Topic 6 - Instructional Strategies (ch7)


Instructional Strategies for

Adapted Physical Education

Chapter 7

Preparation for

Successful Inclusion

 Awareness of general characteristics of disabilities, teaching strategies, and behavior management considerations

Know the individual student

– Read the IEP or school-wide student reports, communicate with parents and colleagues

Differentiate instruction

– Adjusting instruction for the unique needs of students

Preparation for

Successful Inclusion

 Preparing general education students

– How and when should you prepare students without disabilities?

 Preparing support personnel (later lecture)

What support personnel do APE teachers interact with on a regular basis?

How should they be prepared?

Teaching Styles

The teaching styles used varies by students but often the best styles are either command or exploration.

Reproductive Styles






Productive Styles

Guided discovery

Problem solving

Individual Program

Teaching Formats

Earlier we talked about the Continuum of

Alternative Placements (ch2)

– Remember, in consultation with out PPT members, you can adjust a students placement

Reverse inclusion (formerly reverse mainstreaming) – when students without disabilities are incorporated into a class of mostly special needs students.

Where to Start Instruction?

Based upon your assessment of a student’s

PLP, you must formulate goals, activities, and assessment that are based upon individual needs.

– Assessment is based upon Brockport Test,

TGMD2, Observation, Rubric, or other tools

– Keep in mind the annual goals and short-term objectives (remember activity with Peter)

Where to Start – depends on the child of course (relates to function, not age!)

Think of what is important for the welfare of the child!!!

More advanced

Less advanced

Learning Motor Skills




Reinforcement and repetition are needed when learning a new skill.




ESPECIALLY with APE students

Progress happens more slowly and sometimes not at all, be patient and persistent. You are helping change happen.

Dr. Frangione – Repetition is the mother of all learning

Better to break learning into smaller but more frequent episodes

Motor skills that are over-learned are retained longer.

For example

You identified three AG’s goals for Jeremiah (11 th grader) based upon his PLP and interests

– Improve cardiovascular function – walk continually for 15 minutes (currently 5 minutes)

– Improve basketball skills: dribble and not lose the ball 3 of 4 times and shoot 25% within 15 feet (currently cannot keep control and shoots below 10%)

– Bowling:

Keep score with three or fewer errors per game (adds #’s only)

 Bowl demonstrating a 3-step approach, low-level release, and a pendulum release pattern (Currently bowls with 2 hands, no approach)

General APE Instructional


 Modify or avoid elimination-type games

 Reduce play areas if movement capabilities are limited.

 Modify activities to highlight their abilities rather than their disabilities

– Cooperative activity to find partner on other side of gym for a visually impaired student

 May also modify some activities in a way that students assume disability (empathy activities).

– What are some examples of empathy activities?

General APE Instructional


Permit the sharing, substitution, or interchange of duties in an activity (cosport ed captains, runner’s aide in softball)

– Be careful not to exclude!!

– For example, having a special needs student keep score instead of being a part of the game does not move him/her towards a lifetime of activity.

Modify or select activities in which contact is made and maintained with an opponent, partner, or small group.

Small sided games prevent the “fishbowl” effect

General APE Instructional


 Physical prompts are much more accepted in APE unless the student has tactile anxiety. This may include physically manipulating a student through the motions of a skill, orienting them in a desired location, ‘nudging’ them towards a desired outcome.

– There are of course exceptions so individualize your response based on the student. Some disabilities, autism for example, may not respond well to physical contact.

General APE Instructional


Ask the student

Example: “What can I do to help you?” Students often know successful modifications and their own limitations.

 Christina asked a student with CP how he would like assistance serving in a volleyball game. He asked her to hold the ball a certain way, positioned her, and then struck it out of her hands

Be enthusiastic – it is contagious.

– Examples include high fives, encouraging words, upbeat demeanor.

Special needs students are often well attuned to non-verbal language. If you’re down, it brings them down.

Provide a choice of activities, all of which are related to your instructional goals for the goal

General APE Instructional


 Do not assume that since a student has a disability or uses a wheelchair that they are intellectually impaired. Avoid speaking in a more elementary fashion (higher voice, facial expressions, word choice etc) until you know it is appropriate.

– Can offend some students

General APE Instructional


 Remember

– You must include EVERY student with a disability as meaningfully as possible. This may necessitate modifying the activity or the equipment.

 You will be continually challenged from day 1 to retirement to make an experience as close to that of students without disabilities as possible.

 This is an assumed responsibility of being a physical educator.


 Do not allow a student to become socially isolated from his or her peers.

– Involve them with consistent groups, integrate them into activities, make appropriate modifications, insist on positive interactions, and especially be on guard for derogatory language.

 Often you must use FREQUENT verbal and nonverbal reminders to prompt students to stay on task. This is normal.


 Socialization – Some special needs students will have below average communication skills. For example, they may utilize few words, use poor diction, or merely grunt. Continually try and improve their communication skills. Some strategies include:

Require them to communicate needs or desires instead of just making sounds, gestures, or pointing.

Select activities where they must communicate with their peers (deciding upon equipment to use for a cooperative task, responding to a greeting to get unfrozen in tag).


 Communication delays may also include normal social conventions such as greeting and parting. Insist, as much as possible, that students say hello or shake your hand while looking at your face. Similarly, exchange appropriate goodbyes when parting

– Reinforcing and modeling communication strategies will help them interact in the future, at home and possibly work.


 Communication – Teachers may use a communication board consisting of pictures or a dryerase board which the teacher may draw upon.

– Example

– Example

Report Strategies

- School Health Policies and Program Study (CDC, 2006)

Inappropriate Behaviors

 APE students may exhibit behaviors which are not socially acceptable such as referring to someone as their girlfriend, repeatedly entering personal space, hugging repeatedly, or kissing on the cheeks.

– Remind students of appropriate behavior and desist if it continues. One hug is quite all right but ignoring or allowing problem behaviors is harmful in the long run. It is important to teach and reinforce socially acceptable standards of behavior.

Linked Files

 General suggestions for APE programs

 Teaching Tips-general and disability specific

 Teaching Tips-general and disability specific2

 Teaching Tips for PE-specific disabilities

 General modifications


We’re teaching 1 st graders to jump rope over a series of 3 lessons.

Let’s map out what we want to cover each day

We have two students with special needs in class:

Ricardo – does not have a hand on either arm

Margo – uses a wheelchair

In groups, break down each activity you’ve mapped out in terms of appropriate instructional strategies and modifications.

 NASPE forum answers to the scenario

 Practicum Check Up

– How is it going?

– Give some examples