Welcome to my new link called , NASPE Q & A . Here you will find commentary that was posted on the NASPE listserv
. Many times messages don't make the list due to individual server problems . It is with that thought ,I will try to comment
and enter various answers and ideas to help with the questions that will be posted.
You will be able to find all the answers in one place , but also there will be a chance to add more comments on
a personal basis . In this way , I will be able to post more answers and comments as an addition to the original message.
Those entries will be posted in a different color to serve notice of more
Included in this new page will be more ways to communicate with teachers around the globe in the form of podcasts and
other media such as blogs and school webpages. The podcasts are posted on my webpage by clicking on the blue badge . Next
, use the drop down arrow to access past podcasts. This is done with an MP3 file that can be transferrred to any MP3 player
, Itunes or downloaded or listened to in real time.
Be sure to look for ideas ,too. Some examples are how to make a podcast , public relations and PE gems ,
which are tricks and techniques for your P.E. classes .
The first enrty will be an expose' on large classes :
The first order of business is to install a system with rules of decorum along with all procedures to follow for an emergency
and to get their attention .This may come in the form of sign language , body language or just plain near whistle -like language.
The students can be assigned grids (areas) for individual /partner activities and or color codes on the floor or markings
made by the basketball and volleyball lines. With the earlier grade levels , it is necessary to keep things simple. If there
is an aide available , it is important to be on the same page and that will require personal meetings to help with the dilemma.
Within each grid or area, there should be students responsible for equipment . It all best scenarios there should be one per
partner group or at least one for every three students. The best is to have one piece of equipment for each student ,but with
close to 100 may be a push . This may also mean to make or use homemade or makeshift equipment. In an easier set up for volleyball
skills , it is much easier to use balloons . They are both a cheaper and more successful attempt to teach appropriate skills.
In this case , if you have "real" equipment , then volleyball trainers or plastic /type balls can be added and shared. Do
what is called people movers ,which is when the equipment is used ,place it on the floor , move them to a different grid and
use that equipment. In this way they get to use different types of equipment. In the primary grades , movement exploration
and mimetics , along with locomotor skills will serve as a great way to keep them involved in fun and interesting activities.
A great way to encourage a fun atmosphere is to include music and media such as TV ,movie and cartoons . For example , use
the lines on the floor as Pacman lines of movement . Use locomotor skills to be done on the criss-cross lines of the basketball
and volleyball boundaries. Play music such as Disney tunes and act out that movie with various body contortions . For the
intermediate grades , you can use equipment to dribble , self toss or volley. If you need more space , I have used yellow
,police tape on the floor with duct tape . They don't walk on it , but venture very close . This is used in the out of boundary
line area to include more involvement and space. In closing , there must be a directive to get their attention with the understanding
that nothing will be done until all positions are maintained in an orderly fashion. They must know ahead of time what is expected
and practice the routine until they understand . It is just like the fire drill that is practiced . There has to be a standard
to follow and practiced to procure more time for safety and enjoyment of play. For warm-ups , chose a leader per grid and
then chose new leaders each week. Assign the students numbers in each grid or assigned letters. Anything with music will get
their attention. Use seasonal themes . Halloween will bewithin a few weeks. Play that music or characters to instill enthusiasm.
Use Halloween leaf bags as goals. During football season ,I played the Fox Sports theme and you can mimic football skills
. If you don't have enough rip tags a nice, clean sock dangling from a back pocket will suffice. Other ideas are to place
a tennis ball inside a tube sock for catching or throw into hoops like horseshoes . I used this carry over with adapted equipment
through a fitness calendar ,which the students took home and went through the entire month along with their parents . They
learned to be creative and use equipment to practice outside of the school environment. Then , when it came time to be in
PE class , they understood better. Good luck and if you ever need anyhting , please buzz me. Gerry Cernicky
Listen to the last podcast , #36 , to learn more about what this link is all about . When you get to my homepage click
on the blue badge and the drop down arrow , click the play arrow button. Please direct all questions to my email address .
It is firstname.lastname@example.org
Cutting in sports - as we know Michael Jordan was "cut" from his school b-ball team . Willie Parker , from my beloved
Steelers wasn't even a draft thought . The last time we can remember Willie and the Seahawks in a Super Bowl was the back
of his jersey on a 70 yard gallop. Back in the '70 's , I was coaching a girls gymnastics team that just started the program.
We had woeful conditions ,like practicing on the stage and questionable equipment. From the past , even when I was playing
every sport imaginable , the thought of "cuts" was always there. In my case in coaching, I did make some cuts ,but mostly
for safety reasons. To this day , I regret that day. I still wonder how those girls felt. From that day forward , I never
cut in any sport that I coached in the next 25 years. When I coached in the private sector ,I took every person that placed
adrift from the "ultimate gym clubs" . Whether it be soccer , basketball or baseball everybody played and we had fun. As I
grew more experienced winning wasn't everything and my thoughts on competition changed forever. So I didn't worry about the
W and L 's category, I can think back how much fun we had. To this day, and many years later , I hear from parents how much
their children enjoyed being part of the team. Also, my beloved Steelers , got rid of Johnny Unitas , and that is another
testimony that sometimes we just don't think without our heart. For you younger folk, he ended up in the Hall of Fame with
the Baltimore Colts .
