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virtual activity from home

Three Physical Activity Lessons You Can Run Virtually

Many people believe that remote learning encourages a sedentary lifestyle, but that isn’t always the case. Remote learning can include physical activity programs that do more than just instruct on a screen, but actively encourage children to get moving.

There are ways to include virtual physical activity programs in online learning to make it possible for movement to occur at home. A well-rounded remote learning environment can and should consist of programs that get children active. Despite the prolonged screen time, it’s very realistic to emerge from this home learning experience even healthier by delivering physical activity opportunities through a screen.

Here are three of the top virtual physical activity programs that will keep students motivated to learn and instill a love for movement into their lives:

1. 30-Day Virtual Physical Activity Programs

  • Easy to Launch: The variety of Virtual Physical Activity Programs makes it easy for teachers to share their content and create an engaging virtual experience for children. Every program is operated as a “Click N’ Play” approach, launching student-centered activities that include physical activity, martial arts, yoga, Pilates, early childhood physical activity, move and groove, mindfulness, and more.
  • Broad Reach: Even parents and other family members can participate, further disengaging from the screen and including everyone in better health through movement. It’s much easier for children to be active and form healthy habits when they feel support from the whole family. When parents act as role models for getting physically active, it paves the way for the children to follow suit.
  • Seamless Implementation: The length of time that children sit while participating in virtual learning may impact their health and well-being, so it is crucial for them to take regular movement breaks. However, it may be challenging for children to create their own activities or find ways to add physical fitness to their schedule. The Virtual Physical Activity Program seamlessly weaves a daily itinerary of movement into children’s lives, allowing time for e-learning and physical activity.

2. Speed Stacks – Physical Distancing Curriculum

  • Personally Packaged: The Speed Stacks program offers Personal PE Kits designed to individualize the experience for students at home. Families won’t have to scramble to piece together materials or scrounge for makeshift items to make the program work at home. Multipurpose equipment provides many different uses, demonstrating that it doesn’t require a full gym to get and stay healthy.
  • Built for Distance: Speed Stacks @ Home Videos provide instruction to fit a variety of e-learning, from fully remote to hybrid. As a teacher resource or in-home program, at-home videos are a tool that allows teachers to modify the activities to fit the circumstances easily. No matter the type of e-learning, the Speed Stacks program can keep children moving while maintaining distance.

3. Action for Healthy Kids

  • Parent Leaders: Teachers know that the number one influence on children is not their instruction but the parents. Involved parents produce children that will be more engaged, better prepared, and more likely to succeed in educational activities. Action for Healthy Kids gives parents a platform to be the leaders for their children.
  • Agents for Change: When children see their parents motivated to move and participate in physical activity, they are also inspired to move and be physical. Action for Healthy Kids provides resources so that families can adopt healthier lifestyles at home. Knowledge is power, and Action for Healthy Kids gives parents the ability to create healthy activities, providing advantages for their children academically and physically.

Setting Realistic Expectations for Virtual Learning

The ability to learn at home is a real opportunity and great use of technology. We can safely continue to educate children while keeping them healthy. Just like at school, it’s essential to maintain a full, robust learning environment even though the instruction comes through a computer screen.

Including movement breaks, physical activity programs, and parent or family participation, takes e-learning from a sedentary, lonely pursuit into a much richer and fuller experience. This is a unique time, and learning from home allows for unique opportunities. Rather than lament the losses, educators can get excited at the advantages of this prolonged break from the normal routine of school.

Teachers can adapt and create something special during this time. Schools can use this time to be about more than just plugging children into a computer. The at-home physical education lessons available from any of these programs will turn the static and sedentary quality of virtual learning into anything but sitting still. Incorporating these programs throughout the disciplines can add more layers to lessons. Filtering physical activity throughout the school day means children will learn better.

When virtual schooling includes physical education programs, then the full range of learning can really occur in the home. It’s not enough just to keep children up to speed on their knowledge, because a well-rounded lifestyle means attending to both the body and mind. Adding in these virtual learning physical activity programs means children receive a holistic educational experience despite additional screen time.

