As a former physical education and health instructor, I was always trying to find ways to integrate modern technology into either of my P.E. or Health classrooms. When Nearpod came along, it really opened up many doors regarding how to pique my students’ interests, keep them engaged, and teach physical education. It’s no secret that our students learn at various speeds and multiple levels, and I truly felt that Nearpod was the program to integrate into teaching physical education to not only help differentiate my instruction, but to help my students collaborate amongst each other.
In this blog post, I hope to spark a few ideas for you on how to integrate Nearpod into teaching P.E.. Hopefully you can utilize these ideas or use them to create some of your own. The possibilities are endless with everything that Nearpod can do!
1. Station work
One of the first things that comes to mind for teaching PE with Nearpod is station work. After all, what physical education teacher doesn’t love a good workout circuit with some stations? There are so many ways you could do this, too! For example, adding an Open Ended Question can help students understand how to take their heart rate during a workout. When creating the OEQ, embed an exercise video as the reference material, and have the students calculate and record their heart rate in the text and/or audio section. If you have heart rate monitors, great! Simply have your students record the information from their heart rate monitor in the answer field. And if you don’t have heart rate monitors, this will still work! You can teach your students where to find their pulse, count the beats in 15 seconds and multiply by 4, or count for 30 seconds and double it. If you have younger students, you could simply ask them to respond by saying how they feel after each exercise; i.e. out of breath, heart beating fast, sweaty, etc. By launching a student paced code, students can work through the circuit and fill in the answers until everyone is done.
2. Pre and/or Post assessment
Another amazing way you can integrate Nearpod into teaching P.E. is by creating a Pre and/or Post assessment of the sport or activity you are teaching. For example, if you are teaching Football to your students, you can create a Nearpod lesson using the Draw It function to have the students circle the end zones of the field, the interactive video feature to have them watch a video on the rules and answer questions, the quiz feature to answer questions about player positions, or maybe a VR field trip to a popular football stadium! You could also create a lesson on which specific muscles are being used for certain exercises. Meaning, you could have a video to exemplify a proper squat, and then you could have a Draw It for the students to circle the muscles used for that exercise. I’ve included a sample deck here if you’d like to view a few of the ideas I’ve mentioned so far!
3. Collaborate with students using Flipgrid
Have you ever had an opportunity to use Nearpod’s Flipgrid integration? This next idea does just that! One of my favorite projects I ever did was to have my students collaborate in groups of 4 or 5 to create a game and then record themselves explaining the rules, equipment, set up, and why their game was a good way to be active. I always asked them to include key vocabulary words like aerobic, muscle endurance, cardio, teamwork, muscle strength, flexibility, etc. Using the Flipgrid integration within Nearpod, students can record themselves doing just this, and their classmates can watch each other’s videos. If you haven’t used the Flipgrid integration before, check out this tutorial to help!
As you can see, Nearpod is a very versatile program to utilize in teaching physical education. With a number of various engagement activities, formative assessments, and options for live/self paced, you will have so much flexibility to integrate Nearpod into your classroom. Physical education teachers not only can inform and inspire their students about activity, but can also create experiences through Nearpod to help students retain and understand their life long lessons.
Jennifer is a former middle school Physical Education and Health teacher, as well as a volleyball coach from VA. She has always been passionate about students being active and loved to help them find their own excitement for being active.