Physical Education Curriculum & Software #QPE

Archive for December, 2015

Where in the World is Jacob?


By: Ron Malm

I often wonder what has become of Jacob, even though it has been 15 years since he was a student in my physical education class back at Franklin Elementary. It seems odd to me that I would be wondering about Jacob when I taught thousands of students over the course of my career, but I just can’t shake the impact Jacob had on me professionally.

Jacob frustrated me to no end. He was one of the smartest students I ever had the privilege to teach, but Jacob was LAZY! Have you not had a lazy student or two in your career? A typical day teaching Jacob’s class had him entering the gym and choosing to walk during our instant activity, pretend to be doing exercises when we were doing circuits and move at 1/100th the speed of the other students when we were doing a large group activity. I could have understood if the instant activity was lame, the exercises were too technical and the activity was ultra competitive, but not mine! All one had to do is look at all the students laughing, breathing hard and sweating to realize my class was the “place to be”… for most of the students.

In reality, Jacob was far from lazy… he simply saw no relevance in the activities, lessons and units in my PE class to HIS life.  Jacob, like other students in school had already figured out that he was not the fastest, strongest or most coordinated kid on the block and therefore saw no purpose in trying to scale the traverse wall, jump rope or practice his forehand striking with a racquet. Many of the activities I planned for the students did not resonate in Jacob’s life outside of school. Certainly there were other “Jacobs” (Students that had already given up on the physical aspect of life, but faked it and “flew under the radar”).

I think about Jacob often. I think about him because I fear that my blind spots got the better of me more than I care to admit. It was not hard for me to watch students throwing and immediately see the baseball players among them, yet I was blind to the students that saw no purpose in my teaching. I think about Jacob because he pushed me to SEE physical education and physical activity from HIS perspective.

If it doesn’t connect with all the students, then why are we teaching it? I often hear, “because it is good for them”. Sure, it is good for them. It is good for them the same way feeding your own kids vegetables, but if they don’t understand how it relates to them, it is worthless. Everybody deserves the right to be taught the WHY and not just the what, and how.

If you want to find out if your teaching is connecting with your students, I challenge you to give them an anonymous survey asking for their feedback. They will tell you. You may not like what they say, but honest feedback is rarely fun to hear. Although if your goal is to get better, then “SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP!” and do what you know you must. Find YOUR Jacob. He exists in all of our classes, you just have to look for him.

If I ever run into Jacob, I will share with him that he pushed me as a physical education teacher more than any other student ever did. He pushed me to see physical education from his perspective and therefore see what at one time was blind to me.

Thank you Jacob!




Ripple Effect


water droplet and waves over green

By: Cherie Harrington

My Ripple Effect…and Your Ripple Effect

When you read those words what comes to mind? Prior to this past year, I would think of water in a pond or lake. How the water ripples from me throwing a rock in or “trying” to skip a rock across the water.  But, that’s NOT the first thing that comes to mind anymore!

As a daughter, mom, aunt, sister, friend, colleague, trainer, and any other role I find myself in, I have the pleasure of meeting many people!  In the school setting there are administrators, teachers, students, para-educators, custodians and everyone in between those roles.  Many times I see, hear and feel the ripple effect they have in their classrooms, offices and hallways in their building, AND within their district.  Not only do I experience the ripple effect in a school environment, but also in airports, stores and coffee shops.

What is this ripple effect I am referring to? It is the seen and unseen effect of a person’s words (accidental or intentional), facial expressions (accidental or intentional), body language (accidental or intentional), and any additional behaviors (accidental or intentional).

Do you think about the ripple effect of your words which are spoken to family members, colleagues, students, or store clerks?  Do you think about the ripple effect of your facial expressions, body language and behaviors to those who are watching from far away or right next to you?

At a recent training in Wisconsin, a very nice lady brought me a gift on our second day.  Please see the picture for the very thoughtful action from her.

ripple rock

I would like to challenge you to think about what ripple effect has occurred within you from another’s words, expression or actions?  Let’s all help every person – no matter their age or status – feel appreciated.  Think about your ripple effect, please.

FAB 5 From Anaheim

Anaheim City Schools received a PEP Grant in 2012. We have had the esteemed privilege of working with them to make positive, sustainable changes to the health & physical education program. They adopted our FAB 5® Physical Activity Program (PAP). The health and physical education team is lead by Tammie Bernal. Between Tammie and her two health and PE super stars, Michael Lamey and Tracie Turrietta they have made tremendous strides in the K-6 California District. Over the past two years they have seen incredible growth in food group recognition as well as fitness testing.

Michael Lamey is currently working on his Master’s Degree. For one of his projects he made the FAB 5® video featured in this post. With the help of some Anaheim City Students they were able to describe the FAB 5® and what they represent in a very clear and fun way.

A special thanks goes out to Michael for not only making a great video, but letting us share it with all of you! Let us know what you think and be sure to share it will all of your students!