Keeping 60-80 students motivated to move is no easy feat when you can’t meet in the gym every day for physical education. But Brenda Ziebert, health and phys ed teacher at St. Joseph Academy, found a way to keep up the pace. By relying on programs such as Screencastify, a browser extension that broadcasts your screen with video and audio, Ziebert created a calendar of workout routines, activities and daily positive discussions to keep students active. Ziebert talks about why it’s important to stay connected while remaining active.
Q: How Did You Transition To An Online-Only Physical Education Class?
A: We required about a half-hour out of them every day, even if we weren’t meeting in class that day. They followed a theme for each day on the calendar. We had TV workouts where you watch this TV show, like Friends or Gilmore Girls or something like that and do your workouts. We tried to vary each day by mixing cardio and weightlifting so that they didn’t overstress any kind of injuries or anything like that.
Q: How Have The Students Adapted To This Experience?
A: At first, I believe everyone was a kind of deer in the headlights. We have weekly Google meets, where we would just check in on Mondays just to see how everybody’s doing and if they have any questions. They admitted that the Google meets each week helped them see each other and just be on top of their assignments. At the end of the day, it was just about how we can keep them active still and eating healthy.
Q: Why Is It Important For Your Students To Stay Connected This Way?
A: The physical activities, they need that to get up their energy. They need it to release any of their tension. They can pace themselves while doing their assignments, but a lot of times, they’re doing it late at night. With the physical activity being part of their built-in routine, it gets them out, gets them moving and relieves a lot of that stress and tension that they’re feeling. They need some kind of a release, so that was incredibly important. It’s a reset.