Course Info – Syllabus

Syllabus: Physical Education for Diverse Learners

  • CRN 12021 EDST 440 (Fall 2015)
  • 03 Credits  Fridays 3:00-5:50
  • Edison Elementary School 1328 E. 22nd Ave.
  • Instructor: Frank James
  • Office Hours: After class and by appointment. Contact me anytime via email:

 Course Overview

    The purpose of this course is to prepare future classroom teachers to instruct quality physical education and physical activity classes based on the Spark Physical Education Program for Grades K-5. Students will develop a foundation by learning motor and movement progressions and social and personal skills appropriate to the diverse range of K-5 students.

    The focus will be on experiential learning. During class, students will actively participate, practice teaching, and observe and provide feedback to peers. Away from class, students will observe and participate in teaching Physical Education to K-5 students.

Student Learning Outcomes

Through increased understanding of various quantity and quality guidelines and parameters in physical education students will learn how to:

  • Organize and plan a program to effectively utilize existing facilities and equipment.

  • Create an environment where all students engage in safe, enjoyable, and developmentally appropriate physical activity.

  • Develop knowledge and skills to engage students with diverse physical abilities and skill levels.

   Through the exposure to and practice of sound instructional methodology students will learn how to:

  • Instruct needed safety skills and habits.

  • Accommodate students with disabilities.

  • Foster enjoyment of physical education.

  • Improve children’s self-esteem and self-efficacy.

  • Develop competent movers and instruct useful, fitness-related skills,

  • Identify and practice nonverbal classroom management applicable to P.E. or a classroom setting.

Textbooks and Reading Materials: SparkUniversity

SPARKuniversity is a robust digital library of expert selected content from the popular SPARK physical education manuals – and a source of evidence-based learning tools created especially for majors and generalists.

SPARK was chosen as a “Selected School-Based Intervention” in the report Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance by the National Academy of Sciences SPARK was identified by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as a national model for programs designed to increase physical activity and combat childhood obesity in their report School-Based Physical Education: An Action Guide. Published by School Specialty.

 Class Participation:

As class sessions involve laboratory experiences that cannot be replicated, attendance and active participation are imperative. Students are expected to: attend each class (and stay for the duration), arrive on time and dressed for movement and be ready and willing to participate in class discussions and activities.

Weekly Schedule

  1. Week One:Gym Introduction: Introductions and beginning of the school year activities, including standard playground rules. Meet and Greet, Games: Knee Tag and Pickle Tag, Ball Frenzy Games. Spark K-2 – ASAP- Warmups and Recess Activities

  2.  Chicken Dance, and Games:, Turtle Tag , Offense/Defense & Walking Tag,Oompa Loompa Tag, Slammer . Spark 3/4/5- ASAP- Warmups and Recess Activities

  3.  Ball Skills Introduction, Partner Pass and Rotate, Dribble to 100, Dribble Train, Recycle the Basketballs and more basketball skills and activities. Large Group Games: Take A Chance, Offense/Defense (Take a Chance Style) Spark Peer Teaching

  4. The annual Ocean Week at Edison includes parachute games and activities. Spark Peer Teaching

  5. Polyspots and Hula Hoops, Hula Hoop Driving,Hoop D’jour, Hula Hoops, Arctic Wind Hoops. Spark Peer Teaching

  6.  Beanbags: Frog Pond,Beanbag Slide Tag. Disc (Frisbee) Bowling Spark Peer Teaching.

  7.  Project Adventure The Project Adventure activities were developed for P.E. by the same people who developed the original Outward Bound Program. Spark Peer Teaching.

  8.  Scooters

  9. ,Cup Stacking, Group Juggle, Jump Rope Tag,  Balloons,  Cooperative Activities with Blindfolds,Spark Peer Teaching
  10.  Spark Peer Teaching

Grade Policy:

  • 130 – 150 Points = A

  • 120 – 129  Points = B

  • 110 – 119 Points = C

  • 100 – 109 Points = C-

  • Below 99  Points  = Incomplete or Failing

Maximum Grade: A  Must have perfect attendance for an A

Grading Parameters:

  • Class Attendance and Participation: 100 Points (10 points per class) (Must sign in and out for each class and complete all in-class assignments )

  • Peer Teaching: 10 points Complete one lesson Teach lesson/activity in class with Spark Curriculum. Complete a written test/essay on blackboard.

  • P.E./Recess/Yoga Practicum: 10 Points Complete a one hour visit to visit and assist the teacher in P.E., Recess or Yoga. Complete a written test/essay for 10 points.

