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Superhero PE Games to Get Students Moving [Video]

Posted 4 days ago - by Gopher Community

In honor of National Superhero Day (April 28), we have compiled 5 fun superhero-themed games that your students will love! These games use Rainbow Sets of equipment to distinguish different superhero teams. Every color represents a different superhero!

  • Red = Ironman
  • Orange = The Human Torch
  • Yellow = Wolverine
  • Green = The Incredible Hulk
  • Blue = Superman / Superwoman
  • Purple = Batman, The Phantom, or Psylocke (Batman doesn’t have any superpowers so his character might be difficult to use in these games)

 

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Superpower Shakedown

 

Similar to Everybody’s It Tag, students run around the gym trying to collect super powers (flags) from other students while protecting their own! We used Infinite Flag Belts to divide the players into 6 different superhero teams. Students will have a blast making up names for the new powers they acquire. The person with the largest arsenal of powers at the end of a designated time is the winner!

 

Super Power Pile-Up

 

Help! All of our superheroes have lost their powers! Place six hula hoops around the outside of the play area. Students must run around the gym, collect their super powers (ClassicCoat Balls) and return them to their base. Once a team has collected all of its super powers, they can steal powers from other teams. The team with the most super powers/balls at the end of a designated time is the winner!

 

Superhero Battle Royale

 

This game is a battle between all six superhero teams!  Players collect their colored superpowers (ClassicCoat Balls) scattered around the gym floor and work to score on the other team’s AllAround Jr. Goal - weakening them with every ball scored. The team with the least amount of balls in their team’s goal is the winner!

 

Superhero Revival

 

Teams designate a player to tag other superheroes with their team’s colored ClassicCoat Balls! If tagged with the ball, the player is drained of all of their powers and must go back to their base to revive. In order to revive, the player must perform 10 burpees to be allowed back into the game! Nobody is safe! Even taggers can still be tagged by other teams.

 

ACTION! Super Shielders

 

Students will love this unique superhero-themed game available only from Gopher. The goal of Super Shielders is to protect your city while the other team tries to knock over your team’s buildings. Superheroes will love the cape and shield that comes with the set. Add a unique twist to the game with archenemies that can tag anybody and make them perform an exercise before returning to the game. The first team to knock over their opponent’s buildings is the winner. This game includes activity instructions with even more game ideas and variations! Shop or learn more about Super Shielders!

 

Your students will have a blast saving the world with these fun superhero games for physical education!

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5 Unique Game Ideas with Block 'Em [Video]

Posted 1 week ago - by Gopher Community

In ACTION! Block ‘Em, students use foam blocks to build a 6 x 6 block tower while preventing the opposing team from knocking it over. Students love this fun twist to a knockdown-style game, but the best news is that these blocks can be used for so much more!

Check out 5 unique PE activity ideas to use with ACTION! Block ‘Em:

 

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Spelling Bee Block ‘Em:

 

The foam blocks can be used to spell out words in a team relay! Encourage students to come up with and spell out the most creative word or have each team spell out the same word in a timed relay. Correct spelling and legibility count!

 

Block ‘Em Breakdown:

 

Each team has 4 - 6 stacks of blocks on opposing ends of the play area. Teams must protect their stacks of blocks while trying to knock over the opposing team’s stacks.  The team to completely demolish the other team’s stacks first, wins!

 

Building Block ‘Em:

 

Instead of destroying towers, this game focuses on building them. Teams work together in a relay-style game to try and build the fastest pyramid. Students can be creative in how their pyramid is built! For a fun addition to the game, create a knockdown component. The first team to build its pyramid and knock it down is the winner! Students can either build a really tall and slim tower that’s riskier to build, but easier to knock over or a really sturdy structure that’s harder to knock down.

 

Block ‘Em Bowling:

 

Stack the foam blocks as a pyramid and have kids bowl to knock them all down. Blocks can also be scattered around the play area to be knocked over individually in a knockdown game!

