What is the goal of physical education and activity?
- For the kids: keep them moving and having fun! If you just do those two things, you’ll meet every standard for physical education. If the kids are moving they are getting more fit; improving skill, coordination, and agility; becoming better “movers.” If they are having fun, they will develop a love of movement; be more likely to embrace fitness for a lifetime; be more inclined to be active outside of school.
- For the teachers: make teaching PE a joy, rather than an added (and sometimes dreaded) responsibility. We accomplish this by: minimizing (abolishing) prep time needed for our activities; pre-screening games and activities to make sure that they meet our standards for quality physical education; providing a plethora of easy-to-play games and activities, organized for maximum skill development and participation; minimizing the equipment needed per unit; providing a complete, standards-based comprehensive assessment program – with online class rosters, automatic reporting features and much more!
Why is the program divided into developmental levels and weekly units?
We’ve divided our curriculum into three developmental levels, which coincide with NASPE standards. We have a 36-week calendar of activities for grades PreK-2; 3-5; and 6-8. Most school systems use a 36 week structure, with each quarter consisting of 9 weeks. We have provided a general outline of how one might go about planning the school year. Each quarter might consist of 4 units of activity, plus one week to use for review and assessment, or revisiting favorites!
Each unit consists of 10 complete lesson plans – which fits nicely into 2 weeks. Since many schools and organizations do not have the opportunity to play every day, you may decide to play one unit per month rather than a couple of weeks. Each lesson plan contains a focus standard of the day, a warm-up, FOUR different activities or games, and a cool-down. Use the lesson plan for one day, or for the whole week! There are so many fun games and activities in every lesson, you can stretch them out or play them all, depending on how much time you have available.
How much time should I allow for each lesson?
We have far more activities included in each day’s lesson plans than you will ever be able to get to! Our philosophy (for PE) is that more IS better! We like you to have options and back-up activities. Not all groups have the same dynamic. What works for one class, may not work as well for another. One group’s favorite game might be another group’s least favorite. We want you to be able to take your lesson plan outside with you and have more than enough activities to keep those students actively engaged and excited about moving for the entire time. Keeping your players ACTIVE and ENGAGED is your very best behavior management strategy! We want you to have enough games to play so that you can stop each activity while the students are still enjoying it! Don’t wait until they get bored – give them another challenge before they even have a chance to think about misbehaving!
Do I have to follow the calendar the way you have it laid out?
We’ve organized our Calendars with sport seasons and variations between activities to keep things interesting for the students. There is no magic or mystery to it, and you may mix up and teach any unit at any time in any order that works for you. We DO suggest beginning with a cooperative games or movement unit to review basic skills, emphasize teamwork and sportsmanship, and to focus on creating an emotionally safe environment prior to beginning more competitive sports units. Teach PLAY first, competition second.
You might decide to take one of our two-week units and turn it into a four-week unit! That’s great! If you have PE classes 2-3 days per week, you’ll need to extend the unit to get the most out of it. The Pre-test and Post-test are still valid (perhaps even more-so), and you’ll still administer those at the beginning and end of THAT unit.
Our calendars and weeks are more of a guideline and a format to put the lesson plans into than an absolute structure. In the Cooperative Games and Fitness Units, you can use the games in random order (for the most part). In the more sports-oriented units, we progress the activities throughout the 2 weeks, so that they are building skills as they go. The unit will flow more smoothly for you if you start at the beginning of those units and progress through. If you are teaching the younger group in your developmental level, you may want to teach the first week’s activities only, and repeat them for skill development, rather than rushing through the entire unit.
Do I need to play games and activities from my developmental level only? Will I have access to all of the grade level lesson plans?
Feel free to mix-and-match from different grade levels. Explore other grade level calendars. Just because you’re teaching fourth grade doesn’t mean there aren’t some GREAT ideas for you in the PreK-2 curriculum – or in the 6-8 curriculum. Some activities might be easily adaptable to work for various grades with some simple tweaks – or maybe even just as they are! Keep in mind – kids can usually follow the number of rules as they are grade: for example, a second grader will do great with a game that has two rules; a seventh grader can handle a more complicated game – with maybe seven rules. Kindergarteners can pretty much just follow the movement that you are demonstrating. Your full membership includes ALL lessons from ALL units, for ALL grade levels! WooHoo!
Do I need to purchase ALL of the recommended equipment to use your program?
Tandalay’s lessons and philosophy build around less is more for equipment, and more is better for variety of uses and games for playing with that equipment! You can in fact teach quality, standards-based PE for an entire year, using only the equipment included in our Bare Essentials Packs! By simply purchasing a bag of Fluffilos you will be able to provide non-intimidating, everyone-involved, all-out-play, games and activities the year through!!
