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Social emotional learning is a term used within the education sector today. But what exactly does it mean, and how can it benefit your students?

On October 22, 2021, from 11:00 – 12:00 PT, join the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project for “Social Emotional Learning 101: An Overview for K-7 Educators”.

This webinar will introduce K-7 educators to social emotional learning. Specifically, the five core competencies of social emotional learning will be presented, along with how these skills can be honed throughout the school day. Educators will be invited to identify areas in their current teaching practice that can be slightly adjusted to enhance students’ social emotional learning skill development.  

>>Register today 

This webinar will be presented by Dr. Amanda Stanec.

Amanda attended and played soccer for St. Francis Xavier University. She holds a Masters of Science with an emphasis in Physical Education and Sport Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a PhD in Kinesiology within the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Further achievements include the publication of more than twenty articles as well as co-authoring several book chapters related to physical education, sport, and health education.

Amanda has led projects on behalf of the International Olympic Committee, the Association of the Summer Olympic International Federations, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, United World Wrestling, NFL Play 60, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and PHE Canada.

This webinar will be held virtually on Zoom Webinar. It will also be recorded, and made available on the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project website following the presentation.

By definition, physical literacy is an inclusive concept that is accessible for all. In the class setting, that inclusivity is reflected in the games and activities we play with our students, that support the diversity of your class. 

Inclusion refers to the intentional, ongoing effort to ensure that diverse individuals fully participate in all aspects of play and learning throughout the school day. In this blog, we are focusing on diverse abilities.

There are things you can do as an educator when considering diverse abilities, to build those safe spaces for your students to learn — particularly within physical activity. Consider the following for your physical activity and physical literacy throughout the school day:

  • Adaptations are for everyone!
  • Make adaptations participant-centred by focusing on what students CAN do.
  • Use person-first language when referring to someone with a disability.
  • Ask respectful questions.
  • Don’t be afraid to try or ask. If one thing doesn’t work, try another!

Here are some modifications you can make to games and activities, to support your students’ diverse levels of mobility: 

  • Use bigger, lighter balls or bats.
  • Allocate more time for activities.
  • Reduce the space for students to travel.
  • Include ramps, steps, or assistants.
  • Adjust game rules.
  • Recognize increased energy demands caused by some disabilities.

And a few to consider for those with intellectual/cognitive diversity. Students with intellectual/cognitive conditions will benefit from:

  • clear and concise rules,
  • visual demonstrations of the skill with verbal explanations, and with permission, a physical prompt,
  • few transitions and extra time to make them,
  • active involvement of the student’s education assistant or student buddies.

Interested in learning more about how to adapt games and activities for your students, to support the diverse abilities in your classroom (including, but not limited to, autism, visual impairments and auditory impairments)? Book, or register to attend our open registration date for, the Physical Activity and Physical Literacy for All (Diverse Abilities) workshop! Or, register to view our recorded Physical Activity and Physical Literacy for All (Diverse Abilities) webinar here.

Mental well-being impacts how we think, what we feel, how we act, and how we manage difficult situations, handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. It’s also a curricular competency in the B.C. Physical and Health Education Curriculum, and leads to the development of emotionally and intellectually strong and engaged students.

How exactly is mental well-being connected to physical literacy and physical activity, though?

Being physically active, even for short amounts of time throughout the day, has been shown to have positive effects on students’ academic abilities, attention spans, physical health, and mental well-being. 

Physical activity helps students to:

  • build mental capacity, 
  • manage emotions, and 
  • develop adaptive coping strategies for the classroom and throughout their lifetime, among other things.

Simply put, physical activity and physical literacy leads to better mental well-being.

And, by incorporating physical activity and developing physical literacy throughout the school day, students will: 

  • improve their attention and self-regulation through regular movement breaks, 
  • spark their creative thinking and problem-solving skills, 
  • lower their anxiety and stress, 
  • increase their social-emotional well-being, and 
  • experience the fun and enjoyment of being active!

So look to incorporate both throughout your school day, not only to meet those curricular goals, but to support your students’ overall mental well-being.

For more information on mental well-being and its connections to physical activity and physical literacy, download our Making the Link resource today. And visit our website for more resources and professional development opportunities surrounding physical activity and physical literacy, including a webinar on Modelling Well-being as Educators.

The start of the school year is a chance to revisit your lesson plans and activities, and bring something new to the table for your students! For the 2021/22 school year, maybe you are revisiting the fun ways you engage with the B.C. Physical and Health Education (PHE) Curriculum, to promote physical activity and physical literacy in your classroom, and looking for some new ideas. 

PLAYBuilder is a free tool and digital learning resource that provides educators with 700+ games and 100+ lesson plans for Grades K-7, aligned with the PHE curriculum – perfect for finding those new games and activities your students will enjoy that meet curricular goals. 

And in terms of learning how to use PLAYBuilder, we’ve got you covered! 

