At the end of each school year, I take time to reflect on what I would like to improve upon as far as my teaching strategies go. It seems like I always come back to “How I can better maximize activity time for my students?
By the time the classroom teachers drop off their students to the gym, I feel as though five minutes goes by before the teacher is back to get them. In actuality, the class period is fifty minutes long (which is plenty of time for a kindergarten class), however, not enough time to see first through fifth grade only one time a week. On top of that, between all of the holidays, field trips, assemblies, etc., there are a few classes that do not get PE even four times a month.
These factors bring me back to the point of how crucial activity time is for class. What am I not willing to cut out of class?
- The Introduction – We go over what was learned in the previous class, what the objective is for the lesson that day, and how we will meet that objective.
- The Warm-Up: Helps to prepare the students (physically and mentally) for lesson and activities that will follow. It the time where I am able to fit in fitness concepts that may not be present in the actual skill or game for that class period.
- The Conclusion – Quiz the students on what was learned during the class period, revisit the objective.
And of course I can’t leave out the assessment or the skill building activities!
In my search for resources online to help me with this matter, I came across a YouTube video where a man by the name of Paul Zientarski, a retired PE teacher, talks about an ideal PE class. Although his background is secondary education, he mentions a few tips that I would be helpful in maximizing activity time in an elementary class setting.
- - Engage the students with activity right away. Take attendance during the time they are moving.
- - Add more equipment/ break down games into smaller groups.
- - If there are games where students are standing to wait, have them doing something active on the sides.
- - Incorporate technology with heart rate monitors.