About the Author

Sandy Slade is the CEO & Founder of Skillastics®, the #1 on-site and virtual physical activity resource for groups of children of all sizes.  The on-site programs are designed around Skillatsics Activity Kits.  These Activity kits include an innovative technique of play, executed on an oversize mat, where up to 100 children can play at one time.

The virtual programs provide students with an amazing variety of physical activity experiences that consist of 30 days of content lasting 30-40 minutes a day taught by national experts.

Skillastics® is enjoyed by over 10 million students in more than 25,000 Physical Education and After School settings nationwide.

For more information, email info@skillastics.com or check out www.skillastics.com.

Fitness and Fun Activities

The Relationship Between Physical Activity and Learning

We may not be able to gather in groups right now, but we can make the best of a difficult situation by planning for the day when we can resume our regular activities. While we have this time outside of the usual routine, we can use it to learn new ideas that will come in handy later. As the saying goes, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. We can use this time to our advantage, so we return even stronger and better prepared.

Making Lemonade

This is an excellent time to practice what you teach. It’s easy to fall into a lull and become inactive without our routines to keep us going, so you may want to take time and reflect on this process to help relate to children who feel similarly. Children who have been without regular exercise for some time may resist movement that pushes them out of their “lull,” their comfort zone. How do you inspire someone to move more when they are resistant or in the habit of staying comfortable? How do you motivate yourself to get up and keep going?

When we’re in the middle of our daily routine, it’s hard to stop and think about these questions. With the slower pace we find ourselves in today, it can be helpful to be reflective and consider new ways to do things. What has worked in the past? What are you looking forward to trying out?

It is vital to keep going, to keep moving. The more we move, the more energy we create, which allows us to be productive. When we move our bodies, the extra blood flow to our brains and the work our muscles do gives us a boost, and we can get more done. Overall, we feel better and more motivated. Our students do, too.

Activity Improves Learning

This motivational boost from exercise and fitness makes movement a crucial part of the learning process. With regular movement, children are energized to face the day. Exercise affects a child’s body by influencing sharper thinking and higher frustration tolerances for challenging work. Their bodies are better equipped to manage the stress of learning.

In addition to the effects on their body, exercise makes it easier for children to concentrate. Higher levels of brain chemicals released during exercise improve the brain’s ability to retain information. Memory is improved, and new information is absorbed faster.

As retention is a significant performance indicator for academic success, the ability for exercise to help students absorb and apply knowledge better makes it a vital component to students’ academic progress. If kids’ brains experience activity and perform better in school, then we must create more movement opportunities to help them develop.

The Value Of Physical Activity

For those children without options to move or ways to be active, we need to create opportunities or provide access. The more we expose kids to physical activity, the more they will stay engaged, ideally seeking exercise activities on their own. As they engage in movement activities, kids will begin to understand their bodies and movements, further developing their awareness of their bodies.

Through kinesthetics, the study of body motion, and one’s own ability to move, children can begin to develop this awareness. Classes like Physical Education or after school programs engaging in physical activities are good ways to build children’s perception of their bodies and how they move.

The goal of developing awareness is to give children an appreciation for their ability to move as well as the importance of exercising. When children learn about the way their bodies react to movement, they will be more likely to engage in physical activity on their own.

For children who don’t readily exercise or have not been exposed to the fundamentals of movement and exercise, they don’t develop the concept of movement in quite the same way. For all children, it is more important than ever to include kinesthetics into their curricula so that they can learn the value of movement and how they can be active.

Building Kinesthetics Programs

Creating programs that reach kids and help them develop their physical ability requires engagement and variety so that all children can participate and gain these essential skills. Program plans can build confidence and foster a love for exercise by focusing on skill development and fun activities.

As you plan, remember that the objective is to introduce movement, build body awareness, and scaffold to more advanced skills over time. Break down broad concepts into smaller parts that can become games. Repetition builds muscle memory, so look for ways to repeat the skills but with new techniques; think, “same rules, different game.”

