As an educator, I love anything that makes learning fun for our students! I am a firm believer in thematic units and cross-curricular activities to expand student knowledge, provide unique experiences, practice social skills and make connections for our kids across all subject areas. I think that kids should be up and moving while they learn, not stuck behind desks or sitting on carpets for long periods of time.
I recently had the pleasure of working an event that is designed to keep our special education students physically active while feeling included with their peers… not to mention it was easy to link to activities in VizZle to provide classroom support for our students. Students in our Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) recently participated in a Young Athlete’s Program (YAP) event alongside their general education pre-K peers. Young Athletes is a sports play program created by Special Olympics that introduces early learners to physical activity.
Our district event was organized by Adapted PE teacher Justin Morton. He created a fun, scheduled day of thematic activities that allowed students to showcase the skills they work on regularly in their physical education classes on their campus. Over 600 students rotated through eight carefully planned activity stations and ended the day with smiles, snacks and awards!
Past themes for our YAP events have included “Winter” and “Superheroes.” This year’s theme was “Summer Olympics,” linking to the recent Olympic Summer games in 2016. Students rotated through javelin, archery, tennis, volleyball, basketball, soccer, swimming and powerlifting events. Stations include adaptations for students with significant physical/motor disabilities so they could participate right along with their classmates.
All of our district’s PPCD classrooms have access to VizZle. VizZle had a great selection of existing activities in SHARE that provided our teachers a quick easy way to reinforce the Olympic theme and prepare/review students in regards to the special event. Some of the Olympic-related lesson IDs that you might find helpful for this age group: 157723, 158152, 10264, 10261, 10288 and 1746533.
Want to make kids more active every day in your classroom?
-Reinforce a VizZle phonics spelling activity by having students toss a ball back and forth, stating the next letter in the word each time they catch the ball.
-Hang up answer choices to a VizZle matching activity around the room. Have students walk to stand under their answer choice.
-Already have pieces to a VizZle sort activity printed? Run a relay – with two buckets (one for each side of your sorting chart) on one side of the room and your students with their sorting pieces on the other. Have individual students run and throw their card into the appropriate bucket and then run back for more!
-Using a SMARTboard for your VizZling? Have students throw a koosh ball to activate their answer choices!
Want to learn more about getting young students active?
-Check out: http://www.sotx.org/programs/young-athletes
-Contact Adapted PE teacher: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author:
Shannon Beyer is the Assistive Technology Specialist for Victoria ISD in Victoria, TX. She holds a Master of Education in Special Education, and has served as an early childhood general education teacher, a special education teacher and an educational diagnostician. She also holds certifications in Reading and ESL.