At a time when childhood obesity is on the rise, many school districts are unfortunately cutting their budgets for extracurricular programs, including physical education and after-school sports. Some physical education (PE) programs have been removed entirely from school programs while others depend on parent volunteers and regular classroom teachers to conduct physical education classes.
Luckily, there is a lot of support on the Web and in print publications for physical education teachers at all levels. The Web offers creative PE lesson plans, and more importantly, it provides ways to connect with other educators around the nation and world. The key is collaboration and support. As a member of the online PE community, you'll never need to ask, "What am I going to do today?" again.
- Use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo! and search the Web for physical education lesson plans. Type keywords such as "PE lesson plans" or "physical education games" into the search box to retrieve a list of PE-related web sites. Lesson plans are generally organized by grade level. Explore the sites and print out high quality lesson plans. Remember to share them with fellow physical education teachers.
- Join an online discussion forum. Collaborate with other physical education teachers through threaded discussions online. In discussion forums, you can post messages, search messages, access archived messages, and respond to others.
Check out such discussion groups as NASPE Forum (National Association for Sport & Physical Education), which offer discussions about curriculum and lesson plans, field day ideas, conferences and workshops, technology information, and more. SporTime Discussion Group is a smaller discussion forum that provides physical education activity ideas.
- Register for a physical education electronic newsletter. E-newsletters are distributed via email, often weekly or monthly, and include helpful information such as physical education fitness programs and health information.
The Heart Zones E-Newsletter targets a wide audience, including educators, and offers useful information about heart health and cardiovascular training programs. For information about PE-related research, conferences, and fitness programs, register for the National Association of Health Education Centers' e-newsletter.
- Go to your local library for books about indoor/outdoor games. Enliven your usual curriculum with fun activities from resources such as the Outrageous Outdoor Games Book by Bob Gregson or Team Building Activities for Every Group by Alanna Jones. Or buy used books online at booksellers such as Amazon. Search their database for books about team games, outdoor fun, or team-building activities. Swap books with fellow educators to keep your archive of activities growing.
- Visit Education World and type "physical education" into the search box. This resource not only provides innovative lesson ideas, but also keeps you abreast of government policy and current trends related to physical education.
Schools are ideal places to start good fitness habits in children. With a little research, you can help kids stay fit for life.