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The Best Advice to Spend Left-Over Money

It’s hard to imagine life returning to normal as we’re just coming to grips with the effects of a pandemic, but someday we will get back to our lives. In the meantime, we can only manage the change to our routines and take it day by day.

One way to cope can be to focus on the future. We can use this time to think about the things we’ll do once it’s over. This could be a good time for projections and planning, such as considering what to do with any left-over money.

If you are one of the lucky ones who have left over money, there are some good measures to take and make it work for you. Focusing on these now may help you get through this uncertain time as well as emerge in a better place once life gets back to normal.

Tip 1: Prioritize, and Fund Accordingly! Identify any existing gaps between your goals and vision and the current on-site conditions for your program. Brainstorm and discuss ways you can fill the gaps to better the program. Once you have some ideas, attach costs to each and budget with the remaining funds to see which you can accomplish. This extra money could make the difference between maximizing the potential of your program or just getting by.

Tip 2: Communication and Collaboration with Staff! Never use the word “I,” always use “we.” It takes a team to make a difference. Communicating and collaborating with your staff are key to a high-performance program! Also, these will protect you from a misconception because you are taking proactive steps in the direction of transparency and long-term planning by including your team. Let the team know the funds exist and work them into the solution. Include them in the brainstorming or solicit ideas. They work the program and might know best about the ways to improve it. You could always start by asking, “In a perfect world, what would you want to…?” (change, fix, see happen, etc.)

Tip 3: Never Lose Sight of Your Program Vision and Goals! It’s easy to see extra money as a sudden windfall and begin to get some grandiose ideas. However, just because you could do something does not mean you should do something. Continue to make sure every decision aligns with your vision and goals. Make sure that the actions you take further progress toward a goal and work towards making your vision come true. It’s like the expression, “Stay in your lane,” meaning ideas that might work for others are not necessarily the best for your program. Ensure that the money goes towards the solutions and progress of your program.

Today, while you have an opportunity, set aside time to work together with your staff online or by phone to allocate the left-over money accordingly. Now can be a useful time to plan ahead and build a more robust program.

Getting Your Students to Fall in Love with Physical Activity

Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day celebrates love, and it doesn’t always have to be romantic. Love boils down to a passion for something (or someone!), and so we can celebrate the holiday by sharing the love for physical activity with students.

When you feel passionate about something, it shows. Your enthusiasm, energy, and enjoyment are palpable, visible as the expression on your face, gestures with your hands, and sound of your voice. When you talk about something you love, the feelings bubble up and over into everything you do or say.

Falling in Love with Physical Activity

There are ways to transfer your passion for physical activity to others so that they can experience the same enthusiasm and joy. Here are a few ways to helps students fall in love with physical activity:

1. Exude Positive Energy. Invite the students in with positive energy. Show them your feelings with exuberant talking, exciting demonstrations, and fond memories about your own participation.

2. Provide Easy Wins. Give students a chance to succeed. Break down the activity into smaller roles and make it fun.

3. Offer Encouragement and Support. Acknowledge when it’s hard and recognize efforts when they try.

Role Model Passion for Physical Activity

High levels of excitement are contagious, and students will be influenced by your attitude. When you talk with enthusiasm and demonstrate with zest, you transfer your excitement to the students. Let them see your passion for the activity and look through your eyes at the joy of participating in it.

When students see your love for physical activity, they experience an example of the way they could feel, too. You are a role model showing them the ways physical activity can make them feel. So be excited, talk passionately, share your joy, and be thrilled when you take part in the activity. They will follow suit.

We are showing the love this month by offering a 10% discount on all Skillastics® products you order ONLINE. Use CODE: lv2020 at checkout.

www.skillastics.com/shop

Social and Emotional Learning Through Physical Activity

Social and emotional learning (SEL) enhances students’ capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with daily tasks and challenges. A physical active environment is the ideal place to enhance these skills. Whether achieving a personal best in the mile run, competing on a successful team, or dropping a catch during a key play – these are all situations where social emotional learning come in to play.

There are five core competencies that can be taught in many ways across many settings;

  1. Self Awareness
  2. Self-Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Skills
  5. Responsible Decision-Making

Physical Education or a physically active environment allow perfect “teachable moments” in all five.  Below we’ve outlined how participating in Skillastics® create experiences that help enhance proficiency in these core areas.

SELF-AWARENESS

The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior.  The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism and a mindset of growth.

