Posts Tagged ‘physical education blog’


Quality Physical Education – Defined by the New SHAPE America Standards

Friday, November 21st, 2014

We are all familiar with SHAPE America goal for physical education, “To develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity.”   But are you aware of the new standards adopted in May?  Our new national standards now include grade level outcomes!  These standards and grade level outcomes are critical in our profession to support teachers everywhere as they strive for accountability.  We physical educators should be held to the same accountability levels as other core subject teachers, and our students should have specific and clearly defined outcomes to strive towards.

The grade-level outcomes are benchmarks that identify what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade.  They serve as a guide for physical educators to use to track students’ progress toward becoming physically literate individuals, which is the overarching goal of the five new National Standards.  These can also be used to show student growth and teacher quality, both important factors in today’s teaching world.  You can purchase the grade – level outcomes through SHAPE America.

In case you have not seen the new National Standards for Physical Education, here they are!

Standard 1
The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.

Standard 2
The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.

Standard 3
The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.

Standard 4
The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.

Standard 5
The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.

SPARK supports and aligns their content and instruction to SHAPE standards and outcomes.  Their research-based programs assist physical educators in implementing a quality physical education program aligned to national and/or state standards.  You can view their SPARK State Standards Alignment page.

SPARK has also updated their lesson plans on SPARKfamily.org for those of you who subscribe.

Thousands of schools and districts have chosen SPARK as their preferred physical education program due to the many resources available to help teachers maximize student outcomes.  Visit their website to learn more – and — take advantage of their free resources!  www.sparkpe.org

Thoughts on Classroom Management from a Seasoned PE Teacher

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

This last Wednesday we hosted a webinar on Classroom Management Strategies for Physical Education (if you didn’t watch it Click Here to view the recording) and had over 700 people participate.

One of the great things about sharing strategies and techniques with so many passionate educators is that we sometimes hear back from other teachers that wish to share their own ideas. We recently received an email from one attendee who had some advice on what’s worked for her in the past, and we wanted to share them with you.

The thoughts/strategies below are from Karen Bagby, a Physical Education Teacher at Garner Elementary in North Liberty, Iowa:

  • The “when before what” is critical.  This is one of those teaching tips a new student teacher learns fast!
  • Instead of sending out a letter to all parents in my school, I put a blurb in the first school-wide newsletter.
  • I emphasize that when disciplining a child, talk and treat them as “if a parent is standing right beside that child”.  Makes you really think about what you are doing and saying.
  • I do utilize a “behavior ticket” for that “new student” who doesn’t yet quite have the expectations mastered.  The child fills out the ticket and what happened, as well as the teacher, and then I “file it” in my office.   I tell the student I will keep it as long as things improve.  If not, I will send it home and confer with the parents.  Have only had to do 2 over many years and neither went home.
  • A child who has continual “challenges” has a secret signal with me (could be just eye contact with me touching my ear lobe).  That lets the student know he needs to settle down or remember expectations.
  • The teacher needs to be upbeat and have a great attitude and BELIEVE in what he/she is teaching!  Kids are motivated by our enthusiasm and daily attitudes.  Also, music is a HUGE motivator!!!!  I play music with almost every lesson…..
  • Plan modifications ahead of time for your special needs students.  They deserve success at their level.  Also, get their input ahead of time for suggestions for up and coming lessons…..
  • Concerning time-outs, I do this, too.  But, I do NOT go over to the student.  He/she must come to me and tell me he/she is ready to get back into the activity.  That way, I am not giving the student any attention for negative behavior.  Should he/she choose to remain “out” for the remainder of the class period, we do chat before dismissal.  My system:  first infraction is a warning, 2nd is a time-out, 3rd is time-out for the class period (our classes are 25min.).  should it happen often, a behavior ticket goes into place.  Any physical contact, principal involvement – zero tolerance.
  • I have a “reward system” I have used for years and years.  Super effective.  Class calendars and traveling trophies.  At the end of each class, the class signals (0,1, or 2) with their fingers how we did following our guidelines.  If great, a 2 goes on their calendar.  After the “calendar” is completed (would take a month with all 2’s to fill it), it comes down and a new one goes up.  A trophy goes to the classroom teacher’s desk for a week.  I actually travel about 12 trophies!  Kids will live up to your expectations and want to please!  At the end of the year, 2 classes (1 for 3-6 and 1 from K-2), those who got the most stamps on their calendars, get a “pe party of favorite activities, a healthy snack, school-wide recognition, and certificates for home!
  • I never use drinks as a reward.  They all should always get them, in my opinion, when they need one (which is at the end of class).  Instead, kids love to please and I have come up with many, many hand/body “gives” (such as the sprinkler, motorcycle, firecracker, etc. to celebrate accomplishments/showing great behavior/kindness that happen throughout each lesson.
  • I also like to challenge kids at the beginning of lessons to such as let’s see how many of you can say 3 nice things to 3 different people?  How many of you can share the balls with others?  How many different friends can you  untag during the course of this game?  Then, recognize those you did with a show of hands and a hand jive!  Sometimes, I have kids point to those who helped them out.  Always, with partner activities, they do high-fives and or friendly knuckles,  or the like…

