Webinars

The 3rd Wednesday (the 3rd day of the week) at 3pm Pacific (SPARK Principle of 3's!) SPARK hosts a FREE webinar! Whether you are a seasoned SPARK Star, just learning about the program, or have an interest in the month's timely topic, this webinar series is for you.

Note: When you register, click “Show in my Time Zone” to view the webinar time in your local time zone.

November 2014 - NEW DAY

Raising the Standards

Featuring SHAPE America President Dr. Dolly Lambdin

The goal of the five new National Standards? For students to become “physically literate individuals.”

With the release of the new Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education, teachers across the country will receive more guidance than ever before on how to develop students that recognize the value of physical activity and know how to be responsible for their own healthy lifestyles.

Grade-level outcomes are benchmarks that identify what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade. We’re thrilled that SHAPE America President, Dolly Lambdin, will be with us to present the new standards and show physical educators how the benchmarks provide a roadmap to track students’ progress.

Attendees will learn:

Rationale behind the new physical education standards

Strategies to develop or revise existing standards

How to evolve their programs so they become “Standards-based”

Importance of developing physically literate individuals

When: Monday, November 17th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern  

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, and after school teachers and staff

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view recorded webinar.

October  2014

Join the Global PE Community – Online!

Social media is being used by Physical Education teachers around the world to improve their teaching practice through networking, collaborating, and sharing ideas and resources.  Join this professional family and participate in meaningful PD opportunities wherever you want to, whenever you want to, on any device (tablet, iPad, laptop, smart phone, etc.) you’d like to use!

If you’re new to Twitter, this webinar will introduce you and help you get started.  If you’re already on Twitter, you’ll learn how to maximize the experience and have FUN making friends and learning with others in the #PhysEd world.  Twitter and this webinar are FREE, but the resources and support are PRICELESS.

We're excited to have @MissHartl as this month’s guest speaker!  Naomi Hartl is a physical educator in Saskatchewan, Canada and is well known for incorporating meaningful technology in her classes. She has been tweeting as long as she has been teaching and loves to connect, collaborate and share with fellow passionate educators. You can check out her channel on YouTube as an example of some of the excellent video resources she has shared. This is your chance to hear her live!

Attendees will learn:

  • Twitter 101 - brief basics and overview
  • How to connect with professionals within the physical education community
  • What collaboration and sharing within the AMAZING #PhysEd community really looks like. Go Team #PhysEd!

When: Wednesday, October 15th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern  

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, and after school teachers and staff

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recorded webinar.

September 2014

Dance Like No One is Watching!

Featuring 2014 SHAPE America National Dance Teacher of the Year MacKenzie Mushel Ellis!

Do you hear groans and moans when you announce it’s time to dance?  Are you feeling a little rhythmically challenged yourself?  Some teachers avoid teaching dance even though it is a required and important part of our physical education standards.  Why?  A lot of instructors are just uncomfortable because they think the spotlight needs to be cast on them.  Let’s spin it around and shine the spotlight on the kids!

Attend the next free SPARK webinar to learn creative ways to teach dance and strategies to engage your students.  And who better to present these innovative ideas and successful strategies than the 2014 SHAPE America National Dance Teacher of the Year!  We are honored to have MacKenzie Mushel Ellis with us to share her knowledge and experience.  We know she’ll motivate you to not only teach dance but to make it the best period of your day! You’ll leave wanting to dance like no one is watching!

Attendees will learn:

  • Why dance is integral to EVERY physical education program
  • Instructional strategies that increase students’ participation and enjoyment
  • Techniques that move teachers from direct and command style instruction to inclusion and student empowerment
  • Sample dance lessons that are inclusive, active, and fun for grades K-12

When: Wednesday, September 17th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern  

Who: Grades K-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, and after school teachers and staff

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recorded webinar.

August 2014

Building a Foundation for Quality Physical Education -- It Begins on Day 1

For many teachers, the first few weeks of school are an emotional rollercoaster.  So much to prepare for, so much to do!  We all know it’s important to establish a positive learning environment from the very first minute with our students; yet how exactly do we accomplish that?  How do we set the right tone, introduce learning objectives, establish protocols for class management, and foster an atmosphere of cooperation and trust?

Attend this free SPARK webinar and leave with strategies and activities that lay a solid foundation for student learning, ready to build upon.  Brick by brick, your program will grow the entire year!

Join SPARK Project Specialist Jeff Mushkin and guest speaker Steve Bruecker for this webinar.  Steve has over 33 years of teaching experience, a master’s degree in physical education, and was the 1999 National Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year.  He began implementing SPARK into his classes in 1995 and became a SPARK middle school trainer in June 2002.

Attendees will learn:

  • Ideas for introducing, teaching, and assessing social skills
  • Strategies for implementing student-centered guidelines, expectations, and routines
  • Sample cooperation and trust activities for the first few weeks of school

When: Wednesday, August 20th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern  

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recording.

July 2014

Building Blocks for Tots

Teaching Movement Skills During Structured Physical Activity Time

Play is essential for all young children.  Through play and unstructured physical activity, children learn how to get along with others -- share, take turns, and develop their imaginations and creativity.  In a quality, structured Early Childhood (EC) program, children also learn and develop a wide variety of locomotor, non-locomotor, rhythmic, balance, and object manipulation skills.

During preschool, there should be ample opportunities for exploration and free play – and -- progressive and sequential skill development time.  In fact, all young children should engage in 60 minutes of unstructured and structured physical activity each day.  While schools present a great opportunity for children to participate in structured physical activity, some teachers lack the training or resources to provide it.

Attend the next free SPARK webinar and you’ll learn how to design and/or enhance your structured physical activity program with evidence-based resources and proven EC strategies.  You’ll soon have more fun teaching physical activity and be smiling right along with your students!

Attendees will learn:

  • The benefits of structured activity for young children
  • Strategies to implement age-appropriate structured activities
  • Sample lessons and music that can add a SPARK to any EC class

When: Wednesday, July 23rd at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern  

Who: Preschool, child care or Early Childhood teachers and program staff, administrators, and parents.

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recording.

June 2014

KISS- Keep it Simple with SPARK: Fun, Easy Games for Young Learners

When we see kids on the playground it is easy to tell that most are naturally physically active and love to move around.  We would love to capture that energy when providing organized activities in school and out. But it can be a challenge to come up with new, fun games to keep children involved and active each day.

Attend the next SPARK webinar to learn new activities to help you provide fun, highly active physical activity for young children Kindergarten through 3rd grade. In addition, we will share strategies for engaging all children and building skills along the way.

Come learn a variety of exciting, field-tested activities that will be easy for children to learn, and simple for you to teach!

Attendees will learn:

  • Innovative ideas for motivating young learners to be physically active
  • Effective strategies that engage ALL children in movement
  • Simple, fun and easy games to play with children

When: Wednesday, June 18th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern  

Who: After School, summer camp, and out-of-school-time teachers and program staff, Grades K-3 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, and parents.

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recording.

May 2014  (2)

Common Core and YOU: Making Connections

As a physical educator, you’ve probably heard of the new Common Core State Standards and are wondering,

“What does this mean for my students – and me?”

Today more than ever, teachers are being held accountable to prove their students are learning.  The demand on teachers, administrators, and schools to deliver data driven results is a challenge facing everyone.