  • Identifying emotions
  • Healthy self-perception
  • Recognizing strengths
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-efficacy

Skillastics® is a resource of team activities. The success of Skillastics, is dependent on each  participants behaviors.  Personal and social responsibility is crucial.  How one interprets and expresses information about an activity, how one encourages his/her teammates, and how one demonstrates his/her  level of involvement,  all factor into recognizing and assessing individual emotional involvement. Skillastics® allows children of all ages and skill levels equal chance of participating and working on a level playing field.  Skillastics® allows each participant to lead and succeed, raising the level of self-confidence and self-efficacy. 

 

SELF-MANAGEMENT

The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations – effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself.  The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.

  • Impulse control
  • Stress management
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-motivation
  • Goal-setting
  • Organizational skills

Skillastics® offers both a competitive and non-competitive option.  The competitive option challenges participants to play at a higher intensity (MVPA) while encouraging teamwork, fair play and responsibility. Skillastics® is self-directed, and provides instructors the freedom to assess participants individually or within a small group setting.  Skillastics® creates a positive environment that invites both, participant self-reflection and self-evaluation, which enhances  personal and social responsibility.

 

SOCIAL AWARENESS

The ability to take the perspective of, and empathize with others, from diverse ethnicities and cultures.  The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

  • Differentiated
  • Empathy
  • Appreciation for diversity
  • Respect for others

Skillastics® is an all-inclusive activity for all ages and abilities.  Children are grouped into 6 teams of varied abilities and cultures.  In order for teams to advance, each team member takes a turn being the leader.  Skillastics offers diverse, academically integrated questions and activities to engage individual cultures, ages and abilities. Skillastics diversity depends on individual strengths and differences to create a strong and successful team.  

 

RELATIONSHIP SKILLS

The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups.  The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

  • Communication
  • Social engagement
  • Relationship-building
  • Teamwork

Skillastics® is a team activity. Skillastics’ teams work collectively to complete the desired repetitions required under the direction of a team leader.  Each team member participates in the role of the leader.  As a team mate, effective communication, listening and comprehension skills are required to advance around the mat.  Positive relationships are built as each team succeeds.

 

RESPONSIBLE DECISION-MAKING

The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms.  The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the consideration of one’s self and others well-being.

  • Identifying problems
  • Analyzing situations
  • Solving problems
  • Evaluating
  • Reflecting
  • Ethical responsibility

Skillastics® rules are simple and easy to follow, Skillastics® rules are paramount to the success of the activity.  Overall performance is enhanced when Skillastics®® rules are followed.  Skillastics® provides it’s instructors with behavior modification differentiation. Skillastics® provides opportunities for large group management behavior redirection allowing more time on task. Skillastics® provides a positive cooperative learning environment that integrates academics from STEM, nutrition, fitness, problem solving, and more.   

Character is Cool Skillastics provides the perfect balance between physical activity and SEL. Each of the 26 activities are associated with a character trait and are based on teamwork and leadership activities.  CLICK HERE to learn more.

 

How a Mid-Year Progress Report Enhances Your Efforts

Congratulations on reaching the half-way mark of the school year! Not only is January a new year, but it’s mid-year through the academic calendar. This mile-marker is a good spot to assess progress so that you can celebrate the accomplishments or make adjustments to reach your goals by the end of the year.

Why Conduct Assessments
Any long-term goal requires a series of steps to achieve, and it’s important to measure progress along the way. How well did you complete the last step? Are you ready for the next step? Just as the academic classroom includes assessments to determine students’ grasp of the units, so should you assess your program.

The results of an assessment offer insights into the success of your program so that you can make better decisions about where to focus your efforts. For example, should you keep focusing on a particular skill, or do you need to step back and develop more foundational skills first? Are you on track to move through the units, or should you add more or remove some?

The Goal of Assessment
Metrics are important indicators for determining progress, and data driven decisions have become the norm. Within this world of measurements and datapoints is a term worth learning called Delta, and it stands for the amount of change that occurs. In other words, this metric pinpoints the before and after effects of your program.

When the merit of a program stands on its transformative success, you want to capture the before-and-after changes that occur. You need to know how far you’ve come and where your students are in their transformation.

But you don’t have to be a data analyst to do this!

Easy to Use Reporting
Instead of struggling to design your own Skillastics® progress report, allow us to help you. We have created two easy to use tools to help you assess your program and or your staff. The Skillastics Physical Activity Instructor Evaluations assesses your staff and the Skillastics Pre-Post Test helps assess your student’s attitudes. You’ll gain immediate insights about your work so far with easy to read results so that you don’t need to be an expert in statistics to understand the outcome.

The results of our free Progress Report will help you plan for the next half of the school year and make the most of your time. In the end, your students will benefit most from a program evaluation that stays on track and meets its goals.

