Embracing the Common Core Standards for Math in PE
I love a challenge and I hate boredom! So when the expectation of incorporating the ELA and Math Common Core Standards into PE was thrown at us; my immediate response was- Bring it on! I love the Common Core Standards. Yes, love them! I began writing fictional stories to introduce lessons before the Common Core ELA Standards were introduced (see Literature Enhanced Physical Education @ LEPEinc.com). So after reading the ELA standards, I found that I was already addressing many of the reading literature, reading for informational text, and listening and speaking standards.
Math, on the other hand, was new to me and my mission was to figure out how to use math in PE without compromising my PE lessons. Over the past eight months, I have found that math and PE are like peanut butter and jelly. They go together perfectly! Numbers are all over our curriculum! We just have to bring them to our student’s attention and manipulate them to make them meaningful.
My biggest ah-ha moment was realizing that I didn’t have to count by ones! My favorite and most successful implementation of the Math Standards is to skip count during warm-ups. My 1st grade class can count by 2’s, 3’s and 5’s. My fourth graders are up to 11’s. The week before the Math ELA’s I asked the class, “How do you feel about the upcoming test?” One of the students said, “I feel great because of you!” I can’t tell you how great that felt.
The students have not only embraced math concepts in PE but are constantly asking me if they can count for me.
Here is how I set up my skip counting warm-ups:
1. Print out numbers on card stock for each multiplication table.
2. Hang a pocket chart on your wall behind where you lead warm-ups.
3. Place the cards in order in the chart (3, 6, 9, 12, etc.)
4. Perform your first warm-up/exercise counting by 3’s with everyone counting.
5. Systematically, start turning around numbers so that the students can’t see some of the numbers.
6. By the end of warm-ups, all the numbers are turned and the students are counting on their own.
7. Set up challenges- just this half of the gym count; just that half of the gym; just those born in Jan.; just the boys; etc. They love to count louder than their peers.
I spent about three weeks on each number with my 4th graders beginning in September. The classroom teachers are amazed and very grateful. I give out stickers at the end of class for students that can skip count the entire number group on their own. (This is done while we wait for the teacher to pick up so no PE time is lost)
Here are some of the other ideas I have come up with:
1. Check out MathandMovement.com for great instructional materials for the gym.
2. Skip count during warm-ups: For example, post the multiples of three on a wall, count by three's for one exercise. For the next exercise turn one number over so that the students can't see it and count again. With each exercise turn over another number until they have them all memorized.
3. Whenever you need to make groups, ask the students to do the math, i.e. if we have 5 stations and 32 students, how many students will be at each station?
4. When playing scoring games, never have a score count as one point. Make the students think by making 6 point goals!
5. Transition using the times table, i.e. Hop 12 times to the next station, counting by 3's.
6. The kindergarten common core standards require counting to one hundred and to be able to count starting from a number other than one. If you are counting with kindergarten students keep this in mind.
7. Within the same game, give different point values to different scoring options. For example, if you knock over the pin it is worth 4 pts. If you tip over the bucket you get 7. Do the math at the end of the round. Present it as a word problem, "If you knocked over 4 pins and 2 buckets, what is your score?"
8. When keeping score, try starting from 100 (or any other number) and subtract points. Lowest score wins instead of highest.
9. Use the whisper and shout technique to teach multiplication tables. Whisper the non-multiple and shout the multiple. For example- hop (whisper 1), step (whisper 2), jump (shout 3) , hop (whisper 4), step (whisper 5), jump (shout 6). Repeat pattern until 3 X 12. This is a www.Mathandmovement,com idea!
10. Give students their assignment in an equation. For example- We are going to do 10 sets of 10 dribbles alternating right hand and left hand. How many dribbles will you have done by the end?
11. Have students keep a tally score on a dry erase board. At the end of each round of play, give the students the MAGIC MULTIPLIER NUMBER. This is the number that each tally mark is worth. The students need to multiply their tally score with the multiplier to get their final score. (Karen Fischer- Jefferson Primary, Huntington, NY)
12. Teaching bowling- 1st graders- have them determine the number of pins knocked down by the number of pins left standing (Subtraction- 10 pins minus the number of pins standing equals the number knocked down.)
These Math ideas and other ELA ideas can be found athttp://www.lepeinc.com/common-core-standard-ideas/. The lists are updated when I come up with a new idea. If you have any ideas and would like me to share them on my website, please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org