On September 28 from 15:30 to 16:30 PT,  join the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project’s PLAYBuilder team for the webinar “PLAYBuilder Basics”.

>>Register today

In this one-hour webinar, learn how to register and access PLAYBuilder, and save and organize games, activities and lesson plans in your account. And, hear from an educator and PLAYBuilder team member about how they use the platform.

Sign up for PLAYBuilder beforehand at to take a peek at its activities and lesson plans. Then, connect with our team at the webinar so they can answer any of your questions.

This webinar will be presented by Billie Tes and Joe Flavel:

  • Billie is the Senior Coordinator of Digital Services for Sport for Life. She oversees the creation, implementation and progression of Sport for Life digital services, including the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project’s PLAYBuilder platform for B.C. K-7 educators. 
  • Joe Flavel is graduate of the University of Alberta, and has been a high school physical education teacher for 17 years. He is currently working toward a master’s degree in Athletic Administration. Joe is a learning facilitator with the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project, providing workshop facilitation and PLAYBuilder support to B.C. educators.

This webinar will be held virtually on Zoom Webinar. It will also be recorded, and made available on the School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project website following the presentation.

Developing physical literacy is a central focus of the B.C. Physical and Health Education Curriculum. But what exactly is physical literacy, and how can you incorporate it throughout your school day? 

Find out in the hour-long eLearning course Developing Physical Literacy within the B.C. Curriculum. This course provides the theory behind physical literacy and time-tested methods to deliver physical and health education that equips your students to live a healthy, active life. Learn how to structure and adapt your lessons for greater student enjoyment, participation and skill development.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you can learn through the course:

Physical Literacy in the B.C. Physical and Health Education (PHE) Curriculum

Like all subjects, the PHE curriculum is based on the Know, Do, Understand (KDU) curriculum model.

This model starts with big ideas and proceeds to learning standards, which include curricular competencies (what students will do) and content (what they will know). Here’s where physical literacy fits in:

Curricular competencies are the skills, strategies and processes that students develop over time. They reflect the DO in the KDU model of learning. Curricular competencies are divided into four categories:

  1. Physical literacy
  2. Healthy and active living
  3. Social and community health
  4. Mental well-being

A curricular competency for physical literacy is to “develop and apply a variety of fundamental movement skills in a variety of physical activities and environments”. 

Content is the KNOW part of the curriculum model. For example, students are expected to know:

  • proper technique for fundamental movement skills, including non-locomotor, locomotor, and manipulative skills;
  • movement concepts and strategies;
  • and more…

Those fundamental movement skills are the building blocks to physical literacy. Generally, physical literacy is developed through the execution of fundamental movement skills (FMS) in a confidence-building and motivation-enhancing way.

Interested in learning more about physical literacy in the PHE curriculum, and how you can further develop your students’ physical literacy with that curriculum in mind? Register for this eLearning today!

The pandemic has posed a challenge to educators in how best to keep their students motivated, engaged and active throughout the day. To ensure the safety and health of all those in the school environment, typical physical and health education activities have had to change. There are lots of fun games out there to keep students moving but how many are COVID-safe?

PLAYBuilder, a digital platform and tool that offers 700+ games and 100+ lesson plans for K-7 educators, hosts a variety of COVID-safe and entertaining activities for students and it’s free to use for all B.C. educators! All you need to do is register for an account.

Here are a few PLAYBuilder COVID-safe activities to try with your students:

5,4,3,2,1 – Brain Break (Grades K – 3)

What You’ll Need

No equipment necessary!

Setup

No setup necessary!

Activity
  • Have participants do 5 different movements in descending order. For example:
  • 5 jumping jacks
  • 4 squats
  • 3 hops on one foot
  • 2 laps around the classroom
  • 1 clap above the head

Movement Words

What You’ll Need

No equipment necessary!

Setup
  • The educator places the alphabet on the whiteboard.
  • Across from each letter is a number and movement (e.g. A = 5 squats, B = 10 second balance on one foot, C = 10 high knees (be creative!))
Activity
  • The educator tells class a word to spell (e.g., laugh).
  • Students must write down the word and then perform the actions for each letter.
  •  The educator asks a student to volunteer spelling it and then writes the word on the board so all students will know how to spell the word and perform correct movements.
Variations
  • Use some silly words and movements.
  • Ask students for words to use.
  • Ask students to provide examples of movements to use.

Rock, Paper, Scissors vs. Leader  (Grades 4 -7)

What You’ll Need

No equipment necessary!

Setup

No setup necessary!

Activity
  • At the same time, everyone plays rock, paper, scissors against the leader.
  • If you beat the leader you take one step forward. If you tie, you do not move. If you lose you take one step backwards.
  • Whoever reaches the leader first is the winner and they may take the leader’s place for a new round.

*For all activities, ensure that your students are maintaining proper social distance and are adhering to the current COVID-19 safety guidelines in your region and school. 

