As schools continue adjusting to the new reality of distance learning, the abundance of classroom resources offered in Sycamore School have never been more important than they are now. Whether it be online tests, news articles, family/student assignment submissions, or Sycamore’s powerful integration with Google Classroom, these resources are essential in helping students and teachers finish the school year strong.
It’s easy to understand how a science, math, or English classroom can utilize these resources, but how does that work for a physical education (PE) classroom? As helpful as online tests and news articles are, they lack the physical activity aspect required from a PE classroom.
Here are some various strategies and plans of action we’ve found that will help you make sure students stay healthy and active even when they can’t do so in the traditional structure of a PE class.
The Power of Social Media
In times like these, one of the biggest benefits of social media is how messages and content can reach a lot of people almost instantaneously. Some PE teachers have found it advantageous to create a Facebook page for their classes. Each day, the teacher posts updates and/or YouTube videos to help students track their fitness goals and progress.
Google Classroom — where assignments are posted and collected, and collaboration and discussion takes place — has added Meet integration, making it possible for teachers to quickly create managed video calls. Teachers also have complete control of their Meetings and cannot be removed or muted by students participating in the call.
Even if some students do not have (or are too young for) their own social media accounts, parents and family members can help them access the workouts. These instructional videos not only get students up off the couch, but they do so with no special equipment required. Social media can prove to be an invaluable resource for teachers to help students exercise and stay fit. Here are some of our favorites:
- Michael Rittman — a P.E. teacher from Portland, Oregon
- Joe Wicks — a fitness coach from the United Kingdom who has posted a workout video every day that schools have been closed.
- Moovlee — an animated, exercising monkey!
- PE Central — videos, skill challenges, and lesson plans.
- Spark — free PE lesson plans for early childhood through high school.
While most PE classes typically don’t require too much writing, it’s never a bad idea for students to practice those writing skills! Another way schools are encouraging students to stay fit is by writing a fitness blog. This gives students the opportunity to track their progression and challenge themselves to stay active and healthy at home. Teachers can create these fitness blog assignments via Sycamore’s drop box feature, and students can log into Sycamore and upload them for the teacher to review and grade.
Google Classroom Activity Logs
For schools that utilize Google Classroom, many PE teachers have found this resource beneficial. Teachers task students with keeping activity logs detailing how they stay active. Since everyone is different and enjoys different kinds of physical activity, it’s up to each student to find creative ways to stay healthy and active at home. This can include: weight lifting, vacuuming the house, stair workouts, etc.
Every week, students submit their activity logs via a Google Form in Google Classroom, and the teacher is able to assess their progress and activity. Teachers are even able to take this a step further by creating participation assignments for these activity logs. Once the assignments are created and graded in Google Classroom, teachers can sync the assignments into their Sycamore gradebooks.
School gymnasiums may be closed for now, but there are still opportunities for PE teachers to monitor their students’ fitness! To learn more about Sycamore’s distance learning resources—including Google Classroom—please visit our website to sign up for a webinar.