How to Deal with Reluctant Students and Refusal to Participate

Fear in children isn’t always expressed with wide-eyes and tears, particularly with older teens. In school, fear of failure at an activity or standing out in a bad way can manifest as refusals to participate.

When faced with a child or teenager’s refusal to participate, it can be tough, but these are children feeling fear. It’s up to you to role model bravery and provide safety.

Source of Fears
Not every child in a PE or After School Program is an expert in sports, so some may struggle to learn. For them, aiming at the net in basketball but throwing an air ball in front of everyone may feel humiliating.

From dribbling the ball right to remembering the rules, these children see nothing but opportunities to fail when playing basketball. So, they avoid it all together; they refuse to participate.

What Can You Do?
When someone is feeling fear, it’s like they are backed into a corner. Pushing them will only cause them to feel further penned in with no choice other than digging in deeper. It’s time to be creative and show them a way out of the corner.

1.Don’t Fight Them. They will seem angry and obstinate, but remember, they are scared. Don’t fuel the fires of their anger. Show them bravery by staying calm in the face of their adversity.

2.Acknowledge Their Choice. Give permission to skip the game. Tell them you understand they don’t want to play, so let’s do something else that’s less threatening and helps build self-esteem instead of tear it down.

3.Redirect the Energy. Introduce fun games and activities that focus on skill development, like Basketball Skillastics®. Pull from these to give them small challenges that they can win. Focus on the skill, not the game

Making it Fun for All
When you push someone out of their comfort zone, it helps to provide a bridge. That’s where skill development come into the picture. Not everyone will be able to play a game of basketball, but skill development is accessible to everyone.

One of the reasons Basketball Skillastics® works well with a diverse group is because its inclusive and allows a whole class to practice their skills in a fun way all at the same time. Also, you can float the room once everyone is occupied. Now, you can assess everyone’s skill level, provide more support for reluctant students, and allow skilled students to showcase their abilities.
Bridging the Gulf

Develop resources to bridge the gulf to reach and draw out fearful students; you have a real chance to help change their attitudes. We can get you started with Basketball Skillastics®, a resource designed so that all children can have fun learning basketball instead of missing out. Throughout November when you use the code bb2019, you’ll receive 10% off so that you can begin to use this resource right away. Purchase online or via Purchase Order to FAX (951) 279-3957 or email to Suzanne Blair at sblair@sandyspinslade.com

5 Tips for Creating Basketball Lesson that Kids Love

It’s that time of year again! Gyms echo with the squeaks of sneakers as we kick off Basketball Season. During PE and after school this time of year, it’s all about basketball. It’s also the number one choice of recess activity; more basketballs are requested this time of year, and for good reason!

Everyone can play with a ball. But not everyone can or wants to play a sport.

Basketball for All
So, it’s tough to create lessons to teach basketball; how do you include students who are good at basketball and want to be challenged as well as students who have very little interest in the sport?

The solution is to focus on skill development. All students, no matter their ability, can have fun developing their skills in a non-threatening, non-competitive atmosphere.
Creating the Right Environment

By following the 5 tips below, you can make it easier to teach basketball fundamentals to diverse groups:

1.A Ball for Each. Get each student a ball, any ball. If it bounces and fits through a net, it’s great to use to teach basketball fundamentals. If you must share, follow a ratio of two students per ball.

2.Control the Bouncing. Kids love to bounce the ball! They can’t seem to help themselves, despite requests to stop, and it gets disruptive. So, remove temptation. Create a signal word or phrase like “stall the ball!” at which they put the ball between their feet when they hear it.

3.Delegate to Motivate and Engage. If you’re not comfortable demonstrating a fundamental, allow skilled students to take this role. They will love it!

4.Keep Them Moving! Downtime breeds distractions or misbehaving. Keep them actively engaged. Waiting in line? Practice dribbling or ball-handling. Waiting for a ball? Mirror the activity to learn the motions.

5.Play the Game Last. At the end of the lesson, avoid playing a game of basketball. Modify the game to highlight the skill learned in the session.

Resource for Skill Building
To modify the game or learn other skill development ideas so all children enjoy the sport, consult resources like Basketball Skillastics®. Motivated by the desire to create an all-inclusive and whole class learning environment, Basketball Skillastics was designed to practice skills in a fun way together.

