Visuals for #PhysEd

ThePhysicalEducator.com is proud to share these free visual resources for your teaching! These visuals were created to aid students in their learning journeys by helping them better understand the concepts and skills explored in physical education.

Borg RPE

Fitness – Borg RPE

This visual was created for my grade 6 fitness unit in which students explored concepts related to heart rate and its relationship to aerobic fitness. Using the modified chart (the Borg RPE Scale actually goes from levels 6-20), students would create activity plans to improve their cardiorespiratory endurance. I would also have the students check their heart rate throughout our fitness actvities and refer to the chart to make sure they were working within the proper heart rate zone.


Fitness – F.I.T.T.

This poster was also created for my grade 6 fitness unit to help students create activity plans that targeted specific fitness components. We would start the unit off by having students perform fitness tests for each of the components. Students would then analyze their results, determine areas needing improvement and create action plans to improve in those selected areas. Introducing the F.I.T.T. principle at this stage really helped students design effective fitness action plans!

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Movement Concepts – Actions

This set of movement concepts cards were created specifically to help ALL of my elementary physical education students master outcomes within the tenth expectation of standard one: curling or stretching; twisting and bending. Be it to help kindergarten students constrast the actions of curling an stretching, or grade five students perform curling, twisting and stretching actions with correct application in dance, gymnastics and small-sided practice tasks/games environments… these cards have come in handy!

Movement Concepts – Levels

I created these cards to help my grade two students explore levels during our balance unit. I printed out and laminated a few sets of the cards and had them placed throughout the gym in our cone holders. Students moved from cone to cone and came up with creative balances at each station, respecting the level indicated on the card at that station. The grade two students also used these cards when working on differentiating between jogging and sprinting. We applied the concept of levels to our running skill (i.e. low level = jogging, medium level = running, high level = sprinting).

Movement Concepts – Pathways

I created these movement concept cards to help students recognize and apply pathways to their movements. These cards saw the most use when my students were working on combinations of locomotor skills into dance and gymnastics sequences. I also used these when exploring the concept of pathways with my kindergarten students.

Movement Concepts – Relationships

I created these movement concept cards to help my grade one students creatively explore different ways of travelling while demonstrating different relationships with objects. Just like the other movement concept cards I’ve created, I printed out and laminated these and used cone holders to display them in different areas in class to create stations. We also took these cards outside in our wooded playground to allow students to be active in different environments!

Movement Concepts – Shapes

These movement concepts cards were used throughout a number of balance, gymnastics and dance units within my curriculum. Kindergarten and grade one used these for inspiration when exploring shapes and bases of support. Grades two and three used them as when creating their dance and gymnastics sequences. The cards are sometimes used in cone holders to create stations. At other times, I have them on the board along with the other movement concepts as reminders/support tools.

Bathroom Keys

Bathroom Keys

In my gym, there are three bathroom “keys” (which are rubber animal keychains on lanyards). There is a girls’ key, a boys’ key and an emergency key. When students need to use the washroom or get some water during class, they can take their bathroom key and go. If a students goes to take their bathroom key but it is already out, they know they need to wait for the key to be returned before they go. If ever they *really* need to go and their key is not there, they may take the emergency key. Just like every other classroom routine and procedure, this took some time to set up and practice. That said, I now spend much less time managing bathroom trips in my lessons and more time focused on helping students learn!

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Character Shields

I created the Character Shields Graphics to spark conversation about social and personal responsibility in class. Each shield represents a character trait that promotes a healthy, productive and safe learning environment in physical education. I’ll refer to the shields throughout my lessons as a reminder to my students of the agreed-upon behaviours that we all strive to demonstrate both inside and outside of physical education class. Plus, they just look cool in the gym!


Conflict Corner

This is an idea by Ben Landers that I loved so much I had to remix it for my gym! The Conflict Corner is conflict resolution guide for students. When students find themselves in a conflict with others in class, they can make their way to the Conflict Corner and work on finding a solution together. The visual has become a part of my classroom procedures: when students cannot find a quick solution to their problem (e.g. rock-paper-scissors), they make their way to the Conflict Corner. It took some time to get the habit formed in all of my classes, but it has had an awesome impact on my behaviour management in physical education! We also use the poster outside at recess for situations that arise there. Thanks Ben!

Physical Education Behaviour Management Warning System

Warning System Chart

Behaviour management is an essential element of any quality physical education program. Over the years, I’ve learned that having “bright lines”, clear expectations, and an understanding of both rewards and consequences related to behaviour empowers my students to ensure that lessons to run smoothly and effectively. In my gym, we use a warning system that helps students be aware of their behaviour all while giving them opportunities to reflect on whether or not they are making the right choices. Having this visual “Warning System Chart” in my gym reminds students of what they can expect if they are demonstrating either appropriate or inappropriate behaviours. Pro tip: none of this matters unless you are consistent with your implementation of the system! Students are trying to better understand the world around them, and inconsistency in boundaries and expectations makes that more difficult for them to achieve.


Jump Rope Ladder

This jump rope ladder is something I create when working on Standard One with my grade three students. Having the ladder up in the gym reminded students of the different skills they could be working on and provided them with a fun opportunity for self-directed challenge. As we learned the different skills (starting at the bottom of the ladder and moving up), students got to provide descriptions of what mastery for each skill looks like I laminated the poster and would write in their answers right onto the document itself. Be sure to check out the complement resource to the Jump Rope Ladder: The QR Jump Rope Skill Cards!

