5 Steps to Daily PE

By Martin Reese posted 06-06-2017 14:31

  

Recently, my district and school approved my request to go from twice-a-week PE (45 minutes per class) to four days of physical education and one day of health (30 minutes per class) for grades 3-6.

I got the idea to expand our school’s health and PE classes after reading on Exchange about another school that rotates 30-minute PE periods with music classes. That got me thinking about my school and the possibilities of doing something like that here.

Now that my plan has been approved, I am very excited about seeing my students daily! I believe that by participating in my class every day, they will have the opportunity to see fitness as a way of living a better life, and hopefully will engage in physical activity for life.

I will be able to expand on my units and add units that were never possible in twice-a-week PE. My students are going to be more fit, show more confidence in physical activities, and have a better understanding of the FITT principle concepts. This is going to be awesome!

Here are the five steps I took to make this idea a reality:

1. I started by inviting my principal, vice principal, district curriculum director, and other PE teachers to read Dr. John Ratey’s book, SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. Some of them read it, and they were very surprised to learn just how impactful physical education can be for the whole child. (It really helped that I already had a very good relationship with all those individuals.)

2. Next, I took the lead for one of our weekly all-school assemblies for staff and students. I talked about physical literacy and showed a YouTube video of the school featured in the book SPARK. Our math teacher described how he gives his students fitness breaks to keep their brains fired up during his class. We also discussed how being more active will help children be better students in the classroom.

3. I help build the specialist schedule every year, so I drafted a schedule that would incorporate daily PE the following year and talked to my principal about looking into the possibility of doing it.

4. After my principal reviewed the plan and said he was open to the idea, we sent it to the district. They liked the idea, so we met with the district curriculum director to make sure the proposed schedule included enough time for our school’s mandatory “specials,” such as life skills and music.

5. The final step was discussing the new schedule with school staff. I did not encounter any real problems here either, which may be because the prep work I did to help staff understand the importance of physical education and how it can help in all classroom subjects.



Currently the plan is to begin the new schedule next year and I’m really excited! The schedule will be tight and I’ll have to teach the students transitions at the beginning of the year so transition time can be a minimal.

Reese.jpg                                        Marty Reese at Bay View Elementary School in Burlington, WA.


Because I have 10 years in at my school, I think it helped my voice be respected and heard. I have tried to help staff understand that more physical education is going to help the whole child — including each child’s ability to work hard and focus in the classroom. Thus, the whole school will have healthier and smarter students!

I am a physical education teacher for grades 3-7 at Bay View Elementary School in Burlington, WA. I can be reached at mreese@be.wednet.edu.


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10-18-2017 15:57

Hello John,  The students love it! And I love it!  We have been doing it for about 7 weeks now and the kids are into a great routine. We do the 1/2 to 1 mile run (depending on the grade) every Thursday and work on improvement. That was hard at first because in they were not used to do it that often (3 times a year in the past).  I have tried to keep a good balance and variety.  Mondays and Tuesdays - Skills and team games, Wednesdays - Health day, Thursdays - Cardio day (1 mile and pacer) and Fridays - Cardio day (Tag games & 4 corner soccer).  Kids forgetting their shoes now has pretty much vanished now too because they need them every day. Also, it is so awesome to see all my students every single day and make fitness a daily core part of their day. That is huge!

10-18-2017 15:57

Hello John,  The students love it! And I love it!  We have been doing it for about 7 weeks now and the kids are into a great routine. We do the 1/2 to 1 mile run (depending on the grade) every Thursday and work on improvement. That was hard at first because in they were not used to do it that often (3 times a year in the past).  I have tried to keep a good balance and variety.  Mondays and Tuesdays - Skills and team games, Wednesdays - Health day, Thursdays - Cardio day (1 mile and pacer) and Fridays - Cardio day (Tag games & 4 corner soccer).  Kids forgetting their shoes now has pretty much vanished now too because they need them every day. Also, it is so awesome to see all my students every single day and make fitness a daily core part of their day. That is huge!

10-16-2017 10:20

Hi Martin, I am a current student at West Chester University and I love this idea of physical education everyday. This promotes that exercise is an important skill to use daily, and not just every once and a while. In addition, it shows that physical education is a core subject that should be taught each day along with math, english, history, etc. I am curious to hear how the students respond to the change of having physical education on a daily basis rather than a cycle.

09-24-2017 17:55

Hello, I am a student at West Chester University studying in Health and Physical Education. Thank you for your post! I learned a lot about what I could to do advocate for PE when I become a physical educator. I believe this is crucial because physical education seems to be the first subject cut when schools lack funding, therefore this post has given me some pointers and tools on what to do when I have a solid plan for physical education. This post also shows me that I am able to talk to my superiors about PE without being afraid of getting shot down. I believe that providing people with ideas will further PE development and allow it to grow.