Students in our classes today have been described as the first generation that isn't expected to outlive their parents. In addition, a recent article by the U.S. Naval Institute indicates that more than 71 percent of America's youth do not meet the fitness, weight, and moral standards requirement for enlistment. At the recent Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference in San Diego, childhood obesity was routinely touted as the biggest social injustice of our time. While we, as health and physical education teachers, can't shoulder the blame for this crisis,
we can increase the amount of physical activity students receive when they are with us.
Members of the 2017-18 cohort of the Physical Education Leadership Academy met twice in October to discuss rethinking class time to increase physical activity. After attending professional learning, conducting their own inquiry, implementing instructional strategies, and collecting data in their classes, they identified the following
high-leverage strategies that all physical educators could use to increase physical activity in their classes.
- Set clear expectations. Post expectations. Be consistent with expectations.
- Set a visual timer.
- Immediate activity in groups with one student reporting group attendance.
- Engage students in instant activity as they arrive to class.
- Utilize task cards or white boards to post warm-up and learning outcomes.
- Have student leaders lead teams/lines in activity while teacher takes roll.
- Dynamic stretching!
- Stretch at the end of the class during closure conversation.
- Only stretch if/when it is needed for the activity or for students to meet the daily learning outcome.
- Students discuss content while moving.
- Front load instructions (visual, posted on white board, etc.) on what to do next.
- Reward/celebrate quick transitions.
- Utilize learning stations or centers.
- Increase peer instruction.
- Front load content (flipped instruction, info on white board, etc.)
- Utilize specific cues and academic language.
- Keep groups small.
- Partner work focused on both skill development and increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).
- Set out enough equipment for all students to participate actively.
- Utilize stations.
- Make it fun.
- Accountability for learning via conversations, think-pair-share, exit tickets/slips, thumbs up/down, etc.
- End on a positive note. Celebrate the learning and students' positive contributions.
- Focus on sportsmanship/social behavior to create positive class culture.
- Infuse FUN always!
- Use online platforms for content that takes away from physical activity time in class (rules, etc.).
Health and Physical Education Coordinator
San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)
3-Day Physical Literacy Institute
(Jan. 17, Feb. 8, March 7)
The goal of our work has changed. No longer are physical educators tasked with teaching sports. The focus of physical education is now to develop students' physical literacy: the knowledge, skills, fitness, values, and motivation to attain and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Physical literacy doesn't happen on accident. It requires a systemic approach to pedagogy that challenges many traditional practices. Join us as we identify learning outcomes, create assessment tools and plan instruction to empower students with the confidence, competence, and passion for a lifetime of physical activity. During the three days, we will collaborate to:
- Better understand the concept of "physical literacy"
- Utilize the California Physical Education Model Content Standards in tandem with the California State Standards
- Integrate shifts in pedagogy to develop students' skills, knowledge, and desire to attain and maintain a physically active lifestyle
- Utilize formative and summative assessment to collect evidence of student learning and to inform instruction
- Create unit and lesson plans to systemically develop students' physical literacy
2017-18 Professional Learning Opportunities
CAHPERD State Conference Registration is Open
The California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) state conference is scheduled to take place
Feb. 22 to 24
Marriott City Center in Oakland.
Come see keynotes by Amanda Stanec, Ph.D, the founder of Move, Live Learn, and Common Core and equity expert Martha James-Hassan, Ph.D., as well as breakout sessions by national and state leaders. Visit
for more information and to register.
Positive Prevention Plus Comprehensive Sexual Health Training April 3 and 4
Please email Paige Metz at
if your district is interested in sending attendees to
Positive Prevention Plus Comprehensive Sexual Health Education
training scheduled to take place
April 3 and 4
at SDCOE. More information, including the link to register, will be available in December. Please register early! We must secure at least 20 attendees by Feb. 20 to offer the training.
Most Valuable Person, Practi
ce or Program: Melissa Beninger and Tamara Miller from San Marcos Unified School District.
For the past two years, Carrillo Elementary School physical education teacher
an Elijo Hills Elementary School physical
education teacher Tamara Miller have been stepping out and stepping up as leaders in the San Diego County physical education community. This dynamic duo participated in the inaugural cohort of the Physical Education Leadership Academy and then leveraged their learning to play an instrumental role of increasing the number of elementary resources available on the Fit 2 Learn, Fit 4 Life website. In addition, they have also emerged as leaders in technology, helping others use social media (Twitter, Voxer, and more) to connect to new ideas, best practices, and leaders in the discipline. See the cool things they are doing by following them on Twitter: @mkbeninger and @tbromiller.
App of the Month: Human Anatomy Atlas 2018 ($0.99)
The PE Geek highlighted this app earlier this month! The Human Anatomy Atlas is an app that can help make anatomical concepts real for students. Students can watch muscle movements demonstrated in 3D animations and can dive deeper into the different systems of the body. The app can be extremely helpful in explaining biomechanics and much more.
FITNESSGRAM Tip of the Month: Video Feedback
Now that baseline scores have been recorded, it is time to get serious about helping students perform each test correctly. This month, take time to provide feedback to students on their form/technique on the more "technical" tests including push-ups and curl-ups. If students have access to devices (phones, iPads, etc.), have them take turns videotaping each other performing the test. Give students the link to the CDE instructional video for the test. Have them analyze their form against the CDE video and provide a written description of what they do well and items to improve. If you don't have access to enough devices, set up a station where students rotate to a station where they are videotaped and the clip is either emailed or texted to them.
Literacy Strategy of the Month: K-W-L Charts
K-W-L charts help students organize their learning before, during and after a lesson. At the start of a unit or lesson, have students create a chart that has three columns. Label one column "K," one "W," and the last "L." First, in the "K" column, have students write down everything they know about the topic. Once they have written down a few items, have them share them with a partner or small group. Second, in the "W" column, have them write down things that they want to know about the topic. Again, give them a chance to share their lists with a partner or small group. Finally, at the end of the lesson, have students write down everything they learned in the "L" column. Have them share again in partners or groups. Close the activity by helping students make meaning of their learning.
Activity of the Month: Student Lead Small Group
Divide your class into attendance groups of five students each. Give each group an identified place to meet at the start of class. Assign each student in the group a day of the week that they are responsible for leading their group's warm-up. Provide them with some sample warm-ups and a rubric that will help them understand what you are looking for, and give them a list of available equipment. Each day, the student in charge of that warm-up can select how their team will prepare for the day's activity. Encourage them to be creative and make the warm-ups fun!
New Documents Help Define Quality Physical Education
Check Out What's New on the Fit 2 Learn, Fit 4 Life Website!
Fit 2 Learn, Fit 4 Life
website has been updated with new resources to support high-quality physical education that develops students' physical literacy. Resources include unit plans, lesson plans, video examples, assessments, lesson observation checklists, physical education program evaluation tools, and more!
Fuel Up to Play 60
: Up to $4,000 to support physical activity, physical education, or nutrition programs. Click here
for more information. Applications due Nov. 1.
Saucony Run for Good Foundation: Approximately 10 to 12 $10,000 grants will be awarded to promote running and healthy lifestyle programs. For more information, click here. Applications are due Dec. 15.
Health Framework Update
If you have any questions or comments about Health and Physical Education Monthly Update, please contact Paige Metz.