Physical Education Curriculum & Software #QPE

Archive for the ‘fitness’ Category

Instant Activities

instant-activities

Our goal at Focused Fitness is to provide resources and programs to help ALL students stay healthy, fit, and active for a lifetime. Our goal cannot be attained without teachers, schools, districts, and states buying into Quality Physical Education (#QPE). #QPE consists of 4 components: 1-Fitness, 2-Motor Skills, 3-Social/Emotional Health, and 4-Fitness and Health Academic Content.

We are a company that was built by teachers, for teachers. We know that money is ALWAYS an issue in #physed. So, below are 4 FREE instant activities because we love and appreciate all you do for kids! We love feedback, so feel free to contact us at (smile@focusedfitness.org). Have fun!

Rock, Paper, Scissors Gold Medal:

          Objective: Cardiorespiratory endurance, problem-solving, and cooperation

            Equipment: None

Game Set-up: The gym will be divided into three sections using the lines on the floor. One end of the gym will be the beginning area considered Bronze Medal, half court will be considered Silver Medal and the other end of the gym will be Gold Medal.

How to Play: The students will find a partner to start the game at the Bronze Medal area of the gym. Once a student wins the round at Bronze Medal they will move to the middle of the gym to play someone in the Silver Medal area. From Silver Medal area students will move either to the Gold Medal area if they win or return to the Bronze Medal area if they lose. If they win in the Silver Medal area, the student will move to the Gold Medal area and play someone in the Gold Medal round.  If the student wins in the Gold Medal area, they won a gold medal and remain to play someone else that makes it to the Gold Medal area. If the student loses in the Gold Medal area, that student will return to the Silver Medal area to play another student in that area.  Play continues for a designated amount of time.

Push Up Tag

          Objective: Muscular Strength and Muscular Endurance

            Equipment: None

How to Play: Students partner up and get into a push up position, facing each other. One person is “it.” The player who is “it” tries to tag the other student’s hands. Once tagged, the roles are reversed.

Toss and Jog

          Objective: Cardiorespiratory Endurance, motor skills

            Equipment: foam footballs or small foam balls

Directions: Students jog the perimeter of the gym or designated space. Meanwhile 2-3 students are in the center of the gym, each with a football. Students in the center toss the footballs to people jogging on the outside. Students who catch the footballs switch places with students in the middle and now toss the balls to someone else.

Variations: Use lateral passes, two handed lateral passes, small foam balls or any ball of teacher’s choice.

Hit the Deck

          Objective: Cardiorespiratory Endurance, motor skills

            Equipment: Decks of playing cards, cones, station cards

Directions: Each wall in the gym represents a different suit in a deck of playing cards. Each suit represents a different exercise. The teacher needs to create station cards for each wall. For example: Heart= Jumping Jacks, Spade= Squats, Diamond= Crab Toe Touches, Club= Squat Thrusts. Spread the cards out face down in the center of the gym. Students run one lap around the gym then go to the middle and pick a card. Then they go the wall that represents their suit. The card number represents how many repetitions they do of that exercise. For example: If a student draws a 4 of hearts, they do 4 jumping jacks. Face cards are worth 10.

Imaginary Rope Jumping:

Objective: Creativity, cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance, coordination, and agility

            Equipment: Music

How to Play: Holding an imaginary jump rope, all students stand in their own exercise spot, evenly spread out through the gym. Start the music and begin jumping.  Use your imagination and create crazy ways to jump or the teacher can lead the routine for younger students. The idea is that you can’t mess up so you just keep jumping for 30 seconds, 1 minute or longer intervals.

Advertisements

How to Keep Kids Motivated to Stay Active

trike

By: Brandon Capaletti

How To Keep Kids Motivated To Stay Active

When your students come to physical education class, are they enthusiastic, or do they trudge in, fearing what impossible task they will be asked to perform? Motivating students in the physical education classroom is not necessarily easy, but it can be done! Here are some tips that will help you spark an interest in all of your students, even those who are not naturally athletic.

  1. Introduce the Unit Well

The key to keeping kids engaged throughout a unit — regardless of the topic covered — is introducing the unit well. Physical education instructors should view the beginning of the unit as their chance to “sell” the content. This involves a couple of steps: First, teachers need to provide an overview of what students will be learning and doing, and why it’s important. Then, the introduction should include what the teacher will be asking the students to accomplish. This helps those who are not naturally interested in physical education become engaged, because they know what is expected of them when assessment time comes.

After the introduction, the teacher should check for understanding. Asking the students what they will do when certain events in the game happen, for example, will show that they grasp the task at hand. The teacher can also check for understanding by asking for a physical movement, such as “show me a defensive basketball stance.”

  1. Break Down the Skill

Consider a unit on baseball. Perhaps a hitter’s stance and hitting the ball is natural to you after years of playing baseball. That does not mean it comes naturally to your students, however. In fact, many of your students have probably never held a bat.

To ensure that they are excited and engaged, show them the process, then break it down — part by part. Demonstrate where to put the feet, how to position the back, where to place the arms, and how to hit the ball. By going over each step, you improve the chances that your students are able to attempt and achieve success with the task — regardless of ability level.