As children interact more with movement, they can begin to experience the positive effects of exercise. They learn better. This is the higher purpose of kinesthetics. While life is interrupted in this way, it can be challenging to focus on the future when the present is so uncertain. However, there is hope to be found in plans for the future, so use this time to look ahead. What can you build when everyone comes back together?

About the Author

Sandy Slade is the CEO & Founder of Skillastics®, the #1 on-site and virtual physical activity resource for groups of children of all sizes.  The on-site programs are designed around Skillatsics Activity Kits.  These Activity kits include an innovative technique of play, executed on an oversize mat, where up to 100 children can play at one time.

The virtual programs provide students with an amazing variety of physical activity experiences that consist of 30 days of content lasting 30-40 minutes a day taught by national experts.

Skillastics® is enjoyed by over 10 million students in more than 25,000 Physical Education and After School settings nationwide.

For more information, email info@skillastics.com or check out www.skillastics.com.

PE Teacher

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.

About the Author

Sandy Slade is the CEO & Founder of Skillastics®, the #1 on-site and virtual physical activity resource for groups of children of all sizes.  The on-site programs are designed around Skillatsics Activity Kits.  These Activity kits include an innovative technique of play, executed on an oversize mat, where up to 100 children can play at one time.

The virtual programs provide students with an amazing variety of physical activity experiences that consist of 30 days of content lasting 30-40 minutes a day taught by national experts.

Skillastics® is enjoyed by over 10 million students in more than 25,000 Physical Education and After School settings nationwide.

For more information, email info@skillastics.com or check out www.skillastics.com.

Tammy

Developing Volleyball Competency & MVPA

A quality physical education program has curriculum, units, and lessons that are standards based.  One of the important standards for a physical educator is Standard 1 which states that a physically literate person demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns (SHAPE  America; National Standards & Grade Level Outcomes).  This standard allows physical educators to prepare students to participate in many different physical activities and sports with confidence, which will lead to a life full of activity.

I have taught physical education for 23 years, and every year I always ask my students why they may not like certain sports and physical activities that we do.  Each year, I get the same response:  “I don’t like the activity because I’m not very good at it.”  I then ask them how they could get better at it.  Well, we all know that if they got better at the skills, it would make the game play better, and then more fun will be had when they play the activity/sport.

Along with Standard 1, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) has become a major focus in our lessons.  However, with this focus on MVPA, some have dropped focusing on Standard 1 because focusing on skills may not get their students’ heart rate up into the appropriate range.  But, this does not have to be the case.  Skills can still be taught effectively while focusing on MVPA as well.

As I have traveled across the country doing presentations at various state and national conferences, my platform and focus has been on infusing fitness into daily lessons.  One of the sports I present on is volleyball, and the teaching of the forearm and overhead pass.  One way I used to teach these skills was with the command style, and they were pretty stationary.  As I went back and looked at my lessons and started asking myself about whether or not they were getting to the appropriate MVPA, I noticed that I needed to change the way I had the students work on their skills.  We all know that if they lack the skills, the game of volleyball is a serve, it hits the ground, and the team scores a point; not much fun for anyone.  So, with a little thinking and creativity, I have been able to increase MVPA and skill development.

Within my research of trying to find ways to increase skills and MVPA, I came across the Skillastics® program.  The first one I used, was the basketball program.  Then, the volleyball kit came out, and I knew I had to have it.  Skillastics® fits with everything I believe in and want to accomplish in my class.  The one nice thing about it, I didn’t have to come up with the fitness activities and there would be a lot of variation in my lessons.  Throughout my volleyball unit, I use the task cards to help with the skill development.  It allows the students to work independently, but yet stay focused on the skills but yet get in a good workout.  Once they have learned the tasks from the kit, we use the entire kit to play Volleyball Skillastics®.  While they are doing this, I know they are working on the skills, increasing MVPA, and having fun.

Skill development is crucial in giving the students confidence they can participate competently in the sport or activity.  However, just because you work on skills, doesn’t mean that MVPA must be lost.  All you need to do is think, be creative, or use a program that already focuses on both.