A recent message stated what to do about cutting and the fact that due to the
large number of players and less uniforms ,it is deemed necessary to make a cut.Why not keep those players involved in an
INTRAMURAL program ? I had this type of activity during a free module at the noon hour. The students just loved being able
to play as an extention to the PE program. Many times the core subject teachers helped with the process , but ,that was in
the past , when they had more time ! Even so, if you direct them to an alternate program , it will not only keep them involved
, but also give them the necessary tools to try out for the team again or at least , the confidence to move on . I have noticed
flag football programs advertised on road signs for grades 3-8th . Maybe this will serve as an opportunity to be part of a
Dressing out - anytime you have the opportunity to have your students participate ,then run with it.
I know that seems easy , but you want them to be involved and if its with improper clothing , then at least , they are doing
more than paper work or walking around the gym. Of course, proper footwear is a must . This doesn't mean it should be overlooked
but by stressing safety should help with the organization. If it is appropriate keep a box of sneakers(clean) that can be
used . Socks should be worn and at no time bare feet be permitted with those sneakers. Many times a PTA /PTO project to access
t-shirts can help with the dress -out dilemma . You want the students to participate and lead them to a fitness level that
is inherent for a lifetime , without excuses. When (you) go to a gym to workout , many aren't wearing top of the line athletic
wear.But, they are there in a mismatch of apparel and working out because of wanting to be healthy ,not look like a page from
Just when you thought that P.E. has taken great strides , there just has
to be an article that reminds us that there is still much work ahead of us
to dispel the thoughts of the past . Here is an article that was reported
an NEA newsletter that comes each day . Many times the articles about P.E.
are positive , but this one slipped through the cracks . Never take anything
granted and safety concerns should always be at the fore front :
Lawsuit claims California boy who died at school was forced to run laps
despite feeling ill.
California's San Mateo County Times (12/13, Manekin) reported, "The parents
of a sixth-grade student who allegedly died of a heart attack during a gym
class at Kennedy Middle School are suing the Redwood City School District,
saying their son died because his PE teacher forced the boy to run laps when
he felt ill." The lawsuit claims that "Emmanuel Reyes, 11, had complained he
felt sick and told the physical-education teacher he didn't want to run laps
" but the boy "was forced to run anyway." The suit also claims that
administrators and staff at Kennedy Middle School were negligent in lacking
the necessary safety procedures and emergency medical assistance." According
to accounts provided by children in the class, "there was no staff member"
present when the boy collapsed.
Here is a list of responses that were saved in the Naspe archives that can be used as a resource for your classes. It includes
a wide variety of messages that were placed for listserv /discussion group members from (2000 - 2008) so, check back often.:
The Kindergarten Challenge
Michael , in this case , it appears you are on the right track in all your attempts that would probably be the same ones I
would do . Except , the last one about involving the entire class, which at that age level doesn't have the skills or experience
to muster an answer.
There seems to be an underlying factor for the behavior that needs more attention. Your best bet is not to give up and feel
you have done an admirable job. It is a work in progress and to have more patience than you already displayed.
There seems to be a parental concern and the way she is handled at home. Sometimes that road is uphill all the way. I would
continue working with the parents and keep a blog/diary like an IEP of all that transpires. This will show your concern and
show what steps you have taken . Keep it in print and not word of mouth.
I would discuss this with the emotional support person and arrange meetings to discuss this concern with other teachers ,
and Principal. On your end , I would find out exactly what she feels comfortable with. Be aware of her recess , lunch or playtime
behavior. Find out what makes her tick and then run with it. Hopefully, at one time , a spark will go off and the problem
may cease. She may be immature or afraid to fail. In this respect , the activities chosen will be non-threatening and fun,
and when the other students exhibit
the pure joy of movement on a constant basis may "out of the blue" break that shell .
Please don't take this behavior as personal and gives you a feeling of despair. You are trying all your best , and now are
seeking more answers. Kudos to you for taking all answers in a professional manner. You know as PE specialists we all tend
to be funologists , doctors, nurses, psychologists, actors and "heads of state." This is just a roadblock that lends itself
to being a lawyer ,too. Our defense is now to find ways to help our " student" TO GET IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND the right
I know it sounds like the same old same old but through the fitness calendars that were developed made an instant model to
follow. Each month , they had to return the calendars with a parents signature. The theory was just keep moving, along with
homemade equipment around the house or just using anything that was simple in the household. It was not only for the students
,but also the entire family unit.
After each month , they would return the calendar , and from there I would chose 2-3 during lunch duty to "win" a healthy
treat. But, this isn’t the only technique. For 36 years , I was part of the class from exercise to rope jumping to limited
participation right along with them.
And, there is an extension to that modeling. I made sure to volunteer in the community by being on the rec. board, head of
umpires and making a fitness trail. Also, I devised a walking program where I lived within the district for all neighbors
to connect at the cul-de-sacs, and continue our plight to be healthy and reached out from the PE program.
If you want followers, then you must walk the walk. Make sure you are visible from the school to the community. As a sidelight
, there was even a walking program set up for the teachers at after school hours. When the weather was bad there was an indoor
walk with posters at each door to promote healthy lifestyles , similar to a fitness trail. The good news we had the nurse
and Principal included.
What I tried to develop was a fitness plan that was simple ,mostly free , and in an organized manner. This also established
a plan to follow each day without going to the gym . Being creative is a great way to include everybody to make up their own
And, when you know it works is when the students have graduated . "Do you want to play on our sand volleyball court" , said
the 30 something’s. (heck yea !) Or when a student walks into your yard while your doing landscaping in the summer.
" I have my calendar with me ,see, now I'm picking up Grandpa to walk with me." Teaching is the best job in the world.