  1. Don’t Yell

No matter how frustrated you may feel with your students, avoid the temptation to yell at them. This may appear effective on TV shows or movies, but the teacher who wants to inspire needs to find intrinsic motivators for students, not scream at them.

kids on bikes

  1. Use Cues Appropriately

Cues are helpful in physical education, but they can be overwhelming. When teaching a new skill, provide one to three cues at a time, keeping them short and simple. They should be something students can remember when they are working through the action you are teaching. You can have students say the cues while performing the skill, but keep it as simple as possible — until the skill or task has been fully learned.

  1. Provide Directed Free Time

One way to keep kids engaged is to give them directed free time. Free time does not mean they can do whatever they want on the field or the gym, but it does mean that they can practice whatever skill, from the skill set or game, they want. By watching your students during this directed free time, you can see what areas of the game naturally appeal to them. You can motivate them by allowing them to pursue excellence in those areas.

  1. Don’t Overdo Your Instruction

As a physical education teacher, you are probably in good physical shape. That does not mean your students are, however. Your students come from a wide range of backgrounds and family situations, and some will be in poor shape. Teachers who are passionate about health may feel tempted to push these children hard to get them in better shape. This can derail motivation. Physical activity should not hurt your students. While some students do need a push to be active, push gently and with plenty of encouragement for success, rather than making a grueling routine that will cause physical pain.

  1. Reward All Success

Do you have some students who can’t make a layup to save their life? Then reward and praise them for a solid bounce pass. Find out where your students are, then provide motivators and rewards for the advances they make, even if they are not at the level you wish they were. Remember, encouragement is one of the greatest motivators a teacher has, so use it liberally.

Physical education is unique in the education world because it does not involve studying, letter grades, papers and calculations. It involves the physical body. Ultimately, you will need to carefully prompt your students so they are encouraged to keep striving for success

About the Author:

Brandon Capaletti is the Vice President of Cisco Athletic, a Maryland-based athletic apparel manufacturer of custom uniforms.  Cisco makes jerseys for 18 different sports, including volleyball, basketball, and baseball.

 

 

Where in the World is Jacob?

questions

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!

 

 

Tips To Keep Kids Injury-Free & Healthy

ice hockey

By: AJ Lee

Every child activity carries an element of risk, whether it is playing tag at recess or participating in youth sports. Ice hockey may not have the same injury rates as football, where over 1 in 4 kids get hurt playing. However, a sport that involves skating on a sheet of hard, slippery ice with a stick in your hand carries inherent risks that need to be minimized in order to ensure that all kids have a fun and productive season. Parents and coaches need to carefully prepare their players and their team to reduce injury risk.

Establish Histories

By far, the most important task for a coach is to know and prepare for his players’ histories with injury or sickness. Coaches must get information from parents on a child’s history playing ice hockey, with any pre-existing conditions like asthma or diabetes, or any injuries from last season like broken bones. Coaches should never allow players to enter into a physical game when the player has had issues like concussions, migraines or seizures. Finally, both coaches and parents have the responsibility of medical contacts: the coach should have the number of a trained and licensed medical professional available to come to the game at the exact time; while the parents should have the contact information for their family doctor in the event of an emergency.

Prepare Players

Just a few years ago, coaches required players to stretch vigorously before games in order to loosen stiff muscles. More and more scientists, however, have begun to say that this isn’t the best course of action. Reports note that not only do static stretching poses (stretching without movement) weaken the connective power of muscles and lead to tears or pulls, but they fail to add any extra athletic power to a player’s movements. Players can stretch after games in order to develop better flexibility, but time spent stretching should be devoted to warmups that feature active drills and improve muscle memory for game conditions. In case an accident occurs, coaches should keep ice packs available on the bench.

 Hydrate

Many injuries come from a lack of water available before, during and after games. While the cold conditions of an ice rink will not exacerbate the loss of water from the body, the pads that protect a player will affect his heat retention and can lead to dehydration. Never try to combat dehydration by loosening pads, as this puts kids at serious risk of harm. Instead, keep a large quantity of water available on the bench and permit kids to drink water any time they require during practices and games. While many players will like to drink Gatorade or other sports drinks, the sugar and salt of these beverages makes a player thirstier in the long run.

Safety Checks
When a coach arrives at the rink, his first priority is to conduct a team gear check. Make certain that all helmets have cages properly fitted with no loose screws or straps that could come off during a game. Check skate blades to see if any are wobbly and need to have their rivets tightened. Check the straps on the goalie’s pads to ensure none are loose or fraying. Finally, the coach should consult with the other coach to get the numbers on players’ heights and weights in order to carefully and fairly match one team member against the other. Players of similar skills should play against one another, but it’s dangerous to have equally skilled players on the ice when one is six inches and 30 pounds larger than the other. Finally, coaches should check the rink: make certain that there are no issues with the ice surface, with the boards, and with the bench area. Immediately contact the rink manager whenever a problem needs fixing.

About the author:

AJ Lee is a Marketing Specialist at Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. He was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago and has been a huge Blackhawks fan his entire life. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3 and hasn’t put it down yet.