These activities, like all of those available through PLAYBuilder, can help build on your students physical activity and physical literacy — while also giving you, the educator, an opportunity to expand on your physical literacy knowledge and activity base.

Ready to explore more activities like these, for your students? Register for PLAYBuilder today:

REGISTER TODAY

 

Physical literacy development isn’t limited to the gymnasium. Physical literacy can be developed throughout the school day: in the hallways, in the classroom, outside – and on the playground! 

Whatever equipment you have available out in the schoolyard, all you need is a little creativity to highlight physical literacy development. 

Here are three ways you can consider using your playground equipment: 

Create Playground Circuits 

Your playground structure is great for circuits! Be creative in how you use what you have. Try including exercises like balance walks on beams or stumps, push-ups on benches, hanging from bars, or running up the slide. Use these as a timed circuit or an Amazing Race obstacle course.

ActionSchools!BC has some great playground circuits for you to try with your students. Check them out here for K-3 students and for 4-7 students.

Organize Playground Games

Playground games such as tag on the play structures, or challenges like traversing the playground without touching the ground show students play possibilities that they can use during recess or lunch breaks. Introduce your students to traditional games like four square, hopscotch, kick ball, gaga ball and British Bulldog.

Helpful tip: Looking for creative tag games to try with your students? Download our Tag for Physical Literacy resource! 

Use Your Softball Diamonds 

Softball diamonds are great for warmups and developing different locomotor skills. Run forward to first base, side-shuffle on the left to the second base, mini-step backwards to third base, and side-shuffle on the right to home base. Try following the leader around the bases, where the leader changes movements at each base.

Interested in learning more about how you can best use your playground to develop physical literacy? Download the Developing Physical Literacy on the Playground resource.

Although students learn skills through play, and often learn skills naturally, educators have a critical role in helping students learn fundamental movement skills to develop physical competence, build confidence in executing these skills, and increase motivation to participate in and try new physical activities. They also play a critical role in setting up students to be physically active for life.

Educators do so by:

  • helping students develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to be active (physical literacy);
  • modelling a physically active lifestyle;
  • exposing students to a variety of sports, dance, games, and recreation activities; and
  • providing knowledge and understanding to live an active life.

Encouraging physical activity can also positively impact the mental well-being of your students, and give them assets that can address stress, isolation and anxiety. 

By modelling physical activity, you can demonstrate that the benefits of being active are so much more than just physical.

And being an active role model can span beyond just participating in the activities with your class at gym time. Here are three things you can do throughout your school day to support physical activity and physical literacy development:

Create Space 

Students need enough space to safely run around, and even in the classroom, pushing back the furniture to make room is often enough for stationary and movement activities. Utilize different spaces to allow students the opportunity to explore different movements and skills on their own. 

Organize Retrievers

Students learn when they have chances to practice – for example, if students are kicking a ball, have another student roll it or bring it back to them so that they can try again. Encourage students to encourage each other when performing skills, to help build confidence and foster motivation to try again.

Promote Activities

Promote and profile a variety of activities and sports on classroom bulletin boards and in school work. This encourages students to see the diverse possibilities offered in sport and recreation.

For more examples of how you can be a role model and promote physical activity and development of physical literacy in your classroom, download the following resource today: The Role of the Educator to Develop Physical Literacy in Students.

Are you keen to get your students thinking about how to use their fundamental movement skills, but not quite sure how to teach them in your class’ games? Then the Teaching Games for Understanding workshop is for you!

In this in-person workshop, discover a fun and popular approach to teaching the individual skills of a game, prompting students to learn how to use those skills. 

By the end of the workshop, you will be able to: 

  • explain what Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) is and how it can help develop student physical literacy, and
  • apply TGfU principles in delivering a games-based lesson

As this TGfU focuses on games and requires interactions amongst participants, it is being offered as an in-person workshop.  

BOOK THIS WORKSHOP

The School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project also offers several other workshops that will help yourself and fellow B.C. educators learn more about physical literacy and physical activity. Visit our website today to learn about the other workshops currently available.

Do all of your students feel included and respected in physical and health education, and in class physical activities? 

The focus of this 90-minute workshop is to equip educators to take proactive actions that will ensure that every student can fully participate in all aspects of physical activity and learning. It provides an opportunity to discuss specific considerations and inclusion strategies, and learn how to make a difference in the enjoyment of physical activity for all students.

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to: 

  • explain the meaning of physical literacy and its connection to physical activity, 
  • see how diversity shapes experiences in physical education, physical activity, and physical literacy, 
  • understand Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the context of physical activity and physical literacy, and
  • Confidently create inclusive physical education and physical activity environments. 

Schedule this workshop today for your school or district:

BOOK THIS WORKSHOP

The School Physical Activity and Physical Literacy project also offers several other workshops that will help yourself and fellow B.C. educators learn more about physical literacy and physical activity. Visit our website today to learn about the other workshops currently available.