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When gym class goes virtual, NJ phys ed teachers have to get creative

When gym class goes virtual, NJ phys ed teachers have to get creative

Meghan Radimer had to get creative. Radimer teaches physical education, and the COVID pandemic has made that particularly challenging since her school’s classes are online.

180 of NJ’s school districts will start the school year fully virtual

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So Radimer has asked her students in the Stillwater Township School District to use household items in their workouts. She had them play golf with a laundry basket and a pair of rolled up socks. There was also the day she orchestrated a rainbow scavenger hunt: Depending on what color item her students found, they would do a different workout. Another fitness challenge asked students to build a shoe tower — if it stood, they did 25 jumping jacks. If it fell, they had to do 10 pushups.



timeline: Jennifer Olawski, a physical education teacher at the Paul Robeson Community School for the Arts in New Brunswick, created this virtual gym with her colleagues for her elementary and middle school students. Students can click different links in the classroom to access lessons or workouts they can do in their spare time. The classroom also features teachers Andrew Novod and Chelsea Buttacavoli.


© Courtesy of Jennifer Olawski
Jennifer Olawski, a physical education teacher at the Paul Robeson Community School for the Arts in New Brunswick, created this virtual gym with her colleagues for her elementary and middle school students. Students can click different links in the classroom to access lessons or workouts they can do in their spare time. The classroom also features teachers Andrew Novod and Chelsea Buttacavoli.

“You’re like a first-year teacher again,” said Radimer, who works with pre-K through sixth graders. “I think back — I graduated in 2007 — and none of this stuff was ever something you would even think about having to plan. I never thought I would have to teach phys ed virtually. But I think everybody is doing their best to figure out how to make it work for the year and for the students, as well.”

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Teachers across the state have been forced to adjust to

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Teachers get creative to keep students engaged during online learning

Teachers get creative to keep students engaged during online learning

COLORADO SPRINGS — During this time of online learning, local school districts are raising concerns over student engagement. Some say students are disappearing during class time, not turning in assignments, and have a lack of participation.

“We’re seeing some students not log into their class, maybe not turning in their assignment, forgetting their assignment or they weren’t aware of it,” said Dr. Wendy Birhanzel, superintendent of Harrison School District 2.

Birhanzel says it’s been a struggle to keep their online learners engaged in the classroom. She says it’s important for students to stay engaged to prevent learning gaps and foster growth.

“As research will tell us, their academic achievement will increase, their self-esteem will increase, the likelihood of going to college and getting a job after high school will increase,” said Birhanzel.

Parents should monitor their children online to make sure they’re paying attention and participating in class.

“Children are pretty savvy and sometimes parents think they’re online but they’re playing a game or doing something other than their assignment,” said Birhanzel.

Angelica Marquez with Falcon School District 49 says they’ve also been having problems with student engagement.

“Kids are being left by themselves at home or left in front of the computer by themselves while mom or dad is trying to multitask,” said Marquez.

She recommends parents set expectations for themselves and children.

“Parents go off of expectations for teachers, but I think since they’re being held responsible for what’s going on at home, there needs to be an expectation coming from their point of view as well,” said Marquez.

Both school districts are coming up with creative ways to keep their students engaged.

“We have teachers checking in on them, we are starting some peer groups where they can meet together and socialize,” said Marquez.

Students who continue

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NJ physical education teachers get creative to tackle online gym class

NJ physical education teachers get creative to tackle online gym class

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So far 180 public, private and parochial districts have gotten state permission to start with all-remote instruction, Gov. Murphy said.

NorthJersey.com

Meghan Radimer had to get creative. Radimer teaches physical education, and the COVID pandemic has made that particularly challenging since her school’s classes are online.

So Radimer has asked her students in the Stillwater Township School District to use household items in their workouts. She had them play golf with a laundry basket and a pair of rolled up socks. There was also the day she orchestrated a rainbow scavenger hunt: depending on what color item her students found, they would do a different workout. Another fitness challenge asked students to build a shoe tower — if it stood, they did 25 jumping jacks. If it fell, they had to do 10 pushups.

“You’re like a first-year teacher again,” said Radimer, who works with pre-K through sixth graders. “I think back — I graduated in 2007 — and none of this stuff was ever something you would even think about having to plan. I never thought I would have to teach phys ed virtually. But I think everybody is doing their best to figure out how to make it work for the year and for the students, as well.”

Jennifer Olawski, a physical education teacher at the Paul Robeson Community School for the Arts in New Brunswick, created this virtual gym with her colleagues for her elementary and middle school students. Students can click different links in the classroom to access lessons or workouts they can do in their spare time. The classroom also features teachers Andrew Novod and Chelsea Buttacavoli. (Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Olawski)

Teachers across the state have been forced to adjust to virtual learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which upended academia and all

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