 

ACTION! Block 'Em: 

 

In the classic game of ACTION! Block ‘Em, students try to build a 6 x 6 block wall while the other team tries to knock it over. Students can either work to build the wall, protect it, or knock down the other team’s wall. Every block that gets knocked over by the other team must be returned to the center play area. The first team to build their wall is the winner!

 

ACTION! Block ‘Em is an extremely versatile game and makes for a great addition to your physical education supplies. Each pack comes with activity instructions with even more game ideas and variations – check it out here!

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The PE Game Your Equipment Room Needs [Video]

Posted 1 week ago - by Gopher Community

As a physical educator, purchasing equipment that can be used for multiple activities and units is like hitting the jackpot! One of our favorite items that’s big on versatility is ToppleTubes. ToppleTubes are unique 2-color tubes with endless uses in physical education. They’re great for PE games and activities like stacking, relays, and knockdown, but their versatility also makes them a great addition for sport-skill units and fitness activities.

We’ve put together 10 game and activity ideas that will make ToppleTubes your favorite piece of equipment!

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Football Skills

ToppleTubes can be a great addition to any agility drill. Use them in your football unit for the 3-cone drill or quarterback movement drills. Practice juking by having students juke left if yellow is facing up and right if blue is facing up. Lastly, use ToppleTubes as catching boundaries or targets!

 

 

Basketball Skills

Use ToppleTubes during your basketball unit by having students dribble from tube to tube and flip them over to their team’s color. This activity is great for practicing control and maintaining space. 

 

 

 

Topple Balance

Place a ToppleTube on each end of a balance beam. Students must walk to one end, bend down, flip the ToppleTube over, and then repeat the same steps on the other side. Have students flip each ToppleTube over 5 times for ultimate practice!

 

 

ToppleTube Tip Over

Two teams each have a designated number of ToppleTubes that they must protect. Defenders try to defend their ToppleTube, while offenders try to knock over the other team’s ToppleTube. If an opponent knocks over a ToppleTube, he/she flips the tube over and possession changes. The team with the most ToppleTubes with their team’s color facing up at end of a designated time is the winner!

 

 

Indoor Baseball of Softball

Refine aim and control during indoor baseball or softball units by using ToppleTubes as targets for grounders! ToppleTubes can also be used for a variety of strength and conditioning exercises or activities for baseball or softball teams.

 

 

 

ToppleTube Cardio

Space the ToppleTubes around the gym for teams to compete against each other by flipping the ToppleTube over to their team’s color. Switch up the movement for a great warm-up activity!

 

 

 

Fitness Games & Activities

Instead of completing 10 reps of lunges or push-ups, have students alternate with a partner! Whenever they complete a rep, flip the ToppleTube over to their color. When the music stops, whoever’s color is facing up earns a point! Another fitness activity is to practice Russian Twists in a circle and use the ToppleTubes to pass around the circle.

 

 

Tennis Targets

ToppleTubes are great for tennis targets! Place the ToppleTubes a few feet in front of your students and have them aim to knock them over with the tennis ball. This will help your students to practice rallying and control.

 

 

 

ToppleTube Target Knockdown

Players aim to knock down their opponent’s ToppleTubes. If it is knocked over, the student must run over and flip the ToppleTube to their team’s color. The team with the most colors facing up, wins!

 

 

 

Building/Stacking Relay

 In a relay style game, students race to the other end of the gym to build a pyramid using all of their ToppleTubes. Once their pyramid is complete, they must use their three foam balls to knock down all of their ToppleTubes. The first team to knock all of them over, wins!

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Physical Education Games [Middle School]

Posted 2 weeks ago - by Peter Boucher

Teaching any subject,including physical education, in middle school can be challenging, but it can also be exciting!  During my teaching years, I found middle school students to be incredibly energetic and enthusiastic. They're willing to try just about any activity at least once, as long as you as the teacher, are energized and passionate about your teaching. 

