Strategy 3

Provide professional development or in-service training on classroom physical activity.

Through professional development opportunities, teachers, instructional coaches, school and district leadership, and other physical activity champions can build their skills and confidence; ensure that activities are conducted in a safe, positive, and inclusive manner; and learn by practicing physical activities. Relevant topics for training include:

  • The connection between classroom physical activity and academic achievement.
  • Practical ideas for how to promote and plan for classroom physical activity.
  • How to connect classroom lessons for other subjects (such as math or science) to physical activity.
  • How to use physical activity to manage the classroom (to calm or energize students) and to meet other classroom goals.
  • Physical activities that include all students, regardless of ability.

Students taught by teachers who have received training on classroom physical activity have higher levels of physical activity per week than those taught by teachers without this training. One way to promote classroom physical activity is to add physical activities to staff meetings and other types of professional development opportunities to show the benefits of these practices and how easily they can be incorporated. Physical education teachers can also be asked to lead professional development for other teachers to give them examples and strategies for classroom physical activity. In addition, schools can identify district-level staff with expertise or recruit help from universities or state agencies of education or health to provide professional development or resources.

Professional development will help make classroom physical activity more sustainable. It will also give teachers access to support groups or mentors, planning support, resources (handouts, instruction books, videos, and websites), and e-mail reminders about how to implement physical activities.

Citations can be found in Strategies for Classroom Physical Activity in Schools.

Key Activities

Put Strategy 3 into practice through the following activities:

✓ Identify relevant professional development topics for classroom physical activity.

✓ Prioritize professional development topics for classroom physical activity.

✓ Determine who can conduct professional development opportunities for classroom physical activity and the necessary resources and supports.

Questions for Consideration

Use the following questions to guide key activities and inspire new ideas:

How will you gauge and prioritize the professional development needs of school staff and partners at your school to help them integrate classroom physical activity?

What are facilitators and barriers for classroom physical activity that can be addressed through professional development opportunities?

What resources (for example, financial, human, and material) are available and necessary to provide professional development on classroom physical activity?

Who can be engaged to conduct and facilitate professional development on classroom physical activity that addresses the needs of school staff and partners at your school?

How can physical education teachers partner with other teachers to integrate physical activity into the classroom?

Resource

Professional Development Assessment and Planning Template
Use this professional development survey and planning template to identify and address professional development needs for classroom physical activity.

Professional Development Assessment and Planning Template (Springboard to Active Schools)

These templates can be used to plan for “Strategy 3: Provide professional development or in-service training on classroom physical activity.” Use this professional development survey and planning template to identify and address professional development needs for classroom physical activity.

Active Academics (Active Academics, Program)

This organization offers one-day workshops for K-5 teachers and teaches practical, classroom-tested ideas to incorporate physical activity into the school day.

Recess Rocks (Recess Rocks, Program)

Pages 27-28 of the Implementation Guide provide sample agendas for Recess Rocks in-service training for teachers and movement instructors.

“Train-the-Trainer Overview” – Move-to-Improve (New York City Department of Education, Program)

An outline of how to provide classroom physical activity training to additional teachers when a classroom physical activity champion already exists.

“Training Resources” – Move for Thought (Iowa State University as part of an Iowa Team Nutrition Grant (USDA Funded), Program)

Includes a promotional video, recorded webinar, and presentation slides to deliver in-person classroom physical activity trainings for Pre-K and K teachers.