We All Fail Before We Sail Poster

Fail Then Sail Poster

My students know that part of being a successful learner means understanding that failure is not the opposite of learning but instead part of learning. That said, it’s not always easy to remember that when facing frustrating challenges in class. I have the “Fail Then Sail” Poster up in my gym as a reference tool for those specific moments. Bringing frustrated students over to it and discussing what it means usually helps those students turn a negative into a positive and get right back into their learning!

Physical Education Quotes

Weekly #PhysEd Quotes

In the hallway at my school, there is a pillar that everyone walks by every day. I claimed the pillar as my “PE Pilar” and use it as an advocacy piece upon which you’ll find information on programs, curriculum, and athletics at the school. To give people a reason to take a good look at the pillar whenever they walk by, I update it every week with an inspiring quote that relates to some of the learning we do in class. Here is my set of 40 quote cards, along with a blank card and a title card, in case you would like to use them in your school!

D.O.S.E. Dopamine Oxytocin Serotonin Endorphins Poster

D.O.S.E. Poster

Last year, I saw a tweet from the one and only Jo Bailey in which Jo shared a slide from one of her recent presentations. On the slide, Jo asked if students are getting the correct D.O.S.E. of physical education. In this case, D.O.S.E. was an acronym for Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins: a group of neurotransmitters and hormones that are released during exercise and that help cause a whole variety of benefits to one’s health. I loved Jo’s slide so much and asked for her permission to explore creating a visual for my gym that showcased and built on her idea. The result was the D.O.S.E. Poster that I proudly display in my gym to celebrate the mind-body relationship and remind students that exercise and physical activity do a lot more than just getting us sweaty!

#PhysEd Learning Roadmaps

Learning Roadmaps Template

In my #physed classes, I call to my rubrics Learning Roadmaps. They’re colourful visual resources that I create for each unit I teach. Each roadmap is design to help students understand what mastery looks like for each outcome we focus on as well as the journey it might take to get there. You can learn more about how I use these this blog post. This download includes blank roadmaps you can use to create awesome rubrics for your teaching (up to four outcomes per unit)!

Learning Level Tags

Learning Level Tags

To compliment both the Learning Roadmaps and the Plickers Assessment Magnets, I made these Learning Level Tag visuals for the magnetic whiteboard in my gym. Using the student-friendly language that I learned from my friend Sarah Gietschier-Hartman, these visuals make it easy for my students to know where to place their Plickers Assessment Magnets all while adding some colour to my gym!

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Plickers Assessment Magnets

Plickers Assessment Magnets allow you to quickly log your students progress when using the Assessment Magnets and Learning Roadmaps in your teaching. This download includes a set of 63 Plickers Assessment Magnets graphics as well as four Learning Roadmap Level graphics that you can use in your teaching! Learn more about Plickers Assessment Magnets and the origin behind the idea in this blog post!

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Class List Posters Template

When I originally blogged about how I use Plickers in my teaching, I shared an image of the Class List Posters I create for each class I teach. Each poster includes my students names and photos, and each student has a number associated to their name (which is visible on the poster). That number serves as their Plickers number when we use the tool for assessment in class. A lot of teachers asked me about the posters, but – for a variety of technical reasons – the original poster template I created wasn’t simple to share. So I recreated it in as a Google Slides template and included a tutorial video to show you how to set this poster up for your classes!

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Plickers Questions Templates

I created these Plickers Questions Templates to make it easier for my students to understand and visualize the assessment questions I share with them in class when we use our Plickers cards. The template highlights each answer with the same colour that students find on the back of their modified Plickers card (check out this blog post to see how I modify my cards). I project the question on our big screen TV via AirPlay and then scan the student responses using my mobile device. Having this template (which is available in Keynote, PowerPoint, and Google Slides formats) makes it quick and easy to create beautiful Plickers questions!

Physical Education Squad Spots

Squad Spots

To help make my classroom management more efficient, I decided to use a squad system with my younger grades (K-2). Part of our classroom routines involves the students sitting down in their squads at different moments throughout the lesson. Since I often need my students to “squad up” at different locations in the gym (e.g. in front of the TV so we can analyze a skill performance, in front of the whiteboard so we can go over the lesson’s What/Why/How, or at their cones so that we can get into a peer-assessment activity), I decided to create two different versions of each squad’s colourful squad spot: a letter-based one and a number-based one. This way, I can have my students learn the routines of “squadding up” at their number spots or their letter spots.

Physical Education Squad Rosters Visual

Squad Rosters Template

I use this Squad Roster Template to divide my younger grades into long-term squads. This is a classroom procedure that we practice at the beginning of the year and reinforce in each lesson by combining the Squad Roster visual along with the Squad Spot Markers. Every time my students come in from an activity (e.g. for a whole-class discussion, to see a skill being analyzed on our TV, or so that I can share some sort of provocation to spark their learning), I have them sit down in their squad rows (“criss-cross, apple sauce, one arms-length apart”). The Squad Rosters are also used throughout my lessons to quickly create teams, assign stations, send students to take/put away equipment, or dismiss my class. You can also access this template in an editable Google Slide format.

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Skill-Related Components of Fitness Poster

In order to help my students identify and distinguish the different skill-related components of fitness, I created this poster which lists each component and provides a visual icon to help students better understand it. This is especially helpful for my younger students and the English Language Learners in my classes! This poster is complemented by the Fitness Components Concept Cards.

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Health-Related Components of Fitness Poster

In order to help my students identify and distinguish the different health-related components of fitness, I created this poster which lists each component and provides a visual icon to help students better understand it. This is especially helpful for my younger students and the English Language Learners in my classes! This poster is complemented by the Fitness Components Concept Cards.