This SPARK webinar will help prepare and motivate K-12 physical educators to not only embrace Common Core, but to THRIVE!  Attendees will learn physical education specific lesson structures that optimize learning AND MVPA while making administrators smile.  You’ll come away with access to free lesson plans, examples of alignment documents, and assessment tools you’ll want to use with your students tomorrow!

Attendees will learn:

  • Define and explain how physical activity correlates to students’ academic performance
  • Draw alignments between physical education content and the Common Core State Standards Initiative
  • Implement lessons that maximize physical activity time (MVPA) while addressing Common Core Standards

When: Wednesday, May 21st at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern  

Who: Grades K-12 physical educators and administrators

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recording.

Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs

Resources for Integrating Physical Activity Throughout the School Day

SPARK is celebrating National Physical Fitness and Sports Month by hosting a FREE webinar on developing a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP).

A CSPAP is a multi-component approach by which school districts/schools use all available opportunities for students to be physically active, meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be lifelong movers.

Our featured guest speaker will be Jamie Sparks, from the Kentucky Department of Education.  Jamie will introduce and discuss a new collaborative effort called the Physical Activity Leader (PAL) Learning System.  PAL is a professional development resource designed to develop and support individuals who will champion an effort in their local schools/school district to ensure 60 minutes a day of physical activity for all school-age youth.

Joining Jamie will be Dr. Kymm Ballard to will share relevant resources from Let’s Move! Active Schools.

Attendees will learn:

  • Components of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program
  • Information on how to become a Physical Activity Leader
  • Resources available to create a more Active School

When: Wednesday, May 7th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern  Special date!

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recording.

April 2014
What’s on your “Play” list?

Using Music to Motivate and Move Your Students

You don’t have to be an American Idol or contestant on The Voice to love music!  If you teach physical education Pre-K through university level, or lead physical activity sessions in your classroom, or work as a youth leader in an after school program, you know how positively your kids respond to music.

Music helps you create a more positive learning environment, improve participation, and increase the number of smiles!  Music may be used to start and stop activity, establish a mood – slow and mellow for cool-down, or fast and upbeat for a high intensity workout.  Are there other creative and enjoyable ways to use music during movement opportunities?  You bet!

Register now for the next SPARK webinar and you’ll leave ready to download new teaching strategies to your “play list!”

Attendees will learn:

  • How music may be used to increase student activity levels (MVPA)
  • Why music can be a great class management tool
  • Playlist choices/recommended songs for different classes and grade levels

When: Wednesday, April 16th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recording.

March 2014

Gearing Up for School Health: Riding the Path to a Comprehensive School Health Program

You can’t ride a bicycle unless all the parts are working together to give you a smooth ride to your destination.  Likewise, a successful comprehensive school health program (CSHP) must have all components working together for one common goal - building healthier students. Join the next SPARK webinar to learn strategies for building your program and leave with an action plan to make it happen.

A comprehensive school health program can lead your school down that path by guiding the implementation of programs, policies, and activities to improve the health of children. Our guest speaker is Jessica Lawrence of Cairn Guidance will share her experiences in building a CSHP. So register now to start the journey towards a healthy school environment!

Attendees will learn:

  • The relationship of health issues to education accountability measures
  • About the CSH model and how CSHP fits into the model, and hear examples
  • Information on how to build sustainable school health programs
  • The role physical activity and physical education play in a successful CSHP
  • Next steps to start building your CSHP program

When: Wednesday, March 19th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades K-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, and parents

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recording.

February 2014

Learning Cooperatively in Physical Education – and Beyond!

Many teachers include cooperative games and activities in their PE and PA programs. However, just because students work in groups does not mean they are cooperating – or – learning! Effective cooperatives foster positive learning environments, increase student participation, and promote appropriate social behaviors and skills. This webinar will dissect a variety of cooperative activities and teaching strategies then apply them to K-12 movement sessions in the “real-world.” You’ll leave with free access to the resources introduced during the webinar so you can try them with your students the next day!

Attendees will learn:

  • Benefits of cooperative learning vs. competitive and individual learning
  • Integrating cooperative learning strategies into PE and PA classes/sessions
  • Sample cooperative learning activities for all grade levels

When: Wednesday, February 19th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades K-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, and after school program staff

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recording

January 2014

More Bang for YOUR Buck

"Effective Teaching Strategies for Large Class Sizes"

As school budgets decrease, physical education class sizes grow.  Large class sizes limit learning and teacher feedback, and usually have a negative effect on the student MVPA levels (time engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity).

Research shows smaller classes are associated with higher achievement at all grade levels.  Unfortunately, physical educators must play with the hand they are dealt.  We need to maximize our time and resources to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to learn.

Attend this SPARK webinar and learn strategies large class/limited space strategies that really work!

Attendees will learn:

  • Benefits of reducing class sizes
  • Recommendations for schools and after school programs
  • Strategies for large groups and/or limited space

When: Wednesday, January 15th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the full webinar recording

November 2013

Let's Level the Playing Field!

"Differentiating Activities to Engage all Students"

Students come to us with different backgrounds, experiences and skill levels. If we want each child to learn, be actively engaged, and experience success, we cannot use the same content and instruction on everyone. It is important to modify the activities we teach and create environments where all students are challenged and ultimately, improve their health. But how?

We can improve opportunities for students to practice and develop their unique skills, use different teaching strategies so students can learn and participate at a level they feel comfortable with, and improve fitness by allowing more time for movement activities.

Join us for the next SPARK Webinar to learn how to apply inclusionary strategies and differentiate activities to engage all students. You’ll leave with the tools and resources you need to create activity sessions that foster individual success!

Attendees will learn:

  • Inclusionary strategies that lead to higher levels of participation
  • How to differentiate learning to better meet the needs of the individual
  • Ways to modify lessons to increase moderate to vigorous physical activity levels
  • Lesson plans that incorporate these strategies

When: Wednesday, November 20th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 Minutes

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the full webinar recording

October 2013

“You're it!”  Tag Games for Everybody

Don’t flee from this webinar! Does your physical education and/or physical activity program include chasing and fleeing games? We hope so! Tag games are high MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity) and may be used to teach/reinforce a variety of movement skills, social skills, nutrition and health concepts.

Join us for this free webinar and enjoy the new ideas we wrap around old activities to make them more inclusive, active, and fun. You’ll leave ready to incorporate new tag games into your PE and After School programs for grades K-12. You’re it!

When: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12th grade Teachers and Administrators, After School Staff, Parents, Community Members

Duration: 1 hour

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the full webinar recording

September 2013 Webinar #2:

“Active Indoors, Outdoors, Everywhere!”

Increasing Activity During Recess and in the Classroom

Did you know there are 6 opportunities on school campuses to get students moving? Attend this webinar to learn all six and how you can turn your campus into a Movement Mecca!

We all know increasing physical activity minutes throughout the day is great for a child’s body – and mind.  The data are clear, healthy kids are better learners! This session will provide movement lessons for the classroom (yes classroom teachers, we hope you’ll join us!) that align with new Common Core Standards and support STEM.  And, everyone will learn how to increase movement opportunities before school, during break and lunch recesses, during PE, and after school too.

Attendees will learn:

  • Classroom ASAP’s (Active Soon As Possible) that refocus and energize K-6 students
  • Activities that teach and reinforce Common Core learning standards
  • Planning and implementation resources that foster Remarkable Recesses!

