As teachers begin to plan what the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year will look like, one of the biggest things on the minds of Physical Education teachers across the country centers around the idea of using equipment in our classes within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Different districts approach the use of equipment in different ways, but a growing consensus among the reopening plans that I have seen does not allow for equipment to be shared between students.
So much of what we do as physical educators involves the use of equipment, and the case can certainly be made that we cannot deliver most of our curriculums developed around SHAPE America’s Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes without its use. This then begs the question: how can we be in potential alignment with district reopening plans requiring no sharing of equipment while still providing it for our students to use? Enter Gopher’s My PE Pack!
Gopher has done a great job of coming up with themed My PE Pack equipment solutions ideally suited for individual students to utilize without the need for students or physical education teachers to have to worry about sanitization. Each themed pack comes with different equipment and each is categorized by the focus of the activities its contents were developed for (Movement and Games, Sport, Physical Activity, Fitness, Limited Space, SEL, and Adapted). All packs come with a convenient drawstring backpack for easy organization and transport, if necessary.
The My PE Pack can be a part of each individual student’s back to school supply list just like any other traditional items school districts or parents would typically shop for. It’s versatile and individualized nature allows the My PE Pack to be a great solution to the dilemma of using equipment in Physical Education no matter the learning environment for the new school year!
Another awesome feature of Gopher’s My PE Packs is that they come with an online library of personal programming suggested lessons, activities, and challenges linked to the equipment within the specific packs that are feasible to use across multiple learning environments. These personal programming resources have been developed by PE guru Dr. Robert Pangrazi, and they even include a variety of different potential assessment options, some of which link to the health. moves. minds. initiative launched by SHAPE America and Gopher. You can access these resources for FREE even if you don’t purchase a pack simply by creating an account on the website.
This blog reveals my top 3 activities beyond the ones provided to use with specific equipment from Gopher’s Movement and Games My PE Pack!
- STACKING CUPS: I’ve had the pleasure of using Gopher’s Quickcups that are included in the Movement and Games My PE Pack in my teaching prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are made of high quality, thick plastic that is resistant to cracking and chipping like many other brands. Stacking cups are SUPER versatile and can be used in many ways beyond what they were originally designed to do.
Check out this activity I call Ricochet that can combine the use of the Quickcups and Gopher’s ClassicCoat Versa Coated-Foam Ball within this pack to meet objectives and outcomes related to the skill of overhand throwing to targets as well as the concepts of accuracy, force, and angles! This activity can be used exactly the way it is presented in the video with another family member in the case of distance learning, as well as being feasible within hybrid and in-person PE environments with some minor modifications (play solely as an individual or against a classmate using their own set of equipment).
- BEANBAG: Beanbags are simply one of the best all-around, bang-for-your-buck pieces of equipment out there. Gopher’s Vinyl Beanbag included in this pack is extremely durable, and its double stitching around the outside ensures it will stay intact even after extensive use.
Check out this activity that I call Statue Challenges to meet objectives and outcomes related to the skill of balance and the concepts of tension and alignment. It uses gamification to allow students to earn different amounts of points for successfully balancing their beanbag on specific body parts while holding different positions still. This activity can be used exactly the way it is presented in the pictures below in the case of distance learning, hybrid, and in-person PE environments!
- SCARVES: Scarves are another great piece of equipment with multiple uses. From using them to bring more life to rhythms and dance activities, to having students put them under their feet to pretend they are “ice skating” around their space, scarves are still a “must have” piece of Physical Education equipment, even in the current COVID-19 pandemic because of their versatility.
Check out this Super 7 activity video created by Kevin Tiller (@PhysEdReview)to meet objectives and outcomes related to the skills of tossing and catching. It uses novel challenges coupled with the scarves in creative ways to keep students engaged. This activity can be used exactly the way it is presented in Kevin’s video in the case of distance learning as well as being feasible within hybrid and in-person PE environments with some minor modifications (skip Challenge #6 involving blowing the scarves up in the air).
These are just some of the creative ideas you can use with students using the equipment included in Gopher’s Movement and Games My PE Pack, but I am curious to hear your ideas! Please share in the comment section below to keep the conversation going!