Every day, each of you gives your all to exercise students’ minds. Equally as important, though, is exercising students’ bodies. But where to begin? Perhaps you have some go-to dance moves you like to do with your class. But how can you help ensure you fit physical activity into your students’ days not just some of the time, but a lot of the time?
Well, guess what? There are a whole bunch of awesome Physical Education (P.E.) teachers and Physical Educators on TpT who are dedicated to doing just that. They’ve got tried-and-true tips and expert resources to help kids be less sedentary and learn to love fitness!
Let’s get to know a few of the terrific P.E. Teachers on TpT!
Arrrrh you ready to meet Cap’n Pete’s PE?
A National Board Certified, 25-year veteran Physical Education specialist, he’s a former Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year recipient for the state of Georgia and has worked with students from elementary to college age.
He stands firmly behind the idea of encouraging kids to move move move and says, “There’s extensive scientific evidence suggesting that regular physical activity promotes growth and development in children and provides multiple benefits for physical, mental, and social health. Physically active students have less fat, enhanced muscular strength, stronger bones, and enjoy better cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Physical activity also improves students’ mental health and can reduce (or even help prevent) anxiety and depression, all while enhancing self-esteem. Newer scientific studies also suggest a positive relationship between physical activity and the structure and functioning of the brain. Students who are more physically active show greater attention spans, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized tests than those who are less active.”
Phew! It’s a workout just reading that. But seriously, how great, right? By bringing more activity into students’ daily routines, you can positively and effectively impact their physical, mental, and emotional health. That’s powerful stuff.
Cap’n Pete’s got some great ideas for implementing fitness activities, games, and movement experiences into the school day.
1. Develop a repertoire of activities, games, and movement experiences. It’s a great idea to cultivate a number of activities that you can keep in your back pocket. Tag games and relays are great for when you’re trying to fill a short block of time. Large group games are ideal if you have a big space and lots of equipment, while stations and centers are perfect if your space or equipment is limited. Choose what works best for your situation and start to introduce your students to various activities. Watch as they pick their favorites and request to play them day after day!
2. Be creative and go with your instincts. Nobody knows your students like you do, so challenge yourself to come up with some fun and creative ideas to get them moving around the space you have. Pass out beanbags, pool noodles, milk jugs, or scrunched-up paper, and let kids have fun tossing, catching, tapping, or balancing the equipment. Challenge your classes to come up with challenges of their own. You’ll be amazed at their ideas!
3. Choose activities that all students can find success with and enjoy. There are so many non-traditional and cooperative games, instant activities, relays, and stations that all children, regardless of their physical skill, can enjoy and benefit from. I like to create games that are “multidimensional,” in which all students feel they’re contributing to the team in a positive manner. I recommend providing several levels or progressions for tasks when teaching manipulatives or when using stations so that all students can perform the skills and movements at one level or another. Differentiation is the key word!
4. Use music during activities and games. This may very well be my top tip! Music lightens the mood and puts everyone in a better state of mind. It’s kind of like having nice weather all of the time. Students sing, dance, and burn extra calories just swaying and moving to the tunes. It’s great for stops, starts, and transitions, too. When the music is playing in my gym, students automatically move around; when I turn off the music, they instantly stop what they’re doing and look for new directions or instruction. It’s like magic!
Also check out his blog. In addition to his fantastic tips and anecdotes (you won’t be able to resist the awesome animation!).
Greetings, Mrs S.
This dynamic educator has her Master’s of Education Degree in Instructional Technology and is National Board Certified. She’s been certified in Health for the past 21 years and Language Arts for the past 31! She was a K-12 P.E. teacher for 31 years and has been teaching 9th grade Health for the past 18. She lives by the following motto and strives to instill it upon her students:
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
Mrs. S. recently developed a collection of 45 of her best health and fitness activities, video links, surveys, handouts, homework, and workouts she’s created and curated throughout her years of teaching P.E. and Health. It’s called b.f.f. (Be Fit Forever) – My 45 Best Health & Fitness Activities for Grades 4-10. Love that!