About the Author

Sandy Slade is the CEO & Founder of Skillastics®, the #1 on-site and virtual physical activity resource for groups of children of all sizes.  The on-site programs are designed around Skillatsics Activity Kits.  These Activity kits include an innovative technique of play, executed on an oversize mat, where up to 100 children can play at one time.

The virtual programs provide students with an amazing variety of physical activity experiences that consist of 30 days of content lasting 30-40 minutes a day taught by national experts.

Skillastics® is enjoyed by over 10 million students in more than 25,000 Physical Education and After School settings nationwide.

For more information, email info@skillastics.com or check out www.skillastics.com.

Skillastics®_BLog

Convention Survival Tips

Convention Survival Tips

The Skillastics® Team has been to over 100 National Conventions in the past 20 years. We have some practical tips to share with you about how to get the most enjoyment, learning and connection out of those long days!

  • Don’t be a flipper.  You’ve seen them. Maybe you are one. The attendee who is constantly flipping through the program and realizing only too late that they missed the one session they wanted to go too.  Review the entire program BEFORE you get to the conference.  Create your own calendar and schedule. Set it up by day with the times and location of the specific sessions you will go to, who you want to see in the exhibit hall and which socials and meetings you want to attend.  Download your schedule to your phone – you won’t have to carry the big convention book around.
  • So many raffles, so little time! Print up a sheet or two of labels with your name, school, title, mailing address, email and phone number. Have them handy to hand out for mailing lists, raffles and for order forms. You’ll be glad you did.
  • If you are the convention with colleagues, split up to go to the sessions.  It’s always fun to stay together but you get more “bang for your buck” if you go to different sessions.
  • If you are in a session and it’s now what you expected, it’s ok to leave and go to another one.  Sometimes the descriptions and the actual session are not what you anticipate.  You need to benefit from each session you attend.
  • When you are in the exhibit area, if there is a vendor you want to go back and visit, take time to write down the information for where they are located-normally there are signs for each isle.  By doing this you will save time because you know where to go!
  • If you can’t make a purchase at the convention but find equipment that you think will be approved, ask the vendor how long the convention rate will be honored.
  • Leave some room in your suitcase for the return trip!  Or, there normally is a place at the convention center or close by where you can ship things back if needed.
  • But I can’t connect! Be prepared for difficulty connecting to the internet. Check in advance if the hotel has free wi-fi. And be prepared for access at the convention center to be limited or expensive. Research the nearest Starbucks!
  • Take care of the dogs! We’ve all heard the expression, “My dogs are barking.”
  • Conferences require a lot of walking. Frequently on concrete floors. Be sure to wear shoes that are comfortable and that will serve you well for 8-10 hours per day.  And will allow to jump, run and play during the active sessions and demo’s.
  • Get the attention you deserve!
  • Have a specific vendor you want to talk too? Call in advance and set up an appointment. And if you don’t get around to doing that, block out a couple times when sessions are happening but you go to the exhibit hall. Vendors have down time when everyone else is in the sessions and so that is when you get the best service, can ask lot’s of questions and will build a relationship with your vendor.
  • Take a rest. Schedule 20 minutes each day where you will go to your room orsit in a park and recharge your batteries.
  • Fuel! The air in convention centers is dry. And bottled water isn’t cheap.
  • Bring a stainless steel bottle and keep it full. Drink often. Avoid pastry and high carb foods. Pack some high-energy foods like almonds, bananas or protein bars. Eat before you are hungry and drooling at the pizza stand. Your blood sugar will thank you.

About the Author

Sandy Slade is the CEO & Founder of Skillastics®, the #1 on-site and virtual physical activity resource for groups of children of all sizes.  The on-site programs are designed around Skillatsics Activity Kits.  These Activity kits include an innovative technique of play, executed on an oversize mat, where up to 100 children can play at one time.

The virtual programs provide students with an amazing variety of physical activity experiences that consist of 30 days of content lasting 30-40 minutes a day taught by national experts.

