How I Teach Ben Pirillo

How I Teach: Ben Pirillo

The more I teach, the more I realize how lucky I am to be a part of the #physed community. Every day, I find myself being inspired and wowed by this group of amazing teachers from around the world. That’s why I’ve decided to take a second each week and highlight one of these incredible educators. This week’s post comes from an amazing teacher from Texas who goes above and beyond to get his student moving and grooving in #physed:

How I Teach Ben Pirillo Banner

Name: Benjamin Pirillo
Where Are You From: Texas
Where Do You Teach: Hughston Elementary
One word that best describes how you teach: Engaging

What apps/tools/resources can’t you live without?

FitStep Pro pedometers, YouTube, microphone system, music, & projector.

What do your #physed classes look like?

I have the opportunity to see all grade levels (kindergarten-5th) four times during the week, with class sizes ranging 40-45 students. Twice a week students attend class for 25 minutes and twice a week the students attend class for 50 minutes. For second through fifth grade students, the first 25 minutes of each class session is dedicated to fitness activities. These activities are designed to keep the students highly engaged in physical activity with the goal of helping them to increase cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and muscular strength and endurance. The second 25 minutes of each class is used for skill building activities such as throwing, catching, kicking, chasing, etc. I include a variety of engaging games in my lesson plans as a way to maximize participation while developing and improving student skills.

When working with kindergarten and first grade students, I structure my physical education sessions differently. During the first 15 minutes of each class session the students are developing locomotor skills, flexibility, and rhythmic movement. Students enter the gym we progress through a series of locomotor skills changing the skill every 30 seconds. After that the students perform dances that are led by the teachers. Lastly, the students participate in a series of dynamic stretches. After completion of these activities, I gather the students together to discuss a health topic from the coordinated school health curriculum. Once our discussion is complete, the students engage in skill building activities for the rest of class.

What’s the most unique thing about your teaching?

The most unique thing about me is my ability to create various fun and engaging activities that help the students develop various skills while maximizing their participation and increasing their MVPA.

What’s the best teaching advice you’ve ever received?

It’s okay to make mistakes, that is how we learn.

Where can people find you online?

Twitter: @CoachPirillo




Joey Feith is the founder of He currently teaches elementary physical education at St. George’s School of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.

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  1. As a future educator I could not agree with you more on how you teach different grade levels. First graders need to develop loco-motor skills in order to translate them to a specific activity. This was a great read and keep doing what you are doing.

  2. Hello,
    I am about to start a high school flag football unit, do you have any recommendations for lessons or modified games that you could share with me? My goal is for all students to be involved and for students to have a better understanding of the game. I try to link my units to the seasons when sports are played to increase student engagement, Your feedback would be much appreciated, thank you.

  3. David Chorney : October 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Hi everyone, as a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, I have the privilege of teaching future physical education specialists. I am always curious about how teachers of PE actually assess the subject regardless of the grade level they teach. If anyone is willing to share with me their assessment philosophy and breakdown of their assessment and evaluation criteria/practices I would really appreciate it. I have my own philosophy and pedagogical beliefs but would like to engage in a more open discussion with others.
    I welcome your reply anytime.
    Dr. David Chorney

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