 2017
Where: Asheville, North Carolina

Just over a month remains before the start of this year’s National PE & School Sport Institute. Registrations are fast filling and the schedule is finalized. Take a look below at the amazing variety of presentation topics and the list of outstanding presenters. This year’s keynoters include Joey Feith, Greg Dale, Jim DeLine, and the entire Team PHYSEDagogy (Adam Howell, Naomi Hartl, Jonathan Jones, Matt Pomeroy, Sarah G-H, Collin Brooks & Jorge Rodriguez).

As always, the most important people at the PE & Sport Institute are the participants – you! This is your opportunity to learn from others, share your own ideas, and have a great time meeting new colleagues and getting together with your teaching and coaching friends in a warm and inviting setting. Earn 15 hours CEU credits. Learn more by visiting our website and also watch film of previous keynoters including George Graham and Jean Blaydes. Don’t miss this fantastic learning opportunity. Register now and join us in July in Asheville, NC for what is guaranteed to be a highlight of your summer.

Something to keep in mind…

I have been teaching for 35 years now.  I must say that the good has far outweighed the bad by a long shot! I have been very fortunate that I haven’t gone to a job every morning. I have lived a wonderful professional career! But after 35 years and counting, if I’m not careful there are things my students do that can quickly get under my skin. I was reminded of this the other day.

I am a sports public address announcer in my free time after school.  Between my local district, section, state and Syracuse University, I call more than 120 games a year.  These games are a lot of fun to announce and I look forward to each of them. This is my way to add a bit of a professional sounding touch to these games (at least I hope!).

I was announcing at a recent high school lacrosse game with our varsity football coach who was running the game clock. He is a National Board Certified high school social studies teacher. While he is a tremendous football coach, he is far from the stereotype.  He will honestly tell you that he is more pleased with the outcome of a great lesson plan than a great game plan.

50 Million – ‘Stronger Together’

This is a follow up to my (Feb. 6, 2017) “50 Million Strong by 2029 –It Starts with Us!” essay.  In that essay, I explained that I had connected a class of Pre-K Head Start students with twelve high school ‘PE Buddies’ in a special 50 Million Strong project – ‘Play, Learn, Grow’.  At that time, we were only a few weeks into our adventure together but had already received many positive comments.

The project ran on Tuesday mornings and into lunch time. These were green shirt days and moments of huge anticipation where young Pre-K students met and spent time with older PE Buddies.  As a result, over the course of this school year, we have become ‘Stronger Together.’

The ‘Play, Learn, Grow’ program was designed so each high school volunteer had one to two Pre K children with whom they were paired (Buddies). High school students helped to facilitate instructional PE lessons involving fundamental skills, integrated curriculum, inclusion, adherence to the school PBIS goals and just plain having fun during physical activity. Special bonds developed between all and these turned routine skill acquisition into magical experiences.

Activities for Improving Balance

Balance is often an overlooked skill to practice unless teaching or coaching gymnastics, the very young, or students who have disabilities that effect mobility.  But maintaining and improving balance is essential for all students and should be a regular part of any PE, Adapted PE, or sports program.  Adding a few balance skills during warmup takes little time and benefits other activities.  For students with balance deficits, more time, emphasis, and practice can be allocated to improve balance. Some of these suggested activities and techniques will not only help improve balance but also athletic performance.

Balance Defined and Explained

Balance can be defined as an even distribution of weight that enables someone or something to remain upright while remaining stable and achieving equilibrium.  In general, there are three main elements that help in achieving balance:

What 50 Million Strong by 2029 is

I admit it. I’m disappointed, confused, and more than a little bit frustrated. It’s now two-plus years since SHAPE America announced 50 Million Strong by 2029 (50MS) and some people still say they don’t know what 50MS is. Well, okay, “some people” (as in, those outside our profession) I can understand. But physical education and health education professionals, really? I don’t get it. So, let me give it another try with a teaching example:

In your mind, think about a school location you are familiar with. You are the elementary physical education teacher and teach 400 different students annually. Now imagine a world in which each and every one of your students is regularly physically active and doing their best to make healthy lifestyle choices. What are your students doing to live this lifestyle? What does the school day look like that supports this vision? What are you doing in your classes and outside of your classes to help your students succeed? What are your students choosing to do before and after school that keeps them physically active and healthy? What is happening in their homes, with their families, on weekends, and during holidays that supports this vision? Close your eyes and take a moment to visualize what this new and very different world looks like.

Welcome to the world of 50 Million Strong. It’s not hard to imagine. It’s not hard to understand. And it’s not hard to commit oneself to creating a classroom, a school, a state, and a country in which all school-aged students are choosing and doing their very best to live physically active and healthy lives. And isn’t this new world precisely what most physical educators and health educators would agree is the best measure of teaching success? Why else do we do what we do? If getting our students to be active and healthy is not our purpose what is? Surely this is our reason for being?