The goal is to always get those kids moving and the sooner the better. This article I'm going to give you a few suggestions for instant activities and discuss why they are so important.
My students always come to PE with such excitement in their eye, they can barely contain themselves. My classes have to walk down this really long hallway and it takes all their will power to walk in an orderly manner. I stand at the end of the hall waiting for them and the closer they get the harder it is for them to walk. In all reality it probably takes 1 minute to walk down the hall but I could imagine that for a grade level student it feels more like 10.
When they get to me I do make them wait in line until they are focused and ready to listen. Sometimes I feel so mean doing this but I always remind myself "they need to be in control" or accidents will happen.
So they stand there starring at me and once I see their eyes I tell them the activity and off they go.
Instant Activities should always be something they already know. The goal is for the students to enter the gym and go, go, go. The teacher should not have to stop them to explain the activity.
Usually at the beginning of the year I teach the activities throughout my lessons so I have a good activity bank to pull from. This keeps the students guessing and excited to get into the gym.
Another great and wonderful thing about instant activities is that they allow you as a teacher to check in with students and not be interrupted. Maybe you take attendance, maybe you talk with students who were absent the previous class, maybe you have to talk with the teacher for a few minutes about something. Instant activities allow you the time to prepare for the class you are about to teach.
Here are the top 5 instant activities I use...
1) ABC workout. I have a word that students can spell (usually a vocabulary word from the unit) or I may have them spell their spelling words or names. I have the poster posted on the walls around the gym so they are always ready to go.
ABC Workout Poster
2) Find Your Awesome. I have 4 to 5 of these around the gym. The students choose whatever workout they want to do. If they finish they can repeat the workout or do a different one.
Find Your Awesome
3) Work Out Cards. I have a set of 40 workout cards that I bought a conference once. They are all different. I throw them out on the floor and give the students a goal of completely a certain amount. I did attach some you could use. I was given these at a conference once - thank you to Lisa Perry.
Work Out Cards Work Out Cards 2
4) Noodle Tag. The students partner up. They each grab a noodle and create a box or circle. I have them use the lines that are already on the floor for boundaries. The students then begin the "sword fight" as they call it. It's not really sword fight, it's more like Fencing. They try to touch the other person with the noodle but they are blocking the other person's noodle as well. Whenever someone is touched they stop. The person who was touched has to perform 5 sit-ups, 5 push-ups or 5 jumping jacks. (These of coarse can change.)
This one is fun and the students love that they "sword fight" in PE. I love that they are smiling, moving, working on reaction time, and still showing kindness to their component.
5) Fitness Knee Tag. Everyone is it in this game. This alone keeps them moving because you anyone can try to tag you. There are a few rules: 1) if your hands are on your knees you have to freeze, you also can't tag anyone, and no one can tag you 2) if your hans are off your knees you can move, you can tag someone else, and someone can tag you. 3) if you get tagged it's no big deal, they choose the quick workout (5 sit-ups, 5 push-ups, 5 jumping jacks, dance for 5 seconds, etc).
This activity has some pros. What I really like about it is the students are allowed to create their own challenges. If they are full of energy then they don't put their hands on their knees as much. However, when they are a little run down for whatever the reason may be they can choose to put their hands on their knees more. As a teacher I never know who needs to run more at the beginning of class so I let the students show me as they play the game.
That's a wrap! There are so many more instant activities so don't forget to check back. I'll do my best to post more as they pop up. And as always feel free to share.
Keep on ROCK'N!