When: Wednesday, September 25th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Classroom Teachers, Recess Staff, K-12 Physical Educators and Administrators

Duration: 1 hour

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recording

September 2013 Webinar #1

School Health Assessments

With Guest Speakers from CDC, ASCD & Alliance for a Healthier Generation

We all know healthy students are better learners. So how can we ensure we're providing them with an environment that facilitates and encourages healthy behavior on a daily basis?

A school health assessment/inventory is a powerful tool to help identify strengths and weaknesses of school health policies and programs and provide direction for improvement efforts. We're excited to bring together representatives from the three leading school health assessments/inventories as guest speakers for this webinar, including:

  • Seraphine Pitt Barnes (Division of Population Health, School Health Branch, CDC)
  • Sean Slade (Director, Whole Child Programs, ASCD)
  • Sarah Titzer (Healthy Schools Program Director, Alliance for a Healthier Generation)

Click Here to view the recording

August 2013:

Raising Awareness for Quality Physical Education

Physical education programs are being eliminated or reduced because of budget reductions or the perceived need for increased time for academic core subjects in order to raise test scores. Despite efforts to create an awareness of the need for Physical Education, teachers sometimes find themselves in the position of having to defend their program from elimination.

Being a PE advocate means speaking up and making sure your PE program is adequate. How can you do this?

Attend the next SPARK webinar and learn about strategies and resources to advocate for your PE program or your child's PE program. Being an advocate involves being a supporter for quality, evidence-based physical education and that means supporting a healthier future for all of us.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to promote your program by highlighting the benefits of physical education programs in schools.
  • How to identify and communicate with the right people to help support your program.
  • The components of a quality physical education program.
  • How to get resources to build and improve your program.

When: Wednesday August 21, 2013

Click here to view the recording

June 2013:

Save Your (Home) Environment! Healthy Ideas & Strategies for Parents

Is your home environment being overtaken by couch potatoes?  Is your fridge full of frozen, fried, and fattening treats?  Do you need protection from those summertime temptations – excessive screen time and nasty snack foods?  Then leap up from the sofa and join us for the next SPARK webinar!

Summer is a great time to launch new family eating and physical activity habits!  Families are spending more time together, fresh fruits and vegetables are more plentiful, and the weather is more conducive to getting people outside and moving. As a parent, how can you promote more physical activity options?  What types of snacks are inexpensive and easy to make?  Our webinar this month will answer these questions and more. The presentation will include:

  • Modeling healthy habits
  • Opportunities for physical activity in your community
  • Simple snacks and meals
  • Importance of energy balance
  • Websites to provide additional resources

Our featured speaker this month is Valerie Newcomb from Healthy Weight Commitment who will share the Together Counts program, a free online hub for families that provides tips, tools and community resources to help families eat healthy and be more active together.

When: Wednesday, June 19th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Parents, Community Members, PreK-12 Teachers and Administrators

Duration: 1 hour

Cost: Free

Click Here to view the recording

May 2013:

Coordinated School Health:

Start Your Engine with a Healthy School Report Card

Featuring a guest speaker from ASCD!

Is your school/district’s motor running a little rough?  Are you interested in “igniting” a healthier school environment?  Then join us for a revved- up webinar that’s sure to fire your SPARKplugs!

We are excited to once again have a special guest speaker from ASCD, an organization that's served as a global thought leader in education for decades – even longer back than your last oil change.  You’ll learn how the Healthy School Report Card (HSRC) can be used to assess the horsepower of your school/district’s current programs and drive you towards positive changes that support student learning and achievement.  And did you know there are 9 levers of school change?  Yep, we’ll open up the hood and find those too.  Plus, you’ll receive a sneak peak at the Online Analysis Tool that can help you organize your school wellness plan, prioritize goals, track progress, and add more smiles to your miles.

When: Wednesday, May 15th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

April 2013:

Learn More About Common Core:

Connecting Physical Education to Common Core Standards (with a guest speaker from ASCD)

With schools aligning with common core standards, it is important that physical education teachers play an ACTIVE role supporting this initiative. Attend this free webinar and learn more about common core standards and how to address them during physical education classes. We are excited to have a guest speaker from ASCD, an organization that's served as a global thought leader in education for decades, join us to provide expert commentary and insight!

Attendees will learn:

  • What Common Core is and why it is important
  • The role physical education can play addressing CC standards
  • Ideas and strategies to integrate CC with physical education classes

When: Wednesday, April 24th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

March 2013:

Xtreme Student Makeover

Does your physical education class have that same ole’ tired look?  Have you been frustrated by students unwilling to participate fully?  Have you ever contemplated disbursing eye shadow and energy drinks?  Don’t do it!

Instead, attend the next FREE SPARK webinar and learn how to create a positive and motivating learning environment for your students.  We’ll share strategies to improve student behaviors via compelling content and exciting instruction.  Need simple, effective, class management strategies?  We’ve got those for you too.

So register for this webinar and make all your classes more attractive – to you at least!

Attendees will learn strategies to:

  • Establish Expectations
    • Creating structure through routines and positive protocols
  • Provide Positive Teacher Interactions
    • Building relationships with students; providing authentic feedback and encouragement
  • Maintaining Appropriate Behavior
    • Holding students accountable through a combination of reinforcement and consequences

When: Wednesday, March 20th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

February 2013:

Introducing:  SPARK After School!

SPARK knows youth leaders have challenges!  They are responsible for both unstructured and structured play, choosing activities that are inclusive, active, and fun; modifying their programs for limited space and insufficient equipment, and differentiating learning for myriad ages and abilities.

The NEW SPARK AS program was designed to help by providing leaders with awesome activities, relevant resources, and super skill and sport strategies that engage students physically and mentally. We call it After School, but this program is really for anyone who might lead kids ages 5-14+ in activity opportunities:  A youth leader for a school district, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, Parks and Recreation Dept., Summer Camp, or even a parent or coach.

Join us for this webinar and learn about teaching Cool Cooperatives, Great Games, Fitness Fun, and the amazing resources on SPARKfamily.org!

Attendees will learn:

  • SPARK's new ASAP (Active Soon As Possible) concepts and samples
  • How to access new SPARKfit tools, watch AS videos, and use assessment tools -- anywhere, anytime!
  • Where to find resources that support STEM and help youth leaders integrate with core subjects

When: Wednesday, February 20th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

January 2013:

SPARKfamily.org: Tools to Build a Better Program

Whether you are new to SPARK or have been a family member for years, this webinar is guaranteed to provide post-holiday family counseling :)

SPARKfamily.org is a password-protected website where you can access an extensive library of digital content to enhance your Physical Education, After School or Early Childhood program.  Participate in this guided tour of our electronic curriculum manuals, instructional video clips, assessment tools, circuit training videos, skill and task cards, academic integration lessons, and much, much, more. Take this opportunity to learn how to better utilize this amazing website and take advantage of all SPARK has to offer!

Attendees will learn:

  • How to access and navigate the SPARKfamily.org website
  • What new tools and instructional content are available
  • New resources coming in 2013!

When: Wednesday, January 16th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

November 2012:

How To Use DonorsChoose.org To Help Fund Your PE Program

SPARK knows your budget is tighter than a tick and we don’t want money to keep you and your students from the evidence-based resources you need.  That’s why we’ve partnered with DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit website that matches benevolent donors to YOUR SPARK curriculum needs.