2011 PEP Grant Update & Helpful Tips

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

As we wait for the 2011 PEP Grant competition to be announces here are a few tips to help you prepare.

Update 3/29/11: Applications for the 2011 PEP Grant announced! Click Here for the application.

  • Review last year’s guidelines: Rumor has it that very little will change for this year’s competition. However, be sure you understand that they COULD change. We don’t recommend completing an entire application based on last year’s grant. However, we do recommend that you prepare for all aspects of last year’s guidelines.  Click here to check out the guidelines: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/whitephysed/applicant.html
  • Know and understand what you are required measure.  The federal government required detailed and accurate reporting by winning applicants.  Be sure to address each of the required measures in your objectives as well as your evaluations.
  • Go for the bonus points!  Be sure to include a well-outlined plan for collecting BMI data.  Your superintendent will need to be on board and signatures will be required.  However, this could be the difference between a winning grant and an application that almost wins. Likewise, gather your programming partners, like other health organizations, your food service staff or local youth organizations.  A written and signed collaborative agreement can also score you much need bonus points.
  • This last tip continues to be critical to winning PEP Grants: Know your needs and be able to prove them through documentation and assessment information. In your application, clearly outline where your program can improve and how PEP funding will make those improvements. Prove that you’ve done your homework by utilizing available assessment tools like the School Health Index, PECAT and HECAT. Always address local, state and national standards.

Hopefully you’ve prepared up to this point, and already have much of the information you need to craft your winning application.  SPARK knows and understands what it takes to be a part of a winning PEP Grant proposal.  To date, more than 100 PEP grants have been awarded to organizations that chose to implement SPARK curriculum/training and equipment!

Contact a SPARK representative for a free cost proposal and for help writing SPARK into your grant submission. We want to make it easy for you to implement SPARK and improve the quality and quantity of PE/PA at your site(s).

2011 AAHPERD National Convention in San Diego

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

All of us at SPARK are very excited the 2011 AAHPERD National Conference is in San Diego this year! Make sure to visit the SPARK booth to see the latest and greatest, and you won’t want to miss these presentations:

1. Exergame Workshop: Oceans of Opportunities Active Games 4 Better Health:

Presented by: Aaron Hart

Tuesday, March 29, 2011: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM

Hilton Bayfront: Sapphire Ballroom CDGH

2. Are You Floating or Sinking on Lake Wellness?

Presented by: Julie Frank and Vickie James

Wednesday, March 30, 2011: 8:15 AM-10:00 AM

Convention Center: Room 29A

3. Your P.E.T. Project – Physical Education Technology

Presented by: Aaron Hart

Friday, April 1, 2011: 8:45 AM-10:00 AM

Convention Center: Ballroom 20D

4. Aristotle said, “Philosophize AND Exercise”

Presented by: Julie Green, John Hichwa, Aaron Hart and Paul Rosengard

Friday, April 1, 2011: 10:15 AM-12:15 PM

Convention Center: Ballroom 20A

5. Wanna be a Tech-guru but Can’t Turn on Your Computer?

Presented by: Paul Rosengard, Patty Lanier, John Hichwa and Aaron Hart

Saturday, April 2, 2011: 10:15-11:30AM

Convention Center: Ballroom 20A

6. Physical Education’s Role in Public Health: A 20-Year Retrospective

Presented by: James Sallis and Thom McKenzie

Friday, April 1, 2011: 4:00 PM-5:15 PM

Convention Center: Room 26B

We hope to see YOU in SPARK’s hometown!

