Category Archives for Physical Education

Registration now Open for SHAPE America Convention & Expo

Registration is now open for the premier professional development event for health and physical educators — the 132nd National Convention & Expo of SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators, March 14-18, 2017, in Boston. Health and physical educators will be inspired with new ideas, skills, and ways to transform their schools, while making connections with like-minded colleagues and learning about new funding ideas to support their programs.

 

Knowing that health and physical educators are vital to students’ social-emotional learning, SHAPE America invited Maya Enista Smith, executive director of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, and Steve Gross, chief executive optimist of the Life is Good Kids Foundation, to keynote the Opening General Session on Wednesday, March 15. In her presentation, Enista Smith will discuss “Creating a Kinder and Braver World” while Gross will discuss “Discovering the Power of Optimism.” Dean Kriellaars, Ph.D., University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, will highlight his work with Cirque de Soleil as he presents “Physical Literacy: the Gateway to Active Participation” on Friday, March 17.

 

According to SHAPE America President Jackie Lund of Georgia State University, “With the recent ESSA legislation, it is a time of great opportunity for the health and physical education professions. To succeed all of us will need new skills, knowledge and the motivation to impact the learning and behavior of America’s children beyond our traditional role in classrooms and gymnasiums.”

 

Here’s one such convention opportunity: On Tuesday afternoon, March 14, SHAPE America Past President Steve Jefferies and other leaders in the field will host a “50 Million Strong by 2029 Forum,” an interactive session designed to inspire and provide direction on how to get all of America’s school-age children physically active and healthy. Learn firsthand how this commitment will challenge all of us to reconsider, reimagine and redesign how we deliver physical education and health education to America’s students. Hear how progress will be measured, what current evaluation tools and processes can be used to evaluate success, and how you can be a “champion.”

Complimentary 50 Million Strong T-shirts will be given away to the first 300 registered participants.

 

Research will also have a large presence in Boston. The Research Council is hosting a session titled, “Learning from the Past, Making History” which will be a session that contains a historical perspective of SHAPE America and its research disciplines followed by a discussion about the future. This session will include research and discussion by SHAPE America members Hans van der Mars, Missy Parker and Kevin Patton.  Russ Pate of the University of South Carolina will present the “U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity in Children and Youth” while CDC Health Scientist Shannon Michael discusses the “Report on Secular Changes in Physical Education Attendance in the U.S.” and Christina Economos, associate professor, Tufts University, presents “Best Practices in School District-Wide Efforts to Promote Students’ Physical Activity.”
Want to see what other convention sessions you’d like to attend? Check out the preliminary program and schedule-at-a-glance chart! Then, head to the convention registration page to take advantage of $75 in early-bird savings!

 

Make Your Case

If you need help getting approval from your administrator to attend the event, use this Justification Toolkit, which includes:

  • Convention benefits
  • Justification letter template
  • Tips for speaking with your supervisor

 

Go Green to Save Green

This year, the convention will be “paper-light” and SHAPE America will make the world a little greener by using the mobile app to navigate convention sessions instead of producing a printed program.

 

Among the sponsors supporting the SHAPE America National Convention & Expo are Fuel Up to Play 60, Human Kinetics, KIDZ BOP, Life is Good Kids Foundation, New York Road Runners, Reebok and BOKS, Build our Kids’ Success, and Sportime featuring SPARK, a category of School Specialty, Inc.

For more information about SHAPE America’s National Convention & Expo, visit the website and follow #SHAPEBoston. The convention is held in partnership with SHAPE America Eastern District and the Massachusetts Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD).

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.

Tennis Skillastics®: Fun and Skills All in One!

(Common Core, Physical Literacy and Standards Based Physical Fitness)

My favorite Skillastics® kit is Tennis Skillastics®. It is no surprise that I have a true passion for Tennis. I am a 28-year veteran High School Tennis Coach and played Tennis myself since I was 8. We as teachers may give our students the opportunity to learn and play tennis. Like anything else, the more skilled students become the more they will enjoy the sport. It is an activity, which may be played throughout their lives. It may be played at any level, gender or age. Teaching Tennis in school has never been a question for me, with or without a court. I have seen the bonds made between families and friends, which has such an amazing impact on their lives. Tennis stimulates the mind, body and emotions. It involves cooperative engagement as well as skill development. Tennis decreases the risk of chronic illness, increases social skills, improves mental focus, and discipline. Participating in tennis activities is an excellent way to relieve stress.