Participate in this webinar and our DonorsChoose.org expert, Sierra Collister, will walk you through the easy steps to be positioned for success.  Once you’re set up online, there’s an 80% chance your request (if less than $400) will be funded!

Attendees will learn:

  1. How the Donor’s Choose website works and how to place your name and needs online
  2. What SPARK products are available that you can ask to have donated to you
  3. What other School Specialty products and services are eligible for funding

When: Wednesday, November 28th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

October 2012:

Activity Breaks for the Classroom: the ABC’s of Movement and Learning

“Sit down and be quiet!”  Students across the country are often expected to be sedentary for extended periods of time in order to maximize learning outcomes. But research shows this is not always the most effective way for students to learn. In fact, the amount of information retained by students declines significantly after only ten minutes of instruction in a sedentary setting. What can you do to better engage your students?

Attend the next SPARK webinar and learn how activity breaks can help your students stay energized and focused throughout the school day. We’ll share fun, easy, and effective strategies to break up your instructional time and improve student learning.  Imagine their reaction when you start telling them to “get up and move!”

Attendees will learn:

  • How physical activity can affect student achievement
  • When, Where and How to use activity breaks.
  • Where to find sample activities to use in your classroom

When: Wednesday, October 17th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

September 2012:

Grants & Funding$$$ for YOUR Program or Project

Budgets are tighter than a tick but there IS MONEY available for PreK-12 physical education, health and wellness, childhood obesity prevention, and more!  Participate in this webinar and hear from two very successful grantees, Jayne Greenberg (Miami-Dade) and Kim Butler (Sweetwater).  Jayne and Kim will share “Success stories from start to finish” – searching, writing, submitting, and executing on a timeline after the good news is received.  If you are a PEP hopeful, a Community Transformation Grant applicant, or a dedicated teacher whose students could benefit from some financial support, this webinar is for YOU.

Attendees will learn:

  • Where the money is and how to get it!
  • How to overcome barriers to submission success
  • The 3 most important grants and funding lessons learned from our experts

When: Wednesday, September 19th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

August 2012:

Staff Wellness -- YOUR Health Matters Too!

Employee health care costs have skyrocketed in the past decade and there seems to be no relief in sight. School districts pay higher premiums, and these increases are often passed along to the school staff.  Reducing the number of employee sick days while providing a healthier environment for all staff are worthy goals.  To be our best we have to feel our best!

Attend this SPARK Webinar and learn about “teacher specific” health issues as well as authentic and effective prevention strategies.  We’ll focus on three key topics:  Physical activity, healthy eating, and stress management, and how they relate to YOU.  We know teachers who achieve work/life balance have more energy, sleep better, and serve as healthy lifestyle role models for their students.  Sound good?  Air pop some healthy popcorn and don’t miss this webinar!

Attendees will learn about strategies related to:

  • Physical activity: Simple and easy ways to implement strategies for adding more activity minutes during the work day and how to create and support a more active environment at work.
  • Nutrition: Energy balance, Portion sizes, goal setting, healthy fundraisers and supporting a healthy environment for yourself and peers at work.
  • Stress Management: Different types of stress and strategies to manage it, prioritizing daily tasks, stress reducing activities, maintaining work/life balance.

When: Wednesday, August 15th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

May 2012:

Build Your Field of Dreams:

Planning a Successful Field Day for Your School

The end of the school is fast approaching. For many students, the most anticipated event of the year is the Annual Field Day.  Students can’t wait to showcase their skills and participate in a variety of fun and exciting games.  But planning and hosting a successful field day is a big undertaking that often requires recruiting an army of teachers and parent volunteers.  Managing hundreds of students and adults while they’re active can be stressful -- And that’s assuming the weather cooperates!

Register now for our next webinar and learn the “Do’s and Don’ts” of a fantastic Field Day.  We’ll share innovative ideas, best practices from Field Day fanatics, and provide examples of engaging activities your students will be talking about until NEXT year’s Field Day!

Attendees will learn:

  • Secret suggestions for planning and organizing your Field Day
  • Tricks and tips for recruiting volunteers
  • Awesomely active activities for different age groups

When: Wednesday, May 16th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

April 2012:

Apps for PE Teachers: “Don't be a Sap, Know Your Apps!”

Today, more and more teachers are looking for ways to integrate their smart phones and iPads (and other tablets) with their physical education and health courses.  Attend this webinar and learn about physical education/health "App all-stars!"

You'll learn how these Apps can be used with students in a variety of class settings.  Leave with free access to a website that continually reviews and recommends the best Physical Education Apps.  This session is guaranteed to SPARK an interest in APPlied technology and shock you with relevance and APPlication.

Attendees will learn:

  • Apps that can help them engage students and maximize outcomes
  • Where to find and how to acquire the Apps
  • Of a resource center with App reviews -- and how to submit your own favorite Apps for consideration

When: Wednesday, April 18th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

March 2012:

Attend SPARK's High School Reunion!

Looking to reconnect with your old physical education flame?  Wondering if Sue Sylvester really does teach PE in Lima, Ohio?

Times have changed in high school physical education – besides much longer shorts and far fewer coaches with mustaches.  Today’s physical educators and health professionals assume the responsibility of teaching students the physical and behavioral skills they need to be active and make healthy choices the rest of their lives.

Participate in the next SPARK webinar and learn how our NEW High School Program brings fitness and skill development to the top of the graduating class.  Experience how student directed learning, differentiated instruction, and sport education are used to motivate today’s teens and maximize student participation and outcomes.  So slip on your best polyester coaching shorts, rummage through your drawer for that gamey whistle and lanyard, and let’s reunite online with your old friends around some new ideas and resources.

Attendees will learn:

  • The importance of integrating self-management and behavioral concepts into high school physical education
  • The components of the new SPARK HS PE Curriculum including:
    • Game-Based Units reinforcing self-assessment, goal setting, team building, and authentic participation
    • Fitness-Based Units offering students successful participation in a variety of activity options modeled after choices they'll likely have access to as adults
    • Character Matters teaching social skills and reinforcing expectations
  • How to access FREE sample lesson plans and resources you can try with your students on Monday

When: Wednesday, March 21st at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

February 2012

“Dancing with the SPARK Stars”

Strategies To Get YOUR Students on the Dance Floor

Do you shy away when it comes to teaching dance?  Or are you having trouble maximizing student participation during your dance unit?  Maybe you could use some fresh ideas for teaching dance and rhythms?  Tune in to our next episode of Dancing With the SPARK Stars and learn strategies that will help your dance program achieve a perfect “10”!

Don’t wait for us to count you down -- choose one of your two left feet then take the first step by registering for our February webinar!

Attendees will learn:

  • Why dance is an integral part of a quality physical education/activity program
  • Components of an effective standards-based dance unit
  • Instructional strategies that increase students’ participation in dance
  • Sample dance lessons that are inclusive, active, and fun for grades K-12

When: Wednesday, February 15th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

January 2012

“Fitness Assessment in Physical Education” with Guest Speaker Shellie Pfohl

Measuring student fitness levels is an integral part of any quality Physical Education program.  Fitness assessment fosters student engagement and improvement, and may be used to support concepts taught in the classroom.

Unfortunately, this type of assessment becomes the basis for grading student performance in physical education class. Instead, fitness assessment should be used as part of the ongoing process of teaching students to understand, enjoy, and improve their physical fitness and well-being.