300 Florida Middle Schools Implement SPARK

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The Florida Department of Health has partnered with the Florida Department of Education to bring SPARK Middle School Physical Education (MS PE) to 300 Middle Schools throughout the state.

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Communities Putting Prevention to Work” (CPPW) Cooperative Agreement, the Florida Middle School Physical Activity Project (MSPAP) is designed to implement sustainable research and standards-based physical education in all public Florida middle schools.

Florida Middle School sites will be some of the first schools ever to be trained in the new 2011 SPARK MS PE Program. Each site will receive research-based SPARK curriculum, training and equipment, as well as SPARK’s lifetime follow-up support.

SPARK is extremely excited to be a part of this project and have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the health and wellness of so many middle school students throughout the state of Florida!

For more information on MSPAP please contact Nichole Wilder at nichole.wilder@fldoe.org or (850) 245-0813 or Anna Holihan at anna.holihan@fldoe.org or (850) 245-0881.

For more information on SPARK please visit www.sparkpe.org.

Help Save the PEP Grant!

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Each year, the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) awards millions of dollars to schools and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, and improve physical education programs.

Funding for PEP is in serious danger and could be eliminated. Although the most recent Federal budgets (which did not include money for PEP) were not approved, there is still a good chance the final budget will not include funds set aside for PEP .

What can you do to help save PEP?
  1. Click Here to Send a letter to Congress today & show your support
  2. Click Here to download the “I Support the PEP Grant” button image (see below) to use on Facebook,Twitter, on your website, in flyers, and anywhere else you can think of!

Click Here for more information on the 2011 PEP Grant…

Physical Educators: Team or Group… What do YOU Think?

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Forward by Paul Rosengard

Over the years, physical education has been inextricably linked with athletics and “assigned” its own, unique vernacular:

“Drop and give me 20!”  “You throw like a girl.” “Take another lap around the track.”  “Winners always watch Glee and losers tape Sportscenter.”  OK, I made that last one up – but it’s really just as silly and wrong as the previous three examples…

If you know SPARK, you may have recognized that we make a conscience effort to change the way we (physical educators) speak to their students.  We suggest using ahead or behind — instead of winner and loser.  Loops around a health circuit — instead of laps around a track.  Anything to separate today’s physical education, from the clichés associated with the “old” PE.

Recently, we started discussing whether it’s better to use the words group and groupmates, instead of team and teammates – even with high school age students.  Not surprisingly, we had some differing opinions, so I thought it would be good to solicit the opinions of others.  Joe Herzog made the time to share his thoughts and I am appreciative.  He graciously agreed to let SPARK print his words and they’re featured below.  Thanks for making the time to read it – and then let us know what YOU think? Agree or disagree? Let’s keep the conversation going in Facebook and Twitter as well…

Blog Article:

It was less difficult for me and my colleagues to divest ourselves of the term “team” because we restructured our curriculum making it greatly devoid of the traditional “team” games. The only “Team” game I played was “Ultimate Frisbee” and even then it was a four goaled game in which teams didn’t actually exist.  It was our goal to turn away from the traditional “team competition” concept and guide our students toward a more intrinsic, self motivated personal change “competition.” Working with inner-city kids who had huge allegiances to professional sports teams, it was at first a challenge, but as personal improvement, personal challenges, self-investigation and cooperatives became fun, challenging and introspective, we saw fundamental changes in attitudes and behaviors.

Thus we knew that it was possible to run a viable, successful program without being, or without essentially using “team” in any of the common concepts. We used “groups”, “families”, “buddies up” and “brothers ‘n sisters” with some co-ed groups. Actually all of our groups were co-ed and that as well made it somewhat easier to move away from the traditional team sport competition concept and go to dual and individual challenges and personal goals and improvement.

We did discuss, with our students, the difference between physical education and athletics; how and why they were different and why learning and developing specific skills and learning how to work together was of significant benefit to them IF they chose to participate in athletics. Something must have worked, because in the fourth year of our new school (from a 9th grade only to a 7-8 middle school) our athletic participation more than doubled.

We discussed with our students why cooperation worked better in the workplace than competition; that competition between businesses was a natural and often unspoken outcome in the fight to gain economic advantage, but that within the business itself, cooperative effort toward a common goal made for better products, a better working environment and a more successful business, which usually meant more profit and better working condition for workers.

