Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Welcome Back to School

Welcome back to school everyone!  I had a GREAT first week with my students.  I love coming back to school.  I feel so blessed that I chose PHYSICAL EDUCATION as my major in college.  I always knew I wanted to become a teacher, and being in the gymnasium and/or ball field is where I love to spend my time!  This is my 11th year teaching P.E.  My goal is to provide a safe, positive, and nurturing learning environment for every student.  I want them to feel as happy as I do when they are in P.E. class with me.

This year I work on Mondays and Wednesdays.  So parents, if your child has P.E on Tues/Thurs/Fri they have Mrs. H this year.  To all of my fellow P.E. teachers and parents who check my blog - thank you and please continue to check my blog, however I want to give you a heads up that I may not be posting as much as usual this semester as I am finishing up my Masters Degree. Please enter your email into the "subscribe" box on my blog and you will receive an automatic email when I update.  I hope to update at least 1-2 times per month.

The first week of school I always begin by teaching the following:

1)  Our Code of Cooperation (we have a school-wide code called "Central SHINES".  It is wonderful to teach in a school that has a shared vision and code of cooperation.  Every child knows what is expected of their behavior when they are here!

S - Shows Respect
H - Has Self-Control
I - Is Trustworthy
N - Never Gives Up
E - Engages in Learning
S - Stays Safe

2)  SOPs - Standard Operating Procedures - every teacher in our building has established SOPs in their classroom.  We have procedures in P.E. as well and I always teach these the first day and reinforce them throughout the year.  When students follow procedures no time is wasted!

3)  SPACIAL AWARENESS - All of my K-5th grade classes have a lesson on Spacial Awareness and how to move SAFELY in our space.

4)  Games and Warm-Up Activity - I teach the same warm-up for the month of September (Move and Stretch / The "Train Game" for K-2), and we also make time for a few fun games.  These fun games help us practice spacial awareness - Soap Bubbles Game, Tag, Builders and Bulldozers.

To all of the parents of my students - thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us.  I am excited to be your child's P.E. teacher and I will do my very BEST to create a safe, positive, and nurturing learning environment for them!

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Star Wars Throwing Game and Relay Races

This week we practiced throwing (underhand and overhand), and did some relay races in preparation
star wars throwing game. I can throw the ball far and hit the targets
for field day.  Star Wars is a great game to practice THROWING.   Below are some youtube videos describing how I play Star Wars with K-2nd and how I play with 3rd-5th. 

field day relay race
This is how they look when finishing a relay - SMILES!
I also taught a variety of relay races for K-2nd grades.  I explained that TEAMWORK is the most important part of a relay - cheer for teammates and encourage them to do their best.  I reward teams with a POINT if they sit down in a nice straight line with hands in their lap when the relay is all done.  I give them TWO POINTS if the whole team is sitting with a smile on their face!  This helps very much with management - after each race, the teams are all ready to listen to the directions of the next race and no time is wasted trying to quiet the class.  I hold a clipboard and show the points (tally marks) for each team. 

These are the relays I taught this week:
1)  Basic - run around the cone and back. (We also added a hurdle the second time).
2)  Money Run - each team had a bucket of pretend money (laminated money from the dollar store).  Players took turns running to the bucket to get 1 dollar at a time.  They kept taking turns until the money was gone.
3)  Bean Bag Balance - balanced a bean bag on a foam hockey stick (short stick that we use for scooter hockey)  This is similar to the egg and spoon relay.  However, if the beanbag falls I do NOT make the student start all over - instead they stop and do 10 exercises, then pick up the beanbag and finish.
4)  Chicken Walk - We used rubber chickens and put them between our knees.  We said "knees - squeeze" and they had to walk around a cone and back.  If the chicken fell, they had to stop and do 10 exercises then continue.
5)  Puzzle Relay - Each team had to complete a 24 piece puzzle.  I put all of the team's puzzle pieces in a bucket.  They took turns running to the bucket, get ONE piece, then run back.  They took several turns to collect the pieces then when all the pieces were collected the last person ran to collect their box (with the picture of the puzzle on it).  Then the team completed the puzzle together.