Skillastics® works on skills while increasing MVPA in a game situation. It works well for a warm-up/fitness lesson in a Sport Education Season or as a full lesson.
My favorite way to use Tennis Skillastics® is to divide students into teams as in a Sport Education Unit. Students must first learn the terminology, skill and fitness task for the game. This may be done within their teams covering a few skills/terms each day. When using the Sport Education model teams will be awarded points for fair play, fitness, warm-up, completion and order of finish. This is a great activity due to the fact that students are responsible for their own learning and what a great way to include the standards. Using stations may add a common core component and make students responsible for their own learning. Students work together to improve skills and knowledge needed to live a healthy lifestyle.

Secondary Stations for Tennis Skillastics®

1. Teams begin with their home base station grid.
2. Read the task card and perform the skill together. This could be considered a common core/physical literacy activity. Students are responsible for their own learning.
3. Perform each station for a time limit. (Example: 3 miinutes each station) When the music stops (using Tabata Pro) move to the next station.
4. Continue until all stations have been completed.

After completing the stations, students will remain with their teams for a fun Skillastics® game. Teams send a player to the mat to roll the die and get the number of the activity to be performed. Students are given the level to participate for the game activity. The game may be played for a time limit or when one team gets around the mat once or twice.

If you would like more information on ways to incorporate Tennis Skillastics® into your curriculum feel free to contact me at charlaphysed@gmail.com or view my website at charlaphysed.com.

Bottom line. “Love what you do and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

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.

Play Your Cards Right and Increase Physical Activity

Thanks to all who attended our “Play Your Cards Right and Increase Physical Activity” session in Seattle.  As promised here are three more activities you can do with playing cards.  For those that were not able to attend, think about all of the fun you can have with your students using just a deck (or two or three!) of playing cards.  Even though many have limited budgets, you can still provide fun and creative activities to keep your students active and fit.  Stay tuned next month for a few more ideas!  Until then, “Play Your Cards Right” and keep your students active!!

Card Run

Students walk and jog around the gym.  Each time they pass you, hand them a playing card.  After the students have 2-3 cards stop, have them add up the number of points they received.  Face cards are 10 points and Aces are 1 points.  Then based on their total, they do to the Fitness task card activity that represents that number (1-26) and complete it 10 times.  If they have more than 26 have them subtract 10 points to get their activity.  Collect the cards and repeat the activity.

It’s in the Cards

Students work with a group of 4-6 people.  Each group has a stack of playing cards.  They turn one card over and then do a fitness task card activity listed for that particular card.  Have the four suits assigned to one activity and they do the activity that number of times.  Encourage students to share the job of turning the cards.

Variation:  Use only cards with up to 9 and have students count by that number a total of 10 times (i.e. if it is a 4 of clubs and push up shoulder touches is assigned to clubs they do the push up shoulder touches counting by 4’s until they get to 40).

Cards are on the side of the playing area with Fitness task activity cards posted on the wall.  They come back to their group and lead the group in the activity.

Category Cards                                                                                                                                                     Students work in groups of 3, starting on the side line or outside of playing area. Spread the cards out in the center of playing area.  Students will be assigned a task, locomotor or sport skill (dribble a ball) as they move to the card area. Students pick up a card and carry to team area while doing skill. Keep cards at group area until activity is over. Options: Determine which cards they may chose-only Red cards, only even cards, a sequence of cards, add letters on the back of cards to spell classroom spelling list or Physical Education vocabulary.

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.

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.

Integration Strategies

With an increased focus on test scores, most if not all special area teachers (don’t you love being “special” J ) are being required to show how academic content is included in their lessons.  I heard a quote at a conference once that really stuck with me and I use it often because it helps us with this challenge.  The quote was “I don’t teach other academic areas, I integrate them”.  It’s not difficult for us to find ways to integrate academics into our lessons and still keep the focus on our physical education standards and objectives.  On the other hand, with the focus on increasing physical activity during the school day, it’s a great opportunity for us to help classroom teachers see how they can integrate movement into their lessons.  Here are just a few examples of how this can work as a two way street! 

