Effective Warm-Up Activity in Adaptive PE

Who do students remember the most? Teachers who are passionate. They put their heart into their lessons and connect life expectations/outcomes to their philosophy. Who do staff/supervisors remember the most? Teachers those work with students that have disabilities. Even though they do not receive an award at the end of the year (which they should) or a higher salary, their jobs are the toughest of them all. Even though they won’t go up to the teacher that is working with a student that has a disability and tell them they are doing a good job, in the back of their head they appreciate everything that teacher does.

Working in Adaptive PE class, it can be troublesome to create lessons that make students active. Some of them lack the psychomotor ability along with cognitive ability to perform a skill. Therefore, exercise is at a minimum because you want to create the simplest lesson possible. Well I am here to help that cause in creating an effective warm-up for adaptive PE.

Remember, when you work with a student that has a disability such as autism-if you are bored, they are bored. What is bored? Bored is doing daily walk/jog around the track, your basic calisthenics and static stretching that no one in the world wants to do. There has to be extra excitement and extra juice in your system to get them motivated. They are exceptional people and phenomenal individuals so make sure you treat them like one.

For a student with mental disorder, here is an example, instead of the boring warm-up routines get the kids excited right off the bat. Always make sure there is music playing because it will automatically neurologically stimulate the student’s brain and release endorphins. Give the student any size ball (depending the student, the ball can be hard or soft). Have them line up in a line so they can all see you (no we’re not doing sprints). As the instructor, have them start jogging in place with the ball (make sure you are performing this as well so the student’s understand what to do). They will mimic everything you do. Start jogging in place; raise the ball over the head, in front of you, behind your head. Stop and bring the ball down to their toes, spread the legs and bring the ball down to each foot. Then get things going again, start jumping up and down, high knees, hopping side to side. Stop and have them bring the ball around the body; around the legs, around the trunk, around there head. Praise students if they are accomplishing this task and/or there trying. Transition to having them walk/jog 10 yards (have cones or line to identify where they will be stopping). Changeover by placing the ball on the ground; Have them tap the ball back and forth with their feet. By doing this, you just transitioned right in soccer and ready to start your lesson for soccer. After they tap the ball between their feet, they can dribble now back where they started. The rest of the lesson is history in the making.

This can be transition into any activity. Same transition would apply for basketball, hand-ball, and volleyball. If you are not doing a lesson that implements a ball, this still will be an effective warm-up because if erases the student’s mind of fitness.

This is an excellent way to transition into a lesson. Use basketball, beach balls, volleyballs, tennis balls. Any ball is sufficed to shift into your lesson. Best of all, you will be creating the best fitness of all Fitness with distraction.