Intentional Healthy Heart and Healthy Lungs

heart

Intentional? Webster defines it in the dictionary as this: done in a way that is planned or intended.  We must then look at intended: in your mind as a purpose of a goal.

HealthyHaving good health, according to Webster.  We must then look at health: the condition of being well, free of disease; overall condition of someone’s body; the state of something.

Now all together: intentional healthy heart and healthy lungs is life with goals in mind for your heart and lungs being well! When I think of my organs “free of disease and being well”, my hands get washed more thoroughly, my exercise bouts occur with a higher intensity level and my breaths are much deeper (did you just take a deep breath?).  I have made the choice (well, as often as I can) to remember these steps during my hours, days, weeks and months.  Making these intentional changes physically does in turn affect me emotionally, too.  Do you see the correlation?  When I am healthy, I am happier than if I am “sick”.

In regard to emotional health, we need to be mindful of a healthy brain (pun with “mindful” was intentionalJ).  We need to keep healthy thoughts – free of “disease” thoughts – flowing in the uppermost portion of your body.  This will only occur with intentionality!  You have the choice to think positively or negatively. You have the choice to think with joy and happiness or mad and sad. And, you the choice to think in a way that builds you up or tears you down. What do you choose, most of the time?

What you choose to do with your brain will affect your heart and lungs.  Not surprising, what you choose to do with your heart and lungs will affect your brain. How many times today, this week and this month can you be intentionally healthy?

Thunderstruck Burpee Fitness Challenge

Here at Focused Fitness we believe it is important to practice what we preach. We are always finding ways to stay active during the work day and recently we came across a fun burpee challenge. The challenge is simple…listen to the ACDC song Thunderstruck, and every time they say ‘thunder’ or ‘thunderstruck’ you are to complete one burpee.

Far be it from the Focused Fitness Trainers (TNT) to back down from a challenge…especially a fitness challenge. So, the above video is Amy, Cherie, Ron, and Alex taking on Thunderstruck!

We would like to invite you to take the challenge and post your videos and pictures to social media. Make sure to tag @focusedfitness2!

How to Keep Kids Active During the School Year

happy_kids_silhouette_on_white_background

By: David Reeves

During the summer, it can be impossible to get the kids in the house even to eat dinner. The school year changes all that, as temperatures may drop, and youngsters must replace hide-and-seek with homework. Studies have shown that nearly three-fourths of all children don’t get sufficient exercise once classes begin. Most schools only have a brief half-hour recess around lunchtime, and physical education classes can be a challenge for students who are shy or are not athletically inclined. It’s important for parents and teachers to encourage students to exercise and play often. Here are a few tips on how to make physical activities fun for kids after the first school bell rings.

Benefits of year-round exercise

  • Kids can burn off excess energy after playing sports or games outside, making them more likely to stay attentive during homework and in class.
  • It can ward off Type 2 diabetes. Now considered an epidemic among American children, this condition often results from a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Physical activity fosters healthy bone and muscle development in growing children.

After-school activities are a great way to help young boys and girls stay active once classes are in session. Whether you’re raising a mini Tom Brady or the next Neil deGrasse Tyson, there’s probably an extracurricular club or local class to suit your child’s talents and interests.

Ballet, gymnastics and karate classes are great ways to motivate kids to get off the couch. These activities not only promote physical wellness; they also encourage social development and hone coordination and balance. Check out interactive storytelling and plays at nearby theaters or libraries. These alternatives are great for expressive students who may struggle with sports.

Parents can get on board by coaching Little League games or volunteering at arts and crafts sessions.

What if my child is shy?

Some children are daunted by the prospect of joining a sports team, or even attending a class with their peers. Middle school and high school students especially struggle with this, as classmates may break into cliques and alienate one another to gain popularity. Talk to your kids to get a feel for how comfortable they are in a social setting before enrolling them in extracurricular programs. At-home projects and games usually keep quiet kids entertained without causing social anxiety.

Video games no longer require players to stay fixed in front of the television; with advanced systems that include the Wii and Xbox Kinect, more reserved youths can spend their evenings cutting a rug in the dynamic “Dance Dance Revolution” series, or simulating soccer in “Kinect Sports.” Scientific research ranks more physical video games among viable alternatives to outdoor recreation.

A wide variety of game titles means that even pre-teens and teens can find something they like. The best part is that you can play along and make it an interactive evening for the whole family.

Parents who are reluctant to try virtual entertainment as an option may want to organize outdoor play dates with friends, or create their own at-home adventures, such as a basement treasure hunt, or a backyard obstacle course. If you live in a bigger city, try an old standby, sidewalk hopscotch.

The school year may limit opportunities for outdoor recreation, but it doesn’t have to limit your child’s physical activity. Remember, if you commit to just an hour of exercise or more of active playtime each day, you can prevent health problems for a lifetime.

About the author:

David Reeves is the Marketing Director at Superior Grounds For Play. A community coach for 10 years, he knows the benefits of team sports and staying active. GFP play environments are designed to challenge children both mentally and physically to encourage development and independent play.