It started with a thought, turned into an idea, developed into a proposal and then came to fruition! The 2011 PE Teachers Workshop was held on Friday, April 15 with 49 registered PE teachers representing 23 school districts served by AEA 267.
Julie Crotty, AEA 267 Consultant for Curriculum Development, kicked off the day by asking participants to dig into research on the brain by reading Excerpts from the Experts. This text explains the linkages between exercise and the brain and explains how exercise primes the brain for learning. Recent studies suggest that the importance of students’ exercise goes hand in hand with improved academic learning.
“Communicate” was Shira Gebel’s theme. Shira, AEA 267 Special Education Consultant, presented various ways to work with students’ special needs in the PE classroom. She advocated that PE teachers work closely with para-educators as well as special education teachers to provide appropriate physical education for every student.
McElroy grant award winner, Tim Staudt, shared ideas and materials he uses with his elementary PE students.
The participants were also treated to several tables full of new physical education resources including books, kits, magazines, and DVD’s. AEA 267 Media Specialists were on hand to offer a wide variety of up-to-date materials for PE teachers, coaches or any exercise instructor. Many PE teachers found resources that would enhance their curriculum!
“This conference was a great resource in itself for me…I found the presentation on the brain and exercise very beneficial and would like to see more of these in the future as well!” said Travis Temple, a student teacher.
For two hours in the afternoon, participants met at Cedar Heights Elementary gym in Cedar Falls to demonstrate, diagram and share a variety of PE activities they use in their PE curriculum. Bringing the day to a close, every PE teacher in attendance was sent an invitation to join an online group (called a wiki) where they can continue to share PE ideas, keep their discussions active, and cultivate relationships with other PE professionals.
Linda Garrison from Waterloo Community School District summed the day up well, “(It’s) always good to see activities that are tried and true by other PE teachers. Thanks for taking the time and effort to put together this professional development…would definitely attend another in the future!”
(Many thanks to Marcia Knupp, AEA 267 Consultant for Curriculum Development, for submitting this information and coordinating this workshop opportunity!)