The ball lined up at the center of the club.
The ball lined up at the center of the club.

Teaching: Guidelines for Teaching Physical Education Classes Within a Limited Space

Charles Silberman, Contributor

Teaching in an area with limited space such as a classroom, hallway, or secluded outside area is a unique opportunity to engage children in creative movement.  It also provides an opportunity to teach students how to stay active despite a limited environment and lack of resources.

Key Concepts
    Here are some key concepts:

  1. Go outside at every opportunity as long as weather permits and safety is priority number one!
  2. Design lesson activities that keep students active 80% of the class time!
  3. Keep every student actively engaged and involved!
  4. Maintain consistent positive, verbal reminders to students of your procedures and expectations.
  5. Correct misbehavior with specific examples of behavior broken and procedure to be followed (Do not assume your students will remember your guidelines!)
  6. Be Flexible: Be ready to adapt at any minute and know the circumstances of the day.
  7. Prepare emergency plans and lessons to pull out when what you what you planned does not work or circumstances change without notice.
  8. Carve out your space (How will you organize your stuff, the students, and yourself?)
  9. Communicate with classroom teachers (How will they interact with students while you are present?  Ask before you move things.  Have students calm and ready when returning them to Teacher.  How will you use teacher resources? And so on and so forth.)
  10. Establish procedures for working in your activity area during the first couple of lessons you start teaching in your space and at the start of each new unit, especially pertaining to safety. Examples might include:
  • Entering and Exiting the Room
  • Posting Objectives
  • Handing out and Collecting Equipment (including any papers and writing utensils)
  • Establish Movement Boundaries (Off-Limit Areas, and how students move during activity)
  • Discuss Peer Interaction
  • Discuss Behavioral Expectations
  • Attendance
  • Nurse, Bathroom (Sign Out Sheet), Injury, Water
  • Organization in the classroom
  • Stop and Start Cues
  • Transitions
  • Fire Drill/Emergency Situations
  • Warm –up and Cool Down

Additional Resources: “No Gym, No Problem,” By Charmain Sutherland and/or SPARK Teaching Resources (

To comment or have your question answered email me at [email protected].   Also, learn more about me at, and follow me on Twitter: ThePeGuy

Charles Silberman, MS, is a physical education teacher from Maryland who believes in a holistic approach to education that involves the growth of the whole child. He is passionate about movement and physical activity, and enjoys teaching youth of all ages. You can learn more about Charles's work at, and follow him on twitter: search for @ThePeGuy.

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© 2012, Physical Education,

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