Reading Common Core Standard, Grades 3-5:  Describe relationships and explain events, procedures, ideas or concepts in a scientific or technical way. 

Skillastics® Resource:  Fitness Skillastics® and Fitness Extreme Skillastics® Activity Kits                                        

Skillastics® Lesson Application Example:  Give students a 3 x 5 card and ask them to look at the mat and select one activity that can be done to help improve a specific fitness component. The student must give one reason they think the activity will improve that fitness component.

Mathematics Common Core Standard, Grade K:  Identify and describe shapes.                                                   

Skillastics® Resource:  Halfpint Skillastics® Activity Kit                                                                 

Skillastics® Lesson Application Example:   As students roll the shape die, ask them to call out the name of the shape that the die lands on. 

 

Classroom Integration Activity Idea for Reading Integration: 

“Teacher, Teacher”:  Give a copy of the task cards to classroom teachers.  The teacher has students work in small groups and each group has one task card.  Each group reads the directions, practices the activity and then demonstrates it for the rest of the class.  This can be done to help students review the activities for that specific activity kit and also helps the teachers learn the activities as well as giving students an opportunity to practice reading and comprehension. 

Classroom Integration Activity Idea for Math Integration:

 “Roll ‘Em”:  Students work with a partner for this activity, with each group having a pair of die.  On the signal, they roll the die and then find the “answer” based on what is designated (add them together, multiply them, subtract them, multiply the total by 2, etc.).  The teacher calls out one of the Skillastics® activities and the students do that activity the number of times of their “answer”. 

Remember, you aren’t “teaching” academics; you are “integrating” academics while you teach physical education! 

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.

Moving with the Alphabet

Moving with the Alphabet”

 Equipment Needed:

·         Laminate the alphabet on 26 pieces of paper (one letter on one paper)

·         26 Skillastics® Task Cards (Any Skillastics® Activity Task Cards will work – Fitness, Fitness Xtreme, Let’s Move in School, Character is Cool, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis and Volleyball)

 Set Up:

·         Scatter all 26 laminated letter cards throughout the playing area. 

·         Lay a Skillastics® Task card next to each of the 26 laminated letter cards.

·         Designate an area in the corner of the playing area for children to go to after they have completed the “Moving with the Alphabet” assignment.  (Teaching Tip:  This area could include additional Skillastics® task cards, balls, beanbags, scarves, anything that will keep the children active).

 

Start Play:

·         On a signal or music, children scatter around the playing area, going to the first letter that spells their name.

·         When they find the letter, they look at the Skillastics® activity associated with that letter.

·         The child does the activity the number of repetitions that were determined prior to play.

·         When the child completes the repetitions, they search for the next letter in their name and repeat the process.

·         When a child finishes spelling his/her name, they jog to the designated playing area in the corner and do an assigned activity in that area until everyone in the class has completed spelling their name.

Options:

·         Appoint teams

o   Each team is told to spell a word (each team has a different word, but has the same amount of letters in the words.  For example, dog and cat). 

o   The first team to spell the word first and jog to the designated area, wins.

·         Partner Up

o   Partners work together on rotating to each of the cards and doing the activity. 

o   The partners pull a word out of a bucket and begin spelling.

o   When the word is spelled, they go back to the bucket and spell another word.

·         Sport Specific

o   Lay equipment next to each card.  For example, if you want the children to work on their basketball skills, lay a basketball or a ball that bounces next to each letter card and Basketball Skillastics® Task Card.  Teaching Tip:  Place the Basketball in a ring or in a bucket.  This will reduce the frustration of the ball rolling away.  Or, you can line the cards along a wall, and lay the ball against a wall.

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.

Physical Activity Before and After School and Staff Involvement

This month we will take a look at the last two components of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program, “Physical Activity Before and After School” and “Staff Involvement”.  A summary from NASPE/AAHPERD of these two components are below.

Physical Activity Before and After School

Physical activity before and after school provides opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities, to practice what they’ve learned in physical education, work towards the nationally recommended 60+ minutes of daily moderate-vigorous physical activity, and prepare the brain for learning. Additional benefits include social interaction and engagement of students in safe, supervised activities.

