Do you suffer from a lack of physical education equipment? Are your students always complaining that they can’t perform physical fitness activities because of that lack of equipment?
If so, show them this video. While innovative equipment can make classes more fun – and I wouldn’t advise your students to try these moves – here’s an amazing example of an incredible gymnastics-dance-tumbling-agility routine performed using nothing but a partner and some benches. Maybe it will inspire you to ask your students to create a fun (but safe) fitness routine using common equipment in your school, like chairs, benches, tables and mats.
Are you looking for a new sport to add variety to your physical education program? How about cricket!
While cricket has been played in the USA since the 1700’s, it hasn’t caught on the way it has in India and Pakistan where cricket fans are obsessed about the game the same way Americans are about football and baseball.
But it’s a fun game with some similarities to baseball, with pitching, catching and bat-swinging all part of the repertoire. Your students will love it once they try it!
The United States Youth Cricket Association has now partnered with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness to promote the sport of cricket to schools across the USA (sorry, non-American readers). The result is an offer that’s too good to refuse.
The USYCA Schools Program will now donate cricket equipment and instruction to any U.S. school without condition or requirements. That’s right. Free cricket equipment!!
All they ask is that the school or school system request that they be included in the program. They hope to place 500 cricket sets in 2011 and all you have to do is contact them to be a recipient of this largess – and, you’ll have to pay shipping. That’s only about $20 for a 30 pound case of four sets.
The “Fun Theory” website is dedicated to the idea that “something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better.” It’s an initiative of Volkswagen, as a marketing tool to develop the image that their vehicles are fun, but the ideas are all user-generated and the concept is an excellent one. Here’s how it works: there is a cash award for the best ideas – videos are submitted to the site showing each submitter’s theory in action – and an online vote is taken to determine the winner.
Some of the ideas are simple, some require complex engineering, but the results are a lot of fun to see – and many seem highly effective!
Here’s one idea with a fitness slant. You’ll often see an escalator beside a set of stairs – in subways, airports, malls, etc. Usually, the stairs are vacant while the escalator is highly used. In the situation shown on the video, 97% took the escalator while the stairs were typically used only 3% of the time. So a group of engineers got together to make the stairs more fun. They completely changed the user percentage – after their “fun” change, 66% of users took the stairs while the escalator percentage dropped from 97% to 34%!
“Fun” is a theory that physical education teachers have been practicing for decades. One of the main goals of good physical educators is to make fitness fun, because that’s the best way to motivate students into making physical activity part of their daily lifestyle.
Thousands of North Americans experience serious injuries every year as a result of shoveling snow.
To some degree, this is the result of a lack of technique training. Who, after all, teaches snow-shovelers the essentials of lifting with the legs, keeping the back straight and avoiding rotational twisting of the torso while the feet are planted?
It makes me wonder why we don’t we teach practical physical skills in PE…skills like shoveling snow, lifting sofas, cutting grass or hammering nails. There’s a good chance that students will spend more time over their lives operating a snow shovel or lawn mower than climbing ropes or doing handstands.
But where would they practice such skills, you might ask? Hmmm. I believe that teachers should offer their own homes as physical education life-skill labs, and receive school board reimbursement for the provision of these excellent learning opportunities. I personally will be the first to volunteer. I have an old sofa that needs moving right now. My PE students could remove it using my pickup truck that could use a wash, wax and polish – another highly practical skill-set 🙂
In the meantime, here’s a video of another practical skill we can add to our curriculum – using juggling to hammer ceiling nails.
With the college football bowl season proceeding in most areas of the U.S. and the NFL up and running, here are two trick plays that you’re not likely to see over the next few weeks.
The first example, a goal-line play performed by Bethel College, is risky and may not be appropriate for you own team, but it definitely would confuse those defensive backs who “key” off the quarterback’s eyes (there’s no sound track on this video).
There’s another trick play you may have seen, in which the quarterback makes a comment about the ball, is handed the ball from the center, walks through the line of scrimmage untouched, then makes a mad sprint to the goal line.
Here’s a psychological explanation of why the play works, as discussed by Christopher Chabris, professor of psychology at Union College.
(By the way, as a football fan, I was one-for-two last weekend. My alma mater, the University of Wisconsin lost the Rose Bowl, but my NFL team, the Green Bay Packers advanced to the playoffs…barely).