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Teacher: Barry Ward who teaches at Franklin County Educational Service Center in Columbus, OH. Barry Ward can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Video Lesson

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To provide appropriate Physical Education instruction during an absence of a Physical Educator.

Suggested Grade Level: K-12

Materials Needed: Video camera, 1 video cassette per class, 1 television and VCR per class. Variety of gross motor equipment for your predetermined video lesson depending on which activities you include in your video. Extra person to run the video camera.

Video Lesson

I teach Adapted Physical Education for Pre-K and elementary age children. I work with my students 1 time per week for 30 minutes. When I am absent from school a substitute teacher does not fill in for me to carry out my lesson plan. Therefore when I am absent or when there is a holiday my preschoolers do not get gross motor instruction during that week and their classroom teachers have to fill that time slot with other activities. I developed a 30 minute video lesson which the teachers can play on the T.V. in their classroom or in the gym during their regular Physical Education time.

My classes are typically 30 minutes long, so I make my video lesson the same length. The video lesson should include the same components as your regular lessons and follow the same general routine and structure as what the students are used to. My video lessons include warm-up, activity introduction, skill development, game, and calming down activities.

Set up the video camera in a stationary position away from distractions. When recording starts, teach a lesson (without students present) the way you typically would. I lead the students through each phase of the lesson (warm-up, intro, skill development, game, cool-down). During activity instruction I demonstrate each activity so the children will clearly understand what is expected of them. During the time that children are practicing activities I keep recording and provide general feedback of skill cues, and safety reminders to reinforce instruction. When it is time to stop and transition to another activity use a signal (whistle, drum, duck call, etc.) the children are familiar with. At this time the adult supervisor can stop the tape until all of the chidren are ready to listen to the next instruction.

The way you set up your video is up to you. The possiblities are endless! The important thing is that your students are getting some quality gross motor instruction even when you can't physically be there. Happy Recording!


Make two recordings, one with activities that can be used in the classroom and one for the gym. You could make two tapes for classroom and two for the gym so the teachers could rotate tapes between classrooms and the students would not get bored with the same tape.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

I use one class session to show the students the video while I am the observer. This helps the classroom teacher to be comfortable in using the tape. Also, the children are not seeing it for the first time when the classroom teacher is in charge. That way when the teacher uses the video, the students will already be somewhat familiar with using the tape for Physical Education. Do not introduce new activities in the video. I use very basic, familiar activities that use very little equipment and are easy to supervise by the classroom teacher. Provide written instructions to the teacher that describe each activity and your expectations. Use activities that are inclusive so all of your students can participate in them at their own level.

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Posted on PEC: 12/14/2005 and has received 49 votes.

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