Although EVERY classroom will benefit from their own bag of Fluffilos, we encourage sharing other equipment between classes. For example, if you are sharing a parachute with other classes or grade levels, simply have a sign-up sheet and play your parachute unit during your 2-week time slot. For those 2-weeks (or three or four!) YOU get to keep the chute in your room. Teachers can rotate units according to availability of equipment. We do not have a parachute unit included in grades 6-8, but we strongly encourage you to play the 3-5 unit with those older students. They’ll LOVE it! You’ll be surprised how much fun they have!
- Fluffilos take the intimidation and fear of getting hurt or embarrassed OUT of physical activity and add FUN, color and SUCCESS!
- Players are more successful with Fluffilos because they are so easy to catch and throw, they don’t get hurt if you get hit with them, and if you miss your catch – they won’t roll away so you don’t have to spend all your time running after the ball you missed!
- Our color combos can be used for designating teams (solids vs. mixed for example), for finding partners, or for learning primary, secondary, and color combinations.
- They are easy to store, extremely versatile, can be used for thousands of games indoors and out, and most of all, they’re FUN!!! And machine wash- and dry-able!
- 1 dozen Fluffilos? $______; the pure JOY of PLAY and contagious laughter? PRICELESS!!
What does it mean to teach standards-based physical activity / education?
Every subject area is based around standards for learning. What should students know and be able to do with regard to movement, fitness education, and cooperative learning? Physical education is more than just running and playing sports – it is about the whole person – from character development and personal respect and responsibility to working with others, learning teamwork, perseverance, cooperation, giving one’s best, getting up when you fall down, and helping others up when you knock ‘em down! It is about embracing the joy of play, not only for the moment, but for a lifetime! Yes, following standards can help accomplish all of these goals.
With Tandalay all of NASPE’s standards and benchmarks have been carefully “unpacked” and placed into appropriate units. Since ALL states have created state physical education standards based on NASPE’s standards, you can rest assured that YOUR state standards are covered. We supplemented the unit standards with CA standards due to CA’s attention to detail and the division of standards by individual grade level. Please compare our comprehensive list of standards to YOUR own states’ and see how we compare. We are confident that you will find that they are covered comprehensively.
What do you mean by “unpacked” standards?
You will find each standard “unpacked” for you, ready to instruct, with a game or activity to help reinforce the standard you have just introduced. Assessment opportunities will be found throughout each unit, and you have complete access to our online assessment program which allows you to assess any or all of the standards addressed in each unit. You may generate individual or class reports for parents and administrators by unit or for multiple units. And of course, in Tandalay style – easy to use, easy to assess, easy to report, so that you can focus on PLAY!
Every unit includes 10-15 standards; every lesson includes 1-3 focus standards for the day. Here is an example of a standard in it’s unpacked version, complete with an activity to use for assessment:
Recognize fundamental components and strategies used in simple games and activities (NASPE Benchmark for fourth grade).
- What is the verb: Recognize
- What is the skill or content: Fundamental components and strategies for games
- Evidence of learning:
- The student can recognize fundamental components and strategies used in simple games and activities.
- Assessment tool/task:
- Structured observation: The student will recognize fundamental components and strategies used in simple games and activities.
- Criteria for competence:
- Fundamental components: The things that are necessary to complete the games and activities.
- A goal or objective – something that determines successful completion of the activity or the winner of the game.
- Mode of movement – running, dodging, jumping, skipping, hopping, etc.
- Game: offense and defense.
- Equipment needs for games – ball, goal, boundaries, people. Games and Activities: Rules!
- Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Integrity, Cooperation and Kindness!
- Strategies: A plan, method, or series of maneuvers for obtaining a specific goal or result.
- Will you run fast or slow? Will you stay high or crouch down low? Are you going to curve around or zig-zag through your opponents?
- Are you able to find open space (get open)? Evade your opponents with dodging?
- Are you going to work together or separately? Can you come up with a group plan for the team?
- Can you identify one or more methods for improving your individual or team performance?
- Fundamental components: The things that are necessary to complete the games and activities.
Levels of quality for recognizing fundamental components and strategies used in simple games and activities (5-point rubric):
5. Student fully recognizes the fundamental components and strategies used in simple games and activities and uses this knowledge in all game settings.
4. Student recognizes the fundamental components and strategies used in simple games and activities.
3. Student recognizes most components and strategies used in simple games and activities.
2. Student recognizes some components or strategies used in simple games and activities.
1. Student cannot recognize components and strategies used in simple games and activities.
Activity: Bears vs. Crabs (great for building upper body strength and endurance!)
- Divide the class into 2-4 teams.
- Each team has a hoop of yarn balls (food) with an equal number in each hoop.
- Place the hoops at opposite ends of the playing area, or at the four (or three) corners.
- Objective: to have the highest number of yarn balls (have the most food) in your hoop when the teacher calls time.
- Have all teams start as the same animal – bears or crabs.
- Crabs move in crab-walk position (on all fours-tummy up) and carry one yarn ball at a time under the chin or on tummy.
