Each Wednesday at 8:30 pm EST, I post the Question Connection announcement and teachers ask questions to be shared with the fans of the page. Through the week, I choose a few to feature on Facebook each day, where you're invited to chime in with your advice. When I see a post that receives a large number of responses, I compile the best answers to create a helpful blog post.
Today's question comes from Nikole, who is wondering, "I teach 4th grade at a school where we have to teach all specials too. I'm running out of fun P.E. ideas and my students are very tired of dodgeball and kick ball. Any ideas or resources (web links) where I could pull P.E. ideas?"
Free PE Website Resources
I was thrilled with the number of teachers who responded to this post (over 100), and I noticed that many of the responses were recommendations for helpful free websites. A number of websites were recommended over and over, so I checked them out. I was so impressed with the wealth of free online resources that I decided to compile a list of the best ones. Check out these great finds:
• Spark PE
• Mr. Gym
• Move to Learn
Terrific Teaching Tips and Ideas from Educators
In addition to the website recommendations, there were dozens of creative and interesting ideas to help the regular ed teacher with physical education classes. Take a look:
1. Kristal Hart Shanahan: My daughter's elementary PE teacher does stations. She does shoot hoops, jump rope, Frisbee, skate/crab walk, floor ladders, scooters, and has the students switch every 2-3 minutes so all groups get to all stations. They love it!
2. Aimee Viramontes: If you have a Smartboard, hook up a Wii and do some Just Dance or Mario Kart Olympics.
3. Aliesha Maddy: We used to play Jump the River. You use two jump ropes and place them close together and everyone jumps over. After every one completes the round you move the ropes further apart. If a student falls in the river they are out.
4. Melinda Strecker-Cales: Tie it in to SS and have the kids research different sports from other cultures. Then they can teach the sport or vote on one to play during PE. Or you can have them design their own sports in small groups then play them in PE.
5. Cassie Winner: Our PE teacher has the students "lesson plan" different activities that they want to do each week. She asks them to brainstorm what sports, activities, or games they want to do. They she asks them to decide why it is healthy and beneficial, etc. Then she selects from their "lesson plans" what to do each day. I'm in highschool, so this concept might be hard for 4th graders. But kids tend to like being able to make a choice so give it a try!
6. Faye Cunningham: Check out the National Council on Physical Fitness. Get information and get started packet from them. Work on students achieving those skills. You can reward with certificates and other incentives available by the organization. Good luck and have fun!
7. Stephanie Sams: I invented a game called Circle Soccer. Make a big circle, using a kick or soccer ball kick the ball to each other. Each person has to let the ball come to them, stop it with only their foot. Kick to someone else. Control is the key and keeping ball in circle. Continue to encourage them to make a have fast pace. Increase gap between students to make it harder. I have used this with 1st and 5th and they enjoyed it.Try it!
8. Betsy Acklin Ross: As a change of pace, you could see about having "experts" come to demonstrate and/or help you teach lessons. I had great success with inviting junior college athletes to come help teach skills. Another hit were a group of folks who taught my 5th graders square dance basics.
9. Michelle Hurst: Maybe look into games and physical activities children around the globe play? Gives the children some diversity education as well as exercise.
10. Diane Sears: Teach them how to bowl. It's a great math and science concept. You can then bowl in the class or at a bowling alley. I teach Newton 's laws during bowling.
11. Britt Critters: Parachute games, noodle games, a GIANT beach ball to throw back and forth with actions/questions/steps (jump, dance, everyone do a jumping jack, what's our favorite color?) written on it, team building: hold hands in a circle and pass hula hoops without using hands, pass a ball without using hands, hold a rope and pass hula hoops without the hoops touching the rope, balloon play, scooters, bubbles, water relays on hot days, lots of different bean bag games can incorporate different curriculum components.
12. Jen Leone: Go to the NASA website and they have "space training" pe resources for teachers with short videos by astronauts and printouts with recording sheets and directions, I made little books out of them as training manuals and my small group of 2nd-4th graders loved it at the end of both years I had to teach all specials. You don’t need many resources and I always added in a few other space or astronomy videos and articles in the training guide. So simple but fun!!
Thanks to everyone on Facebook who shared their tips and resources. Do you have to teach PE to your students? What are some of your favorite resources for teaching PE?