Site Search
home | naspe forum | submit | pe store | calendar | contact   
  navigation November 2015, Volume 17 Number 9


Receive a FREE monthly emailed newsletter from pelinks4u, and an update of the latest pe news.

Enter your email address below, then click 'submit.'

contact us
Phone: 509-607-1775
Fax 509-963-1989  
pelinks4u sponsors









visit sponsors
speed stacks
Phi Epsilon Kappa

The NEW Physical Education: Promoting Healthy & Active Lifestyles DVD For teacher inservice workshops and professional preparation, $20 ( was $30)


  50 Million Strong by 2029 Targets ALL of America's   Children

   Steve Jefferies, pelinks4u publisher

"Just because I'm blind doesn't mean I don't know how to throw and catch," Anneka (aged 7)

In last month's editorial, "The End of Physical Education as We Know It" I suggested that health education and physical education teaching was about to undergo a revolution. SHAPE America's intent to get all of America's school-aged students physically active and healthy within 14 years - 50 Million Strong by 2029 (50MS) - marks the end of business as usual. It's also a beginning.

Starting this year, all of us need to accept that "doing our best" when teaching isn't good enough. If we want to get respected in our public schools we need to get onboard with not just "doing" but rather "achieving." Math teachers whose students don't develop math competencies aren't highly regarded. Similarly, if our students can't demonstrate something worthwhile they've learned from us, why should health and physical educators deserve respect?

In the past, the trouble has been that we've never agreed upon what students should be learning in our classes. What should they know and be able to do after our classes that they couldn't do before? Well now we know. 50MS has set the bar height for all of us: It's to get all of our students physically active and healthy within 14 years. And as one of the current presidential candidates would say, it's "a 'uge change!" It truly is.

Of course, getting some of the students we teach to be physically active and healthy is easy because they're already there. Their parents have already done the work for us. It's like having kids who can already read well entering our kindergarten classes. They start out with an advantage over other students. What do we do? We don't hold them back but rather challenge them to improve further. So equally, or perhaps even more importantly, we must ensure that none of our students are left behind.

I noted last month that too often we fail to recognize the immense barriers that far too many students entering our schools face. Children from families of poverty often don't live in circumstances where it's easy for them to play outside, join sport teams, learn to swim, and enjoy healthy and nutritious foods. It's not their fault and we mustn't let the cards fate has dealt them hinder their chances of succeeding in our classes.

The same is true with children who come to our classes with different physical, sensory or intellectual abilities. I implied that these children with disabilities were "unlucky" last month and Lauren Lieberman, whose "Camp Abilities" for the visually impaired was recently featured on HBO's Real Sports, called me to task for using that word. She pointed out that what some of us might view as a "handicap" should not be allowed to become handicapping. If you watch the movie you'll see that because a child might be blind, it doesn't mean that he or she can't do the things we typically teach in class. We simply need to accommodate our teaching to help all children regardless of their abilities succeed. Because in the end, these children will be adults and it is our job to get everyone, irrespective of age, ability, socioeconomic status, race or gender to be physically active.

In one of his wonderful TED Talks Sir Ken Robinson goes to great lengths to emphasize that ALL children are different. No two are the same. And if you think about it he's right. Which means that there is really no excuse for us not to succeed with getting all of America's kids physically active and healthy. Sure there will be differences in how active or how healthy the students in our schools can be. But what's most important is that with our guidance, each child we teach is as active and healthy that he or she is capable of being. Every child should be provided the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

To do this, we all need to embrace universally designing our lessons to include every child and challenge each one to reach their full potential. If all of our students aren't physically active and healthy today, we can be certain that nothing much is going to change if we keep doing the same things. Getting started is simple. Ask yourself, "What's my number?" You don't need to worry about getting 50 million kids physically active and healthy. Be responsible for just those who you teach. If all of us do this, together we'll achieve 50MS.