Featuring guest speaker Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, this webinar will explore tools and resources used to measure fitness levels and help students understand why consistent physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.

Attendees will learn:

  • What components comprise a quality physical education program
  • How to appropriately assess student’s fitness levels
  • What resources are provided from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
  • Where tools are for students to access and self-monitor their progress

When: Wednesday, January 18th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

December 2011

Pedometers: Why? How? Which Ones?

Pedometers are being used all over the country to motivate students to be more active in physical education classes.  Instead of avoiding activity, electronic gadgets can help engage students in moderate to vigorous activity as well as make learning fun.  Attend the next SPARK webinar to learn strategies for integrating pedometers into your physical education classes.

Attendees will learn:

  • How pedometers can benefit your physical education class
  • What to look for when selecting the right pedometers
  • How to use pedometers to assess fitness levels
  • Where to find lesson plans integrating pedometers

When: Thursday, December 8th at 12pm Pacific, 3pm Eastern

Please note the special day/time for December's webinar listed above

Who: PEP Grant Winners and all grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 30 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

November 2011

“FUN”draising – A Healthier Way to $upport Your $chool

Each year, schools across the nation use fundraisers to subsidize underfunded programs and activities.  Does your school sell cookie dough or candy bars to raise money?  While this may be a popular choice, the reality is it promotes unhealthy behaviors and sends the wrong message to students, staff, and parents.

Sign up for the next SPARK webinar and learn effective strategies for putting the FUN back in FUNdraising and make it a healthy (and profitable) experience!

Attendees will learn:

  • Why and how healthy FUNdraisers support coordinated school health
  • Ways to assess fundraisers and choose the one that’s best for you
  • Sample fundraising ideas that work!  Featured FUNdraiser:  The American Diabetes Association School Walk

When: Wednesday, November 30th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

October 2011

SPARKfamily.org: “A Website You Can't Refuse...”

Everyone wants to be a member of THIS family.  SPARKfamily.org is a special, password-protected website where you can access a library of effective digital content to support your program.  Attend this webinar and enjoy a guided tour of instructional video clips, assessment tools, circuit training videos, skill and task cards, academic integration lessons, "Homeplays" and more. And if you’re not yet a member you'll leave with a FREE trial membership!

Attendees will:

  • Learn where and how to access FREE resources to enhance their current programs
  • Participate in sample activities from the SPARKfamily.org site
  • Leave with at least 3 new content and instructional strategies they can use with their students

When: Wednesday, October 19th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to to view the Recording

September 2011

“Take SPARK for a Test Drive!”

Introducing the New SPARK Middle School Physical Education Program

Thinking of trading in your Middle School program and upgrading to something bigger and better?   Then set your GPS for the address of the next SPARK webinar where you will take their new resources for a spin around the block.  While cruising you’ll learn the standard features of their new SPARK model as well as try out all of the bells and whistles that safely navigate middle school students from Skill Development to Skill Application.

SPARK is unique in that it is the only middle school physical education program available today that can cite its development from the three largest and most significant N.I.H. studies ever on this student/teacher population. This test drive will tour you around a variety of instructional themes, standard-based activities, assessment tools, instructional videos, and teaching strategies you can use to enhance your quality, active physical education program. And just wait until you learn about all the technology advancements!

Attendees will leave our “SPARKing Lot” with information about all-new resources:

  • Over 400 new activities in “Prep, Set, Teach” format
  • Yearly Plan and Individual Grade Level Unit plans
  • Interactive Skill Assessment tools
  • Leveled Portfolio Assessment options
  • SPARKfamily.org MS PE section
  • Lesson, Dance and Circuit-Training videos
  • Active Roll Taking strategies
  • Standards Alignment

When: Wednesday, September 21st at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades 6-8 teachers and administrators and after school staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

August 2011

Physical Education Boot Camp:

Class Management Strategies to Train your Troops

We Need YOU!  SPARK wants your help protecting students from their archenemy- childhood obesity.   We are providing basic training to all educators on how to develop positive learning environments in their schools.  Do you need a ration of simple, effective, class management strategies to march your students towards healthy lifestyles?  Enlist in our next SPARK webinar and learn tactics for establishing protocols, improving foreign relations, and engaging your troops so we all win the battle against childhood obesity!

Attendees will learn strategies to:

  • Establish Expectations
    • Creating structure through routines and positive protocols
  • Provide Positive Teacher Interactions
    • Building relationships with students; providing authentic feedback and encouragement
  • Maintaining Appropriate Behavior
    • Holding students accountable through a combination of reinforcement and consequences

When: Wednesday, August 17th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

July 2011

Balanced Literacy for Young Learners:

Integrating Literature into Physical Activities

Did you know that preschool students should engage in 60 minutes of structured physical activity each day?  That presents a big challenge for teachers trying to teach readiness skills and adequately prepare their students for kindergarten.  So how can teachers provide enough academic content and physical activity on a daily basis?  Attend the next SPARK webinar to learn valuable integration strategies to keep students moving and learning throughout the school day.  Imagine a learning environment where students can learn, have fun, and be healthy all at the same time!

Attendees will learn:

  • How participation in physical activity helps anchor academic concepts
  • Strategies for teaching readiness skills without sacrificing movement time
  • Resources to encourage early literacy through physical activity

When: Wednesday, July 20th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Early childhood teachers, staff and parents

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

June 2011:

“Character is Cool: Building Social Skills through Physical Education”

Creating a positive learning environment is essential for any physical education/physical activity class. Nurturing a student’s self-perception and self-image is a critical variable when teaching students to value physical activity. Negative experiences in a PE or PA class may impact a person well into adulthood. Teaching character and social skills is not unlike teaching fitness or sport skills. Students should understand the “learnable pieces,” practice them in authentic situations, receive feedback, and process their learning. 

Attend the next SPARK webinar and learn how to integrate social skills into YOUR program, and/or tips on how you can take your existing social skills component to the next level. The creator of Skillastics®, Sandy “Spin” Slade, will share her personal and professional experiences as well as introduce you to an exciting new resource that teaches character education and helps combat bullying.

Attendees will learn:

  • The role social skills instruction, reinforcement, and assessment plays in PE/PA classes
  • How to integrate social skills into PE and PA programs and lessons
  • Where to obtain effective social skills resources and tools

When: Wednesday, June 15th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view the recording

May 2011:

“Tools of the Trade” How the Right Equipment Can Affect Outcomes

Whether your students are throwing, catching, dribbling or striking, equipment is an essential component of every physical education/physical activity lesson.  Yet, we often underestimate the impact of choosing the right (or wrong) equipment, and fail to consider how our choices might affect student outcomes.

What types of equipment do you really need?  What should you look for in terms of quality, durability, and age-appropriateness?  Today’s physical education equipment is more dynamic and efficacious than ever – and has evolved far beyond regulation volleyballs (ouch!) and NFL size footballs (ooops!).  Fortunately, there are new and exciting resources available to help you differentiate learning, foster creativity, and ensure all children participate and experience success in movement environments.

