Secrets of Differentiation in Physical Education

Tips & Strategies for Engaging ALL Learners in Your Program

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We are excited about your interest in taking this online course. Below you will find a brief course description, the instructor's biography, and course FAQ's. We estimate that this course will take 5 hours to complete. Once you have completed, you will be issued a certificate of completion for 5 hours. There is no graduate credit or CEU's available for completing this course.

We know you will find this course valuable and enjoyable. If you have any questions please email us at "[email protected]".

Best of Luck!

Mark Manross, Executive Director, PE Central

Audience: K-12 Physical Education Teachers

Course Purpose/Objectives:

In this ever-changing world in which we live in, Physical Education is more important than ever. Exercise and sport are like a universal language. This class will deepen you understanding of how to bring that to ALL students. Taught by a SHAPE 2021 Dr. Doris Corbet Award Winner and an elementary PE teacher in NYC, you will learn ways to increase student engagement by designing lessons that fit the needs of ALL students of all learning levels and backgrounds. Jim Hambel is the former SHAPE America Physical Activity Council chair. He also holds a license in PE, general education, and special education. With 10 years of teaching experience, you will learn the how’s and whys of effective pedagogy that you can utilize in your own program.

Objectives include:

- Increase student engagement through choice (yes, choice)

- Teach students HOW to assess themselves on ways they know from the classroom

- Design lessons, units, activities so that all students have an entry point

- Implement specifically designed instruction for IEPs and all students

- Analyze different types of learning styles and how they relate to PE

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, users will be able to:

1. Analyze the myths and truths about differentiation

2. Teach students to differentiate activities on their own

3. Design lessons, units, activities so that all students have an entry point

4. Analyze different types of learning styles and how they relate to PE

Course Description:

Each module will include readings and resources that will be helpful to any new physical educator. After completing the readings and reviewing the resources, each module will include the quiz that will help the students evaluate their understanding.

You will receive the following as part of this course.

● A certificate of completion after finishing all modules


  1. Differentiation
    1. What does it really mean?
    2. Not just for Special Education
  2. Learning Styles and You

a. looking at learning styles

  1. Planning For Teaching and Learning

a. practicality and necessity of differentiation

4. Universal Design

a. Multiple entry points

b. Specifically designed instruction

5. Student Friendly Materials

a. what are they and how to make them

6. Student Friendly Educational Technology

7. Final Assessment


  1. Differentiation: Participants will read an article about differentiation and write an entry reflecting on their experiences and how they differentiate.

2.Learning Styles and You: Participants will read about learning styles and take a survey about what their own individual learning style is.

3.Planning for Teaching and Learning: Participants will look at a lesson plan and station cards and begin to identify how they plan for differentiation in their own practice.

4.Universal Design: Participants will read about UDL in PE and watch a video and then share an activity that showcases their understanding of creating a UDL activity.

5.Student Friendly Materials: Participants will learn about criteria for creating student friendly materials that enhance learning and foster independence.

6.Student Friendly Educational Technology: Participants will learn about how current ed tech tools can be utilized to increase time on task and reflect on their level of comfort.

7. Final Project: Participants will reflect on everything they have learned and create an universally designed activity and connect it to a health related fitness topic.


This course addresses the following standards:

Source: SHAPE America Standards for Health and Physical Education in the US

Physical Education – The physically literate individual:

  • Standard 1: Demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.Standard 2: Applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics related to movement and performance.
  • Standard 3: The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.
  • Standard 4: Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.
  • Standard 5: Recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, or social interaction.

Viewing External Content:

At times throughout the course, students will be instructed to visit external sites to view videos, articles, or both. Each time external content will open in a new, separate window, which will require students to close when completed and return to the course.

Technology Needed to Complete this Course:

You will need a computer or a tablet with an updated browser to complete this course. In addition, you will need a valid email address.

Need to get your Professional Development Hours approved by your administration? Download this one page course description.

Your Instructor

James Hambel
James Hambel

Jim Hambel is a physical education and special education teacher with 10+ years of teaching experience. He is a PE/General/Special Education teacher at PS 457 in the Bronx, NY. He was recently awarded the 2021 Dr. R. Doris Corbett Johnson Leaders for Our Future Award by SHAPE America. He has three teaching licenses and a master’s and bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University. He is a proud and happy husband and father of two. Jim is the host and founder of the Wednesday Wellness Series. He is also a member of the National Bowling Hall of Fame. He is also a professional bowler.

Check out Frequently Asked Questions Here!

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