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Teacher: Daphne Knudson who teaches at South Shore Educational Collaborative in Hingham, MA. Daphne Knudson can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Ipod/MP3 Playlists

Rationale/Purpose of Event: This practice reduces the amount of time Physical Education teachers spend winding and rewinding tapes, changing CD's, fiddling with volume controls or any of the other challenges that playing music gives the physical educator. Active Learning time for students increases.

Suggested Grade Level: ALL

Materials Needed: iPod or other MP3 player that can make playlists, sound Dock that will play the iPod or MP3, remote control

Ipod/MP3 Playlists

While planning lessons teachers decide the music they will use for their dance, rhythm, or movement classes. A well planned dance lesson uses numerous music clips. Programming the clips in proper sequence into a playlist for the day's lessons, allows a teacher to use the remote and sound dock, immediately accessing the musical piece needed for that part of the lesson.

This practice increases the amount of active learning time in a movement class by a significant number of minutes compared with the traditional methods of music playing.


When a lesson needs to change for whatever reason--loss of gym space, etc.--the Physical Educator has in their pocket their entire library of class music.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Making the playlists was daunting to me when I first converted my classes this past fall. I found that visiting my local Apple Store, I was given quick, clear instructions on making playlists and loading music onto my computer. I imagine that vendors of MP3 players could provide similiar instruction for individuals unfamiliar with this technology.

You can even use software such as Garage Band and create play lists that change songs every 2 minutes or time frames that work for you. Palylists are great for stations. Instead of rotating them with a whistle/signal/or telling them, create a play list to change songs every 2 minutes, which in turn tells the kids to rotate when they hear a different song. You can create 3, 4, 5-minute play lists to suit your needs.

Additionally another example is a software program, Audacity, and you can make your own gapped music, like 30 sec for a fitness circuit with 5 sec silence to rotate, 3 minutes to rotate to a different badminton partner, etc.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

This practice is appropriate for students with disabilities of any kind.

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Posted on PEC: 2/8/2010 and has received 56 votes.

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