How Achilles Kids Can Inspire Special Education PE Classes

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achilles kids program collage

Two years ago, I was working at a summer day camp where I began talking to a co-worker about programs that we used with our students. I told her that I was a runner and I used the programs through the New York Runner’s Club. In prior years, I was struggling to find programs for my 12:1 special education physical education classes who were lacking motivation and not willing try something new. She suggested this great program that she used with her students with disabilities called Achilles Kids. I was really curious about the program, so that night I did my research on the program. Once I saw the video on YouTube explaining the Achilles Kids Program, I was sold! In the Fall of 2015, I took the plunge and signed up three of my 12:1 classes for the Achilles Kids: Run for Life Program with Karen Lewis. I was so glad I did!

My Journey Using The Achilles Kids Program

My first year with Achilles Kids was a huge success, but it was a challenge to get there. As was the case in years past, the students resisted the change from the regular routine and did not want to run and participate in the program. However, I started to run with them and told them about the different prizes that they would receive if they reached their goals. First, the certificates came in the mail, and for many of these students this would be the first award they had ever received! Soon, there was no more complaining and it was replaced with a motivation that I was so excited to see. They started striving to go a little further every time they came into the gym. Not only did they start to get moving, but they motivated me to start to run again and I started to go after my personal goal of running a marathon. Continue reading



Featured PE Teacher – Taralynn Lorance

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

featured pe teacherAbout Taralynn:

I am a Physical Education Specialist at Wainwright Intermediate, Tacoma School District, Tacoma, WA. I teach 6th and 7th grade PE, and I have about 200 students. I have been teaching for 8 years in a gym and spent 17 years teaching swimming.

Current Lesson Plan/Unit:

Currently we are working on cooperative games with a focus on communication and teamwork. Communication is the theme of the month at our school and cooperative games lend a hand to this. By providing these lessons in my PE classes, it gives students opportunities to use communication in a variety of ways. it also sets a high standard for the use teamwork and communication during the year in PE and every subject area. Continue reading



Featured PE Teacher – Carli Kelly

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

About Carli:

I teach Early Kindergarten – 6th grade PE and High School Health. I teach about 400 kids at Norway-Vulcan Area Schools in Michigan. My title is Physical Education/Health Teacher. This is my 8th year teaching!

Current Lesson Plan:

Right now in PE we are doing the EPEC Curriculum (Exemplary Physical Education) which is a Michigan PE curriculum. It is a comprehensive and flexible K-5 physical education and physical activity system leading to physical literacy for learners – More skill, more confidence and more motivation to be physically active today and tomorrow. There are 35 skills to teach that cover – Locomotor Skills, Object-Control Skills, Knowledge, Activity Fitness, and Personal/Social Skills. We are also working on Soccer skills, including Foot Dribbling and Instep Kick. For Middle School we are finishing up NFL Play60.

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Pathways and Directions Stations PE Activity for Grades K-2

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PE activity pathways stations

PE Teacher Crystal Williams, shares a fun and an organized way for students to demonstrate different pathways and directions.

This year, my coworker and I decided to have our students participate in stations that worked on pathways and directions. Pathways and directions are components of our Space Awareness Unit. These two components focused on TN standards “travels in five directions (forward, backward, sideways, up, and down) and demonstrates and applies all three pathways (straight, curvy, and zigzag).”  I wanted to make sure the stations were filled with fun and provided us the opportunity to assess students as they performed each course. Continue reading



Featured PE Teacher – Christopher Infante

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

pe teacherAbout Christoper Infante

I teach grades Pre-K through 4th in two different schools in my district. These grades also include MD, ABA, BD, ED and LLD classes. Because I teach in two different schools, I teach 632 students. I teach at Bryant Elementary School and Lowell Elementary School, both located in Teaneck, NJ. My title is Travel Physical Education teacher. We run on a 6 day A-F schedule and I am in one school on B, C, D days and the other on E, F, A days. I have been teaching full time for 4 years, all with Teaneck. I have been so grateful for having this stability and being able to watch my students grow.

Current Lesson Plan

My current lesson plan involves use of the Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit. I use the games on Wii Fit to peak the students’ attention, since they are all familiar with video games. I use the Basic Run Plus program to show the students how to keep a good pace. During the school year, they have a lot of lessons outside running so I like to start the school year by introducing pace and having them practice with the Wii. The kids have a blast and get great exercise without realizing it! Continue reading



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