Physical Education Teachers Experience Fun, Educational Games to Incorporate in Classrooms
January 26, 2023 -- Physical education teachers broke out into teams, racing to answer math questions as they hit targets marketing the correct answer on an interactive projector.
The game was more complex than it looked. Teachers had to think fast to solve math problems while throwing a ball to hit the targets that popped up on the screen. The target game is one of the many games that provide a fun, interactive, and educational lesson as part of the Lu Interactive Playground.
The session was part of professional development lessons for elementary school physical education teachers throughout the District, held at Ecole Kenwood French Immersion. Teachers learned about the system’s capabilities and how to incorporate different lessons and ideas into their curriculum, even if they didn’t have the technology.
The Lu system is helping keep students engaged at several schools throughout the district, too, such as this one at Valleyview Elementary. Other CCS schools include Ecole Kenwood French Immersion, Hamilton STEM Academy, Columbus Spanish Immersion Academy, Siebert Elementary School, and Como Elementary School.
“It changes the atmosphere of physical education,” Bryan Ferres, an Ecole Kenwood physical education teacher, told teachers in the professional development session.
Ecole Kenwood received its Lu in 2021 after writing a grant through the district’s ESSER Funds. The school uses it not only to get students active but also to bolster academic and French-speaking skills in a fun and interactive way.
“The kids absolutely love it,” Ferres said. “I’ve incorporated it into their daily lessons, such as warmups and games. I try to get my students excited about learning every day. For them to be able to see the World Cup, for example, maybe in the background or have a scoreboard up, it creates that want to succeed or that will to do even better in the classroom.”
“I strongly recommend the district to use this technology and these abilities to our advantage to get the kids more active,” Ferres added.
Karen Gynn, a physical education teacher for Como and Maize Elementary Schools, was curious to see what all the Lu could do. Como received its Lu in 2022, and Gynn hoped to learn tips about implementing and integrating the full system into her daily classroom activities.
“I know through the Social Emotional Learning features that I can have daily check-ins with students and that it could be a good way to introduce a new sport or activity for students,” Gynn said. “This generation of students is growing up with this technology, and the more we teach them how to use it, the better they will be able to use it for their future. I want to make sure they are ready, and we are providing 21st-century learning standards for our students.”
Ferres went over his daily warmup activities with the Lu, showing an example of a school-favorite game called “This or That.” Students could choose between their favorite Toy Story characters and run to one side of the gymnasium. Students would then do exercises based on which side they chose.
“This gives them something different while they prepare for the presidential physical fitness challenge,” Ferres said.
Ferres and other presenters also use their systems for emotional check-ins and check-outs, mindfulness activities, PBIS-related activities, interactive games featuring customized academic questions, and even teaching kids new sports.
Although the lessons are fun, they are also educational. Ferres said other teachers could come in and use the system to teach math or geography skills, for example, through the many different games.
“There are different aspects that apply to the K-5 curriculum as part of the Lu,” Ferres said.
However, schools don’t need a Lu to implement the ideas.
“All you really have to have is a projector,” Ferres said. “The Lu has allowed me to implement technology into the classroom. However, if you don’t have a Lu, you can use a projector and computer to hook up some of these games.”