Skip to main content


By Stacey Nelson
Because good PE is more than just fun and games.
Digging deeper into what makes great teaching great.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

Mike Ginicola on CREATIVITY - What's Your Superpower?


Episode 42 - Field Day Hints & Tips
In this episode we highlight hints and tips for field day broken down into three stages: prior to field day, during field day, and after field day. We discuss different formats, lessons learned, favorite events, and often missed details.
April 04, 2022
Episode 41 - The Magic Minute: Introducing the Why
In this episode we discuss taking a simple minute to introduce the why into your lesson.  We learned from @ElemPE1 that cooperation and helping others can be taught with "Dead Ant Tag".  The importance of reflecting on the outcomes was highlighted in the Essential PE newsletter (
February 28, 2022
Episode 40 - The Appropriate Shoe Dilemma
In this episode Stacy and Jamie hash out the idea of elementary students and appropriate phy ed shoes.  The why is always at the heart of the discussion, analyzing the pros and cons to various strategies.
November 10, 2021
Episode 39 - One Year In: What We Learned From You
We have been downloaded in all 50 states and 50 different countries.  In this episode we celebrate one year of podcasting by reflecting on what we have learned from all of you.  Thank You to all of our guest and listeners.  It has been an amazing journey filled with lots of great people.
May 12, 2021
Episode 38 - Tips for Making Teams & Groups
In addition to discovering creative techniques for grouping students together and making teams, we discovered 3 considerations to help decide which technique to use. 1. Avoiding student's hard feelings 2. Address student's feelings 3. Efficiency
April 20, 2021
Episode 37 - Tips For Partnering Students Up
In addition to discovering creative techniques for partnering students together, we discovered 3 considerations to help decide which technique to use.  1. Avoiding student's hard feelings  2. Address student's feelings  3. Efficiency
March 20, 2021
Episode 36 - Teacher Participation: The Why and Why NOT
In this episode of the ThinkingPE podcast, Stacey and Jamie react to a Facebook group post debating whether or not teachers should participate with their students in class.  The tread had 100's of comments and dug into the why and analysed important benefits and concerns for both parts of the discussion.
March 10, 2021
#PEJamSession - Creativity for Connection & Content, Not Just "Likes"
Distance Learning and PE go together like a square peg and a round hole, but the challenge has been met and we are seeing some success. PE teachers from around the world gather at #PEJamSession to discuss the importance of using creativity to enhance your connection with students and the content instead of counting "Likes". 
February 07, 2021
#PEJamSession - Teaching Content & Assessing Virtually
Distance Learning and PE go together like a square peg and a round hole, but the challenge has been met and we are seeing some success.  PE teachers from around the world gather at #PEJamSession to discuss how they have transitioned from creating meaningful activities to keep kids moving to teaching content and progressing students to meet standards.
January 11, 2021
Virtually Connecting with Students - What's Working?
Distance Learning and PE go together like a square peg and a round hole, but the challenge has been met and we are seeing some success. PE teachers from around the world gather at #PEJamSession to discuss what's working to connect with students virtually.  SHOW NOTES:   Jennifer, Olga, Matt & Justin join Jamie & Stacey to talk about what IS working to Virtually connect with students. Resources mentioned in the podcast.    -    -    -  Finding Frosty -
December 28, 2020
GIF's: Not Just the How, but Also the WHY!!!
There is so much creativity for us to use in order to capture our students interest.  In this episode we explain how to make exercise GIF's with no background.  Most importantly we focus on why you should do them.    Resources Used:,,
December 14, 2020
Silver Lining to COVID: The Hybrid Model
No doubt COVID has had an overall adverse impact on teaching.  However, in Episode 30 we discussed our findings on the positive impacts COVID has had on distance learning.  In this episode we build on that by discussing the hybrid model of teaching.
November 30, 2020
D.L. The Silver Lining
COVID has been BRUTAL on education, but are there some POSITIVE effects of this pandemic?   Our short study confirms "Every cloud has a silver lining."
November 24, 2020
Stop Signals: The How, What, and Especially the Why
Great teaching starts with a solid foundation.  Part of that foundation is being able to effectively bring the excitement to a stop.  We analyze the what, how, and why behind stop signals with resources from our research and:   EnVOY:
November 16, 2020
Classroom Culture on Purpose
Your classroom will develop a culture.  Will you be purposeful and proactive or will you let it develop by chance?   Listen in while PE instructors from varied backgrounds discuss the importance of being purposeful.