Designing lesson plans full of movement and fun are paramount at every level and this is certainly true for middle school students. It's essential to engage them with all sorts of perpetual motion and a healthy dose of fun, and I always like to add a smidgeon of competition to keep it a little more exciting.  Here's my list of fun physical education games and activities for middle school students:

Super Fruithead  

I love to take games and change their names so that it is catchy and sometimes silly. This is a version of "Fishy, Fishy Cross my Ocean" and Fruit Salad. I have used this game with my PE classes and after-school teams for conditioning. It is a tag game where students need to run from one end of a field or gymnasium to the other when called by the "Super Fruithead".

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How to Play:

  • Assign all students a fruit (we always change up the fruits and use exotic fruits to make it more fun)
  • The Super Fruithead calls out a fruit, "Avocados!", then all of the avocados must run from one end of the field to the other without being tagged by Super Fruithead
  • If a student is tagged, they become a "Fruit Minion" and help the Super Fruithead tag from then on
  • The last student tagged becomes the Super Fruithead for the next game

 

Fitness Tic Tac Toe

This is a newer game that the kids love!  You can set up as many games as you want with as many kids on a team as you want, too. 

How to Play:

  • Set up a tic-tac-toe grid (or preferably more so the kids are more active)
  • Have the two teams start about 20 yards from the grid
  • Each team has a specific color of bean bags (4-5 per team)  
  • Teams line up and when the teacher says "GO!", one member of each team runs down to the tic tac toe board and places a bean bag on the board
  • The student then runs back to their team and the next team member goes
  • Team members continue to run back and forth because they can change/swap their bean bags to adjust to their opponents' moves
  • The running and game continues until a team wins

 

March Madness 3 vs 3

This is a more traditional game, but the kids look forward to it year after year.  We wait until March to coincide with the NCAA tournament to create more energy. I particularly like this unit because it teaches the kids how to play 3 vs. 3 basketball, which is a transferable skill throughout life – in their neighborhood with friends, after work in the gym, or later in life in an adult league, etc.

How to Play:

  • Each class works on 3 vs. 3 basketball skills leading up to the tournament
    • Students are taught all of the fundamental basketball skills along with how to play a 3 vs. 3 game on one net. 
  • Each class is divided into co-ed 3 vs. 3 basketball teams and they choose their own team names (they love this!)
  • Use a round-robin tournament in each class
  • The teams that win their class can play after school at the end of the tournament for fun and for the “school championship”. The students LOVE this unit and tournament!

 

NitroBall™

Being completely transparent, I might be a little bit skewed here as I helped invent NitroBall with Gopher. With that being said, my teaching colleagues insisted that I include it, as they say that their students love this game. 

NitroBall™ is a version of "inverted volleyball" that can completely amplify the ability to utilize your tennis courts for something besides tennis.  This fun physical education game can also be set up inside and coincide with your badminton, pickelball, or other net games units.  The Basic NitroBall™ Set includes 2 balls, 1 net, a storage bag, and instructions. The only adjustment I would recommend for younger grade levels is to add a few more players to the court to maximize participation and the fun factor.  NitroBall™ is typically played with 4 players per team but you can definitely move that number to 5 or even 6 players at the younger levels. Learn more about NitroBall!

 

So there you have it, my top 5 physical education games and activities compiled from my years of teaching and a host of teaching colleagues.  I'd recommend giving all of them a try and see what you think.  Check back in and let us know how your students liked the games. Don’t forget to share your favorite physical education games and activities!

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5 Nutrition Games for Physical Education (Video)

Posted 2 weeks ago - by Gopher Community

Incorporate nutrition concepts and national physical education standards into your classes with these nutrition-based games! 
 

 

 

NutriPlay™ Harvest Hustle™

Students work together to grab ingredients to complete their team’s shopping list! In a relay style, players run to the center of the gym and find the ingredient that they need. This game is great for introducing meal planning, choosing healthy ingredients, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The recipe cards also offer basic preparation instructions to introduce students to cooking. The included shopping list gives students a realistic shopping experience. The first team to complete its recipe, wins! To extend the game, see who can complete the most recipes. 

