Posted in education, lesson plans, mastery based learning, physical education, standards-based grading, teaching, Uncategorized

What do your lesson plans look like? (template included)

Do you write daily lesson plans or do you just have an idea in mind and “wing it” for the day? My principal provided us with a lesson plan template that aligns with our teacher evaluation rubric and has the components of a mastery-based teaching environment. I simplified his template to paraphrase what I need under each category.

Lesson Plan Template

Lesson Components

What are the components of your lesson? How do you know that your students understand the learning target? Do they know what “mastery” looks like? What about “exceeding”? The teacher knows what we want our students to perform, but does the student know what they need to perform to reach the target? It is vital to “unpack” the learning target with your students, so that the students know the expectations and modeling/demonstrations can be done of each level.

Setting the Lesson

Have you thought about how you would set the lesson? Yes, we all know in our head the set up of the gym in terms of equipment layout, but have you taken the time to think about how this lesson is connected to prior learning, upcoming learning and how it will activate their prior knowledge? Have you thought about the real-world connection of the lesson? Physical Education is all about real-world connections, life skills, character education and lifelong activity– are you making these connections within your lessons on a daily basis?

Lesson Content

Now comes the lesson content…. What are the specific teaching points of your lesson? What questions are you going to use to convey those points (to challenge them to think instead of giving them the answers)? How will you model the learning expectations?

Most of us only have a short time with our students, so how will you do all of the “setup” in a short introduction period? There has to be an introduction to the lesson because that is when the activation of student learning begins–just make sure the introduction doesn’t take away from the active learning part (time management!!!).

Student Practice 

Finally!!! You can think about the students moving around and practice the learning target! You haven’t forgotten about the learning target, right? It should be addressed a minimum of three times with your students during a lesson to make sure they remember the focus of the day as well. After all, your feedback, questioning, assessment and student reflection are all linked to the learning target, so it really needs to be reinforced multiple times throughout the lesson. How are you going to group your students? Will you give them a couple of options to meet the same target (always a good idea as students learn differently)? What activities do you have planned around the learning target? How will you differentiate activities for the different learning levels? What assessment do you have planned? How do you plan on providing feedback to all of the students (Daily Student Tracking Sheet)?


By now, you are thinking I must teach a 2 hour PE class, but no, my 35 minutes is up and I am ready to bring my kids in for a closing. I will make sure to address the learning target (yes, again!!!) and have the students share their experiences around the learning target and do a quick group assessment (thumbs up/thumbs down) to get a rough idea of where the class thinks their progress is. The students then fill out their end of the class reflections Daily Student Tracking Sheet and off they go to change!


The “cornerstones” section… What opportunities will you provide for student discourse? What will that look like and how will you model it? How will you make sure each child gets feedback? How will students reflect on their progress towards the learning target and set goals for further learning? What plans do you have for your students for the next level? How can you make the education process personalized for each student? How will you make sure each child is engaged?

Windsor Locks Middle School lesson plan template guide (simplified) 


Badminton, Grade 7


Posted in education, mastery based learning, physical education, standards-based grading, teaching, Uncategorized

Standards-Based Grading Student Portfolio Checklist

Before you read this blog, re-read (or read for the first time!) the blog about learning targets to understand why the ShapeAmerica standards are rewritten into “I can” statements.

This portfolio has been revised a few times over the past 3 years (with the same outcome) after student feedback on the process. It is going to be simplified again this summer (after that is finished, I will post it); however, this packet will still be in their folders.

You will notice that the indicators are not completely written out or aligned exactly as written in the national standards; instead we labeled the packet 1-20. My coworker and I went through the SHAPEAmerica indicators and picked the top 20 that applied to our students and that we could get through in 3 years. In our first packet, we labeled the indicator as “S1.M19”, however, the students told us that was confusing when we told them to find that, so instead, saying “Find indicator 19”, was a lot easier for a 10 year old to understand.

We converted the indicators into “I can” statements because that is what we use as learning targets and now the indicators are converted into verbs that the students will perform with different depth of knowledge levels.

The goal is to complete all of the grade 8 indicators by grade 8. They see all of the indicators starting in grade 6 because some of the students will master the indicators earlier (and then they are presented with more challenging targets). They also are aware of the high school graduation standards, so that they know the expectations of physical education to graduate high school.

This may sound confusing to someone who is not familiar to the process, but again, once explained to a 6th grader and keeping the routine the same for all 3 years, it just becomes second nature to the students.

** We used SHAPEAmerica frameworks and Connecticut Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Frameworks to create some components of this document.**











Posted in education, mastery based learning, physical education, standards-based grading, teaching, Uncategorized

Daily Student Tracking Sheet

I want my students to demonstrate that they can own the day’s learning target. They need to be able to put into their own words the task for the day and the expectations in order to succeed. They need to be able to have discourse around the learning target in order to articulate the goal. If they don’t understand what my learning target means, then they can’t possibly understand the goal of the day. The sheet that my colleague and I created is a sheet that allows our students to demonstrate ownership of the learning targets and write it down in their own words (even if they are writing it as we discuss it).

This is the daily sheet that my students fill out before class and after class. As you can see from prior posts, the information is on the board already. I don’t want my students to just copy the board, I want them to discuss with their peers and put my words into their own words the goal of the day. I want them to know what each level looks like in their own words, so everyone knows the day’s expectations. This is also a great way to start class while students are changing and everyone is coming in at different times. My students all know to come in to the gym, get their folder and start filling out the top half. We then discuss the learning target and the expectations for an ES/MS/PS. This takes about 5 minutes, which also includes the demonstration for the activity as well, so it is your typical time allotment for an introduction to a class.

At the end of the class, the students take these papers and fill out their current progress (WITH EVIDENCE!!!) and set a goal. They then fill out their habits of scholarship report for the day (again, WITH EVIDENCE!!). Evidence is a big thing to teach the students- they need to justify their answers- this is a school-wide expectation and the gymnasium is no different. The end takes approximately 3-4 minutes, which is tied in with our closing.

Before they go to change, they show me that their paper is completed and it allows me a quick 10 second feedback session with the child. After class, I go through their folders and add comments, so they have more feedback for the next class when they open their folders.

It is hard to always provide verbal feedback to each student during class, but this paper allows me to communicate with each student and as we know, feedback is so vital to a student’s progress!

As you can see, I am separating the PE skills and the student behaviors. Both are very important and need to be measured, but they are measured separately, so that the student can see how they are doing on mastering the standard and then on their behaviors.



This is an example of something on the board that they would use as they filled out their sheets. IMG_7312