In this episode of the PE Express Podcast, Lynn Burrows shares four ways to end class with the send off. Listen to the episode below and follow along by reading the article.
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Today I want to share four send offs I have found to be successful with my students.
I feel like I’ve got down how to start each class using fun, engaging instant activities. However, when class ends, I often feel rushed. This causes me to cut short or skip altogether my end of class send off. One of my teaching goals this year is to have purposeful send offs. Here’s some ideas I’ve tried that have gone well. They each take two minutes or less.
1. Partner Exercises
First, have students partner discuss a concept they worked on on the lesson. Their ticket out the door is to share with me how they can apply it outside of PE. For example, our first week of school, a concept in fifth grade was inclusion. When students shared how they could apply it outside of PE, here were some of their ideas: They stated that on the playground they could ask someone to join them. At lunch, they could invite a classmate to join their table and in class they could ask a group if you can join them. At recess, they could ask a group if you can join their game.
My younger students are learning about the difference between active and inactive after school choices and their ticket out the door with their partner was to tell me one activity they could do that day after school that was an active choice.
2. Demonstrate a Skill
Another send off idea that I’ve had success with is asking students to demonstrate a key element of a skill we worked on as they walk out the door. This worked well with underhand tossing and as they cross the threshold to leave the gym, students demonstrated stepping with the opposite foot as they were bringing their tossing hand back and then following through towards the target.
3. Taking Activity Beyond Class
The third sendoff I’ve had success with is having students partner walk and talk and discuss how they could get involved in an activity outside of school that includes a skill we worked on that day. For example, when students were working on problem solving and working cooperatively as a small team, they suggested signing up for soccer, signing up for lacrosse, joining the afterschool Lego club or joining the afterschool steam dream team. They thought these would be other places that they might have an opportunity to work on problem solving or work cooperatively.
4. Using Student Leaders
Another send off I’ve had success with is using a student leader, a projected video or leading the students myself and having students mirror the leader and follow a cool, calm down activity. I follow up by asking them to try one of these when they need to calm down outside of school. My students like these, the one I like best is just slowly stretching their arms up overhead, breathe in deeply and as their arms come back down, slowly release the breath, trying to lengthen each exhale. We try to picture a balloon when we do this. Slowly filling the balloon and then slowly letting air out of the balloon.
Another relaxation activity is counting backwards from 10 slowly going from standing tall to standing in a small ball. Students try to use all the 10 counts. Then reverse back to standing, extending their legs first, then straightening one vertebrae at a time.
The last relaxation technique is sitting or laying down, leading students through relaxation sequence where they tighten and then relax each muscle group. This has the added benefit of going through each of the muscle groups with the students.
How do you send off your students? Are you like me sometimes where you’re so rushed to get them lined up and out and encourage you to try one of these send offs? I’ll be interested to know how it worked for your students.