 

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NutriPlay™ Healthy in a Hurry™

Students will have so much fun strategizing and playing this game, they’ll have no idea they’re learning the difference between healthy and unhealthy food options. Players race to the other end of the gym and either select a healthy or unhealthy beanbag. Students must collect the healthy beanbags, while giving the unhealthy beanbags away to their opponents. Students must “burn off” the unhealthy food by performing a designated exercise. The team with the most healthy food beanbags at the end of the game is the winner! 

 

NutriPlay™ Nutringo™ Nutrition Bingo

This game makes bingo active and healthy! Teachers select a Nutringo™ card and read off the name of the food, a fun fact and the exercise activity. Students look at their board and if they are able to mark the spot off, they must perform the exercise first! The first team to get Nutringo™ is the winner. Since students stay by their Nutringo™ mat to perform the exercises, this game is great for any space! 

 

NutriPlay™ Food-Tag Frenzy

It’s a race to fill your team’s plate in this fun, action-filled nutrition game! Team’s scramble to gather food beans bags and place them in the proper food group on the large MyPlate mats. Watch out for junk food taggers! If they tag you, you must perform an exercise until a healthy food tagger frees you. The team with the most balanced diet at the end of the game, wins! 

 

NutriPlay™ HealthySpots™

These versatile, healthy spots are great for teaching food groups and can be incorporated into any nutrition game! Food groups are organized by rainbow colors and the food items are molded in to the HealthySpot™. Use these spots for relays, strategy, or bombardment games. Take your favorite go-to game and add a nutrition twist! 

Check out more active and educational Nutrition Games for PE!

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Exercise in Disguise: Fun PE Games and Activities

Posted 3 weeks ago - by Carolyn Temertzoglou

“5 laps around the gym – Go!”

Is this a familiar command you recall when you entered the gymnasium for your Physical Education class in elementary school? Did it make you excited to take part in PE or did it raise anxiety and/or boredom as you dreaded the same old routine to start the PE lesson? If you answered the later, a common response, it may have led to a negative attitude towards physical activity, perhaps even a disengagement in PE because it wasn’t fun, enjoyable, and varied in its approach.

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Everyone should be able to associate physical activity as a fun, enjoyable experience and a necessary component of everyday life. 

With only 9% of Canadians kids aged 5 to 17 achieving 60 minutes of heart pumping exercise daily, and similar statistics in the United States, we need to change the way we get kids moving in PE and throughout the school day through fun games and activities. (ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, 2015)

Have you ever thought about gamifying” your approach to teaching fundamental movement skills, personal fitness, and interpersonal skills? Developing more movement vocabulary and physical literacy opens up a gateway to active participation for life.

To “gamify” something means to turn an activity or task, such as physical activity, into a game or something resembling a game; usually making the activity more interesting. Here is an example gamifying a common paper and pencil game such as Tic Tac Toe into a dynamic warm up for a PE lesson.

Tic Tac Toe Relay

This game combines components of fitness such as speed, agility, cardiovascular fitness and problem solving skills. See video example!

 

 

Games permeate every aspect of school PE. Games can be used as warm-ups or modified instructional tools, as well as taught as complex activities. Games enable students of all ages and abilities to achieve a range of core competencies of a quality Health and Physical Education program. Through games students can:

  • Actively participate in sustained moderate to vigorous physical activity according their abilities and readiness level.
  • Demonstrate responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others.
  • Develop a range of movement skills (e.g., stability, locomotion and manipulative), concepts (e.g., body and spatial awareness) and strategies (e.g., rules and boundaries, conventions of fair play) to acquire movement competence and increased physical literacy
  • Develop personal, interpersonal skills and use critical thinking and problem solving skills.    

If games are taught well, students can improve their fitness, learn new skills, cooperate with team mates and challenge their intellect by solving problems of strategy and tactics. If games are taught poorly, students may learn that winning is everything and cheating is a viable strategy.