For this month, let’s make the most of the sport by getting the most children involved through skill development. Celebrate the start of basketball season with a 10% discount on Basketball Skillastics® throughout November for After School and Physical Education Instructors with code bb2019. Online, or Purchase Order. https://skillastics.com/product/basketball-skillastics/

Lights On After School: Highlight Physical Activity with this Step-by-Step Family Fitness Event Guide

Did you know that 8 in 10 parents agree that After School Programs should help children become more physically active? In addition, parents who have little knowledge about physical activity overwhelmingly want to learn more so they can share that knowledge with their kids and help them become more active.

There is no doubt physical activity can be intimidating. There are so many misconceptions surrounding physical activity that stops kids and adults from participating. Fallacies about having to spend hours in a gym for any type of results, or that physical activity is boring, are widespread beliefs.

Offering movement activities that are simple and fun in your After School program is the first step in planting that positive seed of physical activity enjoyment. If children are enjoying being active in your After School program, then they are more apt to be open about sharing that positive experience at home.

This month we are recognizing the significance of Afterschool Programs nationwide. Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating Afterschool programs and their important roles in the lives of children, families and communities. This year the event will take place at Afterschool programs all over the country on October 24th. If you have not decided what you want to do on this special day, let us help you!

In honor of this special day, we are providing you with a FREE, step-by-step guide on how to host a Family Fitness Event highlighting the importance of planting that positive seed of being healthy and active and loving it! This program walks you through every single aspect of hosting a quality physical activity event.

As a company, we understand how important it is to get support and “buy in” regarding the activities you are providing in your program. That’s why we wanted to share this valuable Family Fitness Event guide with you. In fact, the Family Fitness Event Guide and other family engagement resources are included in our Fitness Skillastics Starter Package. This package is the perfect program designed to organize, motivate and engage students to move and learn with an innovative multipurpose activity kit system that transforms attitudes about physical activity.

Recently, we participated in a local After School Family Fitness Event. As the families started walking into the facility, you could see the fear on their faces, hesitant and wondering what they got themselves into! By the end of the event everyone was laughing and having an amazing time. Many parents shared their fears, but quickly realized how fun being active could be. If you would like to see results like this and highlight your program during the Lights On After School Event on October 29th, we have a special offer for you that is only available in October. Order the Fitness Skillastics Starter Package (PSPFFAS5) and receive 10% off your order. CLICK HERE to place your order today using CODE as1019 or call (951) 279-3476 to place your order over the phone. We also accept Purchase Orders.

Enjoy the FREE Family Fitness Event Guide

Digital Detox: Getting Kids to Reduce Electronics & Move More Using This One Simple Resource

Did you know childhood obesity has tripled since 1980? In addition, the recommended amount of screen time for tweens & teenagers is 2 hours per day, but the national average is 9 hours! Our bodies are meant to move, but digital dominance is consuming children’s lives. In fact, increase screen time can lead to permanent eye damage in children under 9. Family, school and community are all responsible to help solve this issue and After School Programs are the perfect environment to help make a difference.

Offering all-inclusive activities for all abilities that are simple and fun is the 1st step in planting that positive seed of physical activity enjoyment. If children are enjoying being active in your After School Program, they are more apt to be open to sharing that positive experience in the home.

September is Family Health and Fitness month. In recognition of this observance we are offering you a FREE Family Fitness Calendar that you can share with your students that they can take home. Every day includes a simple activity that kids can do alone, with their siblings and or parents.

As a company, we recognize the importance of extending children’s positive experience of being active into the home. If you don’t have “buy in” from the parents, then the likelihood of children sustaining physical activity is reduced. That’s why we include Fitivities®, a Family Engagement Resource in our popular After School Fitness Skillastics® and After School Physical Activity Packages. Fitivities® is a twist on Skillastics® and is used as a “share at home” activity for those children who may display positive character traits during physical activity.

Recently an After School Instructor told us about a young girl who was very resistant to physical activity. She never participated. One day they introduced Skillastics® and this girl was intrigued with the design, so she reluctantly decided to participate. After the activity this girl came up to the instructor and told him how much fun she had, and from then on participated every day! If you would like to see results like this, we have a special offer for you that is only available in September. Order any Skillastics® After School Package that includes Fitivities® and receive 10% off your order. CLICK HERE to place your order today using Code: as919 or call (951) 279-3476 to place your order over the phone. We accept purchase orders.

Enjoy the FREE Family Fitness Calendar.

5 Reasons Why Skillastics® Will Make Your Program Great

 

Can you imagine your job getting easier, and more productive?  What if you could maximize participation without wasting the limited time you have?  Wouldn’t it be great to have a resource at your disposal guaranteeing a glowing administrative review?

With Skillastics® you can.

The Skillastics® Activity Kit System is a powerful resource that will transform your program. Not Convinced? Following are 5 key reasons why Skillastics® will undeniably make your program great.

