Alright fellow educators, let’s talk about how to keep students engaged and avoid classes turning into a total snooze fest as we approach the end of the school year. We know that the weather is warming up, kids are getting antsy, there’s a little bit of burnout from testing season, a lot of procrastination on final projects and studying for finals, and on top of that we’re all dreaming about summer vacation. But have no fear – Hiveclass is here with tips and tricks to keep students engaged in physical education and activity through the end of the school year. Implementing these strategies as part of your class prep will help prevent student burnout, increase classroom engagement and ensure you are prioritizing mental wellness for students.
First things first, switch things up! No one wants to do the same thing week after week. You can lead with choice and ask students what they’d like to explore next! Try incorporating new and exciting games to keep their muscles active and their brains engaged. Whether it’s letting a student take over the class and teach a skill for a classic sport like soccer, or introducing something brand new, like Pickleball, it’s always good to incorporate new and exciting activities to keep students motivated. And hey, if you’re feeling brave you can join the fun yourself. You’ll show your students that you can still hang and keep up!
Next, get a little competitive. Encourage your class to work together in teams to accomplish a goal or complete a challenge. This not only promotes teamwork and sportsmanship, but it can get them hyped up and motivated to win (even the quiet ones in the back).
Don’t forget about positive reinforcement. Who doesn’t love being recognized for their hard work? Take a moment to celebrate class achievements and individual progress as they move through different skills and activities. Give them a high five, a fist bump, or even a good old-fashioned pat on the back. While it may seem insignificant, this small gesture can make all the difference, especially to a student who may doubt their ability, experience challenges in certain areas and has worked hard to level up and build their competence in a sport.
Here are some additional ideas to consider as you rack your brain for how to keep your students engaged in physical education for the next couple of weeks:
- Plan special events or themed days to add excitement and energy to the class. Dress up like your favorite pro-athlete day anyone? This really depends on the age group you are teaching, but be creative and have fun with it!
- Partner with other teachers to create unique and diverse physical activities and experiences for students. Think about taking a cross-curricular approach – maybe you partner with a history teacher to highlight how a sport has evolved over time, or with a health or anatomy class to demonstrate the impact of physical activity on the body. Nothing more fun than discussing body parts with pre-teens and teenagers!
- Kids are growing up in a very tech-forward environment so use technology to create engaging and interactive learning experiences. Heart monitors, activity trackers, Hiveclass…😉 When you show your class that physical education isn’t only about getting their heart rate up, but it’s a way to improve their overall health and well-being you’ll surely grab their attention.
So there you have it, friends! With a little creativity, teamwork, and positive reinforcement, you can keep your P.E. classes exciting and engaging til the last bell rings. And who knows, you may even inspire a future Olympian or two along the way. Keep up the great work, teachers!