No doubt, the use of games can increase fun and student enjoyment in PE. Consider planning instruction of games with intent. Create guiding question(s) to frame the learning in a game/activity.

  • “Why do games have rules?” Ask yourself this if you want to emphasize conventions of fair play, structures of games.
  • “What makes a good team player?” Ask yourself this if you want to emphasize interpersonal skills and teambuilding skills.
  • “What skills from this activity can I transfer to another game or sport environment?” Ask yourself this if you want to emphasize the development of movement competence and personal fitness.

Useful Tip: Use novelty type equipment such as a rubber critters or throton, both are non-sport specific throwing objects. This can create a more inclusive learning environment and engage students of all readiness levels and skills to begin with, before progressing into more complex activities.
 

Here are some fun PE games to get you started:

  • Everybody Is It – At the start of the game everyone is it and every player tries to tag another player while trying not to be tagged. If tagged, players have to perform a task (e.g., choice of 5 stride jumps, 5 push-ups, 5 sit-ups, 5 tuck jumps) and then return to the game. If players, tag each other at the same time both perform a task. Continue for several minutes of fun and movement!
     
  • Triangle Tagimproves agility and coordination. 

         

Scatter 20-30 topple tubes (or cones) around the playing area in no particular order or color pattern. Divide the class into 2 teams. On the signal, players race to flip their team’s color to the top. If playing with cones players either race to flip the cones to standing upright (builders) or flip cones on their side (bulldozers). Players must only use their hands to flip the tubes or cones, not their feet. Play the game for a period of time and declare the winning team with the most standing tubes in its color “up” or the cones in the assigned position.

Check out Gopher's full selection of ACTION!™ Team Games! These games are designed to be action-packed, class oriented, teacher friendly, inclusive, and incorporate national standards! 

  • Flying Chicken Baseball – develops interpersonal skills and game sense for striking and fielding games.
     
  • Code Breaker – a team circuit game by Thompson Educational Publishing.
     
  • Minute to Win It – a fun circuit that appeals to students who love competition by Thompson Educational Publishing.
     
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors Games – a fun baseball favorite and more from CIRA Ontario.    
     

What fun games and activities are in your “PE tool kit” and why?

Be sure to check out my next blog in June featuring a fun filled game called Kin-Ball. It’s a game that emphasizes teamwork and develops movement vocabulary such as hand eye coordination, manipulative skills and spatial awareness, all in one! 

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Tabata Workout Ideas for Physical Education

Posted 3 weeks ago - by Maria Corte

Are you using tabata and interval training in your physical education classes? These training methods are a great way to burn calories, improve aerobic capacity, and keep students moving. Below I've outlined the benefits of using these training methods, how I use tabata in my PE classes, and additional tabata activities for PE. 

What is Tabata?

Tabata training is one of the most popular forms of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It's 4 minutes of high-intensity training, alternating between 20 seconds of max training followed by a 10-second rest for a total of eight rounds. These workouts are fast-paced, fun, and burn tons of calories. It’s named after the researcher who first studied it and is gaining traction across the country. New research from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) shows that it can burn up to 15 calories per minute.

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What is interval training?

Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. For instance, if your exercise is walking—if you're in good shape, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. If you're less fit, you might alternate leisurely walking with periods of faster walking. For example, if you're walking outdoors, you could walk faster between certain mailboxes, trees or other landmarks.

 

What can interval training do for me?

According to the Mayo Clinic Staff’s article, Rev Up Your Workout with Interval Training, “Whether you're a novice exerciser or you've been exercising for years, interval training can help you jazz up your workout routine. Consider the benefits:

  • You'll burn more calories. The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you'll burn—even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes at a time.
  • You'll improve your aerobic capacity. As your cardiovascular fitness improves, you'll be able to exercise longer or with more intensity. Imagine finishing your 60-minute walk in 45 minutes—or the additional calories you'll burn by keeping up the pace for the full 60 minutes.
  • You'll keep boredom at bay. Turning up your intensity in short intervals can add variety to your exercise routine.
  • You don't need special equipment. You can simply modify your current routine.”

