Physical Education Curriculum & Software #QPE

Posts tagged ‘exercise’

How to Keep Kids Motivated to Stay Active


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.




Curriculum Matters!

Erie Newsletter


We have had the privilege of working with Erie Public Schools over the last two years in the implementation of their Carol M. White PEP Grant. We have seen their physical education department make incredible strides towards teaching their students what it means to be physically and health literate. In using the FIVE FOR LIFE® Curriculum, as well as, the FAB 5® Curriculum and WELNET® the district has come to know what it means to educate students in Quality Physical Education (#QPE). We’ve included the latest edition of Erie Public Schools newsletter “Curriculum Matters”. Go to pages 4 and 5 to see how their physical education department has been progressing and how their using Focused Fitness resources in their pursuit of #QPE!

View Newsletter –> Volume 3 Issue 2

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!




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.


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.

Oliver the Other Reindeer

Oliver youtube pictureAs the temperature continues to drop it is important we are staying warm. One of our favorite ways to stay warm is by moving our bodies and exercising. Our good friend Oliver the Other Reindeer is here to help us with a few movement activities! Watch the videos below and follow along with Oliver!

Intentional Healthy Heart and Healthy Lungs


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?

Thriller Line Dance How To

Below are two videos created by Alex O’Brien. The first video will walk your students through the steps and counts of the Thriller line dance. The second video will lead your students through the line dance to the song Thriller.

Post your videos and pictures in the comments below, to our facebook page, or on twitter!

Check out Ryan Wiser’s Fitness Night. Ryan is an elementary teacher in the Mead School District!

ryan wiser