Sunday, December 29, 2013

Why Physical Education is Important

While doing a search for PE activities, I came across this statement from . 

Friday, December 27, 2013

PE in a Box or Table Top PE Games

Students enjoy PE even when sick or injured.  Over the years I have created PE in A Box lessons.  These games are easy to set.  I have placed each individual game with direction in a zip lock bag. Pick Up Sticks, Chinese Jump Rope, Hounds and The Fox, Table Top Football, Play-Doh Flexology, and Sumo Show Down are a few of the games included in my grab bag box.  PE in a Box also comes in handy when the gymnasium is being used and outside is not an option.  

Here is a link to my PE in a Box lessons.  You will also find resource pages and links to where I obtained some of the games.

Plato's Thoughts on Mind and Body

“In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity. Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these means, man can attain perfection.” -Plato 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


NEOEA Day 2013 was spent with my colleagues from Leighton Elementary School and Harmon Middle School, Mrs. Barnes and Mrs. Sferra. Working together with our PE in a Flash team we demonstrated ways to use technology I the Physical Education classroom.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Hand Sandwich

Kids join hands to create work groups. When the whistle blows, kids count the number and create hand sandwiches and form work groups.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lazy Mary

Here are some pictures of the KSU grads helping students re-enter the game.  Students completed a task (jump rope, balance, stomp catch, hop scotch) and then went right back to playing.  Some of the students wanted to get tagged just to be able to try the fun activities on the side line!
Check out the video below for directions on how to play Lazy Mary.
Fun side line activities to do if tagged.

Working to re-enter the game.
Guarding the buckets and tagging.
Pyramid of captured buckets.

Lazy Mary

This week in PE the students finished up their dodge, chase, and flee unit with a fun game of Lazy Mary. Here is a brief video on how to play the game and some pictures from today's game. The elementary students enjoyed spending time with Kent State University Physical Education Graduate students.

Lazy Mary from Gretchen Jessel on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Can

Starting off the year with"I Can"statements has been a huge success. The students are really understanding their PE lessons better and reflecting on their movements more.  They are also self assessing using the"PLAY"checklist.

Monday, April 8, 2013

I PLAYED S.O.S Today in PE

Today in PE I set up the game S.O.S.  It is a favorite of the students.  Not only does the game require great balance (I can control the objects used during game play) but it also encourages the students to plan, create, cooperate, communicate, strategize,  problem solve and collaborate with their team and members of other teams.

In this post I have also included two statements about play.  Both I feel are powerful.  Although I teach PE, I feel it is important that I include and incorporate play into my lessons.  I am passionate about Play and how PLAYING effects child development.

Basic Rules:
  1. Team must cross together.  No one is to be left behind.
  2. Your body can not touch the floor.
  3. Only the equipment you find on your island or boat may be moved.
  4. If you fall in, all tools are lost at sea and you must send out an S.O.S. and then go back to where you started. 
  5. Discuss safety, what equipment can be tossed and what can not.
  6. No standing on four wheeled scooters.
  7. Add or adapt rules per grade level or skill level of students.  Make specific rules for mini islands, ie., only one child on the ......
  8. For an extra challenge, give the students and "emergency pack" to transport to the other side.

Here are a few pictures.
I love to watch the kids play this game.  Every group has different equipment and every class finds  a new ways to use it.

Philosophy of Play

The principles of law-abiding citizenship, 
of individual initiative, 
of courage, justice, 
and perseverance, 
of community cooperation, 
and healthy living in general are learned 
to a considerable extent through PLAY.

The spirit of honesty, fair play, 
truthfulness, reliability, 
respect for authority and
 for others’ feelings, 
and many other homely virtues 
are acquired in the same way.
PLAY makes for a better mind in a better body. 
It induces keener perception, 
surer judgment,
better reasoning, 
sound emotions and a stronger will. 
It is effective in securing order and system.
-Two Hundred Games That Teach
By Laura Smith, 1923 

Dear over scheduled busy busy world,
Please leave me alone
I need to play for my future
It is my work so I can grow.
Play is nourishment
Like eating fruits and vegetables
And the air that I breathe.
Play is how I become Confident,
A Leader,
A team Player
A Humanitarian,
A Good Citizen,
A Contributor,
A Visionary.
Play is how I learn to Connect,
To Soar,
To be me.
Give me time and space
Freedom from rules and structure
Let me be creative,
Let me color outside the lines,
If I am play deprived
I die a little inside
I can’t tell you this
You are my voice
I need you to…

To view this poem in video form, go to  the Body Smart Blog at

Scan this QR code with your SMART Phone or iPad.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dear Mrs. Jessel........

I never have time to sit and talk with my students.  In February I placed a mail box on the gym doors and invited the students to ask me questions or send me  letters.  It has been a lot of fun.  When the doors are closed I can hear them reading my answers and discussing what they want to ask me next.
Question box attached to the door.

Paper and pencils are attached to the door.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Verbs, Noodle Ponies, and PE

Just created these pool noodle ponies for a Verbs in PE lesson.  I adapted the lesson from one I found on PE Central called Horsing Around With Verbs. These were so easy to create. I borrowed the idea from another blogger.  I hope to have my lesson posted in a few days.  The verb lesson is linked to our Right To Read Week.  I'm hoping to be able to incorporate QR codes as well.  We'll see.  

Materials: Twine/rope, glue gun, felt, eyes

Cut the felt for ears and mane.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Look how fit I am because I CAN!

Standard 4 of the Ohio Physical Education Benchmarks and Assessments states students in K-2 need to demonstrate and develop health related fitness.  This is a form I'm testing to help students record their personal fitness growth related to Standard 4.  So far it has been a big help.  At the end of the year each student will be able to take their results home in a mini PE portfolio.