Smooth Transitions in Large PE Classes

As physical educators, we have the largest classes with the least amount of instructional time.  This makes transitions very difficult unless we manage and plan ahead.  A transition during PE could be defined as changing from one activity to another during the same class period.  For example, you may have the students jog or run when they first arrive as a warm-up.  Next, you may transition to instructional time where you teach a skill and explain the game for the day.  As you divide up teams while transitioning from instruction to the game, precious time can be lost.  One remedy that I have used over the past few years is to divide students into small learning groups on the first day of school as soon as I receive my class rosters.  I have 12 small learning groups that I divide my students into.  Each group receives a number (1-12), a color and a specific location in the gym where they meet during small group work.  I place a permanent number on the wall in their designated spot so they know where to go when we divide up for stretching and small group challenges.  Students memorize their learning group number after a few classes.  I try to place an equal number of students in each group.  When we divide into teams for competitions and games, I can simply place an equal number of learning groups onto each team very quickly.  I simply announce “Team A = learning groups 1, 2 and 3.  Team B = learning groups 4,5, and 6 etc… for a seamless and smooth transition!  It is a bit of work at first but pays huge dividends later!