 

How do I use Tabata in my PE class?

I use Tabata 2 ways:

  • With a timer: Using the Tabata Pro app, I project the timer from my iPhone onto the gym wall. All I need to do is hit start and the program timer runs itself through the entire series including warm up and cool down. With the app, I have the choice to use the preset traditional interval series or customize my own interval components. 
  • Without a timer: Use a Tabata music pre-mix to guide the students through their four-minute interval series. In the search box on iTunes®, type in Tabata workout music, or anything close to that, and you will find tons of pre-set/pre-mixed Tabata music choices on iTunes with voice overs included.

 

Tabata Workout Plans and Ideas for PE

Here are a few ways I use Tabata during my PE class. It works perfectly for warm-up or cool-down activities.

  • Get the students in groups of 4 and have them number themselves, 1-4.  Start the Tabata music mix from iTunes®. Instruct each student to choose an exercise for the rest of their group of 4 to do until the 20 seconds is up. During the 10-second rest, student #2 then chooses an exercise to lead. The students repeat this until all 4 students have had the opportunity to teach their peers 2 times each. This will be the 4-minute workout as stated above. As the instructor, you never need to start and stop the music… it’s all pre-set and recorded for you! 
  • I use the same Tabata music, but I lead the entire class and change the exercises at each interval. I’ll do medicine ball ab exercises, jogging/walking, body bar exercises, stretches, yoga poses etc…
  • I use the Tabata Pro app as a rotation device to guide students through various circuits. With the timer, I set the length of the workout to fit my needs. For example, the workout will be 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes in length. With this approach, you may select your own music to be played while using the app. 

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Team Building Activities & Games for PE

Posted 3 weeks ago - by Jason Gemberling

One of the best ways to start your school year is to get your students active and working together! Team building activities and games, also referred to as cooperative learning activities, can be a great way to see which students work well with everyone, which work well with certain students, and which students struggle to work well with anyone. We all know we have the full range in any given class, so hopefully incorporating some team building activities and games will bring the entire class together.

 

Island Movers

One of my favorite cooperative games to do when I taught elementary students was Island Movers! The game involves as much or as little equipment as you want to allow.  The idea of the game is for students to use the equipment you give them to get everyone in their group from one end of the gymnasium to the other without anyone touching the “shark-infested waters,” aka the gym floor! Feel free to play some Jaws-themed music too! 

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  • Split class into small groups of 4 or 5 students each for the first couple of rounds. Then make the groups the larger as you go.
  • Start each group with one piece of equipment per person in the group. If they master that, remove a piece of equipment. Examples of equipment: poly spots, carpet squares, cones, jump ropes, scooters, cardboard boxes, etc. Ensure you give each group the same pieces of equipment. 
  • Allow students to work together to cross the shark-infested waters.
  • On the last day of this activity, I make this a class challenge and the entire class must work together to accomplish the task.
  • End each round with a quick debriefing. This is a time to ask your students to share what worked and what didn’t. It also allows students to try a different group’s idea.

Reminders:

  • This is a teamwork activity, so make sure that all groups realize this is NOT a race.
  • If a group is finished, encourage those students to cheer for the other groups.
  • Mix up the groups each round so the students get to work with everyone in the class.

 

Buddy Walking

buddy walking, team walkingAnother team building activity that I have done is called Buddy Walking. This is a fun activity that I encourage you to record on video the first and last day of the activity to see how far the students’ teamwork skills have grown and improved. Everyone will have a good laugh; and, to be quite honest, being able to laugh together is another great way to bond! 

I liked to use the Team Walker Sets from Gopher for this activity. However, if you are low on funds and handy, you can make your own set with some 2x4’s and rope. The idea is to get students to think, communicate, and walk as a group from Point A to Point B. Some students will take charge and lead their group in a cadenced march, while others will struggle to work together. Again, this is why debriefing is crucial!  It will allow students to hear success stories! 

