Welcome to the Gym


  • Students are assigned a gym home on the first day of P.E. class. These are specific spaces on the gym floor (just like assigned seats in the classroom). Teachers can use a grid similar to the seating chart used by a classroom teacher. This is the student’s gym home and will give students their own space for warm ups, cool downs, and instruction.The space is set up so students are able to see the teacher and have a place to start and end gym classes and move their bodies easily in their personal space.
  • A design of  four color teams is often used.  The teams are red, blue, yellow, and green. When using six color teams the colors orange and purple are added. If possible, it will help for quicker understanding of movement in the gym if each wall is visually matched to these colors (Painting the wall, or a Giant Poster, etc.). Numbers 1 through 8 may be posted on the wall or the floor to help students with spacing.
  • This grid is set up so that teachers can look at the class from the front of the gym and have a quick way to identify students for each class. It is a great help to also have student pictures inserted into the grid, so the teacher is able to remember student names and also where their gym homes are located.

Laws of Three

Teacher Signals: Use the Visual and Say the Words at the same time to start. Eventually move to the Visual Signal only.

Three Seconds: Use the three second count whenever students are resting on a base during a game, or anytime you want students to wait. If you use the three second rule consistently in a variety of activities, students will be better able to comply.

  1. Partners +: Students move to music in various locomotor movements. Get in groups of one, two, three or four when music stops.
  2. Gym Homes: Students move to music in various locomotor movements. When the music stops, go to your Gym Home.

Laws of Three in P.E.

  1. Be Fair: Know and Follow Rules – Share – Use  Rock/Paper/Scissors to resolve conflict.
  2. Be Safe: and be in control.
  3. Be Respectful: Listen to person in charge. Treat people and equipment with respect.
  4. Water Break: 1,2,3 and Go! (When there’s a line).


  • If you have four teams and four painted walls to match, choose one team to start at their color team wall with one hand on it while waiting teacher signal.
  • On teacher’s signal run to the remaining three walls and touch them in the station rotation (clockwise) order.
  • Return to gym homes and sit in teacher designated fashion (see below).
  • If you have six teams split the two teams (orange and purple)  in half, so they can evenly divided with into the other four teams,
  • After each  team has practiced this, all of the teams line up at the same time with
    a hand on their starting wall.
  • This time all teams will run on the teacher’s signal and touch each wall in succession.
  • On teacher’s signal run to the remaining three walls and touch them in the station rotation (clockwise) order.
  • Return to gym homes and sit in teacher designated fashion (see below)


  • Cross Legged Sit: Cross Arms at forearms
  • Wide Sit: Arms outstretched
  • Put Balls Away: Make a Muscle – Carry ball in your arm (basketballs/playground) balls make big muscles!. Practice putting ball away without dribbling or throwing. Time this and record how many seconds it takes for each class the first week. Practice this skill as needed.
  • Set Up and Put Away Targets: Many of our games include the use of soft foam targets (similar to foam swim noodles). Have two teams at each end of the gym. Time how long it takes to set up 20 targets on the line and have each person sitting in front of a target. Then practice how many seconds it takes to put all of the targets away and be sitting in front of the targets cross-legged and quiet. Practice this skill as needed.

Introduce these common playground activities:

Tetherball – You are out if you:

  • Touch the pole
  • Touch the rope
  • Cross the center line
  • Rope/ball is wrapped around pole
  • Server may only serve two times, then must go to the end of the line.

Four Square

  • Underhand only
  • Lines are in
  • For Disputed call – The “judge” is the next person in line
  • The “judge” makes all calls: overhand hit, ball out, line (redo called only if cause is interference)
  • Please, no teaming or arguing
  • When a player is out, they must go to the end of the line and players move up to fill vacated square.

Climbing Structure

  • Slide down the slide on your bottom.
  • Walking and climbing only-no running or chasing
  • Stay on the inside of the structure
  • No jumping from the top

Parallel Bars

  • Only 4 kids on at one time
  • No standing on top of or jumping off of the bars
  • 2 tricks each, then give someone else a turn

Swinging Gate

  • One person rides
  • One person pushes 20 spins equals a turn.
  • After completing 20 spins, the next person in line begins turn.
  • Stand in line on the blacktop until it is your turn.

Jump Rope

  • 2 misses is an out.
  • Rope turners turns for 2 people.
  • Jump ropes are for jumping only.

Hula Hoops

  • Each person should have their own hula hoop to play with.
  • Hoops are for spinning and balancing
  • No catching students by looping the hula hoop over someone’s head.

Dunk Basketball

  • 3 players VS. 3 players only
  • Practice shots O.K.
  • No hanging off the rim

Backboard Basketball

  • 5 players vs. 5 players maximum.
  • Even number of players on each team.
  • Follow official basketball rules

Wall Ball

  • One person is pitcher.
  • All other kids are on the wall between the lines.
  • Pitcher rolls the ball like you are bowling.
  • If you are hit with the ball-go out and stand at the side.
  • When 2 people are out, a new game starts
  • The pitcher chooses a new pitcher from the kids left on the wall.
  • Boy chooses girl or girl chooses boy.

Soccer, Football, and Kickball

  • Follow standard rules
  • Safety and Fairness must be maintained at all times.
  • Game will be discontinued if arguing replaces play.
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