This video describes all of the relays I taught this week:

These videos describe the game STAR WARS  (K-2nd version)

These videos describe the game STAR WARS  (3rd-5th version)

STAR WARS Throwing Game in Action:

Star Wars Throwing Game - Big Ship
Set up for K-2 Star Wars Game

Big Spaceship for Star Wars Throwing Game
Set up for K-2 Star Wars Game

Scooter rocket ships
The scooter "rocket" is helping give the balls back to the players because players can not go inside the cone area.

We used three scooter "rockets" to help get the balls that didn't make it into the spaceship.  Astronauts were inside the big spaceship throwing balls back out.

3rd-5th grade classes have a different set up that is more challenging.  We divided into 4 teams and put the ships in the corners of the gym.

3rd-5th set up spaceships in the corners of the gym.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sink the Ship - Fun game for P.E. and Pinball Bowling Game

This week my students played Pinball and Sink the Ship.  Both games are a great way to practice rolling a ball, catching, throwing and teamwork.

See pics and videos below!  Click here for printable directions for Sink the Ship.

Here is a video to explain the game Sink the Ship from

This is our agenda which includes the rules of Sink the Ship.

The RED ship is demonstrating how to FREEZE when I blow the whistle.  The ships that freeze the quickest are rewarded a point on the board.  The kids on scooters are the "lifeboats". There job is to retrieve balls and bring them to their ship.

This team is demonstrating how to freeze quickly when I blow the whistle.

This 5th grader is volunteering his recess time to come play with the Kindergarten students.  Players may guard the bowling pins and step off the ship with ONE foot.  Players who are guarding pins must stay standing up - no sitting or kneeling on the ship.

The green ship has a green "lifeboat" who is doing a great job retrieving balls for her team.

This is the "penalty" for ships who sink or kids who step off of their ship with both feet - The crew from the ship goes to the "bottom of the ocean" (cone) and performs 10 exercises.  Then they are able to return to the game and set their pins back up.

The yellow ship is demonstrating how we BEGIN the game with a ball between their feet.  Teams who are ready quickly are rewarded with a point.

Starting the game with a ball between each player's feet.

This student is doing the splits, trying to reach a ball!  She knows to keep one foot on her ship!

The rest of the pictures are of the game Pinball.  Click here for printable directions.
This year I used the volleyball net at a low level to teach K-2 students how to stay on their side of the gym and roll balls UNDER the net to knock down the other team's pins.

Each team had 10 bowling pins set up on their endline.

This student is demonstrating that you can NOT stand in the "no guarding zone" which is between the yellow line and pins.  The whole team has to stay in front of the yellow line to guard the pins.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dodgeball and Dr. Mario

This week my students played Dodgeball (3rd-5th grades) and Dr. Mario (K-2nd grade).  Click here if you would like printable directions of Dr. Mario.  Dr. Mario is a modified Dodgeball game where players "get sick" if they are hit on the feet or legs with a "germ ball".  The "doctor" can help sick players by giving them pretend "medicine". 

Both of these games are a great way for students to practice a variety of skills including running, dodging, rolling, throwing, and catching. 

The students really enjoyed both games!  Below is a video of Dodgeball - please notice how players who are OUT do not sit or stand on the sideline.  Instead, players who are OUT must walk or jog on the sideline from cone to cone.  We played 3-4 minute games.  When the time was up, we started a new round and all players were able to come back into the game.  Please see the picture below for a list of rules of the game. 

Here is a list of rules I used for Dodgeball.  Note - we used foam balls for this activity, not the old fashion rubber balls!

Players who were OUT walked or jogged from the red cone to the orange cone - no sitting in my gym!  

This game is Dr. Mario. I decided to use the volleyball net at a low height to help teach students how to ROLL the balls under the net- not throw them.  It worked like a charm!

Kindergarten - The doctor is on the blue scooter.  The piece of noodle is the pretend medicine.  The doctor helps players who are sick by touching them with the medicine.  We called the scooter the "ambulance".

Dr. Mario - the doctor is giving the "sick" player the medicine so he can stand up again and play.

Dr. Mario is scooting around helping players who are "sick" (players who got hit with a germ ball).