 

Geocaching

Geocaching or treasure hunting is an activity that can be done in small groups or as a whole class and can be a tremendous amount of fun! You are in control of how complex you would like to make this adventurous lesson. I have never had GPS units in my PE closet, but if you can purchase a couple I would recommend it! The units range in cost and complexity, so pick what you feel comfortable using and teaching! And if you don’t have the funds to purchase GPS units, dig deep into your National Treasure skills and create maps of your own for your students to follow. The great part about creating clues to use is that you can pull classroom concepts into PE class, again this all depends on how elaborate you want to make the lesson/unit. I have done this as a search-and-rescue mission utilizing clues that they must follow to get to a specific destination. Along the way as they get to each clue, I like to add different exercises that they must complete as a group before moving onto the next clue. A word of caution, this is not the best thing to do within the halls of your school, it can be a little loud! Shop Geocaching supplies.

 

Team Counting Game

My last suggestion, and I still use this at the high school level, is a counting game. I call it team counting, and I would say this is better for your upper elementary students. There is no equipment necessary and you can use it inside or outside! 

If you have a class of 20 students, the idea is for the class to count from 1 to 20, but each student is allowed to call out only one number. Students sit or stand in a circle and are not permitted to count straight down the line or around the circle. If two students call out a number at the same time, they must start back at 1. If there is a long pause, I usually go with 3 or 4 seconds, then they must start over.  Depending on the class, this task can be done quickly or it may take them 10 minutes or they may never get it. I suggest not letting them struggle to the point where they don’t get it, give them some hints. The hint I use is that once a student has secured a number that they called out, they should always be the person to call that number. Again, debriefing with your class at the end is crucial, because you can talk about different strategies and how they as a class worked together to solve a tricky problem. As an extra little bonus, I use this with my track team and they must do wall sits while trying to work together to count from 1 to however many are in my sprinter/hurdler/jumper group.

I know the thought is to use team building activities and games at the beginning of the year and I agree it is important, but I would also gauge your classes throughout the year. I know when I taught elementary school PE, there were times in the year when I pulled these back out because I felt it was necessary to get everyone back together. This is especially true as they get older because hormones kick in, friendships form, and sometimes you can tell classes are excluding some kids. That never leads to anything positive! I also want to point out that these activities are meant to be fun, and if you notice your students getting frustrated just stop and have a debriefing session to talk things out. If your students are extremely frustrated and you don’t help them work through this, you will have accomplished nothing! Good Luck!

 

Shop team building equipment options.

Interested in more team building ideas? Check out these blogs:

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Rainy-Day Activities to Keep Students Moving

Posted 3 weeks ago - by Dr. Lisa Witherspoon


There are some days that you're left without your gymnasium or field, so how can you keep students moving when physical education is moved into a classroom?

When it comes to weather such as rain, snow, or extreme heat, sometimes it is difficult to find indoor activities that keep students motivated and moving. Some teachers do not have an indoor facility such as a gymnasium or multi-purpose room available, and for those that do, sometimes you're "kicked out" for a school assembly or other school-wide function. Many physical education teachers have experienced conducting their classes in a small classroom with desks. While this is sometimes a great opportunity to teach content involving wellness topics (nutrition, safety, health, etc.), many times we want students to be able to get up and move, which is difficult considering the physical environment available.

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Two activities that have become more popular and successful with teachers and students for an indoor activity are GoNoodle® and HOPSports Brain Breaks®.  Both simply require the Internet and a source to project what is displayed on a device (computer, tablet, smartphone) onto a large screen or wall space. Students are able to stand by their desk or in personal space to participate in the activities chosen.  See below a quick contribution and comparison of the two:

 

 

GoNoodle®

Brain Breaks®

Age-appropriate activities

 

Yes

Yes

Variety of activities

 

Yes

Yes

Available for classroom teachers to encourage more physical activity time

Yes

Yes

Teacher-friendly (usage)

 

Yes

Yes

Easy-to-follow for students

 

Yes

Yes

Unique content such as yoga, martial arts, and dance
 

Yes

(Not martial arts)

Yes

 

With the simple click on a device, both GoNoodle® and Brain Breaks® can offer teachers a large variety of activities for students. One unique feature with both websites is that teachers can choose content areas that they may not feel comfortable teaching, such as yoga and dance, so students are able to participate in these activities that are developmentally appropriate and healthy. Students simply follow the instructors on the screen while teachers are able to walk around and provide feedback to assist the students’ learning.

