Wacky Ways To Move

Wacky Ways To Move

Well, here’s to another week of distance learning!

If you’ve been following my posts over the past few weeks, you’ll know that my school is moving full-steam ahead with our distance learning program. The jump from “normal” teaching to a fully online experience has been pretty jarring, but I’m starting to find a rhythm in regards to creating all new content for my physical education program.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I recently published a blog post in which I shared the “Physical Education @ Home” document that I created to serve as a physical education hub for my students (and a lot of yours… please follow my sharing principles so that I can stop getting requests for access!)

I’ve been enjoying the format of putting together interactive Google Slides documents since they provide a lot of freedom in regards to how I can design them and the type of content I can embed within them (check out the Juggling Learning Guide I built in Slides). For this week’s lessons, I’m toying with a new idea: time-released content. The idea is that I share a resource that only has parts of it unlocked and then gradually “unlock” more parts of it as time goes on. The reasoning here is that it allows me to extend the lifespan of the content I’m creating (which is super time-consuming in the first place), gives my students something to look forward to in PE, and provides them with a tangible opportunity to go back and review lesson content as they get to apply it in new situations (which – hopefully – helps support recall, transfer, and deeper learning).

I got the idea after updating the Pokémon Fitness Scavenger Hunt Cards that I had created for the previous lesson. I got a ton of feedback from families saying that their kids loved the activity and couldn’t wait for new Pokémon. I’m hoping I can recreate that feeling by intentionally time-releasing content designed for an individual lesson. Here’s where I’m at:

Wacky Ways To Move

Ok, let’s start with the learning. I’m going to be honest: I’m currently using lessons across multiple grade-levels. My grade 1-3 students are following the same unit (for now, this will change once we move into our next lessons). The amount of time I was investing in my video-based lessons was too time-consuming for me to be trying to triple it. I needed to give myself some time to get used to my new workflows before I could start getting into making specific lessons for each grade. That’s how my Happy Heart Fitness unit (designed for cycle one students or grades one and two) became the same as my Active Adventures unit (designed for cycle two students, of which I only teach grade three). So the learning targets I’m presenting here will seem like a mess as they contain outcomes from different grade-levels. I’m sure some people will have opinions over the lack of differentiation happening here. I’m sure those same people aren’t dedicating 8 hours per day to content creation and resource design per day while also trying to raise a toddler, maintain their sanity during a global pandemic, and do what they can to freely share as much as possible with a large network of teachers. Don’t @ me. This was a first attempt, and I’m pretty sure it holds up just fine.

Here are the student learning outcomes I’m designing my lessons around.

The first lesson focused on physical activity being an essential component of healthy living. The second lesson focused on how our hearts grow stronger through physical activity. For this third lesson, I wanted my students to understand what moderate-to-vigorous physical activity feels like, how to use their heart rate as an indicator of effort, and what kind of activities contribute to heart health. Here’s the lesson video I put together (also, welcome to my kitchen):

In the video lesson, I refer to the Wacky Ways To Move document that I put together for my students. The idea with this document was to create a collection of wacky and fun physical activities that students could complete at home. Then, using the knowledge they acquired in the lesson, they could reflect on the effort required for each activity by identifying their heart rate zone. I even made them Heart Rate Zone Cheat Sheets to help take some of the calculation work out of identifying heart rate zones.

Here is a video walkthrough of the Wacky Ways To Move document that I’m sharing with my students.

You’ll probably recognize a lot of the activities that I’ve included in the document. A lot of them are either inspired by content that teachers are sharing on Twitter with the #HPEatHome hashtag. If I’m being totally honest, I can’t remember the original source for each video I recreated to fit my document. That said, I’m going to leave a running list at the end of this blog post in which I will make sure I give credit where credit is due for activities I got from tweets. I’m not looking for any glory here and I don’t want to steal anybody else’s thunder either. My brain is just a little mush right now, you know?

If you go to the document now, you’ll see that only three videos are currently available with the other six listed as “coming soon”. My plan is to release three more videos every three days until all nine are available. I’m using link tracking to see if students are indeed coming back to the lesson over time. I’ll keep you posted on how the tests go!

Wacky Ways To Move Document

In the document, you’ll also notice there is a link to a reflection sheet that students can complete as they explore the different activities. I made it really simple to fill out, but wanted to have just the right amount of self-reflection and application of knowledge backed into it in order to make sure it had some meaning.

It might seem wild to think of creating assessment tools at this time, but assessment is a key part of learning. Regardless if a school year gets cancelled or if a school stops grading, meaningful assessment should continue to exist as it serves our kids’ learning. A lot of us have fantasized for years about a world with no grades. Well, here it is! Let’s see what best practices persist or emerge.

Using This With Your Students

The Wacky Ways To Move lesson is already live in my “Physical Education @ Home” document. You’re welcome to share it with your students, but please – for the love of all that is good in this world – follow the sharing guidelines I made for you. If you’ve followed my work a while now, then you’re probably aware of my deep hatred of email. Getting 100-300 student “Request for Access” emails per day is worse than being in isolation at home. I can’t keep it going and will need to take the resources offline if it continues. Do your part, please.

Ok, that’s it for now. I hope this helps, but – most of all – I hope you’re safe. This situation is very real, folks. We need to treat it seriously. Stay home, stay sane, and Happy Teaching!

Wacky Ways To Move | Video Credits

Blaster Biathlon – My teaching partner Alex Wells (@wellsalexandra) heard this one shared at a conference we recently attended. It was originally an outdoor ed activity with snowshoeing and Nerf blasters. I just modified it to work at home. Also, I have an insane amount of Nerf blasters at home that I scooped up at like 90% off when Target Canada went out of business. #noragrets

Paper Plate Motors – Recognizing that not all of her students would have Internet access at home, my friend Elyse Loughlin (@TheMsLoughlin) went to her local broadcasting company and recorded a PE lesson students could follow at home that would be broadcasted on public television. This was one of the activities she shared. #TheMarvelousMsLoughlin

Hacky Sock Clock – This one was all me. I take full responsibility for the horrible name. That said, shout out to my student L who bought me a hacky sack as an end-of-year gift last year. Took me right back to middle school lunch breaks.

Spatula Badminton – TBD. There was a specific tweet I saw and I want to make sure I credit that person.

You Can’t Touch This – This is actually an activity I use with my students in our unit on balance in grade three (in which we talk about bases of support and centers of gravity). The name was inspired by the only type of pants I wear during Zoom calls.

TP Bowling – I’ve been doing a lot of bowling at home during my research for my grade six target games unit (see B-O-W-L). I originally wanted to name this one “Who Do You Think You Are? I Am!” but a) the name didn’t fit in the space and b) my wife said the source content was inappropriate for young children.

Name It Bingo – I saw Jo Bailey (@LovePhyEd) spelling out words using an exercise key and thought that was a cool idea (here’s her tweet). The more I can be like Jo Bailey, the better I feel about myself as a teacher.

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Bocce – This is just my Beanbag Bocce game but with socks and a name that’s 100000% better.

Sock Statues – Guess which name I came up with last.

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