November 15, 2016

VAHPERD Ideas Worth Sharing Part 1: Crazy Kickball

The Sassy PE Teacher is finally back in action! I truly tried to keep up with my store and blog during cross country season, but it simply was not possible.

I apologize for the hiatus, but I am excited to refocus my efforts and share some truly incredible ideas thanks to fellow professionals in my beautiful home state of Virginia!

The Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance held it's annual conference in my hometown of Midlothian, VA from November 11 - 13 and it was an action packed weekend! I've been to many VAHPERD conferences, as well as SHAPE Southern District, and the SHAPE National Conference, but this conference was truly spectacular. I left with so many new ideas, knowledge, and research. My plan is to share many of them with you all over the next few weeks.

First up in my VAHPERD series is a game that I can't wait to implement in my own classroom! It is a new twists on an old classic and was featured during a session titled, "The Best We've Ever Seen."

Also known as "Fitness Kickball"

This game is similar to traditional kickball in the sense that there are two teams, one of which is kicking while the other is defending the outfield. This is also where the similarities end so be prepared to move and lose track of the score,

Equipment: You need three balls, five cones, and a bucket or tub large enough to fit three playground balls in. The setup is identical to traditional kick ball, except for the tub directly next to the pitcher.

Recommendations: Always have the teacher pitch. Anyone who has played kickball before knows this is the cardinal rule!

Directions: Start the game with the three playground balls inside the tub. One at a time and at 3-4 second intervals, pitch the balls to the kicking team. {You can vary the rules on how students have to kick for your classroom, but a general rule of thumb is to ensure the ball moves forward (bunts count).} Once the ball has been kicked, students are trying to run the bases one time as quickly as possible. When they return to home base, they move to the end of the line. Don't worry about this line part, it moves very quickly... The fielding team is trying to collect all three balls into the tub at the same time. Once they do this successfully, the teams will switch roles and continue play.

Like all games there are certainly pros and cons to this one. What I love about this game is that it gets kids moving! Unlike traditional kickball when only one student is running at a time, this version allows kids to constantly move on both sides of the ball. Student interest and involvement is off the charts with this as well! Cons of this game revolve around the lack of standards content. You can definitely argue that fitness concepts can be incorporated, but without adaptations this game will not be content focused and therefore shouldn't be played on a regular basis.

Adaptations: Now, the good news about the cons is that we can make some small changes to incorporate standards. Incorporating health standards into PE content is an excellent way to make fun games more educationally focused. Tell students that the playground balls are oxygen, the kickers are arteries who have to send the oxygen through the body, while outfielders are veins who need to take the carbon dioxide back to the lungs {the tub} to be dumped so blood can be oxygenated. All of a sudden, your students are learning about the circulatory system while improving cardiovascular endurance in a fun, engaging way.

I hope that this game is a hit for you in your classroom! Stay tuned next week to learn all about Chicken Football, an exciting warm-up game that teaches basic football movement, cooperation, and critical thinking.

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