1) Increase Academic Learning
A requirement you are constantly hearing from your administration. Skillastics® bridges the gap between physical activity and academics by seamlessly incorporating vocabulary, literacy, math and STEM learning. Skillastics® is an innovative way of including more academic integration.

2) Connecting with Classroom Teachers
What makes Skillastics® stand out beyond any other physical activity resource is its ability to connect directly with classroom teachers through the Skillastics® Custom Question Card Templates for nutrition, STEM and math. Simply share these templates with classroom teachers and ask them to create questions that are relevant to the lessons that they are currently teaching. You would then take these questions and add them to your program while your students are playing Skillastics®. Instant connection!

3) Organized Chaos
The best large group resource available! You will not find a better large group resource out there. Period. Any instructor that is using Skillastics® properly will tell you that the Skillastics® Activity Kit System exceeds their expectations and reinforces all the reasons why they decided to add Skillastics® to their program.

4) Steller Assessment
It is crucial to assess students to make sure they are really learning. If you, your students, parents, and administration truly want to see fitness progression in your class, the Skillastics® Activity Kit System is the most effective resource to measure movement in a variety of ways.

Fully Engaged
Students are full engaged, which frees you up to conduct formative assessment,    measuring all students progress and mastery of skill without interruption.

Effective Feedback
With students fully engaged, Skillastics® provides a more relaxed atmosphere for feedback and individual instruction when needed.

Summative Assessment with Technology
Skillastics® is the most effective resource to measure student outcomes using heart rate monitors or other technology based devices.

5) The Skillastics® Activity Kit System Saves Time
Do you see your student’s once a week? Twice a week if you’re lucky? How many times do you see a new lesson activity that looks like fun, but takes much too long to set up? The innovative Skillastics® technique takes less than a minute to set up and allows for maximum participation while increasing fitness levels.

Introducing the Skillastics® Activity Kit System into your program will exceed your expectations and fulfill all your objectives. Visit www.skillastics.com or email us at info@skillastics.com to transform your program today.

CDC and SHAPE America Help Schools Make the Most of This Critical Part of the School Day

Schools across the country will now have step-by-step guidance and evidence-based strategies to support school recess for all K-12 students and enhance active school environments.  The two new guidance documents, Strategies for Recess in Schools and Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice, were recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators, and can be downloaded free of charge at:

http://shapeamerica.org/recess

“This is a milestone in our quest to increase children’s physical activity levels.  Daily recess, monitored by well-trained staff or volunteers, can optimize a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development,” says SHAPE America Chief Executive Officer E. Paul Roetert, Ph.D. “Recess contributes to the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity for students and helps them apply the knowledge and skills they learn in an effective health and physical education program. In addition, recess supports 50 Million Strong, SHAPE America’s commitment to empower all kids to lead active and healthy lives.”

The guidance documents provide a blueprint for schools to use in implementing successful recess programs for their students. They are designed for state and school district leaders who provide technical assistance and professional development on recess, as well as classroom teachers, recess and playground supervisors, support staff, school administrators, parent-teacher organizations, school health coordinators, advisory councils, parents and anyone interested in supporting recess in schools.

Strategies for Recess in Schools defines recess and identifies 19 evidence-based strategies schools can implement that increase student physical activity and academic achievement. Although most of the evidence and expert opinion for these strategies came from elementary schools, many of the strategies are also applicable to secondary schools.  The intent is for school staff or groups working with schools to identify what is currently happening or not happening with recess in their school, and then use this information to develop a recess plan that serves all students.

Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice complements the strategies document by guiding schools through the process of developing a written recess plan that incorporates the identified strategies. In addition, CDC and SHAPE America developed a customizable Recess Planning Template, which enables schools to record details of how they will organize and implement recess at school.

The new recess documents will be featured at a program session called “Strategies for Recess in Schools” at the organization’s National Convention in Boston on Tuesday, March 14 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. Attendees will learn how recess can help students increase their daily physical activity and contribute to achieving the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day.  The new resources will help schools develop a comprehensive plan for recess to increase students’ participation in physical activity and improve their academic achievement.

By diving into each of the five broad categories included in the Strategies for Recess in Schools document, school staff or committees will be able to answer specific questions which will help them examine and enhance an existing recess program, or develop a new recess plan for a school.

Download the two new guidance documents, Strategies for Recess in Schools and Recess Planning in Schools: A Guide to Putting Strategies for Recess Into Practice, free of charge at:

www.shapeamerica.org/recess

Follow the conversation using #SHAPErecess and #recess.

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