5 School Program New Year Resolution Ideas

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The New Year is a great time to think about your hopes and goals for the upcoming year. While making personal goals is also important, don’t count out making New Year Resolutions for your program or classroom as well. Making your goal attainable is the secret to making it a success. Here are 5 cool (and attainable) resolutions for you to consider for the New Year.

1. Start a Student Group

Empowering students and teaching them leadership and management skills is priceless. Although we are not the experts in doing this, we know someone who has had great success, and we were lucky enough to have her share her experience, tips and struggles in her Guide to Leading Enthusiastic Student Groups.

school program ideas

2. Adopt a Community Cause

Whether it is visiting with a local nursing home, sprucing up an area of your local park, or raising money for a shelter. Find something that students are excited to help with and work together as a team to support that cause. Work with other classrooms and programs to get them on board as well.

3. Bring Brain Breaks & Activity into Your Program/Classroom

There are many studies and even national programs like Let’s Move! Active Schools that stand behind the notion that Active Kids Do Better! So adding small doses of planned exercise into the day will not only benefit the children in your class, but also you in the long run. If you are a teacher, include a brain break every hour. Run an after school program? Start the afternoon off with a 15 minute active exercise, then include brain breaks every 25-30 minutes.

Here are some great ways to get started bringing activity into your classroom:

·  Let’s Move! Active Schools rewards schools for enrolling (it’s free) and actively participating in their program as champions at your school. Find out if your school or a partnering school to your program is involved.

·  Get going with these awesome PE Central Cooperative Skills 

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PE Geeks – All Geeked Out at the National PE Institute

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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

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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



Using Twitter for PE Professional Development

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“Is anyone on Twitter in here?”

This is the question that rang out from my colleague Anthony Alexander’s (@EB_CoachA), mouth at our elementary physical education staff meeting. There were about twelve of us there and maybe two hands went up. “Do any of you use Twitter for professional development?” was the next question. The hands went down. What is he talking about?

My hand was not raised. I had chalked up Twitter to a way of stalking celebrities, athletes, and famous people and seeing what they were doing on a daily basis. Who they were with, what they ate, where they partied, etc. I was not interested.

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