  • P.E./Recess/Yoga Practicum: 10 Points Complete a one hour visit to visit and assist the teacher in P.E., Recess or Yoga. Complete a written test/essay for 10 points.

  • Missed Class Practicum: 10 Points: One hour visit to PE/Recess activities followed by a written test/essay on blackboard.

  • Total Points Possible: 140 Points Absences for any reason result in a loss of 10 points. A missed class requires a practicum make-up. Students with excessive absences will fail the course.

Practicum Options:

Students in this class are required to complete two 1 hour practicums that will allow for observing/assisting in P.E. activities/sessions in an elementary school setting. There are a number of different days, times and a variety of activities to chose from to complete the required practicums. Practicums are complete when the test/essay is entered on Blackboard.


  • Option 1. Lunch Recess Practicum: On Wednesdays, the instructor of this course will be running activities in the gym for 1st – 5th grade students from 11:40 – 12:30. This will allow UO students the opportunity to observe, assist and participate in the same activities that they learned about during the Friday classes. Complete a written test/essay on Blackboard for each 1 hour practicum.

  • Option 2. P.E. Class practicum: Frank will teach classes at Edison on Wednesdays. Check Blackboard weekly for specific times. Complete a written test/essay on Blackboard for each 1 hour practicum.

  • Option 3. Yoga Practicum: Debra Gelzer leads all of Edison’s classes with yoga on Tuesdays. She teaches 30 minute classes starting at 8:40 and the last one ends at 2:40. This is a unique opportunity to see how yoga can be introduced to elementary students as young as 1st grade. She teaches from 8:35 – 2:40.  Check Blackboard for specific times. Complete a written test/essay on Blackboard for each 1 hour practicum.

  • Option 4. Alternative Site Option (Visit another School) : Some students have connections with local schools that they can visit to complete practicums. Complete a written test/essay on Blackboard for each 1 hour practicum.

Expected classroom behavior:

  • Participating in class activities

  • Respecting the diversity of cultures, opinions, viewpoints in the classroom

  • Listening to fellow students, professors, and lecturers with respect

  • Arriving on time, prepared for class

  • Attending for the duration of class; not reading other materials

  • Several options, both informal and formal are available to resolve conflicts for students who believe they have been subjected to or have witnessed bias, unfairness or other improper treatment. Within the College of Education, contact the COE Ombudsperson at /ombudsman Racist, homophobic, sexist, and other disrespectful comments will not be tolerated.

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Pass the Ball Relays

Setup and Equipment: 

  • Four Playground Balls: Red, blue, yellow, green
  • Four Medicine Balls
  • Four other balls of different shapes and sizes.
  • Two long ropes to lay down at one end for the finish line.

Guidelines: Teams line up behind the cone of their color team for directions

Round One: Over Under Relay

The object is to be the first team to cross the finish line.

  • Teams members line up in a line facing the finish line. Put a little space between them each other, so they can pass a ball behind each other down the line.
  • The first person on each team raises the ball above their head.
  • Leader says, “Go”
  • The starting person on each team passes the ball between their legs, the person behind then raises the ball above their head and the over/under pattern continues until the last person gets it.
  • When the ball gets to the last person in the line, that person runs all the way back up to the front, which will move the line forward. The pattern of over/under passing continues until all of the teams cross the finish line at the opposite end.
  • Or you can see how many turns they can get in 3 minutes.
  • The Most Fun Wins!

Round Two: Boulder Passing (medicine ball)

  • Teams stand in a line next to each other. Leave enough room for side to side passing:
  • The ball again starts in the front, but this time the ball will be pass from side to side.
  • When the ball gets to the last person in the line, that person runs all the way back up to the front, where the pattern of over/under passing continues until all of the teams cross the finish line.

Round Three: Hot Potato Passing

  • Teams stand in a line facing the front. Leave enough room to turn around and pass the hot potato!
  • The ball again starts in the front, as soon as you are handed the ball quickly turn around and hand off the hot potato to the person in back of you.
  • When the ball gets to the last person in the line, they run all the way back up to the front, with the ball barely touching their hands. 
  •  When all of the teams have crossed the finish line, the activity is over.

Round Four: Ball Toss Relay

  • Line up the four teams from the starting line to the finish line. Space the teams out so they have to toss the ball between them.
  • At the signal each team begins throwing and catching the ball to see which team can have their ball pass the line first.