Steve Jefferies, pelinks4u publisher
SHAPE America President

Featured pelinks4u Articles
Video in the Elementary School? Sure!
Tom Winiecki has been teaching elementary PE for a long time. But he's always tried to avoid being unwilling to try new things that will help his kids learn better. Recently, with the help of a colleague he's added a new feature to his classes - filming. Read about the way that ipads have transformed the way his students are learning.
Be a 50 Million Strong by 2029 Champion: Part 3
Angela Heinemann concludes her three-part series on ways in which K-12 physical educators and health educators can lead the way in creating healthy school environments, and achieving SHAPE America's "50 Million Strong by 2029" goal. This month she targets physical activity and health-promoting activities you can do to engage the community, school staff, and parents.
Keeping Our Students Active Outside of the Gymnasium
Physical education is off to a great start this new academic year at Quibbletown Middle School. PE teacher James Overton is especially excited at two changes the teaching staff have agreed to implement this year to increase the time students spend being physically active outside of PE class time. Learn more about what's working.
Risk Taking in Physical Education
Participating in physical education is a risky business. But it's not just the possibility of injuries. For many students being called upon to show off their physical skills in public is scary. Lynn Burrows explains strategies she has found successful in getting her elementary-aged students to become more confident movers in her classroom.
Better Together Than Apart
How can physical educators do a better job embracing diversity in their classrooms? In this article, John Strong and Brian Culp share strategies they've used to get their college students to understand the similarities and differences that we all share. In addition to activity information they point out that we need to be intentional in our teaching to help our students better understand and accept diversity.
Physical Activity Strategies for Busy Teachers
As we close in on the end of the year, many of us are deliberating changes we'd like to make to our lifestyles in the New Year. Authors Merrill Funk and Phillip Conatser believe it's a mistake to attempt huge behavioral changes. Instead they recommend smaller lifestyle adjustments. Read their suggestions and share them with colleagues.
  • PE + HE + PA = 50MS and other reasons to commit to supporting 50 Million Strong by 2029
  • Recordings of the three General Sessions from first PETE/HETE national conference to be placed on SHAPE America web site soon!
  • CDC releases 2014 School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS) data
  • Daily P.E. improves thinking, fitness, local study says
  • Should P.E. add reading and writing to exercising?
  • How PE classes are working to get kids with disabilities off the sidelines
  • SHAPE America Podcast November with Matt and Collin: Technology in the HPE Classroom
  • Instructional videos playlist for PE teachers on YouTube by Ryan Armstrong. Check them out!
  • SHAPE America's "50 Million Strong by 2029" Initiative Kicks Off at Miami-Dade Schools
  • Physical Literacy in the United States
  • Surgeon General Murpha talks about physical literacy
  • SHAPE America launches job posting page FREE to job seekers
  • Coaches' Toolbox from SHAPE America
  • (Meta)Physical Education Buddhist lessons from an elementary school gym teacher
  • Everlast Climbing Aims to Helps Schools Raise Needed Physical Education Funds with New Climbing Wall Funding Guide
  • Call to decrease specialization in ONE sport
  • Facts about Sports Activity and Children
  • (AZ) Arizona HPE launches "What's your number?" counter on it's web site. Does your state or district have one yet?
  • (CA) P.E. lawsuit sparked local, statewide changes
  • (CA) Law protects districts from suits over P.E.
  • (CA) Common core standards come to physical education
  • (CO) Physical education teacher deserves the positive recognition she's received
  • (FL) Miami Schools Flip For Physical Education
  • (LA) Access to sport-based youth development programs in New Orleans
  • (NJ) Bayberry School unveils 'Project Fit' fitness equipment
  • (NY) Camp Abilities: A sports camp for blind and visually-impaired children excerpt or full 12 minutes
pelinks4u is a non-profit program of Central Washington University dedicated to promoting active and healthy lifestyles
Copyright © 1999-2015 | pelinks4u   All Rights Reserved