Friday classroom fitness challenges are a great and quick way to get my students moving! On Fridays, I introduce a new exercise and we practice it a few times throughout the day. Towards the end of the day we see who can do that exercise the most amount of times or hold it for the greatest length of time.
Types of Classroom Fitness Challenge Exercises
What types of exercises do we try? To start off the year I teach basic moves on Fridays such as: sit ups, push-ups, wall-sits, and squats. Later in the year we move onto multi step exercises like burpees and squat jumps. This is a great opportunity for students to practice a variety of exercises that they use in P.E. and can use at home!
Practice Makes Perfect
When do we learn the move, how do we practice it, and when do we have the challenge? I like to introduce the move early in the morning on Friday. I’ll show students the proper form for the movement and have them model it. This only takes a minute or two from our morning routine. Throughout the day I may ask them to perform the same move while transitioning through activities. Example: “Before moving to your next center, please complete five push-ups.” Towards the end of the day we have a second recess. As the students are coming back into the building we have our “challenge”. I love to do this right after recess because it requires the students to focus and quiet down before reentering the room.
A Variety of Challenges
Our challenges do not always look the same. Two of my students held a wall-sit for almost six minutes!! Talk about some serious leg strength! Sometimes, I challenge them to see who can do a move for the longest amount of time, like I did with the wall-sit. I also like to challenge them to see who can do the most reps or who can complete a certain amount of reps. For example: who can do the most sit-ups in 2 minutes or who can complete 20 sit-ups in one minute. I feel like giving the option of completing a certain amount of reps leads more students to feel successful. However, my students love the who-can-last-the-longest challenges the most.
Classroom fitness challenges are a great way to teach an exercise and not take up much instructional time! It is also a great way to get the wiggles out while still keeping a structured plan. My kids enjoy challenging each other and cheering on their friends. I love that I’m able to teach them movements that they can use quietly in the class if they feel the need to move. My kids love the active environment that we have in our room! I hope you give Friday Fitness challenges a try.
Please comment below if you have any fitness challenge suggestions or any other suggestions for including activity in the classroom!
Jessica Tice is currently in her fifth year of teaching Kindergarten at Western Elementary in Scott County, Kentucky. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Teacher Leadership and English as a Second Language.
Tice is a mom to two very busy boys that are active in school, soccer, and scouts. She enjoys working out daily and instilling that same value in her students by incorporating physical activity and purposeful movement throughout the school day.