Other Ideas 

  • Mix up the teams
  • Use other size balls
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Coffee Sack Relays

Setup and Equipment

  • 4 coffee sacks
  • 4 cones: red, blue, yellow, green
  • 2 polyspots: red, blue, yellow, green
  • Teams line up behind the polyspot in relay style facing their cone.  The cones for each team are placed 10 to 15 feet away from across the starting polyspot
  • Change the length if it’s too long or too short after each group

Round One: Individual Coffee Sack Hop

  • One sack for each team
  • 1st player on each team puts both feet in the sack and hold the top of the sack.
  • “Go” Jump until they get to the cone, then go around the cone and give the sack to the next player
  • Give a high five to the 1st person on that team, who begins jumping to the other side.
  • Hand off the sack to the next person in line, then go to the end of the line.
  • When everyone on the team has returned to their starting positions, they should sit down.

Round Two: Individual Coffee Sack:  (A. Sideways B. Backwards) You May Want to do this is separate events.

  • Stand with both feet inside, but try to move sideways first turn and backwards on your second turn.
  • “Go” Students move until they get to the line on the other side.
  • Give a high five to the next person in line, who begins moving to the other side.
  • Hand off the sack to the next person in line, then go to the end of the line.
  • When everyone on the team has returned to their starting position a second time, they should sit down.

Round Three: 3-legged race

  • One sack for each team
  • 1st and 2nd person on each team are partners
  • Stand next to each other and pull a sack up on the legs that are next to each other. This is the third leg.
  • “Go” Move until they get to the cone and make a turn around the cone and back to the start. 
  • Give a high five to the next two people on that team, who begin moving to the other side in the same manner.
  • Hand off the sack to the next two people in line, then they go to the end of the line.
  • When everyone on the team has returned to their starting positions, they should sit down.

Variations: Can you do a four legged race, a five legged race?

 The Most Fun Wins!



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4th/5th Game: Scooter Basketball


Equipment and Setup:

  • To start the game, pick two teams and they line up facing each other along the line at each end of the gym.
  • Each team should wear a vest to identity which team they are on.
  • Line up so that each team has about the same number of players and they are evenly spaced out.  Note: If you don’t have written numbers on the floor, you can use polyspots
  • Put a container in front of each end wall (A large trash barrel works fine). I usually put it on a gym mat, so players aren’t able to roll right next to the goal.


  • Two or three players from each team go to the middle on scooters. Note: The players who remain in line do not have scooters.
  • The games starts by the teacher giving a ball to the last player on one of the teams. Player pass the ball down from one player to another until it reaches the side of the gym where their basket is.
  • After everyone in the class has had a turn on the scooters, you can change the number of players. Adding one player after each round to a maximum of five works well.
  • Players on scooters who are in the defensive position may only put their hands straight up into the air (not reach for the ball).
  • If after two to three minutes there is no winner, the teacher can can count backwards from ten to one for an exciting finishl
  • If a player handling the ball falls off of the scooter, the ball goes to the other team.
  • The scooter players may not dribble, only pass or score.
  • Sideline players are important in this game. They cannot score, but contribute to the game by passing the ball. Remind the players that the ball is impossible to intercept if it is passed down their own line.
  • Players on scooters will need to be reminded to pass to their teammates on the sides.
  • You may keep score … and/or THE MOST FUN WINS!
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Water Balloon Toss for Field Day

Setup and Equipment:

  • Small round balloons. At minimum, you could fill one balloon for every two students.
  • When we have  eight classes, fill up at lead twenty balloons for each class. That about 160 balloons. You can double that number if they break easily.
  • Fill balloons so that they would be easy to throw and catch fit in the palm of one hand.
  • Fill the balloons ahead of the event and store in pails or laundry baskets.


  • Make two lines: One line is the stationary line and one is the rotating line. Do these lines for third grades and above.
  • Line up red and blue teams next to each other in one line.
  • Line up yellow and green in another line facing the other line about shoulder width apart.
  • The person across from you will be your partner. Adjust the lines, so that everyone has a partner.
  • Walk down the line and hand one water balloon to everyone in one of the lines.
  • Do not throw the balloon until the signal from the leader.
  • When the leader gives the signal, throw the water balloon forward and back.
  • Take a step back and toss the water balloon again, forward and back.
  • Wait for the leader to signal when it is time to move back one step.
  • Then, wait for the leader’s signal before throwing the next water balloon.
  • Continue as long as you can!
  • For the older kids add having the rotating line move down one person after each toss.
  • The person at the end, then runs to the beginning and has a new partner to toss to.

