Quality Physical Education Can Solve a Major National Issue

A few weeks ago, Jordan Shapiro of Forbes.com wrote The 4 Issues In Education That Every Presidential Candidate Should Be Talking About . Look closely at his second issue and it is “inclusiveness”.

He writes: “The bottom line is that we cannot eliminate hateful actions without eliminating
hateful thinking; and the process of transforming how people think is precisely the work of education. Therefore, at a time when we are experiencing high racial tension, ubiquitous rape, mass shootings, religious fundamentalism, and hyper-polarized political value systems, school curricula need to prioritize inclusiveness for the sake of long-term social justice.

Who has the greatest opportunity to teach inclusion in our schools? (I know many of you are jumping up and down with your hands raised up high 🙂 Yes, PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHERS. While fitness is always at the forefront of our teaching, we need to add inclusion right beside it. Physical educators have the ability to to change a school’s climate and we need to make sure we are doing just that. Here are my suggestions:

1) Bring Project Adventure curriculum into your classes. There are many resources for Project Adventure on the web. My favorite is The Hundreth Monkey by Nate Folan. If you establish a full value contract with your students/classes, it will go a long way into establishing a wonderful school culture.

2) Be involved with your school’s recess/lunch program. Volunteer to set up a recess activity (Here is a sample from PE central) and make sure you have Continue reading



Ideas Worth Sharing – “Back in Time”

We survey many of our customers and sometimes ask them what they use the products they are buying for. We continue to be wowed by your creative, resourceful and genius ideas, so we want to share them for others to enjoy!

Here’s a super fun way Linda from Beekeepers Discovery Camp used our Paint-a-Dot Rainforest Animal Craft Kit and Prehistoric Pets for her “Back in Time” lessons.

“For our summer camp we are having a week called “Back In Time” We will be making several different scenes from different time periods, that is where the Prehistoric Pets will be used.  We also have a week of camp centered around the Rain forest and the other objects will be used for some projects during that time.”

Rainforest craft idea

dinosaur and prehistoric lesson ideas

Have an idea to share? Let us know below!  For more dinosaur activities, head to our Dinosaurs are Taking Over post!



Ideas Worth Sharing – Colorful Water Balloon Fight

We survey many of our customers and sometimes ask them what they use the products they are buying for. We continue to be wowed by your creative, resourceful and genius ideas, so we want to share them for others to enjoy!

Here’s a super fun way one of our customers used our Tempera Paint and Water Balloons:

“The tempera paint will be used for a water/paint fight (or two) this summer. We take 30 gallon trash cans and fill them with water and add about 8 cups of paint to each can. Different colors in each one. Then the kids use the large squirt pumps to fill up, it’s less invasive than paint ball and more fun than water balloons. Whoever is the least covered with paint wins!”

water balloon summer

What a fun twist to add to your next water balloon fight! If you have used our products in any creative ways, share with us, we’d love to hear all about it!



PE Geeks – All Geeked Out at the National PE Institute

I just returned from attending the National PE Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. This conference was one of the best conferences that I have ever attended. Artie Kamiya is the founder of the conference and is a visionary in the world of health and physical education. I was lucky enough to share my experience here with two of my best friends, Jo Bailey and Patty Kestell. We all teach PE in Wisconsin.

PE Geeks – all geeked out at the National PE Institute

Networking – Face to Face

Before I get further into the details of the conference sessions, let me explain some of the amazing networking experiences I was able to have there (you can see my three main takeaways in this post.) I use Twitter as my PLN (Professional Learning Network) and have been able to network with so many smart, inspiring, and passionate PE teachers on the social platform. If you are new to twitter, you can reference this post by Erik Myer called Using twitter for Professional Development.

There are so many PE professionals on here, including my two best friends mentioned earlier, Jo and Patty (whom you have to follow if you’re not already! I’ve included a list of people mentioned throughout this post and their twitter names at the below at the bottom.)   I knew that so many of the people that I follow on Twitter would be attending this conference. This would be the first time that I was going to be able to meet face to face with these teachers, instead of using 140 characters to talk to them.

On Sunday, July 26th I arrived at the conference. As I walked into the hotel lobby, Continue reading



Staying Current and Energized as a Physical Educator

North Park PE

Let me first start by saying that after you have taught elementary PE for more than thirty years, there is a chance that your body will start to react somewhat like the character of the Tin Man in the story of The Wizard of Oz. My joints fit the part without a doubt. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I can’t get moving. I just seems often that I need a little “oil” to loosen up the joints as I begin my day. Usually I accomplish this by working out at my local fitness club so that by the time I am dressed for school I am ready to go!

Most days I laugh about this Tin Man analogy and other days I spend some time reflecting on it. Just because I have been teaching for “ages”, and my body reminds me of that fact by not always being able to complete the physical tasks of the job with the same grace and ease that I did in my twenties and thirties, does that mean my mind and teaching ability need to automatically follow suit? That is to say just because my body acts “old” some days, do I have to teach in an “old” or “ancient” way to match?

While it is certainly true that everyone is different, we probably all know a Physical Education Teacher or two who would fit the age/teaching ability correlation. Anyone who knows me well knows that I do not accept the notion that physical age equates to “job age”. In fact, I might even argue that Continue reading



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