Featured PE Teacher – Angie Ellis


PE teacher Angie

This week for the Featured PE Teacher section on the PE Central Facebook page, the spotlight is on Angie Ellis:

About Angie:

I teach Kindergarten and 1st grade at Washington K-1 in Tiffin City School District, Tiffin, Ohio. I am also the Chairperson of our District Wellness Committee. I teach approximately 375 students each year. I am currently in my 5th year of teaching.

Current Lesson Plan/Unit:

I am currently teaching my gymnastics unit. This is a 2-week unit that focuses on basic tumbling/rolls and balancing. The first week students learn and practice various rolls on mats (rocking horse, egg roll, log roll, forward roll—with support from myself, etc.). The second week, I focus on balancing. I set up an awesome balancing course that students rotate through throughout class, which they really enjoy. I also play a “Feed the Shark” activity that incorporates underhand tossing to a target on the balance beams that adds a fun challenge to the balancing skills we work on, which the students love to play.

PE Focus for 2017: 

My goal is to introduce a wide variety of movement and fitness activities in a way that enables all students to have fun, feel success, and look forward to their physical education classes. When students leave my program, in addition to the basic fundamental movement skills, I want an intrinsic motivation and confidence to be in place so each child continues to lead happy, physically active, healthy lifestyles. In addition to being very passionate about providing a high-quality, enjoyable Physical Education program for my students, I am also very passionate about providing enjoyable physical activity opportunities for my students outside of the physical education curriculum because research has proven that active kids do better! I work very hard to provide my students with multiple enjoyable physical activity opportunities throughout the school day/year from which they benefit in numerous ways such as a daily Morning Movement Time routine, an annual Get Out and Walk Day event held in conjunction with National Walk to School Day in October, an awesome recess running program, annual super successful Hoops For Heart events that have raised over $23,000 for the American Heart Association the past 4 years, Family Fitness Fun Nights, and collaborating with classroom teachers on ways to integrate physical activity breaks into their teaching days. I am very proud of my efforts of providing high-quality Physical Education and fun physical activity opportunities for my students that has earned my Physical Education program and my school a lot of recognition and numerous district, state, and national honors and awards.

pe teacher angie ellis

Favorite Lesson Plan/Unit:

My favorite unit is my Drumming With Fitness Unit that I developed specifically for physical education during my student teaching based off of the Drums Alive program. This is a 2-week unit that focuses on the rhythm benchmark. Students learn about rhythm and how it relates to physical activity by drumming and moving in time to a beat. After learning the basic drumming cues and fitness movements (jumping jacks, lunges, squats, arm raises, knee raises, etc.) that are performed throughout the drumming routines, students perform multiple fun drumming routines such as partner drumming routines, cognitive question and answer drumming routines, circle drumming routines, and scarf drumming routines all done to fun, kid-friendly songs. The unit culminates with an awesome drumming concert with the lights off where the stage is decorated with strands of lights and glow-sticks are attached to the drumsticks, which looks really cool in the dark while students are drumming. Students have a blast participating in this unique, out-of-the-box unit, getting a tremendous amount of FUN exercise, and I have a blast teaching it every year!

featured pe teacher angie

What is your favorite part about being a PE teacher?

My favorite part of being a P.E. teacher is being able to make a difference in my students’ lives every day helping them achieve success at their full learning potential, motivating them, encouraging them, and teaching them the fundamental movement skills, knowledge, and instilling confidence needed to lead and enjoy a lifetime of physical activity, good health, and wellness. I take advantage of every opportunity I can to teach and encourage my students to be physically active every day using this simple little rhyme I created, “60 minutes EVERY day; get up and move, go out and play,” whether they are opportunities I provide for them here at school or opportunities they participate in on their own time. I LOVE what I do, and I do what I LOVE!

featured pe teacher

PE Station Ideas for Grades K-12


Stations are great for physical education! There are many different types of stations that help students get active. We have selected some of our favorite PE station ideas from PE Central for grades K-12 that increase students’ strength, endurance, balance, and more!

The Cooperative Fitness and Skill Challenges

These programs are awesome for stations. Between the two of them you get 12 stations in total, one features fitness challenges that also allow kids to work together to complete. The other features 6 great skill challenges that help children learn how to throw, catch, strike and more! Great for grades 3-12.

stations for PE

Continue reading

How to Host a Literacy Night for Physical Education


literacy night physical education

A Literacy Night is a great way to show how integrating literacy through physical activity is simple and can improve reading and writing abilities. You can work with classroom teachers, the PTO, and the community to put this event together. Here are a few physical activity ideas to include in the event to support your school’s efforts.

Yoga Cards

This company called the Alphabet Workout has a number of free and affordable activities that focus on teaching phonics and letters to young children struggling to learn this topic. One great activity to get exercise and improve the basics of reading at the same time is yoga. In this activity, a set of cards with letters on them correspond to different yoga poses. Each card has a picture of a child doing the pose on the front along with a short story about the pose on the back of the card for the teacher to read. Older students can read the story themselves as well as do the poses independently. Learn more about the benefits and how to incorporate yoga into your classroom. Continue reading

5 PE Blindfold Activities for Elementary School


blindfold activities PE

Communicating with others verbally in a variety of situations is one of the soft skills for students to develop at the elementary level. I like using blindfold activities help students develop verbal communication skills as they determine the best vocabulary words to use to reach a desired outcome. Through the years, it’s been rewarding to see kids start to understand the importance of their verbal communication through blindfold activities. Some students feel frustrated with each other and want to give up. Other students stop and problem solve by choosing different vocabulary. Other students find quick success when they choose not to rush and understand that “slow and steady wins the race.”

Prior to participating in the blindfold activities, students brainstorm together what words to use in order to successfully guide someone who is not able to see to perform a variety of tasks. In all the activities below, students are only able to use words to guide their blindfolded partners. They are not allowed guide by touch or using their hands. The blindfolds I used are from S&S Worldwide.

Tour Guide

This is a great introductory activity. Students get in pairs and take turns guiding their blindfolded partner around the gym without running into anyone or anything. This activity enables students to practice and discover the best vocabulary words to use to guide their partner. Provide time for students to reflect and discuss with other students what words were successful for them.

Continue reading

Bucket Stilts Relay & Thornbush Madness – PE Activities for K-2


k-2 PE activities

PE Teacher Drew Burris shares 2 activities he uses with his K-2 grade classes to build skills like balancing, hand eye coordination, locomotor movement, and pathways and directions

Activity 1: Bucket Stilts Relay

Skills: Balancing & Hand Eye Coordination


For my K-2 students, I always want to try and see how their balance is. There are many ways I can test this, but the bucket stilts are the best. Hand-eye coordination as well as balancing are crucial for this activity.

I usually split the group into 8 sections, 4 at half-court, and 4 on the other side of the gym. The more groups you have the less waiting there is. Students are to walk to the group in front of them, and then hand the stilts off. It can be a challenge to get on them sometimes, but their partner behind them can help them out. To make it a little bit more challenging, I will add some noodles on the floor to have students work with pathways on how to get around the object or over. We call them logs. Students love the stilts once they get the hang of it. I have incorporated them into stations, if we do that for P.E. that day. Continue reading

Page 1 of 512345