I was scheduled to have a Friday off in March before our weeklong Spring Break started. My daughter had a Field Trip planned on that Friday but was eventually cancelled. When I always leave my office, I take a minute or two to look around to make sure I didn’t forget anything. On this day, for some reason, I stayed to look for a while. I didn’t understand why. Little did I know that was the last time I would be in my office for the rest of the school year. Our school was shut down during the middle of our Spring Break, and eventually shut down for the rest of the year due to the Covid Virus. This is my 9th year of teaching P.E., and I wasn’t for sure what was going to happen next.
It was approached to us that we would be doing Distance Learning with students. The problem was, I know students didn’t have the equipment that I had for P.E. at home. Specials teachers sent out a document with all kinds of resources for students to do. I wanted to make sure students had choices of what to do and not too much for them to do. I didn’t want to overload them with activities.
I first created a Choice Board for the first four weeks for them to do. It had links for students to use, but it also had descriptions for students who don’t have the internet. I had created some videos for students (like a Putt-Putt course and a Levels Game). I then started thinking a little bit more. For the past 7 weeks, for every single day, I posted a new activity online. These activities came in a lesson visual (props to Mike Graham for the outline) that showed equipment (mostly household items, but allowed for substitutes), set-up, description of the activity, modification/enrichment, diagram of the activity, and standards aligned with the activity. I used the app Comic Life 3 to create the visuals.
Each lesson focused on different skills (throwing, catching, kicking, balancing, etc.). I would share these through our social media for the school, as well as my own account. The ones that have gotten a lot of great reactions have been:
Flip The Yard
Using Zoom to see students playing these activities was cool to see. These became really popular! I had people from all over sending me their pictures and videos of students, even parents, playing these activities. Every morning I’d check social media and other schools were having their students do these activities. It was a hit! This was a simple way for my students to stay active while being at home.
Overall, I thought this was a different process, but still something that got done. It did take a lot to create everything, but I wanted to make sure students had the opportunity to stay safe and be active at the same time. There are several other P.E. Teachers do the same thing, by making sure their students are active. This just goes to show that no matter where we are , or what’s going on in the world, we still care about our students.
About the Author:
Drew Burris is in his 9th year of teaching Physical Education at Ridge View Elementary in Warrensburg, MO. He has been published on PE Central, published in The Great Activities Magazine, won the 2015 Star of the Classroom, won the 2016 CTA Teacher of the Year, won the 2018 MOSHAPE West Central District Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year, and presents at MOSHAPE (Missouri SHAPE Convention) every year. Drew says the best part of his job is seeing the students learning and also having fun being physically active. Drew has a website: projectphysed.weebly.com with all his and other physical educators content on it. Twitter handle is @projectphysed.