Also try her:
10 *F*-*R*-*E*-*E* Activities for Anyone Who Teaches Teens! It’s a collection of some of her favorite activities to impact and empower teens.
Say hello to JD Hughes
He’s been a P.E. teacher for nearly two decades, and his achievements are many. For example, he’s the recipient of a grant from the Fuel Up to Play 60/Southeast United Dairy Industry Association for a before-school F.I.T.T. Club for 2nd to 5th grade students. He’s also been named Teacher of the Year time and time again. This exceptional educator sees his main goal as ensuring all of his students learn:
1. A variety of enjoyable, all-inclusive physical activities, designed to build self-confidence and promote cooperation, fair play, and responsible participation, and which also encourage lifetime fitness pursuits.
2. Activities that are action-packed, providing lots of choices and opportunities to challenge and also provide countless opportunities for success, no matter the child’s skill level.
3. Fun movement and skill-based games, provided in a context of realistic situations that promote the skills of communication, cooperation, and personal responsibility, while teaching kids to apply critical thinking and problem solving.
May we introduce Move Your Body Everyday?
A Physical Educator for 15 years, she’s on a mission to get kids to move more. She loves working with little ones at school assemblies and other events. She currently teaches pre-student teachers at the college level and takes great pride in showing them methods and activities to be successful P.E. teachers. She has so much fun creating lessons, visuals, events, ebooks, e-programs, games, and activities to promote positive experiences while moving and encourages teachers, student teachers, parents, and principals to check out her innovative ideas!
1. Provide choices.
2. Keep everyone “in” and actively engaged.
3. Make it fun!
Physical Education: “Free” Weights (free)
Meet Mr. Clark
He started his career as a high school Track & Field and Cross Country coach and for the past eight years has been an elementary P.E. teacher and fitness coach. He’s even created a summer camp called Game Time Summer Camp, attended by over 150 kids!
“I think the most important thing I do as a Physical Educator,” he says, “is set a positive example by being physically fit and active myself. I stress to my students that they only get one body in their lifetime and it’s imperative for them to take care of it. I make my classes engaging and fun by introducing new and exciting activities that have purpose and that also provide challenge.”
Physical Education Collection of Fitness Activities
PE Heart Homework (free)
Three cheers for Tom Flynn
“With the video game craze that’s happened in America,” he says, “students need even more exercise than ever before. I’ve taken that video game mentality and incorporated it into my P.E. classes. My students work hard to complete levels before moving on to the next level and more difficult challenges. Running is included in many of my activities in a way that feels like a game. My students work as a team to beat other classes’ records — the amount of support they give each other is amazing!”
Hi there, Mike Hyman
He’s taught for 20 years at the middle and high school level and currently teaches 9th grade Health and P.E. at a large public high school in Virginia. He considers himself a “facilitator” as he encourages group work and peer-to-peer learning.
He says, “With younger students, developing a comfort and confidence with basic skills allows for continued participation and enjoyment in P.E. and fitness activities. Unfortunately many P.E. classes are very large and participation isn’t always optimized. That’s where the loss of interest begins. I’ve put together large group activities, ball throwing/catching progressions, jump rope progressions, and other ideas to foster early enjoyment in physical fitness activities.”
It’s a pleasure, PELove
She’s been teaching P.E. for eight years: “My gym is a safe, comfortable place,” she says. “It’s filled with colorful posters, word walls, ‘I can’ statements, and fun visual aids. I enjoy planning fun, non-competitive, age-appropriate lessons and always make sure everyone is participating. I educate my students on the benefits of exercise and help them understand that their job in P.E. class is to strengthen their muscles (especially their heart) and make their body healthier as a whole. When students realize exercise is fun, they’re on their way to adopting a lifetime love of fitness!”
Physical Education Cup Stacking
I’m feeling pretty inspired. And energized, too! Here’s to these fabulous folks and their promise that it’s possible to get your students happily movin’ and groovin’, whether you have a whole gym or just a cozy little classroom. Bring on the fun!