5 Holiday Gifts for PE Teachers Who Have Everything!

Are you looking for something for that physical education (PE) teacher in your life? Or are you a PE teacher looking for new ideas of gear to add to your equipment room? Here are the top 5 new toys I love, and I’m sure your #PEGeek (or class!) will too!

 1. Garden Heroes Beanbags.

I first got to hear about Gopher through first hand experiences with the amazing things they are doing in giving at educator professional learning. At the last two conferences I have had the pleasure of presenting at, Gopher have provided me with all the equipment I needed to conduct the workshop, then donated it all to local schools. During one of these workshops I used the Garden Heroes Beanbag set for a game of Beanbag bocce, and while they didn’t “roll” as well as typical bocce balls, they adorableness translated into a very fun modified game. The beanbags can also be used to integrate connections from the healthy living strands into PE, or just be a cute way to engage your class in fun. Available online from Gopher here.

beanbags2. Yoga Alphabet Cards.

I love these cards, yes maybe I’m biased because they were my idea and I wrote them, but I love how they connect literacy in PE, How they connect the physical practice of yoga, with fundamental movement skills, and fun, and I love that they are bringing the mindfulness of yoga into the classroom. Perfect for daily physical activity, physical education, and literacy instruction, you’ll be engaging children’s bodies and minds as you help them develop health-related components of fitness.  Available online from Ophea here.

YogaCover_26OC113. Fingers Light.

The ladies from DancePl3y originally shared these sweet little lights with me and as a lover of dance and movement I knew that I needed them. They can turn that dance lesson from a fun time to a wild time! After teaching a dance, whether it’s novelty or creative, have students then perform the sequence with the gym lights low and finger lights on. See a dance in action here. You can buy them online from Amazon here, or in a 5 pack you can pick them up from your local Dollerama.

led-finger-lights1-1746364. ITunes Gift Card.

This is a very practice gift idea. Whether buying music for their movement lesson, or the hottest app for their tablet, an ITunes gift card has so many useful applications in PE program. Many deals exist for purchasing cards, and even places like the Real Canadian Super Store are offering, buy a $15 gift card for $10. So search around and find a deal!

itunes-giftcard5. Super Sport Disc Packs (aka Hand Trampolines).

I first watched a class engaging with hand trampolines during a classroom visit of the PE Teacher extraordinaire Andrea Haefele. We were there watches how she integrates technology in the gym – Youtube video here – and these were part of her lesson. They make the list because they are a great way to modify your PE program when focusing on the strategies of Net/Wall games. Rather than worrying on badminton sending/receiving skills using fun equipment allows students to just focus on the strategies, and Andrea does this like the HPE rock star teacher she is. I purchased my set from my local Scholars Choice, but they can also be purchased online from Gopher here.


 What’s on your holiday health and physical education wish list? Share it below!

*images sourced from respected images identified in post*

Pinterest in the Classroom

What is Pinterest?

photo(1)One of the newest form’s of Web 2.0, Pinterest, allows user to “pin” their favourite photographs to boards, essentially creating photo albums or collages of ideas and pictures they love online.  Virtually anything and everything exists on Pinterest and can be added. Whether you’re looking for a recipe, a new hair style, some vintage jewellery, or a butt kicking interval workout, you’ll find it in graphic form here.

In the classroom,  teachers can create pinboards for whatever topics their students are learning. Pinboards on “Tutorials for Science Projects”, “Famous Works of Art”, “1920s Fashion”, or “Architecture” can all be created and shared. Students can see visual representations and collect these images for future reference inside and outside of the classroom.

Teachers can also create their own pinboards which can highlight classroom set up, instructional tools, motivational quotes, or best practices to share with followers from around the world or keep organized for future reference. As a health and physical education teacher, I have a pinboard for my HPE content area displayed here.

Pinners to Follow:

If you’re new to Pinterest or want some teaching inspiration, consider following these great pinners:



Cindy Merritt

The Physical Educator

Jon Empringham

Allison Cleland


Pinterest 101:



What it isPhoto sharing and organizing website. Free and can be linked to other social media.


In the CurriculumTeachers can set up class boards and pin photos related to the topic. Exemplars for assignments/projects can be pinned and shared. Students can create boards related to a given curricular topic. Ease of UseSeveral online instructional videos are available.

Why students need health and physical education!

A new school year has begun! Students are eagerly filling classrooms with the anticipation of the next ten months. Who is in their class? Who is their teacher? When is “gym”?

 In Ontario, schools are mandated to provide 100 minutes of physical activity a week. This can be in the form of a quality physical education program, or can occur in any form of active classroom instruction that gets the students heart rates beating at a moderate to vigorous level. What is central, is that students are learning, moving, and most importantly having fun!

 So why do students need health and physical education? Here are 5 great reasons compiled from the Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum document.

 Health and physical education:

  1. helps students make a commitment to lifelong healthy, active living and develop the capacity to live satisfying, productive lives.
  2. benefits both individuals and society in many ways – for example, by increasing productivity and readiness for learning, improving morale, decreasing absenteeism, reducing health-care costs, decreasing anti-social behaviour such as bullying and violence, promoting safe and healthy relationships, and heightening personal satisfaction.
  3. has been shown by research to present higher academic achievement, better concentration, better classroom behaviour, and more focused learning. Other benefits include improvements in psychological well-being, physical capacity, self-concept, and the ability to cope with stress.
  4. provides the opportunity for students to develop social skills and emotional well-being as well as the skills needed to be successful in life as active, socially responsible citizens.
  5. promotes important educational values and goals that support the development of character. These include striving to achieve one’s personal best, equity and fair play, respect for diversity, sensitivity and respect for individual requirements and needs, and good health and well-being.

 Many of these values are reinforced in other curriculum areas, as well as by society itself. Working together, schools and communities can be powerful allies in motivating students to achieve their full potential and lead healthy, active lives.

 For further information, check out the Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum document, or go to www.ophea.net for tools and resources to help you put the physical back in education (and guess what? they’re free too!).