      The Most Fun Is Still Winning!



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  • Scooters are not skateboards, no standing on them. Start moving when you are on your scooter (Never run and jump on your scooter).
  • Get on your scooter and move in one of the six ways listed below.Set this up in your gym by putting half of your class spread out on the line at one end of the gym and the other half on the opposite end. Students will practice moving using all of the following methods. It’s important that students know that these are the only safe ways to move on your scooters. It also helps to have students make the effort to avoid collisions at the center of the gym.
  • The students follow the directions for each of the following movements by moving to the opposite end of the gym on the teacher’s signal, turning around and waiting for the next direction.
  1. Walk Forward: Pull forward with feet only – Hands on side handles
  2. Walk Backward: Push backward with feet only -hands on handles, turn head around slighltly to see behind you
  3. Arm Pull Forward: Lie on scooter and balance, use hands only to pull your body forward.
  4. Alligator: Lie on scooter – Use hands and feet
  5. Double Knee Coast: Both knees on scooters –
  6. Use hands to pull yourself forward
  7. One Knee On: Use the foot on the floor to propel yourself forward, while both hands hold onto the side handles.

Musical Scooters Warmup Activity

  • Students move in one of the modes from above.
  • When the music stops, spin yourself by using your hands only
  • Variation: Do a dead bug, by flipping on to your back, holding the scooter in the air and shaking your scooter and legs in the air.

Indy 500:

Setup and Equipment

  • Six color teams and six scooters
  • Set color team cones in a large track formation near the center of the gym to make a race track. Set the cones up so that there is one at each of the short end of the track and two on each of the long sides (straightaways) of the track.
  • Line up each team beside the cone of their team facing in a clockwise directions.

Guidelines for Indy 500

  • This will be a race around the outside of the cones. You’ll be lining up like it’s a 400 meter relay on the track.
  • Break into pairs by your team’s cone. The partner can only push when traveling around the curves. The driver has to  glide or make themselves move on the straightaways.
  • When you get back to your starting part, change places or let your other partners take a turn. Continue taking turns moving around the track.
  • How many laps can your team do in five, or maybe 10 minutes?

Glide Control

  • Two partners from each team line up at the black line in the front of the gym. One is standing, the other is sitting on the scooter.
  •  On the teacher’s signal, the person in back leans down low and pushes their scooter partner towards the climbing wall;
  • When they hit the wall or calmly stop before hitting the wall, pick up the scooter and run it back to the front of the line
  • The scooter is handed off to the next people in line and they now go to the end of the line.

Scooter Games:

Scooter Freeze Tag

Scooter Basketball

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Partner Ball Relays

Setup and Equipment:

  • 4 red, blue, yellow, and green cones.
  • The red cone faces the blue cone about 10 – 15 feet apart. The yellow and green teams line up next to the red and blue teams. The red and blue teams will form partners with each other. The yellow and green team will form partners with each other.
  • 2 playground balls and some alternative balls for primary grades.


  • Teams line up behind the red, blue, yellow and green cones
  • One ball starts with the red team and the other ball starts with the yellow team.
  • The first two people on the red and yellow teams step up.
  • Round One: Partners are given one ball, which they move the ball by balancing it between their backs as they move to the opposite side.

○     Now the next two people in line on the opposite side get ready to receive the ball.

○     Continue to move the ball until everyone has completed a turn.

  • Round Two: Balance the ball between your shoulders.
  • Round Three: Balance the ball between your hips
  • Round Three: Balance the ball between your stomachs.

Challenge: Can you pass the ball off from one set of partners to the other?


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School: Long Rope Jumping Activity

 Long Rope Activity for All: School  

red polejump ropeThis activity works well with grades 1st to 5th.  It’s also a great recess activity.

Equipment: One long rope with one end attached to a wall or pole. At our school we like to attach the rope to a moveable post that can be easily moved around the gym or outside.

  • The teacher is the rope turner.
  • Students line up at one end behind a cone, facing the rope and the teacher begins to turn the rope.
  • Students take individual turns to see if they can pass the grades K-12.
  • One advantage in doing this with a large group of students is that the turns are fast at the start. This gets more involvement with everyone in the line, because they are not just standing and watching everyone else jump. You can certainly continue beyond 12th grade, if the line is shorter and there is time.
  • To pass Kindergarten: Students must run through the rope.
  • 1st Grade: Run into the middle and make one jump, then run out the other side, and run around to the end of the line.
  • Students continue to run in to the middle and make the number of jumps that corresponds to each grade level.
  • If you fail to make the jump for a certain grade, you may try that grade again on your next turn, though we usually give some leeway, so we create a more inclusive atmosphere..
  • It helps to put a line on the floor where the rope hits when you’re turning it. There is a tendency for many students to run past the best place to jump the rope, which is in the center of the rope.