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Batting Practice for K-5th grade students - Elementary Physical Education

This week my K-5th graders participated in BATTING PRACTICE.  Students worked in groups of 3.   The jobs were 1) Catcher 2)Batter 3) Fielder and/or Pitcher.  Students kept their same position for about 4-5 minutes, then we rotated.   K-2nd grade students hit the ball off of a tee or a large cone (see pictures below).  3rd-5th grade students had the option to use the tee, but most chose to have the ball pitched to them by another student.  We used wiffle ball bats and small rhinoskin balls.  They really enjoyed this activity!   Here is a link to how I set up batting "cages" when I was teaching in a smaller gym.

A note to my fellow PE teachers - See pictures below for special notes regarding lesson details and organizing students into groups.

My white board - It took me about 3-4 minutes to explain the activity and teach the "batting basics".  Before I began teaching, I told the kids I would select the best listeners to choose their partners first.  This strategy works great!

batting practice elementary physical education
4th graders - The pitcher also serves as the fielder.  The batter is showing proper form and the catcher is standing back by the bleachers.

batting practice elementary physical education

batting practice elementary physical education

batting practice elementary physical education
Add caption

batting practice elementary physical education
Add caption

batting practice elementary physical education
This is Kindergarten - I used the TALL CONES as tees.  The STAR poly spots were a lifesaver - I definitely recommend marking a spot for the fielder to stand for K-2nd graders.  It really helped so everyone knew where to go. 

batting practice elementary physical education
Kindergarten student is being a fielder - he stands on the blue star waiting for the batter to hit the ball.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Dance Unit for P.E. class

The week before spring break, the music teacher and I combined our classes to create two 55 minute dance lessons for our K-5th grade students.  The students learned a variety of dances including basic moving to music (Just Dance videos), Line dances, and Circle dances.   We had fun!

You may view and/or print my dance lesson plans at this link:  Dance Lessons

 Below is a video of 4th graders doing the Limbo Dance (my version of the dance) by Daddy Yankee

This was my Agenda on the board for the 1st day (3rd-5th)

I put up signs for the dance steps.

The P.E. and Music teachers created a video of the TIMBER LINE DANCE and projected it for students to follow along.

Our standards/ I CAN statements posted for students.

My board

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

MAHPERD Workshop

This morning I presented at the Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) Workshop.  I had a great time meeting other P.E. teachers, and learning new things.   Below are links to my Keynote presentation and also my hand-out.

Keynote Presentation

Monday, March 23, 2015

Easter Games for Physical Education Class

Below are some links to my previous blog posts for Easter Games!

P.E. Easter Egg Hunt (Relay)

Easter Egg Hunt, Jellybean Tag, Easter Tag

Easter Egg Tag

Jellybean Wars

Jellybean Tag

Easter Egg Color Sort (blog post for students with special needs)

Please leave a comment if you try one of these activities.  I'd love to hear how it goes!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

P.E. Activities for Elementary Special Education Students: Students with disabilities and students with Autism

The year after I graduated college, I worked as a substitute teacher, and also as a paraprofessional in a
special education classroom - for students with Autism.  I learned SO much through that experience.  In particular, I realized how important it is for students with disabilities to have the same quality education as students without disabilities.  

I remember going to P.E. with the class and being disappointed.  We did the same thing every week - jogged around the gym for 2 minutes, then spent the rest of the class period pulling kids around on scooters. 

I knew that someday when I got a teaching job, I would try to do so much more for students with disabilities.   I know it can be challenging working with this population of students...... it takes more time, preparations, and planning on your part.  However, it is worth the effort!  Do not underestimate what this group of students can accomplish in your P.E. class!  The Golden Rule is a good thing to remember: "treat others as you would like to be treated"..........if you were a person with a disability, how would you want teachers and other students to treat you? 