Opportunities include:

  • Walk and bike to school and implementation of a comprehensive Safe Routes to School program
  • Informal recreation or play on school grounds
  • Physical activity in school-based child-care
  • Physical activity clubs and intramural sports
  • Interscholastic sports

Staff Members Move in School

High-level support from school administrators is critical to a successful comprehensive school physical activity programs. Staff involvement in school-based physical activity provides two key benefits:

  • School employee wellness programs have been shown to improve staff health, increase physical activity levels, and be cost effective.
  • When school staff members are personally committed to good health practices, they are positive role models for students and may show increased support for student participation in physical activity.

One great way to bring attention to the importance of increasing physical activity before and after school is to take part in the National Walk and Bike to School Event that is scheduled for May 8.  Go to http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/ for more information on this event.   And, while you’re at it, why not get the school staff involved in this event to help them benefit from some fun physical activity as well!!

Another strategy to consider is using some of the Skillastics® activity kits for students attending before and after school programs and during professional development days with your staff.  The students will enjoy having the opportunity to be active and staff members will see the value of being active while having fun together!

This concludes the articles devoted to incorporating a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program into your schools.  In the previous articles you have been encouraged to sign up to be a part of NASPE/AAHPERD’s “Let’s Move in School Campaign”.  As most of you are probably aware, recently First Lady Michelle Obama announced her “Let’s Move! Active Schools” campaign.  AAHPERD and several other great organizations are collaborating on this project which will take the place of LMIS.  I encourage you to sign up at www.LetsMoveSchools.org and become a part of this initiative!

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.

Become An Offensive Threat

Happy New Year! What a wonderful time to recommit yourself to becoming the basketball player you know you can become! And it’s really so simple, something you, and only you can do…that’s practice. The key is not how much time you spend practicing, it’s how you spend that time. So many times I’ve seen young athletes practicing with good intentions; however, the way they practice is completely wrong. And what they end up doing is developing bad habits (which are so hard to break). Why not practice all the basketball fundamentals the RIGHT way, so you won’t have to spend so much time later correcting them?

So, with this idea in mind, I want to talk a little bit about becoming an Offensive Threat. And the way you become an Offensive Threat is to develop into a fundamentally solid player. One of the unique and exciting features of basketball is that all players handle the ball. No matter what position you play, you must dribble, pass, shoot, and rebound.

The best way to prepare you to gain your first offensive advantage once you have the ball is to start in the triple threat position. You can use this position to become an offensive threat in three ways — passing, shooting, or driving to the basket. The option you choose depends on the defense and how your opponents are playing you. And the key is reading your defense and being able to react immediately in one of three ways.

Putting the Triple Threat to Work

Once you make a decision to pass, shoot, or drive, you must execute your option.

  • Jab and Shoot – Step or jab violently at the defense with your front foot (Jab step about 1 foot in front of you), while keeping the pivot foot stationary. If the defense reacts and takes the fake by backing off, explode up for a jump shot. Repeat this 10 times at 5 different spots around the basket.
  • Jab Step and Go – With the jab and go, your pivot foot must remain on the floor until the dribble starts. Make your first step explosive, because you want to get around the defense. Remember, if you jab step and go to your right, dribble the ball with your right hand. Repeat this 10 times at 5 different spots around the basket.
  • Jab Step and Crossover – This move is good to use when the defense is close. With the ball, jab step to the side of the defense. Then, step across and by the defense with your front foot. If you are right-handed, jab with the right foot. Left-handed, jab with the left foot (it’s good to learn how to go both ways however). Now, you can cross over in the opposite direction. You must protect the ball, taking it from the outside hand farthest from the defender. Quickly switch the ball low from right to left using your right arm and body to protect the ball. The dribble begins before you pick up your pivot foot. The key is to stay low. Repeat this 10 times at 5 different spots around the basket. Go 10 times to the right, two dribbles and shoot and then 10 times to the left, two dribbles and shoot.

How do you teach the Triple Threat Position?  Help others by sharing your comments below.

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.

Let’s Move in School – An Initiative for ALL of us!

I’m sure most all of you are aware of the “Let’s Move in School” initiative that was started by NASPE and AAHPERD.  If you haven’t signed up to be a part of this great project, I encourage you to do so by going to www.letsmoveinschool.org  There are numerous resources that you can access on the AAHPERD web site to help get you started with implementing a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program in your school.

