Innovative physical education teachers blend latest gaming craze with remote gym activities

gym teacher in front of computerWhen physical education teachers blend the latest gaming craze with remote physical education activities, it’s a win-win for everyone!

Otisville Elementary physical education teacher Stephanie Guifre and Tom Uhrig knew their students, like students everywhere, are obsessed with the “Among Us” multiplayer social deduction game, which has skyrocketed to even more in popularity during the pandemic.

Directions to gameWhat sounds like the premise of a science-fiction movie is the set-up of one of the most popular video games of the year, which takes place in a space-themed setting.  There’s 10 crew members who carry out random tasks to maintain vital systems, but at least one of them is an imposter who wants to sabotage their work and, if possible, orchestrate their demise.

gym teacher exercising“My daughters said that it’s kind of like ‘Clue,’ but on the computer,” said Mrs. Guifre. “Because the game does involve figuring out who the imposter is, we just took the characters from the game and made it into a warm-up activity. We don’t talk about the game itself. But we thought this is a way to pull them in with something that they are doing on their own and making it relevant to them and adding some fitness in as well.”

During the remote class, students complete nine sets of exercises: Squats, high knee runs, push-ups, planks with leg lifts, burpees, frog jumps, step back lunges, superman, up/down planks and step back lunges.

screen showing person exercisingMr. Uhrig added students definitely know the game’s premise and jump to name the image appearing in both pictures.

“We’re looking at different ways to keep remote instruction engaging, fun and particularly because we’re gym teachers, keeping students physically active,” he said.

gym teacher by computer Ross Potter, Intermediate/Elementary School physical education teacher, said the district’s elementary physical education teachers routinely collaborate with each other. He introduced Mrs. Guifre’s and Mr. Uhrig’s “Among Us: Fitness” resource as part of his activities for his students.

“We miss seeing our students in-person and look forward to seeing them coming back,” he said. “This resource is a great way to make remote physical education fun and different.  This game is the latest rage with the kids and they’re having fun with the exercises. I’m encouraging them to do these exercises even when we’re not together for our virtual classes.”

For more photos, visit the district’s Facebook page.