Hi there, my name is Coach Gelardi and I teach Pre-K to 5th grade Physical Education in District 26 in Queens, NY. I am going to be explaining one of my favorite activities that I created for both in person and virtual learning. The activity is called Four-Spot exercise. I will be explaining the activity for virtual learning, but it is easily transitioned to in person learning and can even be used in our current situation because it allows for social distancing. Four spot exercise is one of my virtual learning hits because it calls for minimal equipment using household items. You can teach any skill to your children from home, with some out of the box thinking and using household items to replace the typical PE equipment.
Four-Spot exercise was originally a warm-up in my class. It is an excellent fitness activity that I find is a great motivator to keep my students active at home. An activity like this helps with a child’s memory, fitness and following directional skills. With slight modifications in the grid and speed level, this activity can be used for all grade levels.
- 4 Paper Plates or 4 pieces of plain blank paper
- A Marker to number the plates or paper from 1-4
- Create a voiceover
HOW TO CREATE A VOICEOVER
- Write up a script:
- For a script, you want to mention where the students should start (in the center) and what pose they should be in. Then for Round One, call out random numbers every 5 to 6 seconds. For Round Two, call out random numbers every 3 to 4 seconds, and lastly for the speed round you can call the numbers out even quicker. In between the rounds you want to give the students a few seconds to catch their breath and mentally prepare for the next round. Provide them with a pseudo cooldown by allowing them a few seconds to walk around their grid a couple of times before getting back into the activities.
- I used my iPad for this, but you can use your cell phone, iPad, or tablet.
- Create a video by reading your script.
- Once you are complete and happy with your recording, click the Bluetooth button on your piece of technology and link it to a speaker.
- Place the speaker close to the iPad that you are livestreaming with your class or creating your lesson video on.
- Hit play and move along to your recording.
- Create a grid 4 x 4
- Each corner of the grid has a paper plate with a number from 1 – 4
Video of the Four Spot Exercise:
Start the activity in the middle of the square. Students must know this is their starting spot and starting position. I used the tree pose as their starting position; however, you can choose any pose.
There are several rounds to complete beginning from slow to fast. When you hear a number go to the plate and do the assigned exercise until you hear the next direction. For example:
1 – Jumping Jacks
2 – Ski Jumps
3 – Quick feet
4 – Silly Dance
The numbers are called out at random. In between rounds, students are given a few seconds to catch their breath and mentally refocus for the next round.
- Change the exercises. For example, you can focus on a muscle group or component of fitness.
- Create a larger or smaller grid. (Smaller for grades K-2, Larger for grades 3-5)
- Speed the call out of the numbers quicker or slower.
- Family members can join in and call out the numbers for their child.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thomas Gelardi has been teaching Physical Education for over 15 years at the Elementary level in NYC. He presented PE workshops at NYC Zone, Nassau Zone, and NYS AHPERD conferences. His workshop topics: Engaging students in highly effective warm-ups and instant activities; Teach PE in large class sizes with little to no equipment; Physical Education virtual/Remote activities. The last 4 years, he received a “Physical Education Teacher Leader” certificate from NYC Office of School Wellness Programs by facilitating district monthly meetings discussing the latest trends and concerns in PE and Health. He created a YouTube channel called Coach Gelardi, “PhysEdZone”, to support all Physical Education teachers and programs. You can follow Coach Gelardi on twitter and Instagram @CoachGelardi.