October 07, 2020
Dr. Kristi Mally: Comfortable Being Super Uncomfortable
Dr. Kristi Mally is a Physical Education Professor at Winona State University in MN.  She shares with use the challenges and her approach to helping future teachers develop a foundation of core pedagogy.  With a solid foundation of critical thinking and resourcefulness they will be successful in an ever changing world.  Kristi Mally Twitter: @Gr8FullLearners, email:
September 29, 2020
#6feetPE - Creating Classroom Culture
With Distance Learning, Hybrid, & teaching outside, how do we establish a culture in our classroom?   Several good ideas and great questions are presented in this discussion.
September 22, 2020
Getting the E back in PE
PE Teachers are finding ways to EDUCATE even with the current restrictions of distance learning and social distancing.    Listen in on this conversation where PE teachers across the country share WHAT'S WORKING in the early days back at school.   Resources referenced during the discussion:  - Fair & Square -  - Facebook Group - Elementary PE Social Distancing Ideas  - Facebook Group - ThinkingPE  - Sleef brand masks - - Books from Mark Rickets - We're Going On A Bear Hunt,  Giraffe's Can't Dance, Run Turkey Run, Luella Mae- She's Run Away, Fox and the Jumping Contest, Socco and Slurpie's Perfect Ride, - Mark Ricketts distance learning throwing lesson - - Kaizen Sports - Dan Batty Youtube resource for social distancing games
September 17, 2020
Distance Learning Hacks with Justin Black
We use the term "Hack" as a way to cut through or get around a barrier that may be in your way of efficient teaching.   Justin Black shares from his experience of remote teaching ways you can make distance learning more efficient.  @2018coachblack
September 09, 2020
#6feetPE - Day 1 WHYS-dom
Knowing WHY allows us to adapt on the fly and still accomplish our goals.    Knowing WHY will be important this year with all the unknowns that teachers are faced with.  In this episode we ask PE teachers not only WHAT they are teaching on their first day back, but WHY they are doing those activities.   Listen in for some great insights into teaching the first day of school 2020.
September 01, 2020
Carver Elementary Talks #6FeetPE with 90 Kids in Class
Carver Elementary Physical Education Teachers ( Kendra Maus, Dan Ford, & Tom Becker found success with distance learning through collaboration, building on each others strengths, and a growth mindset.  We also dig deeper into #6FeetPE with 90 kids (that's not a typing error) in their gym at once.  We learned how Social Emotional Learning is used to transition these large sections to their next class and how it has become the foundation of a great program.
August 28, 2020
#6feetPE Resources Resources Resources
Buckle Up!  You are going to want to copy the link to the #6feetPE Notes after listening to this episode.    There are a ton of resources around No-equipment games,  minimal equipment games, student interaction, gamefying as well as new ideas, and thought-provoking discussions all in one discussion.
August 24, 2020
#6feetPE - Where to Start
So, where do we even start planning for fall?    In this episode teachers from around the country share ideas on setting up your teaching space as well as how to keep the fun in setting expectations and routines.
August 17, 2020
Randy Spring: Success Through Metacognition & Creativity
The hallmark of great teaching is combining metacognition with reflection.  Add a creative mind and you have Randy Spring, or as known in the Twitter world: @MrSpringPE.  We dig deep into how Randy thinks about planning for distance learning, adjustments for #6FeetPE, Twitter, and Social Emotional Learning.
August 15, 2020
Donn Tobin: Journey of a SHAPE America TOY
2019 SHAPE America Teacher of the Year Donn Tobin shares his journey being recognized with a National award.  His growth mindset and willingness to collaborate are displayed as we dig deeper into what makes a great teacher great.  We discuss his distance learning success, physical education vs physical activity, and the idea of teaching PE while respecting social distancing in what we call #6FeetPE.
August 04, 2020
Tom Roberts: State of PE with MNSHAPE President
MNSHAPE President Tom Roberts discusses all things PE.  We reflect on distance learning, discuss what #6FeetPE (teaching PE while respecting social distancing) might look like, and discuss the future of physical education including the support MNSHAPE provides to insure purposeful, meaningful, standards based lessons no matter what the setting.
