At the beginning of the year, one of my goals was to develop our e-board. An e-board is a very simplistic website for teachers. I am not a huge fan of this platform because it is very restrictive but I understand why the district uses it. I do, however, love the calendar tab. Shortly into the school year, I decided to put something P.E. or Health related on every day to promote cognitive, social and physical learning outside of the school day. As it would turnout, developing the e-calendar would be the easy part. Getting students to visit it would be trickier.
I sent home a notice to parents about the e-board only to realize that many of our students did not have access to computers at home. So, the next step was finding a time to teach the students how to login on to the e-board from their classroom computers. This definitely increased the number of students that could visit the site but didn’t necessarily increase the number of students that would visit the site.
Next, I implemented the question of the week. On Monday of each week, a question was posted that related to the unit we were teaching. Students could submit their answer directly to the website via e-notes. At the end of each week, all of the students that answered the question correctly got their name put in a hat. We then pulled a name from the hat and the winner received some type of reward.
At first, the rewards were small purchased educational, recreational, or P.E. related products. It soon became clear that this would be unsustainable. I needed something that didn't cost anything but motivated the students.
The ANSWER- life size P.E. Champions! Not only were students motivated to get their picture up on the wall, but the voice bubbles attached also provided visual and written cues for learning movement, muscles groups and P.E. vocabulary. Many of the questions of the week and P.E. Champion cues related directly to our Student Learning Objectives. An ADDED BONUS- anytime an assembly took place in the gym, parents and administrators could see evidence of teaching in physical education.
Finally, we added the Student/Teacher P.E. Challenges. Our school has a Splash Assembly bi-monthly to recognize student citizenship. Our principal allowed us to add a physical challenge. Any student that answered the P.E. Question of the Week correctly during the month could enter the challenge. We had a push-up contest, a plank contest and a jump rope contest where the students tried to “Beat the Teach.” These contests not only increased website participation but increased student motivation during our muscular strength and endurance units.
Final total of eboard visits 1524! Not bad for the first year. My goal for next year is 2500. The PLAN- Develop an Eboard App so students can access the website on tablets and phones. Also, I will be printing PE business cards for back to school night with the website, app and QR code on it. Maybe even a Southdown PE Facebook page and Twitter account!
(Eboard Calender - http://www1.eboard.com/eboard/servlet/BoardServlet?ACTION=TAB_SHOW&ACTION_ON=TAB&OBJECT_ID=652682&SITE_NAME=Huntington&BOARD_NAME=lhefele-tmatthews&SESSION_ID=x2a5311jx6723l1886&TAB_ID=652682&Month=3&Year=2014)
(PS- To make life size Champs, insert a picture into an Excel document and drag it to the size you would like. A few pointers: adjust the margins so that you don't waste a lot of paper; use a glue stick to connect the pages; printer ink is expensive so have students wear light color clothes; print in black and white and use a crayon to color the white in. Laminate and post!)