Register for the next SPARK Webinar and learn:

  • How equipment can affect student outcomes
  • Why choosing age-appropriate and content-matched equipment is so important
  • How to find new and innovative products that promote participation and measure/maximize results

When: Wednesday, May 18th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar

April 2011:

Escaping the “Fitness” Protection Program: Tools for Providing Active PE

Is your school a member of the “Fitness” Protection Program? Hiding MVPA from your students is a serious crime. If your physical education or physical actvity program is guilty, then perhaps it’s time you and your colleagues take the oath and commit to providing active programs. Participate in the next SPARK webinar and learn:

  • Why active PE is needed, why it’s different, and how to know if/when you are achieving it
  • The importance of increasing student MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity) levels
  • Strategies that add fitness without sacrificing skill development
  • Where to go for resources that support HOPE (Health Optimizing Physical Education)

When: Wednesday, April 20th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of this webinar.

March 2011:

“Driving” for Quality Physical Education Programs Everywhere

We’re very excited to announce that golf legend Annika Sorenstam will be a guest speaker during this month’s SPARK webinar! Annika will speak about her passion for healthier children and discuss the initiatives her Foundation is undertaking to support quality physical education in America’s schools.

Since 1989, SPARK researchers and educators have been creating, implementing, and evaluating programs to counter childhood obesity and promote lifelong wellness. Data show that one of the more effective strategies for improving children’s health is ensuring they participate in a active and efficacious physical education program. What does a quality physical education program look like? What health-related student and teacher outcomes might it produce?

Attend the next SPARK webinar and help us answer these questions and others; and perhaps you’ll join the Annika Foundation and SPARK in their efforts to support HOPE – Health Optimized Physical Education -- for everyone.

Attendees will learn:

  • Characteristics and indicators of quality physical education programs
  • Success stories from schools that have executed positive changes
  • Resources that exist to assess and improve physical education programs

When: Wednesday, March 16th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar

February 2011:

Early Childhood Physical Activity: “It's My Party and I'll Play if I Want To!”

Do you invite your young learners to the physical activity "party" in your class each day? Do your children enjoy moving in new and creative ways, playing with a variety of colorful manipulatives, and dancing to engaging music? Register for the next SPARK webinar and take these "party favors" home with you!

Attendees will learn:

  • Innovative ideas for motivating young learners to be physically active
  • Effective strategies that engage ALL students in movement
  • Compelling activities from a brand new Early Childhood physical activity program

When: Wednesday, February 16th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Early childhood teachers, staff and parents

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar

January 2011:

I’ll have a Side Order of… Nutrition?

All schools serve the same entrees in education: language arts, math, science, social studies, etc. But just as students need a balanced meal they also need a balanced education. How about choosing a side order of nutrition education as well? If you’re having trouble fitting nutrition education onto your plate, attend our January Webinar to learn how easily nutrition can be integrated into core content areas like math, science, language arts, and physical education!

Attendees will learn:

  • Simple ways to teach kids about healthy eating including: eating breakfast, healthy snacks, beverages, portion sizes, fruits and veggies
  • Where to find easy lesson ideas that teach about energy balance, active play, body image, and weight management
  • Strategies to integrate nutrition education in the school day routine and help students to build lifelong skills and healthy habits
  • How the new Healthy Kids Challenge curriculum (out in 1/11) will help you prepare students to be fit, healthy, and ready to learn!

When: Wednesday, January 19th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar

November 2010:

Walkin’ for a Cause: School Walk and American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month, and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has created a program to educate students about making Healthy lifestyle choices while raising money for their school!

The program is called “School Walk for Diabetes” and they have teamed up with SPARK to help STOP Diabetes® by promoting physical activity in schools.

Attend this webinar and learn:

  • How to earn money to purchase educational materials and equipment for YOUR school!
  • More about the ADA and what free resources they offer to teachers
  • How School Walk supports your Coordinated School Health program
  • Benefits of participating in School Walk
  • Other ways ADA can support youth in your community

When: Wednesday, November 17th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

October 2010:

Integrating Technology: Authentic Assessment in Physical Education

How do you assess your students? Do you measure effort by their attendance, participation, behavior, or whether or not they dress out? Why not use assessment tools that accurately measure student involvement and physical activity levels?

Using technology in physical education can be a powerful motivational and evaluative tool. Attend this SPARK webinar and learn how to incorporate authentic assessment using pedometers, heart rate monitors and iPads to measure student progress.

Attendees will learn:

  • Benefits of using technology in physical education
  • Examples of technology currently being used in schools
  • Sample assessments for measuring student progress
  • Where to look for funding to add technology to your program

When: Wednesday, October 13th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar

September 2010:

Parent Involvement

Did you know research has shown parent involvement can improve students’ academic achievement, behavior, and self-esteem? How do YOU outreach to parents and solicit their support for the programs you provide for their children? How involved should parents be in the choices their children make on campus, and how to connect those choices with the home environment?

Whether you are a physical education specialist, classroom teacher, administrator, or parent volunteer, we encourage you to attend our next SPARK Webinar and receive the answers to these questions; and learn how to get parents more involved in YOUR programs.

Attendees will:

  • Understand the why, what and how of parent involvement as it relates to their child's education
  • Learn of We Can! (a National Institutes of Health program) that engages the entire community
  • Hear effective strategies parents can use to help their children make healthy choices
  • Receive resources to foster parent advocacy for quality physical education, nutritious school lunches and healthy school environments
  • Leave with access to sample activities schools can provide to parents and their children.

When: Wednesday, September 15th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of this Webinar (Note- may take 10-15 seconds to begin playing)

August 2010:

One Size Really Doesn’t Fit All

Modifying Activities to Include All Students

Students come to us with different backgrounds, experiences and skill levels. If we want each child to learn, be actively engaged, and experience success, we cannot use the same content and instruction on everyone. It is important to modify the activities we teach and create environments where all students are challenged and ultimately, improve their health. But how?

We can improve opportunities for students to practice and develop their unique skills, use different teaching strategies so students can learn and participate at a level they feel comfortable with, and improve fitness by allowing more time for movement in daily lessons.

Join us for the next SPARK Webinar to learn how to apply inclusionary strategies and differentiate learning. You’ll leave with the tools and resources you need to create physical education/activity sessions that foster individual success!

Attendees will learn:

  • Inclusionary strategies that lead to higher levels of participation
  • How to differentiate learning to better meet the needs of the individual
  • Ways to modify lessons to increase moderate to vigorous physical activity levels
  • Where to access lesson plans that incorporate these strategies

In addition, all attendees will leave with the presentation with access to sample lesson plans that incorporate these new strategies.

When: Wednesday, August 18th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of this Webinar (Note- may take 10-15 seconds to begin playing)

July 2010:

Early Childhood Physical Activity

“Scaling New Heights with Tiny Tots"

Do you face an uphill climb trying to provide movement opportunities for children at your preschool? Are you seeing an ever widening crevasse wedged between the questions, “What to teach?” and “How to teach it?”

Choosing the right physical activity curriculum can be a challenging task for both new and experienced climbers. Participate in the next SPARK Webinar and let Early Childhood content experts safely escort you to the summit! You’ll receive a map to guide you down the path of discovering developmentally appropriate activities (sample lesson plans) and teaching strategies that really work on children ages 3-5.

Whether you have already conquered the highest peak or taking the first step on your journey, this webinar will provide useful information you’ll want to keep in your backpack. So, grab your gear and register today!

Attendees will learn:

  • Why physical activity is important for young children and how much is recommended – physical activity guidelines
  • Physical activity’s relationship to learning and school readiness skills
  • Strategies for choosing PA content and examples of quality activities and lesson plans
  • Tools and resources that foster more structured and unstructured physical activity minutes in Preschool settings

When: Wednesday, July 21st at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: All teachers of children ages 3-5 – School districts, Head Starts, WIC Agencies, public and private daycare.

