Creating an Engaging Adapted PE Class
Welcome to my in-depth guide on structuring a self-contained adapted PE class. With 12 years dedicated exclusively to Adapted Physical Education (APE), I’ve gathered a wealth of experience from various settings and with a broad range of student abilities. This guide, inspired by Lauren, a first-year APE teacher, aims to streamline the teaching process and effectively manage students with short attention spans.
Routine is Key
Establishing a routine is vital. It begins with analyzing each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) to understand their specific needs. This includes examining physical, PT, OT, speech, and behavior management plans. If you lack immediate access to an IEP, be prepared for some trial and error to determine the best approach for each student’s success.
Daily Routine Breakdown
- Track Walking: Start each class with students walking or running on the track. This consistent start helps them transition into the class and sets the tone.
- Incorporate Obstacles: Gradually introduce equipment along the track, such as tunnels or balance beams. Tip: Link these obstacles to IEP goals for integrated learning.
- Aids and Obstacle Management: If necessary, position an aid at each obstacle for additional support. Discuss with special education teachers the possibility of having aids rotate to manage the dynamic nature of the class.
- Transitioning with Music: When restlessness indicates it’s time to transition, play a consistent song that cues Circle Time. This auditory signal helps students recognize the shift in activities.
- Circle Time: Use carpet squares, poly spots, or personalized markers to create a seating arrangement. Engage students with familiar songs and props like rhythm sticks, bean bags, or scarves. For older students, consider a stretching or strengthening routine.
- Group Activity: While students are occupied with a group activity, such as using parachutes or scarves with fans (as seen in one of my YouTube videos), begin setting up the next phase.
- Station Work: Keep stations in close proximity to each other to avoid behavioral issues. Stations should be aligned with IEP goals, like throwing and catching, to allow for targeted data collection.
- Cool-Down: The class ends with a calming activity, such as watching a serene video with the lights dimmed. After the video, a countdown helps signal the end of the session.
- Wrap-Up: Students help tidy up, receiving a stamp as a reward, before exiting the class.
This structured approach to adapted PE helps maintain focus, manage behaviors, and ensure each class runs smoothly. If you’re interested in data collection methods or specific aspects of APE, leave a comment for future content.
For more tips and techniques, check out my website and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. Until next time, happy teaching!