With social distancing expected to be part of the new normal in schools this fall and space always being at a premium, the My PE Limited Space Pack offers a solution to teachers that may be asked to provide physical education in small spaces, for teachers providing classroom-based physical activity, and for families who may be asked to provide both if schools are operating within a hybrid or distance learning model.
- This My PE Pack provides each student with a mesh bag backpack filled with quality equipment, including a foam ball, beanbag, juggling scarves, jump rope, sidewalk chalk, yoga mat, and a cup stacking set.
- Personal equipment bags help schools support the considerations for social distancing and sharing of equipment.
- The Limited Space Pack provides individual activities that support the development of manipulative and coordination skills.
- All activities can be enjoyed in limited spaces, non-traditional physical education settings, indoors/outdoors, the classroom, or at home.
How can schools, educators, and parents best use the Limited Space Packs?
Physical Education in the Gym:
As a physical educator, I feel it is going to be important for schools to be able to support and provide quality physical education that supports physical distancing, reduces the needs to share equipment, and allows for easy sanitization. I see My PE Packs working in several ways when used in a traditional gym setting for physical education.
- Students Have Their Own Pack: Physical education teachers would benefit from students having their own My PE Packs they bring with them to class. There would be no need for the teacher to make extra time to sanitize equipment in between classes. The activities provided with the My PE Packs align with SHAPE America National PE Standards and provide a foundation for many other activities and creative ideas using the included equipment.
- Class Set of My PE Packs: If schools are unable to provide students with an individual My PE Pack, then a class set of My PE Packs would provide a physical education teacher with a foundation of equipment that can be used and sanitized quickly as all the equipment can be wiped down easily in between sessions.
- Rotational Use of My PE Pack Equipment: If sanitization time is an issue, a physical educator could rotate use of the equipment out of the pack. To do this, I would sort all the equipment out of the packs and place them in individual storage bins or wheeled storage carts for easy access. I could have my first class use just the foam ball for many of the foam ball activities included in the program along with any other activities I plan. At the end of class, the foam balls would be returned to a storage container and set aside. The next class may just use the jump ropes out of the pack. Those too are then set aside at the end of that session. Each following class would emphasize the use a single piece of equipment from of the My PE Pack, providing one piece of equipment for each student so they can enjoy a variety of novel and challenging activities that align with national standards and allow for easy transitions. At the end of the day, the equipment is then sanitized, and the process is repeated the next day. I would plan the rotation of activities accordingly so that I know which skills and standards are being worked on by class and grade level.
Physical Education in the Classroom Setting & Small Spaces:
There are many scenarios being outlined by schools for reentry this fall that support physical distancing protocols. Some situations may require students to remain in the same classroom throughout the day. This means physical education teachers would need to rotate through classrooms to deliver instruction and/or classroom teachers may become a partner in helping to provide physical education. Using the Limited Space My PE Packs would be an ideal solution in either scenario as they are designed with this in mind, providing equipment and quality activities that meet standards and can be done in a small space that are exciting for students. Building upon the same concepts from the section above, I see this working in several different ways.
- Personal My PE Packs: The students would have their own My PE Pack they bring from home when at school to use for physical education lessons and/or classroom physical activity breaks.
- Classroom Set of My PE Packs: The classroom teacher would have their own class set of My PE Packs. Each student would be “assigned” a pack to use for the year, using this each time the physical education teacher rotates in to provide a lesson or for when the classroom teacher needs to provide physical education.
- PE Teacher Set of My PE Packs: The physical education teacher has his/her own class set of My PE Packs and breaks out the equipment into different categories for use on a rotational basis. The first class they visit may just use jump ropes from the pack, the next class they rotate to might focus on using the foam ball, and so on. The equipment would then be sanitized at the end of the day and rotated appropriately by class and grade level.
- Classroom Implementation Support: The My PE Pack program is designed to be easy to deliver. Teachers simply create a FREE account and select activities based on learning goals and outcomes. Printable activity instructions and videos provide support for stress-free implementation.
- Success in Small Spaces: I have seen the success of physical education in a classroom space firsthand. I spent a year providing physical education out of the general education classroom when my school’s gymnasium was being remodeled. I used the same style of instructional activities as provided in this Limited Space pack and it was successful. Depending upon the learning goals, students performed activities near their desks, or we moved desks to create a larger area we could space out in or we went outside with our equipment to perform activities. I can see the same approach being taken with the Limited Space pack and feel strongly many standards can still be achieved and skills developed in a small space. I just wish Gopher’s Limited Space My PE Packs were available back when I was going through the remodel!
Physical Education at Home:
Lastly, if schools are operating in a hybrid or distance learning model, or for those who homeschool their children, all students still need and deserve to be provided a quality physical education program. The Limited Space My PE Pack will help parents provide physical education lessons and daily physical activity.
- Parents would create their own FREE account and help their child with activities. The easy to follow format, directions, and videos provide parents with the support they need to help their student be successful with home-based physical education.
- Physical education teachers could assign activities for students to try at home. These activities could even complement what is being taught at school. For example, when at school, students may be working on throwing to a wall target using a foam ball and then when at home, students would work on both throwing and catching by playing catch with a parent, caregiver, or family member.
- Parents could provide additional activity opportunities by having their child use the equipment in a free-play environment to support creativity and as an outlet for accumulating daily physical activity.
- The Limited Space PE pack could also help support homeschooling programs. Students would have a pack and follows activities from the My PE Pack program to build skills that align with national standards and provide physical activity.
- As a parent myself, I tested out this My PE pack during a lengthy summer stay with family. My son enjoyed setting up an obstacle course all over our one-room studio apartment using the cup stacking set. He was able to perform a lot of different activities in our small space successfully. The website was very easy to use and activity directions easy to follow.
The Limited Space program’s activities are broken down into Units of Instruction:
- Activities with Individual Mats
- Foam Ball Activities
- Activities using Beanbags
- Jump Rope Activities
- Cup Stacking Activities
- Activities with Juggling Scarves
- Classroom Games
- Activities with Chalk
My PE Packs are going to be an important solution for schools as they think outside the box in how they will provide physical education. I know funding will need to be found, nothing is free. Teachers will need to work with administrators, program directors, special education directors, and parent support teams to advocate for their program and provide solutions. Funding ideas can be found on the SPARK Grant Finder page. SHAPE America’s “health. moves. minds” fundraising program is an excellent option for schools as well!