Our philosophy was that a confident, knowledgeable student, at ease with who he/she was could move forward into intra-murals or into athletic competition and work well with others and not be afraid to make extra effort or not be afraid to fail because they recognize what those concepts meant in the whole process of health/fitness, challenge and successful group outcomes. The use of the term “team” in intra-murals is a natural outcome of the iconic status of team sports in the United States (and world wide, as well). Curiously we didn’t have much of an intra-mural program (mostly at lunch) because the vast majority of our kids either went out for a sport team or they were in the classroom after school being tutored, under going remediation, being counseled or they went directly home and had to baby sit younger siblings.

We tried to produce a program that was both physically and intellectually challenging to our kids, to provide them with a curriculum (and a fair amount of choice in activities–in a carefully constructed program) that they enjoyed and we made it as cross-curricular as we could so kids could connect P.E. with the classroom. That concept worked well because we had an admin. and a “classroom” teaching staff that bought into the concept.

Getting away from the team competition concept and the use of the term “team” in fairly short order was not difficult. It certainly served our program and our students (and the community at large, it seems) quite well. As our students bonded our suspension/expulsion, one of the highest in the district dropped to 3rd lowest and our attendance went from one of the worst to just short of the best (with crime in the neighborhood dropping significantly, at the same time.) I’m not suggesting we did all of this ourselves. There was a world of help and cooperation (there’s that word again) from a variety of on and off campus resources, but we think our philosophy provided the initial impetus to get it all started.

Joe

Joseph E. Herzog, Neurokinesiologist
Chair, Region 28, CAHPERD
Pres. Fresno Alliance for Phys. Educ./Athletics
Senior Advisor, Fit4learning
2010 CAHPERD Honor Award

“You can learn more about a person in an hour of play, than in an year of conversation.” Plato

“Mission Possible – for YOUR Program”

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

“If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’ve arrived?”

This statement is obviously pre-GPS technology, but I think you know where we’re going with this…

At SPARK, we’re big believers in instructional alignment.  Sure, we have Standards, benchmarks, yearly plans, assessment tools, and activities, pedagogy, and equipment to coordinate.  Sheesh, isn’t that enough??!

Actually, there’s one more piece to the puzzle – and it really completes it.  A mission statement is what your district, or school, or physical education program believes in.  It’s at the top of the instructional alignment pyramid – IOW, you don’t include that instructional unit in your program if it doesn’t align with your mission statement.  You don’t grade students that way if it doesn’t align with your mission statement.  What you do daily, weekly, monthly, yearly should cascade up to your mission statement.

If you’re a physical educator at an elementary, middle or high school and your department (even if your department is only YOU) doesn’t have a MS, it’s high time to put the task in your queue.  If you already have a mission statement, when was the last time you re-visited it?

Here are 10 terrific tips for writing (a better word might be developing) a mission statement, followed by a few samples (not models) from other schools to review (sans school name for anonymity).

  1. Ask yourself or your team the right questions.  To begin, what do we do and why do we do it?  What do we want for our students, our school, our community?  What are the 3 or 4 objectives or attributes that define our PE program?  Think about the SPARK that initially ignited your desire to become a physical educator in the first place.  What will keep your SPARK alive?
  1. Say it clearly.  Your mission statement needs to clearly state your professional goals and objectives. It should explain how what you do as a department will make a difference in the lives of your students, school, and community.
  1. Decide what makes you different.  Never forget you are pursuing the same budget dollars as other subject areas.  How does physical education stand out from the other educational disciplines?
  1. Build your brand.  Use your mission statement to build your unique brand.  Make sure to communicate your program’s key values to your students, school, and community.
  1. Keep it short and sweet.  Ideally, you should be able to summarize your department’s mission in a few sentences.  Consider it your elevator pitch.  You should be able to state your department’s mission succinctly in the time it takes to ride an elevator from the ground floor to the top floor.
  1. Be honest.  Make sure when you read your own mission statement, it reflects what you/your colleagues truly believe.  Too much pomp and self-congratulatory language will turn off those who read it, so avoid saying your program is the “best” at this or the “world leader” at that.
  1. Make it a joint effort.  It’s incredibly helpful to get the input of others, both inside and outside your department.  Collaborators can help you to better see the strengths and weaknesses of your mission statement.
  1. Polish the language.  See to it that you have several pairs of eyes (ideally belonging to wordy, editor types) to review your mission statement many times until every word sizzles (perhaps, SPARK’s).  Your mission statement should be error-free, eloquent, and precise.  It should be dynamic and inspirational.  In short, it should be as close to perfect as you can get it.
  1. Spread the word.  Once your mission statement is complete, start sharing it by posting it everywhere you can.  It should be prominently displayed on your school website, in your locker room or gym, in correspondence that goes home with the kids, maybe even at the bottom of your school e-mails.  Be creative in spreading the word.
  1. Revise as needed.  Your mission statement, as wonderful as it might sound now, should not be set in stone.  As your program changes, so too might your department’s mission.  Revisit your mission statement on a regular basis to evaluate whether it should be revised or updated.  If it’s solid, you probably won’t need to alter it significantly as time goes by.