If you look at the CSPAP logo, you will notice that the star at the top is “Physical Education”.  The reason for that is two-fold.  First, a quality physical education program is the cornerstone to a successful Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program.  Physical education is not the same as physical activity and this initiative is not intended to take the place of a quality physical education program taught by a certified teacher.  Second, you as the physical education instructor are the person most qualified to lead this initiative!  Please keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask other people to help!  Quite the opposite!  The more people you have “on board” and helping, the more successful the program will be.  With that in mind, over the next few months, I’ll discuss the other components of CSPAP and give you some ideas for how to get other people involved, and provide some activities to consider implementing in each area.

I’ll start “Staff Involvement” this month.  The LMIS web site states:  “High-level support from school administrators is critical to a successful comprehensive school physical activity programs. Staff involvement in school-based physical activity provides two key benefits:

  • School employee wellness programs have been shown to improve staff health, increase physical activity levels, and be cost effective.
  • When school staff are personally committed to good health practices, they are positive role models for students and may show increased support for student participation in physical activity.”

With that in mind, and with the holiday season here, it’s a perfect time to invite your staff to participate in some type of “healthy challenge”.  These could be started now or after the first of the year.  If you are waiting until January, send out some “teasers” to get people excited about participating!  You might consider implementing one of these ideas:

  • “Exercise = Less Stress” (provide a chart for people to record how many minutes of physical activity they get each day during the month)
  • “Maintain, No Gain Challenge” (provide ideas for healthy eating tips during the month and a weekly “weigh in” sheet)
  • “Healthy Treats for Happy Feet” (encourage people to walk during their lunch hour and bring healthy foods for their lunch)
  • “Biggest Loser Challenge” (make this fun and non-threatening to get more involvement!)

Keep in mind that healthy staff members will serve as good role models to your students so don’t keep their successes a secret—share what you are doing with your students!  It will let them see that the adults in their school (not just you as the physical education teacher) care about their health and wellness and understand the benefits of being physically active and eating right!

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.

Including Current Events in Your Teaching Practices

 One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.”  Knute Rockne 
When I read that quote, I have mixed feelings because I believe that we have a responsibility to teach our students the importance of
good sportsmanship.  However, if we don’t model it, and practice it so students see what it looks like, then our teaching
is in vain.  In addition to our own actions, we also have a multitude of current examples of actions on and off the
field to help in our efforts to teach the value of teamwork and sportsmanship.  Here are two examples to
get you started thinking about how easy it is to include current events in your teaching practices. 
 
 A local middle school has a student who because of medical issues can’t play football.  He
desperately wanted to be on the team so the coach allowed him to come to practice and suit up for every game
even though he couldn’t actually play.  Recently, the coach talked to his team and
the opposing coach and this young man was allowed to enter the game.  And….I’m sure you see where this is going!  Even though it looked like he was
trying to be tackled, he wasn’t touched and ran down the field for a touchdown, and successfully ran for the two point conversion.  Everyone on both teams had a part in showing
what sportsmanship looks like on the field.   When interviewed, the coach said, sometimes there are more important
things in life than winning a game.  Through his teaching, two opposing teams practiced sportsmanship that day. 
 

Now, an example of how poor sportsmanship might be used as a teaching tool!  I am a Kansas City
Chiefs fan and season ticket holder (yes it’s been rough year!!).  A few weeks ago the starting quarterback was
hit and ultimately left the game with a concussion.  The fans were “ripped” by one of the Chiefs players
for cheering when it happened.  I was there and can tell you not everyone cheered as was originally reported, and some were
cheering for the fact that the back-up QB was coming into the game.  However, even one person cheering when a
player is injured in my mind is inappropriate.  One of the ESPN commentators later in the week said his concern was the
message it was giving to the “young fans”.  I totally agree!  And, unfortunately, that type of behavior is becoming more and more common at all
sporting events.  The fans actions, and the way a player stood up for his teammate provided an opportunity to talk
about sportsmanship and teamwork.  Events like can be used as well as those “feel good” stories as teachable moments with
our students. 

Check out the Character is Cool Skillastics®  kit for a great resource for teaching several character traits with a variety of fun and
challenging activities!  And, so you know, for the rest of the football season I’ll continue to wear purple on Saturday
and red on Sunday!  Go Kansas State Wildcats and Kansas City Chiefs!! 

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.

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