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of this Webinar (Note- may take 10-15 seconds to begin playing)

June 2010:

“SPARK & Recreation”

(Not Amy’s sitcom but we’re hoping she’ll join us)

Do you work for a Parks & Recreation Department, a Boys and Girls Club, a YMCA, or any other public or private after school agency/organization? Do your programs engage youth in physical activity? Then this FREE webinar is for YOU!

We know your barriers: Different age students all there at the same time, equipment challenges, limited space, high attrition rates among staff, etc., and we want to help! The SPARK team of educators and researchers have been studying after school programs since 1995 when they did the “Power Play” project with the University of Tennessee, Memphis. This webinar will share lessons learned from 15 years of “real-world” field-testing, and participants will:

  • Receive FREE lesson plans and content ideas specifically for after school programs
  • Learn teaching strategies that increase activity time and increase appropriate social behavior
  • Understand how to increase MVPA and fitness levels of youth
  • Overcome barriers many after school programs face

So drive over to our SPARKing lot, step out of your fossil fuel guzzler, and we’ll see you at this SPARK & Recreation class on:

When: Wednesday, June 16th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: After School Program Directors, Coordinators and Educators

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

May 2010 Webinar:

Accountability In Physical Education -- How Do YOU Measure Success?

How do YOU determine success in physical education? Is it when your students demonstrate competency in motor skills – or improvements in their fitness scores? Or perhaps when your content offerings include more “lifetime” activities?

Today more than ever, teachers are being held accountable to prove their students are learning. The demand on teachers, administrators, and schools to deliver data driven results is a challenge that faces us all. How relevant is this in physical education? If you only see your students one day per week, what type of student outcomes can be assessed -- and achieved?

Attend our next FREE SPARK Webinar and learn:

  • How accountability in physical education can benefit teachers, schools, and districts
  • How to use authentic assessment to evaluate student performance
  • Strategies to empower your students to be in charge of their own learning

And leave with FREE sample assessment tools and a 10-day free trial to the new SPARKfamily website!

When: Wednesday, May 19th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

April 2010 Webinar:

Teach Students a “Lifestyle Budget”

(Balancing Nutrition and Physical Education)

Are your students currently mired in a physical activity “recession”? Do they go “over budget” by eating too many calories from unhealthy foods? Let’s teach our students the importance of maintaining energy balance through healthy eating (energy in) and participation in daily physical activity (energy out). This webinar will introduce you to our SPARK “health accountant,” who has prepared a diverse menu of delicious activity ideas and tasty teaching strategies.

Attendees will:

  • Understand the benefits of healthy eating and daily physical activity
  • Receive relevant resources:
    • Sample lessons – nutrition and physical activity
    • Websites -- to support student learning
    • Learn strategies for teaching both sides of the energy “scale”

We all want a balanced budget! Now’s the time to balance YOUR students’ “lifestyle budget” and prepare them for a happy, healthy retirement!

When: April 21st, 2010 at 12:30pm Pacific, 3:30pm Eastern. Note the new time!

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

March 2010 Webinar:

Aristotle said,

“I CAN Philosophize While I Exercise!”

OK, you got us – Aristotle probably never said that, but we do know the ancient Greeks were classic multi-taskers – always promoting the mind/body connection. What about you? Is your physical education class reinforcing learning objectives from other academic subjects? Is your classroom integrating physical activity for the high percentage of your students who are kinesthetic learners? If you are a Pre-School through grade 12 teacher or university methods instructor, don’t miss this webinar!

Attendees will leave with:

  • Sample activities that integrate academics and movement in the classroom
  • Effective strategies that bring learning to your PE and PA environment
  • Password access to the new SPARKfamily.org website (the envy of Athens) and its FREE resource library!

Even if this topic is “Greek” to you, join us for a pita full of information and fun.

When: March 17, 2010 at at 3:30pm Pacific, 6:30pm Eastern. Note- the time has been pushed back to 3:30pm (Pacific) for this month!

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

February 2010 Webinar:

Physical Education Grants: Strategies to "Show You the Money!"

If you had more money to spend on your students and physical education program, how would you use it? Would you buy curriculum, attend professional development opportunities, purchase exergaming equipment? Would you create an Exercise Science lab or buy 45 bikes and start a spin class? Participate in this SPARK Webinar and learn:

  • Where the grants are – how to find them
  • Helpful resources and tips for writing, submitting, and winning
  • Success stories from schools and districts that “Got the money!”

When: Wednesday, February 17th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

January 2010 Webinar:

Physical Education and Academics- A Match Made in Heaven?

Some schools have reduced physical education (PE) and/or physical activity (PA) minutes (e.g., recess) to devote more time to academics. How does this strategy affect academic performance? Have there been any scientific studies that support the role of PE and PA? What do the data show?

Participate in our January webinar and find out the answers! And, we'll be providing rationale on the new role of health-promoting PE and PA in our schools, as well as practical tips for advocacy, and strategies to help YOU keep PE and PA an integral component of your school's program.

Attendees will learn:

  • Benefits of physical activity and its effect on academics
  • How PE may not necessarily be providing enough PA to achieve health outcomes
  • Strategies for integrating academics into PE and PA into the classroom
  • Ideas on how you can increase the importance and relevance of PE in schools

When: Wednesday, January 20th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

Click Here to download the PowerPoint slides for this presentation

December 2009 Webinar:

"I'd Rather Chew Aluminum Foil Than Teach Dance!"

Do you have a little less rhythm and a lot more blues when it comes to dance? Attend this webinar and we’ll have you (with the 2 left feet) dancing with your students in no time! You'll learn how to “Break the Touch Barrier” with active dance lead-up games, then learn strategies for teaching dance that moves instruction from command style (and teacher demonstrative) to student directed learning and teacher facilitated. See videos of some of our favorite SPARK dances! Participants will be able to download sample lesson plans, assessment tools, and jigsaw teaching cards. Join us and get excited to teach your dance unit this year!

Attendees will learn:

  • Strategies to help students feel more comfortable learning to dance
  • Alternative styles of teaching dance to make it easier to teach
  • Several dances from the SPARK curriculum that can be taught right away!

When: Wednesday, December 16th at 3pm Pacific, 6pm Eastern (Note -- the SPARK Webinars are now the 3rd Wed. of every month -- Principle of 3's!)

Who: Grades PreK-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

November 2009 Webinar:

"More Activity, Fewer Distractions"

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 none of them are rotten to the core! Some may be a little sweeter than others, but all contribute to a healthy bushel!

This webinar will present strategies that increase appropriate behavior while minimizing distractions that disrupt the learning process. You'll leave with easy to implement ideas designed to make your busy life easier, AND ensure your activity lessons are fun and engaging for ALL your little pippins!

Attendees will learn techniques designed to:

  • Increase desired behaviors while keeping students on task
  • Decrease inappropriate behaviors and maximize activity time
  • Hold students accountable throughout the process

And leave the webinar with access to FREE lesson plans you can use with your students the next day!

When: Wednesday, November 18th at 3:00 pm Pacific Time (Note -- the SPARK Webinars are now the 3rd Wed. of every month -- Principle of 3's!)