July 20, 2020
Caryl Martin: Genius Behind the Standards
Caryl is a professor at St. Cloud State University and she was a co-author of the MNSHAPE physical education standards.  She shares with us the genius behind the standards that made them clearly written and intentionally vague allowing you the PE teacher to be in control of your class.
July 04, 2020
#6feetPE - Standards 4 & 5
Social-Emotional Learning is what Standards 4 & 5 are all about.    This fun discussion takes us into the heart of teaching the full student, not just the physical.    Feel free to check out the link to the notes we took during all 5  #6feetPE discussions.    This will be our last #6feetPE discussion until August, but we still have some great interviews coming to you in the July podcasts.  Thanks for joining us.
June 30, 2020
#6feetPE - Standards 2 & 3
Can invasion games be taught while social distancing?  Listen in as PE teachers from around the USA brainstorm how to teach Standards 2 & 3 while keeping kids a safe distance.   was mentioned as an excellent resource for adding Health & Nutrition content to your PE lessons.
June 23, 2020
#6feetPE - Manipulatives
Over 25 PE teachers from the US & Canada brainstorm about how to teach Standard 1 - Manipulatives using social distancing. These conversations go many different directions.  Join us as we explore the unknown. NOTES:  Some notes are kept on a Google Doc using links to some videos.   Check that out as well.
June 15, 2020
Clint Lundeen - Weaving the Three C's
Connection, creativity, & content.  Clint Lundeen describes how these three work together to create a strong PE curriculum that works for him and his students.
June 12, 2020
#6feetPE - Loco & Non-Locomotor Skills
Over 25 PE teachers from around the country met on Zoom Thursday, June 4 to discuss social distance teaching of locomotor & non-locomotor activities. This episode is loaded with practical ideas & general strategies.   We are keeping some notes on a shared Google Doc.  Feel free to look at that as well.
June 08, 2020
Sean Ryther - Surrounded by good PE peeps
Sean is on the MNSHAPE board of directors and shares how being around passionate PE peeps have inspired him to be the best he can be.    The TEDX talk referred to called "Putting the Right Peeps In Your Jeep"  is by Steve Fredlund.  You can see it here.
June 05, 2020
#6feetPE Brainstorming
On May 21, 2020, we recorded a live Zoom brainstorm session on the topic of Social Distance PE.   We called it #6feetPE There were 3 countries and 5 states represented as we discussed how to effectively teach while upholding social distance policies.   This is a link to some notes I took in a Google Doc if you are interested.
May 28, 2020
Mike Ginicola on CREATIVITY - What's Your Superpower?
One of the most creative PE teachers we know shares some fascinating insights into how to increase your creativity. Explore his website at  Find Mike on Twitter @PhysEdDepot
May 22, 2020
Creativity With Content Pt. 2
Here is an idea!  Let's ask the students how we are doing with providing distance learning.   We talk with three students from Minnesota to get some GREAT insights into distance learning.
May 16, 2020
Creativity With Content pt. 1
We hear from Physical Educators from all grade levels as we interview Joe McCarthy, Lauren Joki, & Steve Girard on the topic of using creativity to increase engagement in their distance learning lessons.
May 11, 2020
Connection Over Content (Part 2)
In part two we hear from secondary teachers Lauren Joki & Steve Girard share how they strive to make a connection with their students using technology and creativity.  We also hear from students Petra, Keagan, & Tayjal who share their insights into the need to build connection through distance learning.
May 03, 2020
Connection Over Content
Episode 4 - This is part one of a series called Connection Over Content.  We visit with 2012 MNSHAPE Teacher of the year Joe McCarthy and dive into priority number one in distance learning which is building relationships.
April 28, 2020
PE Priorities vs Distance Learning
Episode 3 - Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, we did a survey on how teachers prioritize when they are planning their curriculum. (See Episode #2)   Now that most teachers are teaching from a distance have the priorities changed? We take a look in this episode of ThinkingPE.
April 19, 2020
PE Priorities
Episode 2 - Listen in as we discuss the results of a recent survey asking over 100 PE teachers how they prioritize when making their curriculum choices.
April 06, 2020
Why Thinking PE?
Episode 1 - Good PE is more than fun and games.  We dig into what makes a great PE classroom great.  In Episode 1 Stacey & Jamie discuss why Thinking PE will be worth the listen.
April 06, 2020