Another way teachers can implement these activities is through an instant activity or bell work before class instruction begins. Rainy or snowy days or limited space situations do not have to be bothersome. These are two of the many ideas teachers can explore to get their students up and moving while enjoying being physical active.

Learn more or shop Brain Breaks® today!

Looking for more ideas? Check out No Gym, No Field, No Problem! by Shannon Jarvis.

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Tips for Choosing the Perfect Coated-Foam Ball for PE Activities

Posted 1 month ago - by Gopher Community

Choosing the perfect size coated-foam ball for your class can be a little overwhelming. It can be difficult selecting the right ball without the ability to pick it up and feel how small or large it is in your hands. Gopher put together a size comparison guide with videos to help you determine which ball is the best fit for your needs. The activities below are just a few ideas to get you started. There are a ton of different ways to use coated-foam balls – be creative! If you have a unique idea, please share it in the comment section.

2.75” Diameter Ball

 

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Specs: Circumference = 8.64”, 21.95 cm
Size Comparison = Baseball (2.86” Dia.), Tennis Ball (2.7”)

This ball is the perfect ball for throwing, catching and hitting! Gopher’s ClassicCoat™ Bounce™ can be used for racket sports, floor hockey, golf, cricket and lacrosse. They are also the perfect size to practice juggling. These smaller balls take up very little storage space, but can have a large impact on your class!

 

3.5” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 11”, 27.94 cm
Size Comparison = Softball (3.8” Dia.)

The 3.5” diameter ball is equivalent to the size of a softball. Students can practice hitting and catching with more success. This is also a great size for introductory tennis and pickle ball. Practice target throwing and add them to knockdown games for more fun!

 

5” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 15.71”, 39.90 cm
Size Comparison = Gym Ball (12” – 16” Dia.)

Equivalent to the size of a gym ball, this 5” diameter ClassicCoat™ ball is a great size for softball training. Bring your shot put indoors with a similar diameter ball that won’t damage your gym floor. Lastly, supplement your Spikeball™ unit or sets with an introductory version using a DuraHoop™ Flat Hula Hoop and a 5” diameter ClassicCoat™ Versa™ ball.

 

6.3” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 19.79”, 50.27 cm
Size Comparison = Handball Junior Size (6.3” – 6.5” Dia)

The 6.3” diameter ball can be used for a variety of games and activities. Easier to grip for elementary students, this ball can be great for handball and knockdown games.

 

7” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 22”, 55.88 cm
Size Comparison = Soccer Ball (Size 3), Handball (Men’s)

Slightly larger than our 6.3” dia ball, this ball is more comfortable to throw for secondary students. Play handball, knockdown, and target games with the 7” dia ball.

 

8.25” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 25.92”, 65.84 cm
Size Comparison = Volleyball, Soccer Ball (Size 4), Official Adult Dodgeball Size

The 8.25” diameter coated-foam ball is extremely versatile. Use this ball for volleyball, bowling, soccer, kickball, four square and table ball. Shoot, spike, kick and roll this ball with ease. Increase confidence in soccer and volleyball with a less intimidating ball. 

 

10” Diameter Ball

 

Specs: Circumference = 31.42”, 79.81 cm
Size Comparison = Official Size Basketball

Our largest coated-foam ball is equivalent to an official size basketball. Great for teaching beginning basketball, soccer and volleyball skills. Add this ball to other activities to add a variety of rolling, throwing and blocking fun!

 

We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below if you have any recommendations of your own! 

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