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Teacher: Linda who teaches at St. Lucie Elementary in Fort Pierce, FL. Linda can be contacted at boltlinda@cs.com.

Name of Best Practice: PE Back Pack

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To give students & parents equipment and information to practice Physical Education skills at home. This unique idea helps connect the student's family with the teacher as well as promotes increased communication between parents and teachers.

Suggested Grade Level: K-5

Materials Needed: Backpacks and various Physical Education equipment. Information cards describing the skill that you would like to be practiced at home.

PE Back Pack

I ordered 10 clear backpacks from a school supply company. I made a cute computer generated card that said "PE HOMEWORK BACKPACK." Then I placed it inside the small pocket at the front of the backpack. Next, I put in a short jump rope and an index card describing the three things I wanted the family to practice. In the backpack there was also a short parent information letter describing how to use the packpack. For student accountability of the homework assignment, a short parent survey was included to see if there was any way to improve the skill card that was provided. Other "activity homework" includes: balls for throwing using correct technique, dribbling stationary and moving using hand, catching a variety of objects, dribbling stationary and moving using feet, and whatever creative idea you come up with. You can select how many backpacks for each grade level or first try it with one class.

Variations:

You could use any kind of backpack. I chose clear ones because the kids really like to show off what they have. Involve all students even students who don't need practice just because they all think it's cool to get the packpack! You will have to come up with a rotation for fairness to all students in class.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

One important classroom management suggestion is to ensure that you keep a log to remember what student(s) have the backpacks. I usually give them out on Monday and have them returned by Friday. Reminder to keep the information short and simple so the parents don't have trouble teaching it at home. I have noticed that the parents found it very fun and interesting to see what we were learning in Physical Education class. I have not had any difficulty with students returning their backpacks yet. You may want to come up with a consequence if one is not returned.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

This is a great way to encourage skill development with students that have disabilities and you can modify any way that is appropriate for the disability so the student experiences success.

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Posted on PEC: 3/9/2005 and has received 61 votes.

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