November’s PLANKS-GIVING Fitness Challenge

Are YOU ready for the (click for calendar)Planks-Giving Challenge? This menu is chock full of delicious exercises ready to be consumed by your students, families, and even your faculty and staff! Anyone interested would simply need to print out the Planks-Giving calendar to use as a fitness log for the month. Then simply check out the Planks-Giving Dinner Menu and select two appetizers, two main dish exercises, and two side dish exercises. Each day the three-course meal of exercises is completed earns a check on the calendar.  Oh, and one more thing! For dessert think of something or someone you’re thankful for, and write it on the calendar each day the workout is completed.

At the end of the month, all participants add up the total number of days completed, have their parents sign the bottom of the calendar, and return it to a PE teacher for a certificate and shoe token.

Each exercise on the menu is linked to video description. Simply scroll over the name of the exercise and click.

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Scroll over an exercise and click for a video description

There’s also a link to the Planks-Giving Exercise YouTube playlist at the bottom of the menu.

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Planks-Giving YouTube Playlist

Click Planks-Giving Challenge for an editable copy of the calendar and challenge.

Click here for the Planks-Giving YouTube playlist for video descriptions of each exercise.

Novemeber Certificate

Click Planksgiving Certificate for an editable copy of the Planks-giving award certificate

A HUGE thank you to my kiddos for helping with the videos.

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11 Soccer Activities for PE

I hope you can use a few of my favorite soccer activities for elementary-level physical education. Be sure to share some of YOUR favorites with the PE community!

Soccer Ball Tabata

Throughout the soccer unit, we like to incorporate some of the skills into our fitness.  Soccer Ball Tabata is a perfect way to do just that. We use the Tabata Pro application on an iPad as our timer.

Single Cone Soccer

Once we cover many of the basic soccer ball-handling skills, we like to introduce single cone soccer. All you need is one cone and a couple of evenly matched students. You’ll find that many components of soccer are practiced in this simple game including defensive positioning, ball handling, strategy, and a ton of fitness!


2-Team Soccer Pin Knockdown (

We like this game when we need to be inside.  Each team sets up 5-7 pins on their baseline.  The goal is for each team to knock over their opponent’s pins. Once a pin is knocked over, it is taken to the other side where it is set up on the opposite baseline. The goal is for each team to collect all of the pins, then set them up on their side of the field. I usually play with two balls per game.


 4-Team Quadrant Pin Knockdown

Four teams battle it out for pin supremacy in this fast-paced soccer game.  Each team sets up six pins on their corner of the field (3 on the baseline side and 3 on the sideline side). This game is played like 2-team pin knockdown however, each team can knock down any of the other three team’s pins. To begin the game, each corner gets a ball.  Therefore, four balls are played at once.


Dribbling Gates

We use this as an agility, ball control, and fitness drill. Set up about 16 sets of color-coordinated cones (gates( throughout your space. Each gate is approximately three feet wide. Give your students a challenge to see how many gates they can dribble through in a given amount of time. Let them rest for 30 seconds, then do it again. The key to this drill is ball control. I tell my students to control the ball with all parts of their feet while changing speed and direction.  For an added challenge I sometimes have five gatekeepers. Gatekeepers run from gate to gate, blocking them so students can not dribble through. The gatekeeper does not block the ball. His presence between the gate deters the student from dribbling through.


Deck Ring Soccer

I like to use this activity in the gym with my first through third-grade students. It’s a simple dribbling exploration game where students count how many deck rings they can place their ball in using only their feet. It helps the students discover the importance of using all parts of each foot.


The Lord of the Deck RIngs

Divide the play area in half. Set up 10-15 cones behind each team. Spread out an even number of deck rings on each side. Players move their ball across the midline, into their opponent’s territory, and attempt to place the ball onto a ring using only their feet. Once the ball is in the ring, the player then completes 3 jumping jacks or another predetermined exercise (Sometimes I have exercise options on the screen). The player then picks up the ball with his hands and sprints to the opponent’s cones. There, a cone is picked up, and the ball is placed onto the cone. Then the payer runs the ball back to his side where he drops off the cone. Which team can finish the round with more cones?


2 versus 2 – Single Cone Soccer 

This version of single cone soccer incorporates a teammate and passing along with dribbling, defensive strategies and fitness. I’ll usually play this immediately following games of 1 versus 1 – single cone soccer.

Stop and Go Soccer

Usually used as a warm-up, stop-and-go soccer focuses on fast-break dribbling and stopping on a signal. Before the drill, we’ll discuss the differences between a fast break and dribbling through traffic. Students begin on one end of the field. On the signal, students begin to quickly move the ball up the field. On the whistle, students must immediately stop the ball. A player who continues to dribble after the whistle is blown must head to the back of the group. The same is done when a player is lacking ball control.

Passing Through Gates

Passing through gates is a great follow-up to the dribbling through gates drill. Students partner up and try to pass through as many gates as possible in a given amount of time. Once a partner passes through a gate, she then runs to position herself at a different gate. Meanwhile, the partner who received the pass quickly dribbles to the gate where her partner is waiting. Pass and go!


Small-Sided Soccer Games

Our goal in any of our units is to provide as many touches as possible throughout an activity. When we do play actual soccer games, we play on small fields with no more than five players on each team. In this setting, students have numerous opportunities to be a part of the action.

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October’s “Trick or Treat, Move Your Feet” fitness challenge

The Trick or Treat, Move Your Feet fitness challenge consists of three separate workouts. Each workout is represented by one of the three colors of candy corn; white, orange, and yellow. candy-cornEach Day of the week is highlighted either white, orange, or yellow. For example, October 1st is highlighted orange. Therefore, on that day, students will do the orange workout. Using the fitness calendar, students will write their initials on each day they complete the workout. At the end of the month, they add up the total number of days completed, have their parents sign the bottom of the calendar and return it to a PE teacher for a  certificate and shoe token.

For an editable copy of the challenge click Trick or Treat, Move your Feet Challenge and Calendar.

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Below is the certificate I’ll use when a student returns a calendar at the end of the month. I’ll add a two-inch round gold, silver, or bronze sticker to the bottom of the certificate between my name and the date. This makes the certificate look more official.

Click Trick or Treat Certificate for an editable copy of the award certificate.

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If you enjoyed this post, consider following my blog to receive future posts and fitness challenges.

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Check out my Facebook group called Keeping Kids in Motion!

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