Class Jumping Activity: Work together as a class and see if you can get everyone to run through the rope each time it circles around. The teacher will turn the rope with one full swing in between each turn. Students will really have to focus and run hard to do this. You can have the class do this activity a number of times until they are able to do it together.

Ultimate Class Jumping: Do the same activity as above, but this time work together as a class and see if you can get everyone through the swing of the rope with no extra swings between each student. This will be very challenging for any class to accomplish.

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P.E. Lesson: Spinjammers (Spinning Frisbees)


  • Hold the Spinjammer disc in both hands with fingers pointing upwards.
  • Toss the disc about two feet above your head, while simultaneously moving hands in opposite directions to create the spin.
  • To catch the disc move your finger downward when you are about to catch it.
  • Catch the disc on the tip of your finger.
  • To spin longer, turn the angle of your finger so the disc is spinning primarily on the fingernail.


  • Pass from right to left hands – while keeping it spinning.
  • Balance on finger – touch knee to floor.
  • Balance on one finger – sit down. Then get back up.
  • Toss – Catch with partner -try catching it on your finger.
  • Walk while spinning the disc.
  • Spin it on a stick – Keep it spinning by lightly tapping it on the edge.
  • Pass the spinning disc back and forth with a partner.
  • Walk while spinning a disc.
  • On Balance Beam – walk from one end to the other.

Door Knob Start

  • Another way to start this disc is by holding the cone in the middle of the disc with your fingers and thumb.
  • Quickly twist your hand (like turning a door knob).
  • Simultaneously throw the disc into the air, then catch it on your finger.

Door Knob Start Variation:

  • You may also start the disc by grasping in the same door knob manner, while your finger stays in the center.
  • Quickly twist your hand.
  • In this case, you will not have to toss the disc into the air.
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Jump Ropes

K-2 Skills:

Short Rope – Every student has a rope and has personal space for jump roping.

Lay rope in a line in front of you in a straight line

  • Walk heel-toe from one end to the other while next to the line.
  • Walk heel toe backwards next to your  line.
  • Zig-Zag skier style (side to side) starting at one end, then turn around and return
  • Put one hand on each side of your rope and jump both feet back and forth.
  • Tightrope walker from one end to the other, then return

Lay rope in a circle in front of you

  • Balance on one foot and go as low as you can – then, as high as you can
  • Put one hand in the middle and see if you can move your feet 360 degrees around the circle
  • Leap into your rope on two feet
  • Leap in on one foot and out on one foot
  • Leap over your rope on two feet

Partners put your two ropes together and make a circle

  • Around the Lake Tag
  • Choose one person to be it
  • Try to tag your partner with a hand
  • Tag without going in “lake” or into the forest (rest of gym)
  • When tagged – count thousand one, thousand two, switch “its”

Before you jump rope… 

  • Thread the Needle (hand on both handles and jump over it)
  • Swing the rope and stop it with your feet.
  • When you’re ready to jump, just watch for the rope to be closer your feet Most people miss because they jump too soon.

Long Rope for K,1,2: Teacher is the rope turner

It works best initially if the teacher turns the long rope by hooking one end of the rope to an eye bolt on the wall.

  • Ocean Waves (Up and down ripple)
  • Snake Jump (Side to side ripple)
  • Blue bells (back and forth jump)

School: Long Jump Rope Activity 

3rd/4th/5th Skills


  • Single Side Swing and Jump – Always keep a handle in each hand
  • Cue: left-jump-right – jump
  • Swing rope to right side – jump
  • Swing rope to left side – jump

Scissors – Forward Straddle

  • Cue: Left-Right
  • Jump to stride position with left foot forward
  • Jump and reverse position of feet

Straddle Cross

  • Cue: Apart – Cross
  • Jump to straddle position
  • Jump to crossed legs

Wounded Duck

  • Cue: Apart-Cross
  • Jump, toes and knees together, heels spread
  • Jump, heels together, toes and knees spread
  • Heel – Toe
  • Heel – Toe – Heel – Toe
  • Hop on left foot, touch right heel forward
  • Hop on left foot again, touch right toe backward
  • Repeat on opposite side
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