If you are struggling for ideas to use with your special education students, please see the videos below for a few suggestions:

Sample Obstacle Course Videos -
Another Fun Obstacle Course -
Body Bowling (Log Roll, Pencil Roll, Somersault) -
Balloons - 
ABC Matching Relay -
Thanksgiving Dinner Relay -
Hide and Seek Hearts -
Valentine Relay -
Color Sorting Relay - 
Mini Obstacle Course Warm-Up - 
Easter Egg Hunt with Color Sorting -
Rainbow Relay -
Christmas Scooter Activity -
Scooter Ships -
Christmas Activity -
Star Wars Throwing Game -
Sink the Ship Throwing Game -
Stop-Go-Slow - 
Dinonastics -
Yoga -
Center Ideas -
Poly Spot Relay -
Puzzle Relay -

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Basketball Lessons for K-5th grade with Minute Club Warm-Up and St. Patricks Day Game

For the month of March, the students will be focusing on Basketball Skills.  We are doing the Minute
basketball lesson agenda
Club Warm-Up, and 3rd-5th graders are practicing curl-ups and push-ups in preparation for their Fitnessgram fitness testing.  The minute club is really motivating students to jog and maintain a steady pace!  They have been excited to earn these Minute Club certificates!

These are some of the activities the students participated in this week:
1)  Ball Handling Drills (K-5th)
2)  Dribbling Drills (K-5) - Poly Spot Dribbling (K-2) Dribbling Tag (5th)
3)  Shooting (2nd-5th) - Shooting Game "Hot Shot" (3rd-5th)
4)  Gold Coin Exercise Game (for St. Patrick's Day) - this is something I made up this week after buying a ton of plastic gold coins from the dollar store.  It was fun and the kids got a lot of exercise!

 This is a video of the game HOT SHOT - players had 1 minute to shoot baskets, trying to score as many points as possible. Four people were at each hoop.

Video of "Poly Spot Dribbling" idea from
2nd grader playing "poly spot dribbling".  Players walk or jog and dribble throughout the area and stop at poly spots to dribble on knees (there are numbers written on my poly spots with permanent marker).

These are the gold coins I purchased from the Dollar Store and used for the GOLD COIN EXERCISE GAME.

excercises picking berries
GOLD COIN EXERCISE game - Students earned a gold coin by doing 10 exercises on the poly spots.  They placed their coins in the "girl bucket" or the "boy bucket" and continued earning more and more coins.  I stopped the game every 2 mins to change exercises (picking berries, jumping jacks, push-ups, etc).

For more St. Patrick's Day games, please visit:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Best P.E. Game - Sink the Ship (throwing, catching, rolling a ball)

Before we begin our basketball unit in March, I decided to have a fun week and play one of my favorite games - SINK THE SHIP from
Sample of how I set up each ship.

Click on the videos below to learn how to play!

Explanation of Game:

Video of 3rd graders playing SINK THE SHIP:

These two videos are examples of using 2 giant ships instead of 4: (2 teams instead of 4) (5th graders) (DK class)

When possible, match up colors of ships with lifeboats - green ship with green lifeboats (mat and scooters).  This helps the students understand which team they are on and how to clean up when game is finished.

Friday, February 20, 2015

P.E. Centers: Tumbling - Log Roll, Pencil Roll

Because of mid-winter break this week and half days for parent-teacher conferences, I only saw my K-2nd grade students.  I took them to the upper level gym for center activities.   We have a wrestling mat upstairs, which is very convenient for teaching tumbling.  The new skill the students practiced was tumbling:  Log Roll and Pencil Roll.   I also introduced the somersault (forward roll) and they will practice that next week.

When I asked the students why they thought it's important to learn tumbling, they had some great answers:  1)  In case your body catches on fire - stop, drop and roll.  2)  If you fall playing sports - being able to roll helps protect your body.  3)  If you fall off of a bike or roller blades - rolling helps protect your body.  4)  To know how to roll down a hill - it's fun! 5) If you take gymnastics class you use these skills.

The other center options this week were an Obstacle Course, Hula Hoops and Jump Ropes.  See pics below!
I set up two wedge mats and made signs to tape to the cones for Log Roll and Pencil Roll. Next week students will practice somersaults and backwards somersaults.

I taped a real pencil at the bottom of the sign to show the kids the "pointy top and eraser feet".

Student practicing the pencil roll.

This is the obstacle course I set up - begin on the low balance beam, touch the top of the small cone, crawl through tunnel, go through the "ring of fire", weave through bowling pins, hurdle and touch top of small cone, 2 more hurdles, jump inside 2 tires and cross the finish line (and touch the STOP button like on American Ninja Warrior).  They loved it!
Hula Hoop Center