- Bears move in bear-crawl position (on all fours-tummy down) and carry one yarn ball at a time under the chin or tucked into shirt.
- On “GO!” signal, players travel to the other team’s hoops to retrieve yarn balls (food) and carry them back to their own hoops.
- Guarding hoops is not allowed. This is an offense-only game.
- When time is called, count up the “food” in the hoops. Highest number wins!
- To keep students from getting fatigued too quickly, have them change from bears to crabs on your whistle blow (nothing changes EXCEPT the way they move). Blow the whistle to change positions frequently.
- Play a number of short, fun rounds to give each team more opportunities to win!
- Encourage teamwork and strategy. Can you come up with a strategy that might improve your teams’ chances for winning?
How should Physical Education be assessed or graded?
Assessment in PE is always controversial. Should you grade on attendance? Participation? Effort? Skill? With Tandalay, the recommendation is to assess according to the standards. For each unit the standards cover the whole learner. The overarching standards remain the same for each Tandalay Unit Standard format:
Tandalay’s Overarching Standards
- Demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.
- Demonstrate understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities.
- Exhibit responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings.
- Value physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction.
- Participate regularly in physical activity and achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness and demonstrates understanding of fitness principles and concepts.
Feedback should be provided for students and parents in ALL of the above areas, and ALL five components should receive emphasis in every lesson and unit. Tandalay’s assessment program, and unpacked standards structure provides an evaluation rubric for each standard, and allows you to enter scores for each student, and print individual or class reports.
If there are particular standards you’d like your class to hit, feel free to peruse our Assessment Lists for the various grade levels and select your next unit from there. If your class needs extra work in a particular area, feel free to perform specific activities that will develop the necessary skills, and to repeat them until they’ve achieved an acceptable level of mastery.
What if I have my own activities? Can I still play my own games?
When administrators bring in Tandalay Curriculum, they will often insist that coaches teach “this curriculum only.” Our official statement to administrators, teachers, and coaches is that Tandalay is not just a list of games and activities – but an entire philosophy. It is PRINCIPLE-CENTERED PE. As long as your games and activities meet the principles set forth by Tandalay’s game selection criteria, PLAY IT!!! If it is an elimination game, if it embarrasses or intimidates ANY players, if players are standing around and not engaged in play, then DON’T play it!!
How often can we play our favorite games?
Keep a list of your favorite activities handy. Don’t be afraid to play them over and over. But- beware! There are a plethora of GREAT activities in this curriculum. Don’t let the students control the games! They are working from limited experience. Their next favorite game might be in tomorrow’s lesson plan! You might want to incorporate a “Favorite Friday” reward system. If the students do a good job during PE all week (or in the classroom), then they get to play their favorite games on Friday! (Please make sure they are selecting from a list of games that meet the criteria for QUALITY PE!).
How were the Unit Themes selected?
We have considered many units for inclusion in our curriculum, and feel confident that the units we have chosen are the best choices for most PE programs. One of our main goals is to keep our program practical (use equipment and resources most commonly found in schools, or that is versatile and easy to store) – another is to keep it safe (use equipment that students will not use as weapons or bonk people in the noggin with inadvertently). Our units and activities have been selected with careful consideration for practicality and safety.
Where can I learn more about the “how-to’s” of teaching PE, PA, and recreation – like working with kids, creating groups, transitioning between activities, behavior management, and all that stuff?
We have everything you need to know about teaching quality PE available in a nutshell for you. Please read our Tandalay Teaching Tips thoroughly before playing the games in our curriculum. We adhere to common sense principles that are not common practice. We’ve intentionally tweaked and changed games that you might be familiar with in order for them to meet our criteria. Teacher’s often change them back to the traditional methods simply because they aren’t grasping the philosophy behind the curriculum. We cannot encourage you strongly enough to read our activity selection criteria, philosophy, and teaching tips very carefully prior to playing our games. And PLEASE play them as they’re written.
Can I change the activities and play them “my way?”
Feel free to add variations and have students create rule changes and additions – but please do not change non-elimination games INTO elimination games – or our non-traditional relays into old-school first-team-finished-sits-down-relays!
What is the bottom line?
We’ve carefully written each activity to include all participants all the time, to be non-intimidating, to create a safe atmosphere for all students to feel comfortable moving without fear of being judged or ridiculed. Please help us to promote this philosophy – help to promote JOY in movement, inspire CONFIDENCE in every player, and encourage a lifetime pursuit of HEALTH and FITNESS. The bottom line is this: if the students are moving, cooperating, and having fun, they are meeting EVERY physical education standard ever written! Experiencing movement makes better movers and increases skills; cooperation leads to better citizens and encourages respect for self and others; and having fun promotes the pursuit of health and fitness for a LIFETIME!!
Thank you for your commitment to keeping our children and youth healthy, active, and able to enjoy the POWER of POSITIVE PLAY!!!!