Active Gaming Tips
- Use active gaming as a “tool” in your physical education curriculum. Decide what you want your students to learn first, then use active gaming activities as a tool to accomplish that objective if appropriate.
- If there is not enough active gaming equipment to maximize participation in each class integrating traditional activities is necessary. Active gaming can easily be used as a station or a part of a lesson in order to provide all students with appropriate activity time.
- Assessment in active gaming during physical education should not be related to game play. Assessments should always be related to the learning objectives for each lesson.
- There are multiple ways to use active gaming in regards to space allocation. Designating a room where the equipment does not have to be mobile is a great option but sometimes not feasible. Therefore, having a mobile cart that is able to be moved in and out of a storage room is a simple way to include active gaming in your classroom activities.
- Active gaming can be implemented in your classroom using a variety of rotation methods in order to accomplish learning objectives and maintain sustainability from children. Rotation methods include: 1) structured play which does not provide students with a choice in how or when they rotate to various activities. An example of a structured activity is station work; 2) a semi-structured rotation provides students with choice but is not considered “free” or open play. An example of a semi-structured activity would be using a scavenger hunt or activity card in which students explore active gaming and/or traditional activities; and 3) open play which provides the students with many choices such as choosing how long the activity is played, when it is played, what song is played, etc.
- The physical education teacher should be familiar and comfortable with any active gaming equipment used in his/her classroom in order to appropriately plan lessons as well as troubleshoot the insignificant issues that may occur with the technology.
- Technology problems will most likely occur at some point with active gaming equipment. Common practices that may easily resolve an issue include: checking to make sure the T.V. is on the correct channel, resetting the game on the game console, checking all wires to make sure they are intact, and replacing any batteries (if applicable).
- Before purchasing any equipment, make sure to fully understand: 1) the warranty provided, 2) servicing of equipment from the providing company, 3) which games/activities are compatible with the equipment, and 4) for what ages the equipment is most appropriate.
- Have active gaming lesson plans or activities available for inclement weather activities, competitions or challenges, before and after school programs, academic classroom activities, and/or teacher fitness activities as great ways to use active gaming outside of the traditional PE classroom.
- Provide students with the knowledge needed regarding what they are learning using active gaming in the classroom to the home or “away from school” environment. Active gaming may be a gateway to get children active away from school. There are also inexpensive active games that are compatible with the game consoles children already have at home. Check the active gaming equipment resource on PE Central for a list of these activities.
- Depending on the active games you are using during a lesson, be sure to consider the amount of time needed to set up the activity just as you would “set up the field or gym”. Plan for time needed to start or restart the game, set the mode for the days lesson (if applicable), display appropriate cue cards or instructions, troubleshoot wire hookups, etc.
- Make safety a top priority when implementing active gaming in your PE classroom by considering the use of electricity and loose wires that are part of the “plug and play” activities. Be sure to secure or hide loose wires to avoid students falling when moving around the classroom. Additionally, take into consideration any electrical wiring when allowing students to take water breaks.
- Learn more about active gaming: Participate in conference sessions (AAHPERD and associated conferences), read journals and books, review the resources posted on PE Central, contact University professionals that are educated in active gaming, and ask the PE Central “Gaming Expert” any additional questions you may have regarding active gaming.