Teaching life lessons through sports, personal health and well being and group dynamics

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Planning and Implementation of Circuit Training

Learning stations are an effective teaching strategy for skills-building and development of fundamentals in the Physical Education learning environment. I like to refer to designing and implementing learning stations as circuit training. Circuit training refers to the process of creating an activity plan, which addresses the standards and learning objectives of lessons/units, and operates on the premise of intervals of active/recovery periods. Circuit training is a highly effective method of dividing large classes (often the case with P.E.) into more manageable small groups, and incorporating the principles of teamwork, collaboration and cooperative learning into exercises designed to target skill development and/or specific speed, strength, fitness, A.B.C. (agility, balance, coordination) learning goals.

Circuits may be created to allow students to work at their own pace, or preferably to manipulate the F.I.T.T. (frequency, intensity, type, timing) via active/recovery ratio and order of exercise stations. Homogeneous and mixed-ability groupings can be applied based upon the teaching and learning goals of the lesson/unit, and should be adjusted and adapted based upon continuous formative assessment and evaluation.

Sample Circuit:  Grade 8, Personal Physical Fitness (Plan), Standards and LO's flexible

30 Students, Groups of 6, 5 Stations, 5 mins/station, 1 min rest/transition, 30 mins total

Station 1:  Wheelbarrow push-ups (with partner) through zigzag course with switch
Station 2:  Resisted sprints with partner, 1 player holds partner at shoulders then releases halfway into 40 yd sprint, next 1 player holds partner at hips and releases at halfway point in to 40 yd sprint
Station 3:  Core Poses (bridge/plank 1 minute, and side poses30-45 seconds) and Leg Throws (sets of 25 straight down, 10 sides)
Station 4:  Broad Jumps, Jump Lunges, 1 Leg Bounds over 30 yds in groups of 3 to achieve 1:2 active/recovery interval
Station 5:  300 Yard Shuttle (Start to 10y and back, 20 y and back, 30y and back, 40y and back, 50y and back) *target time is 60-90 seconds, rest is equal (60-90 seconds), 2nd shuttle same target time 60-90 seconds.

No waiting in lines, students constantly engaged, group dynamic encourages peer tutoring and serves to motivate and inspire students to push their limits.

Teaching life lessons through sports, personal health and well-being, and group dynamics

'Growth Mindset' refers to the belief that success is achieved through hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence, not natural talent and ability.

Sportsmanship can be replaced by proper sporting behavior to more accurately reflect gender equity.
My name is Zak Ibsen, and I have been dedicated to achieving excellence in sports my entire life. Eventually, after a childhood full of challenges, successes and failures, I realized my dream of playing professional soccer and representing my country in the Olympics (Barcelona 1992), and with the U.S. National team (14 International Caps). Sports, soccer in particular, took me all around the world, and I lived and played in Europe, South America, Asia, and many other countries and cultures during my playing days. I finished my professional playing career in Major League Soccer with the  San Jose Earthquakes, my final stop along the journey of professional soccer. I am a product of my unique life experience(s), and after many years of contemplation, I decided to pursue a career as a professional educator and coach, otherwise known as a Physical Education teacher.

I bring a love of sports, physical exercise and fitness, and a belief in the power of sports to transform individuals through the process of learning to maximize individual talent and ability, and turn potential into greatness. This is the foundation of my teaching; to provide a platform for students to maximize potential and learn to apply the principles of proper sporting behavior in the group dynamic.


Teamwork-Dedicate yourself to making others better.
Respect-Respect yourself, teammates, teacher, the game.
Inclusion-Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Personal Integrity-What you do when no one is looking.
Fair Play-Honor the rules of the game.

Students will internalize these five principles of proper sporting behavior, apply them to all student activities in P.E. class, and learn to integrate them into their strategies for successful living. I will model appropriate behavior, demonstrate skills, techniques, and strategies for success in all content areas, and dedicate myself to the art of developing best teaching and coaching strategies to target the individual learning styles of all my students.

I believe in fair and honest communication, and creating and maintaining a positive learning environment where failure is an integral component of success. Consequently, mistakes are celebrated as teachable moments and criticism is always constructive. I hope you can envision a team of students working together toward achieving a common goal, under the leadership and guidance of a passionate, enthusiastic and caring instructor and coach, in the context of my presentation. If not, here is a picture of what it might look like.