Friday, August 20, 2010
One of the best parts of my job is meeting teachers who are passionate about making P.E. a positive experience for their classes. If there is one nugget of wisdom I’ve learned in working with those Physical Education teachers for 16 years, it’s this: “Do not assume a PE teacher will use a product for its intended purpose. “
Case in point: ShotSpots™. They consist of a set of seven 18” diameter PVC/vinyl, non-skid floor mats that are double sided with numbers and point values. Designed to sharpen shooting skills, players would use these spots to mark shooting stations. Flip the spots on one side for numbers to mark positions or flip them over to create point values for each shot made from the spot’s location.
The PVC/vinyl material they are made from is very similar to the products you use to line cabinets. The packaging states you can use the ShotSpots™ indoors or out. . Indoor- absolutely! On a wood or tile floor the spots do not slip out from under foot. Outdoors- use caution on blacktop. In hot weather they can stick a little and will get dirty rather quickly. On concrete surfaces- they work well and it takes a little longer for them to get dirty. It is recommended to sweep the play area first.
Included in the packaging are 8 game ideas- 4 each for number and point games. They include a version of Around the World, Line ‘Em Up, 7 Shot Add ‘Em Up, Twenty One and a 2 Minute Shootout using the included digital timer.
By design, ShotSpots™ seem pretty straight forward in concept. However, get them in the hands of a creative PE teacher and they take on a life of their own. Here are some activities and ideas that teachers have shared with me recently:
• Use the point value side of the spots and place on the reception side of a volleyball court. Servers must aim at the spots to receive the point values.
• Use the number side of the spots and place on the reception side of a volleyball court. Servers must aim at the spots and hit all spots 1 thru 7. Variation for higher skill levels: if they miss a spot, they must start over.
• Use the number side of the spots and spread out against the wall for bowling lanes. Beginner bowlers aim to roll the ball over the spot. As skill levels increase, flip spots over and use point values. As skill levels further increase, add bowling pins.
• Use point or number sides of spots to create shooting stations for floor hockey. Arrange class into teams and play for points or use as a timed shooting event. Make sure to use a hockey ball or similar to roll over the spot.
• Use the point side of the spots to represent daily portions from each food group. Create a relay using food cards for players to learn portions and food groups.
Granted, most of these ideas are simply using the spots for their numbers or point values, however, using the spots to represent daily portion amounts for food groups is pretty clever. It’s this creative mentality that continues to drive Physical Education teachers to create quality lessons filled with academic content that makes P.E. a positive experience for their students.
That’s just the beginning of the possibilities for the ShotSpots™ as they’ve only been on the market since November 2009. The question is, what would you use them for?
ShotSpots™ are available exclusively at Palos Sports. Visit www.palossports.com or call 1-800-233-5484 for more information.
Friday, August 13, 2010
There was a lot I didn’t know 15 years ago that I know now. Let me share some of these with you:
- Heat stroke can kill a healthy 13-year-old boy.
- An athlete and their parents need to make sure they are ready for practices and games; it is not only the coaches’ responsibility.
- Football practice for 8th grade is not like taking your child to community recreational sports practice.
- Most people do not recognize the importance of proper hydration throughout their daily lives.
- Coaches want winning teams and they do what they need to do to ensure the athlete is ready for games. It can be a tough and grueling practice, but everyone wants their team to win, right? Even parents.
- The Kendrick Fincher Hydration Foundation would directly educate over 200,000 children and athletes about the importance of proper hydration and heat illness prevention.
- I would have the resolve to do for 15 years what I wish would have been done before Kendrick died.
- Athletes still die from heat stroke.
- I would be sitting in an office adorned with t-shirts from 12 youth runs in memory of my son.
- I would be lugging tents and misting units and serving ice water across Northwest Arkansas in an effort to keep the community cool.
- Kendrick’s name would be on the NFL website.
- Kendrick’s name would be in the US Congressional record.
- If you Google “Kendrick Fincher” there are pages and pages of results.
Here are some suggestions and resources for physical educators to encourage this healthy lifestyle in the students and teachers they work with:
- Use our “beehydrated” pamphlet that talks about basic hydration information to teach a unit in hydration.
- For athletes, our “Beat the Heat” pamphlet provides a great resource.
- Encourage the teachers to have the children bring in a water bottle and keep on their desk to hydrate throughout the day. It is to their benefit as just a 1% dehydration level of thirst, results in a 10% reduction in the child’s ability to concentrate.
- In high school levels, talk to the principal or superintendent about allowing and encouraging the students to be drinking water throughout the day. Many children are involved in after school sports and unless they are hydrating throughout the day their performance and their safety will be compromised.
- Water fountains, in addition to providing a source of germs, only result in a 1-3 ounce drink of water. Teachers can allow students time to fill up their water bottles in the morning and then use their water fountain trip for a bathroom break.
Properly hydrated children are healthier children! Water affects all aspects of life and what better way to ensure children are in school and learning to their full capacity: TEACH the importance of proper hydration for their body!
For more information and resources, contact Rhonda or visit the Kendrick Fincher Hydration Foundation website.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The popular PEP grant program has allowed hundreds of school districts to re-energize P.E. programs with new equipment and specialized training.
By Michael Popke, January 2008
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
One statement that did stand out in the article: "Children do not get enough exercise during the school day; Dr. Frieden noted that even in gym classes, students are active for only about a third of the time."
We know this is true in many circumstances, but we've also witnessed some awesome PE programs that we know keep students active for more than a third of the time. If you have one of these programs, what's your secret?
1. How do you keep your students' heart rates up during class? Small-sided games? Exergaming?
2. Do you collect data to prove your students are active for longer than a third of the time? If so, how? Heart Rate Monitors?
3. What advice can you give other physical educators to increase activity time in PE?
Leave your answers in the comments below!