Samples of mission statements from physical education departments:

The _______ Middle School Physical Education staff believes that each and every student can achieve excellence regardless of size, maturity, coordination, body type, or other physical capability.

We as a department are concerned with developing a child’s positive attitude towards physical education that will last a lifetime.

_________ physical education strives to maintain an activity based program while teaching lifelong fitness in a safe and enjoyable environment.

There you have it, mission possible!  You can do this!  And you should.

So think about your next steps, put this assignment in your calendar so you begin to allocate time to make it happen, then enjoy the process.

11 Tips to Help Decrease Inappropriate Behavior

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Is it true what they say about that “one bad apple in the bunch”? We all know there are many different kinds of apples in our classes, and while some may be a little sweeter than others, they all contribute to a healthy bushel. Here are eleven tips to help decrease inappropriate behavior and help keep your physical education class as sweet as possible:

  1. Engage children in activity as soon as possible by keeping instructions short and concise.
  2. Remember to “teach from the perimeter.” If indoors, keep your “back to the wall.” Move to visit all children without turning your back on any.
  3. Use a musical activity when children’s attention becomes low and there is a need for a quick distraction enhanced with music.
  4. Children covet individual attention. When a child is modeling desired behaviors, say the child’s name for all to hear when providing positive and specific feedback.
  5. Provide individual feedback when the class is engaged in activity rather than calling attention to the negative behavior for all to hear.
  6. Use proximity control. Move closer to the child.
  7. To ensure the safety of all, if a child is endangering others have the child stand next to you and observe others on task. When you see the child is ready to participate safely, get the child engaged as soon as possible.
  8. Minimize distractions.
  9. When outdoors, strive to keep the children’s backs to the sun.
  10. If another class is present, position your class to face a different way.
  11. When using manipulatives begin with exploration time for children to just play. Remember to have children place manipulatives on the floor when giving instructions.

Reduce Screen-Time with “Screen-Time Vouchers”

Monday, December 13th, 2010

As a father, a physical educator, and a family health advocate, I know that managing children’s screen-time is a critical but often challenging aspect of family wellness.

That’s why we’ve begun to develop screen-time management tools like SPARK’s Screen-Time Vouchers. We feel it’s especially timely to share this resource as we hit the holiday gift-giving season. Each year more video games, handheld devices, and video screens top children’s gift lists.

Teachers, share this resource with your students’ families. Parents and caregivers, consider using screen-time vouchers to help manage family zombie zones. SPARK’s Screen-Time Vouchers help families align with 3 of the WeCan! Strategies for reducing screen time.

  1. Talk to your family. Use these vouchers to start and continue a conversation with your kids about why it’s important to limit screen time and increase activity time.
  2. Log Screen Time vs. Active Time. By turning in Screen-Time Vouchers, children are easily tracking time spent focusing on screens.
  3. Set Screen Limits. These vouchers instantly set parameters around screen-based devices and help families enforce screen-time rules.

Here are 3 important notes as we build off the great work of WeCan!

  • Set a Good Example. It’s “move it or lose it” time. If you don’t prove your point by moving your gluteus, you’ll lose credibility with your kids. Make vouchers valuable by proving their value with your example.
  • Next, don’t over emphasize vouchers by treating screen-time as a reward. Screen-time vouchers are tools for teaching responsible health management, just like an allowance is used to teach financial responsibility.
  • Finally, consider active screen-time separately. Nothing replaces the social interaction of real-live pick-up games or activity at the park. However, active video games are a great alternative to muscle melting sedentary ones. Plus, they’re pretty fun. For full benefits, participate with your children. You’ll sweat, laugh, and bond the new-school way.

Click Here to download SPARK’s Screen-Time Vouchers. Check back with SPARK often for new resources and ideas.

Have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season.

Aaron Hart

Development Director

The SPARK Programs