Who: Grades PreK-8 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school and early childhood teachers and staff

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

Note - Audio will begin immediately, video may not begin until 1:30 on some computers

October 2009 Webinar:

“Count Me In!” Strategies That Engage ALL Students

Do you face the challenge each year of motivating some students to participate in your physical education class? You know who they are, the members of the "I don't care" club; the "Why do we have to run?" gang; the "My mom said I don't have to do PE today" crew?

Then join our next SPARK webinar and learn strategies that get ALL students off the bench and into the game. There are no right fielders in this program, it's inclusive, active, and fun! Attendees will learn how to:

  • Create an environment that students feel comfortable participating in
  • Modify activities so all students can be active and engage at their own level
  • Utilize differentiated instruction to address individual learning styles

And leave the webinar with access to FREE lesson plans you can use with your students the next day!

When: Wednesday, October 21st at 3:00 pm Pacific Time (Note -- the SPARK Webinars are now the 3rd Wed. of every month -- Principle of 3's!)

Who: K-12 physical education specialists, K-6 classroom teachers, after school youth leaders, early childhood educators, parents and school and recreation administrators.

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

September 2009 Webinar:

Back to BASICS: "Igniting YOUR program"

The beginning of the school year is an important time for all teachers -- especially physical educators. The protocols established and the tone set in the first two weeks, lay the foundation for the rest of the school year.

This webinar will help you prepare by providing valuable, "real-world" strategies that foster cooperation and trust, teach social skills, and establish a positive learning environment. It all "starts with a SPARK" and the learning spreads like wildfire!

Attendees will learn:

  • Organizational tips to help you prepare for a new school year
  • Activities that establish protocols with movement and purpose
  • Teaching strategies that foster personal and social skills
  • Assessment techniques to ensure your super start continues throughout the year

When: Wednesday, September 16 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time

Who: All Physical Education, Physical Activity and Classroom Teachers

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

August 2009 Webinar:

Coordinated School Health: "The environment made me do it."

The test scores don't lie: academic achievement and health go hand in hand. Data has shown on numerous occasions that healthier students are better prepared to learn and are more successful in school. Schools need to provide programs and resources to ensure students can be successful, and a quality Coordinated School Health program does just that.

A coordinated approach to school health improves students' health and their capacity to learn through the support of families, schools, and communities working together. Coordinated school health is a school-wide approach and commitment that supports and integrates the following eight components:

  • family and community involvement
  • health education
  • physical education
  • school health services
  • counseling, psychological, and social services
  • school nutrition services
  • healthy school environment
  • health promotion for staff

What can YOUR school or district do to create a healthy learning environment in school and support the success of every students and educator? Join this FREE webinar and get the tools you need to move forward. Attendees will learn:

  • The impact that a coordinated school health program can have your students and staff
  • Strategies for getting your coordinated school health program started
  • Resources that can be used to address coordinated school health components

When: Wednesday, August 5th at 3:00 pm Pacific Time

Who: Superintendents, Principals, Wellness Coordinators, Teachers, and Parents

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here to view a recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

Note - Audio will begin immediately, video may not begin until 1:45 on some computer

July 2009 Webinar:

Is Your After School Program "Moving" in the Right Direction?

Most school environments provide 6 opportunities for children to accumulate at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily (NASPE National Recommendation):

  1. Before school
  2. Recess
  3. Lunch break
  4. Physical education class
  5. Integration of activity into core subject instruction
  6. After school programs

Of the six, after school programs (ASP) usually keep children for the longest period of time and they often enjoy a less rigid schedule. For these reasons and others, ASP offer much potential for both health and academic supplementation.

While most ASP offer opportunities for children to move, a study from the National After School Association found less than half (49%) the children participating reported engaging in outdoor play or physical activity. If children are not active during after school hours, their alternatives are usually sedentary ones (e.g., video games, watching TV, etc.). This is especially critical for those children already suffering from higher rates of overweight and obesity (i.e., children of color and at the poverty line).

What can YOUR program /school do to increase the quantity and quality of physical activity during after school programs?

Attendees will learn:

  • Benefits of structured physical activity programs
  • Strategies for integrating structured activity throughout after school time
  • Activity ideas and lessons that are inclusive, active, and fun for K-8 students

When: Wednesday, July 1st at 3:00 pm Pacific Time

Who: After School Program Directors, Coordinators and Educators

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here To View a Recording of This Webinar - Windows Media

Note - Audio will begin immediately, video may not begin until 1:30 on some computers

June 2009 Webinar:

Organized Day or Free Play? Providing Structured Activity for Children ages 3-5

Young children play all day- they don't need structured physical activity to keep active, right? Recent research studies say WRONG. The truth is that preschoolers are mostly inactive during play, even when outdoors. An article in the Los Angeles Times entitled "U.S. preschoolers are not busy little bees" discusses this surprising data. This month's webinar topic discusses the importance of structured physical activity for young children and how we can provide it for them.

In this webinar, participants will learn:

  • The benefits of structured activity on young children
  • Strategies for providing age-appropriate structured activities
  • Curriculum and lesson ideas for preschools and early childhood settings

When: Wednesday, June 3rd at 3:00 pm Pacific Time

Who: All early childhood educators, administrators and parents

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here To View a Recording of This Webinar- Windows Media

Click Here To View a Recording of This Webinar- Quicktime

May’s Webinar:

"It's OK to Eat and Run - Integrating Nutrition & Health into Physical Education/Activity"

Description: You’ve seen all the research and you’ve heard all the success stories- healthy children are better learners. But do you have the tools you need to incorporate important health and nutrition concepts into your class? Is it even possible? Join this webinar and learn about age-appropriate lessons & strategies for teaching these critical concepts to your students. In this webinar participants will learn:

  • The impact that health and nutrition concepts can have when combined with quality PE
  • Strategies for integrating these concepts into your PE class
  • Curriculum and lesson ideas that are quick and easy to implement

When: Wednesday, May 6th at 3:00 pm PST

Who: K-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school coordinators, early childhood educators, and coordinated school health staff.

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here To View a Recording of This Webinar- Windows Media

April 2009 Webinar:

"April Fools and Limited Tools- Coping with Fewer Equipment $’s"

Description: Tough finding funds to help enhance your physical education program? Don’t worry- this webinar will leave you with ideas to get your kids moving without all the bells and whistles. Learn new strategies to help stretch your equipment dollars farther than you thought possible. Participants will learn:

  • How to ensure all students can participate with limited resources
  • New activities that use little or no equipment
  • Ideas for maximizing your physical education funds

When: Wednesday, April 1st @ 3:00 pm PST

Who: K-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school coordinators, early childhood educators, and coordinated school health staff.

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here To View a Recording of This Webinar- Windows Media

March 2009 Webinar:

"SPARK Excitement In YOUR Class: How To Engage Every Student"

When: Wednesday, Mar 4th @ 3:00 pm PST

Who: K-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school coordinators, early childhood educators, and coordinated school health staff.

Duration: 45 minutes

Cost: Free!

Click Here To View a Recording of This Webinar *

* May require an additional codec in order to play videos

February’s Webinar:

"Simple Ways to increase MVPA"

When: Wednesday, Feb 4th at 3:00 pm PST

Who: K-12 teachers and administrators, PE specialists, after school coordinators, early childhood educators, and coordinated school health staff.

Duration: 30 minutes

Cost: Free!

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