PE Plickers Magnets for Student Engagement

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plickers magnets

Plickers magnet assessment, or “plagnets” for short, have been taking the Physical Education community by storm these past few months. Magnet assessment as an idea came from Joey Feith (PhysicalEducator.com), and he got the idea from teachers using SOLO Taxonomy where students track their learning via cognitive understanding rubrics. Students would put initials on chart paper, or place sticky notes as they advanced through the learning mini-objectives or targets. Joey decided to replace sticky notes with magnets, which was a wonderful idea! I fell in love with using the magnets, and my students were never more engaged than when they took control of their learning progressions. Continue reading



Fitness Tic Tac Toe Activity for PE

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catch curriculum PE

Nebraska Extension is a nationally respected educational leader. Extension delivers research-based knowledge to people through direct teaching, experiential learning opportunities and publications. One of the program areas offered by Nebraska Extension is Food, Nutrition, and Health. My job as an Extension Educator of Food, Nutrition, and Health is to take research and evidence based curriculum and increase the nutritional and physical literacy of the children and families in Nebraska. Nebraska Extension’s Food, Nutrition, and Health Department identified a need to select a comprehensive and researched based curriculum to use as our direct education tool. Following the selection of our research and evidence based curriculum, we discovered a need for supplemental physical activity supplies. Continue reading



5 Ways to Use Classroom Procedures for a Better Teaching Experience

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procedures classroom teaching

With the start of the school year underway, I thought I would share some key things to keep in mind when teaching procedures to students. As an experienced teacher who interacts with new teachers on a regular basis, one of the most common complaints I get is problematic student behavior. This is one of the reasons many teachers choose to leave the profession. It can be frustrating when you feel like no matter what your best efforts are, you just cannot get that class or those certain students to behave. There are many mitigating factors that can affect student behavior, and as teachers we cannot control all of them. Thus, it is important to control what we can: what we teach and how we teach it.

Before I get to the key components, it is important to note that procedures include teaching students how you want them to behave in any given situation. Walk into a school that uses PBIS, or Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, and you will see expectations for procedures in every area of that school. For example, when you walk into the cafeteria, you will see a chart on expected behavior. The same goes for the hallway, classroom, and other spaces in the school. Thus, teaching proper behavior should be an integral part when going over your procedures. And the good thing is that procedures can be taught at any time during the year!

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Locomotor City Activity for Physical Education

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locomotor city cones

Locomotor City is a culminating activity I play with my K-2 students to reinforce and allow autonomy in their learning. The activity combines skill practices of locomotor movements, pathways, levels, fitness skills, directions, rule following, social skills and a host of other physical education elements, all combined into one collective activity.

Students are responsible for their own time management as they complete the activity. The idea is to travel in and out of the city, completing as many of the different activities as they can during the allotted time period. I play lots of upbeat music to encourage high intensity play and add excitement to the already charged atmosphere in the room. At the end of the class period, we all cool down by walking with a friend around the outside of the city, and sharing what activities we did, what was our favorite and what new skill we learned. Continue reading



Tips & Strategies for First Year PE Teachers

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first year pe teacher

If you’re reading this, chances are you just got your very first physical education job. Congratulations and welcome to an amazing profession where you get to change lives and make a real difference in the world. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to what you can do as a physical education teacher. Whether you’re just out of school, changing careers, or transitioning from the classroom to a gymnasium, you’re entering this profession at a time when what we do matters more than ever.

You will have the most lasting impact on a child’s life and mental well-being. As if this prospect was not overwhelming enough, you are starting a job that comes with many new and exciting experiences, procedures, and protocols. The first year of teaching is very important. It is during this time that you are indoctrinated into the world of teaching through on-the-job training. Everything you learned in your physical education program will align with the reality of the school and district you are now a part of. As a new teacher, there will be many variables out of your control that can make it hard to achieve that altruistic goal all teachers strive for: positively impacting lives. Continue reading



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