Providing Structure AND Choice in PE

  • 15 November 2021
  • 6 replies


Providing Structure AND Choice in PE


My PE classes consist of students in grades 9-12, of all different backgrounds. In classes with up to 60 students, I could encounter the following: 


  • Students ranging from grades 9-12
  • Non-athletes
  • Athletes who already worked out that morning
  • Athletes who haven't worked out
  • Experienced lifters
  • Students who've never entered a weight room


I knew I had to appeal to a wide variety of students in order to get them to buy into my PE class, but I still wanted to provide some structure so they knew what to expect in my class that day.  I landed on the following schedule: 


Monday - Mobility Day

Choices: Stretching/Flexibility OR Yoga


Tues/Thursday - Strength & Conditioning 

Choices: Bodyweight Fitness OR Weight Lifting


Wednesday - Cardio Day 

Choices: Cardio Machines or PLT4M's Dance Fitness


Friday - Game Day


When students show up for class each day, they have two options. For example, on Tuesdays when students arrive, about half of them will head to the weight room to complete a weight lifting workout via their devices, and the other half will head to the gymnasium where they can access a bodyweight workout in PLT4M. 


With this schedule, I can achieve a "one size fits all" approach. Every student is exposed to the various fitness elements incorporated into the schedule, but they still get to choose what that looks like for them. 


Some students would prefer we play games 5x week. Some students enjoy the versatile PLT4M workouts, and some are just concerned with their athletic training schedule. Having this structure has helped to highlight the various cohorts of students I may have in a given class. In the future, I hope to be able to create more defined classes, so that I can create more targeted curriculums. 


For now, my weekly schedule includes structure, but within that structure, students can branch off into their preferred type of fitness—and this has worked well for us!   


6 replies

Coach Murray,


I like your weekly set up, one of my biggest headaches is supervision. I can only provide so many choices because I need to have eyeball supervision on all of them, so we all either need to be in the weight room/fitness center OR in the gym. 




I can totally understand that struggle. I am fortunate to have a co-teacher and a TA for 60 kids. If it weren’t for the extra eyes there is no way we could offer such versatility. We are still learning as we go this year.  

Coach Murray, 

Thank you so much for your response! Occasionally my teaching partner with have a class during the same hour and we can team up but in most cases she will have middle school when I have high school  so we need to keep them seperate.


Thank you!

Thanks for sharing how you are using PLT4M!  Like you I have a wide range of abilities in my Personal Fitness classes while my teaching situation is similar to Coachmurt--I have a matroom and/or a weight room to utilize with my students.  I am new to the app and am trying to figure out how to offer more choice while keeping the kiddos in the same space.   Do you have any “favorite” workouts to do with the whole group?

Hi Heidi,


What I have found works well especially with my middle schoolers is we establish the basics together first couple lessons, review form, reinforce coaching points and tenets. I usually project the videos on the wall and we work through them together. Then, I let them break up in to small groups of 3 or 4 using the the different areas in the room and follow the content on thier own screens. There is a lot of  cooperative work and peer coaching, less resistance because people are watching me, you can move around to different group and monitor metrics for the entire class on your teacher page.  

My senior high classes, I start with everyone doing the same workout and progress to them self selecting or small group selecting.  This has worked out by giving variety and choice and maintaining  supervision and safety.


Hope this is helpful to you!




@Coach Murray  Hi! I am new to PLT4M and I am looking to create the same setup that you have included. I am wondering what program choices did you use that you found fit your program choices best?