Skillastics® is enjoyed by over 10 million students in more than 25,000 Physical Education and After School settings nationwide.

For more information, email info@skillastics.com or check out www.skillastics.com.

Skillastics®_BLog

Let’s Move in School Skillastics® Sample Lesson Plan

“People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.”  I’m not sure where that quote came from and I know it’s not new, but I do think it’s a great quote!  Whether you apply it to a vacation, a big event at school, or your daily teaching, it’s true.  Like most of you, doing lesson plans wasn’t one of my favorite things in the world but I learned quickly if I didn’t have good lesson plans, the day didn’t go well.  I also realize that the more experience we have, the less “formal” the written plans become but, those important details always need to be considered.  In order to not fall into the “busy, happy, good” type of teacher key components of a lesson need to be considered (NASPE Standard addressed, purpose/goal/outcome of the lesson, assessment, transitions, safety, equipment distribution, etc.).  I realize there are many formats for writing lesson plans and I’ve used several but the content is typically the same.  Below is a sample plan for a “Skillastics® Let’s Move in School” lesson.  Hopefully it will be helpful and serve as a reminder that we do need a plan!

Let’s Move in School Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan’s Authors:  Sandy Slade and Rhonda Holt

Lesson Title:  Let’s Move Together

Target Audience/Grade Level:  3rd-6th grade

Student Participation Number:  one or two classes depending on available space

Teaching Location:  Gym or Outdoor Playing Area

Lesson Goal:  Students will work together in small groups to perform a variety of throwing, catching, jumping and running activities

Instructional Objectives: 

Psychomotor—Students will perform the designated throwing, jumping and running skills

Cognitive—Students will be able to identify activities to practice at home or during recess

Affective—Students will be able to demonstrate cooperation and teamwork during the activity

National Physical Education Standards:

Standard 3—Participates regularly in physical activity.

Standard 5—Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings.

Lesson Equipment:  Let’s Move in School Skillastics® Activity Kit, 6 poly spots or markers, 3 x 5 card and pencil for each student

Safety:  Remind students to watch where they are going when moving to and from the mat, remind students to do each activity correctly so everyone in their group feels safe

Lesson Plan Details:

Instant Activity:  “Walkie Talkie” 5-8  minutes

When the music is playing, students find a partner and walk fast or jog slowly in the designated area while discussing their favorite activities to do at recess or at home.  When the music stops, students have 5 seconds to find a new partner.  When the music starts again, students start moving and share their favorite activity with the new partner.

Introductory Activity:  3-5 minutes

Review safety, rules and any LMIS Skillastics® activities that may need clarification, assign the repetition level for the day, quickly divide students into 6 teams

Main Activity:  Play “Let’s Move in School Skillastics®” 20-25 minutes

Students will play the Skillastics® game according to the designated rules.

Lesson Closure/Assessment:    “3-2-1 Let’s Move”  5-8 minutes

Each student will complete the assessment on a 3 x 5 note card.  Using the activities from Let’s move in School Skillastics® they will determine the activities they would choose for each of these items:

3 activities they like the best

2 activities they would like to practice at recess

1 activity they would teach their family and practice them at home

About the Author

Sandy Slade is the CEO & Founder of Skillastics®, the #1 on-site and virtual physical activity resource for groups of children of all sizes.  The on-site programs are designed around Skillatsics Activity Kits.  These Activity kits include an innovative technique of play, executed on an oversize mat, where up to 100 children can play at one time.

The virtual programs provide students with an amazing variety of physical activity experiences that consist of 30 days of content lasting 30-40 minutes a day taught by national experts.

Skillastics® is enjoyed by over 10 million students in more than 25,000 Physical Education and After School settings nationwide.

For more information, email info@skillastics.com or check out www.skillastics.com.

7 Ways To Organize Large Groups of Kids GuideSkillastics

Get rid of frustration and confusion with this simple, straightforward FREE guide that will help you easily organize and safely engage large groups of children in no time flat.