Teaching Advice/Special Ed Teaching


Hello!  I realize that you specialize in how to bring intellect and brain learning into the classroom, especially for middle school students, but think that you may be able to help me anyway.  I am a special education teacher for adults with intellectual disabilities.  Every day, this class of 35 intellectually disabled adults takes a trip to a gym for an hour where we have access to basketballs, soccerballs, and hand weights.  I am out of ideas for fun games and group physical activities for these students, as they are all relatively high-functioning adults but still vary in their degree of disability.  Could you please give me some ideas of games and/or physical activities I could try with these students, and/or recommend a book or resource that might do the same?  I have searched tirelessly on the internet and am coming up short.  Thank you so much for any help or suggestions that you may have!

This is not my area of expertise but here are a couple of things you might find fun!

1. Set up teams of a relay race from one end of the basketball court to the other and have them bounce or roll a basketball down to one end of the court and pick up a playing card. Then they race back to their team carrying the basketball and give it to the next person and they start building a poker hand. The first team to have a winning hand of five cards is out of the game and can lift individual weights while the other teams compete until all teams have developed a winning hand.
2. Have teams of three people pass a ball while lifting a light hand weight. They can pass it with their feet or hands but must keep the weight in motion at all times. The winning team must have kept the ball in continuous motion from person to person and each individual must have kept lifting the hand weight.
3. Talk with your local school district and see if they have had the SPARKS curriculum training for their PE teachers. Maybe one of the PE teachers can share ideas from the SPARKS curriculum.
4. The 1st game can be done with letter cards instead of playing cards and the teams keep going until they spell a word with more than one letter.
5. Pass the ball doing over and under and when it gets to the last person they must race to the front and pass the ball. This continues until they are at the end of the line again.
6. Set up a bowling tournament with the basket ball as the ball and the soccer balls as the pins. You can have out of bounds lines like gutters and teams compete for places.
7. You could do the first game while they control a soccer ball with their feet and bring back a puzzle piece.The first team to complete the puzzle wins. I would suggest a simple kindergarten puzzle of about 10 - 15 pieces.
8. Set up the hand weights as an obstacle course that they have to go around while moving the soccer ball with their feet or hands or bounding the basket ball. Then they have to come back reverse and pass the ball off to the next person.

I hope these have been of some help
Dr. James Turner

Teaching Advice

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr. James Turner


I am able to give both general and specific answers to questions on how the brain learns, how to bring brain learning into the classroom, how to teach middle school students, and how to create classrooms that function in learner friendly ways.


I have been teaching and studying how students learn, how the brain learns and how to teach middle school students for the past 13 years.

ACSA Calvary Chapel Church

B.A. Fine Arts Masters in Education and Educational Administration Juris Doctor in Law

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.