How Problem-Solving and Cooperation Foster Competition

At Montgomery School, physical education classes are designed to build important life skills. Physical Education teacher, Ryan Naylor, enjoys challenging students to collaborate, communicate, and think creatively and critically, all while having lots of fun! He created a form of “Frogger” that requires students to use strategic thinking skills as they dart across the gym through four separate stations in order to retrieve a bean bag without getting tagged. The students love this game, and it is played by third through eighth grade students. Naylor says, “The students challenge themselves at every age and ability level. The confidence, problem-solving, and competitive nature springs to life all in one game.”

Athletics and Physical Education provide students with the opportunity to work on 21st Century skills as they challenge themselves to become leaders. This Frogger game allows students to work together, take safe risks, and experience success in an accessible physical activity.

Here’s how the game works: The gym is divided into 4 sections with a starting and finishing gate. One student leaves the gate every 5 seconds and tries to make their way to the opposite end without getting tagged to retrieve a bean bag. If they are tagged at any point before reaching the end, they exit the course and start again. Each round is 5 minutes and then the runners become taggers and vice-versa. If you make it through a zone, you have reached a “checkpoint” and cannot go backwards. Zones get progressively harder, challenging the students’ ability to make a decision based on what they see in front of them, their confidence, and skill level. Collecting the most beanbags after all 3 rounds declares the winning team. Ultimately, the true winners of this game have learned skills that will last a lifetime! Students learn to collaborate, converse, and challenge themselves and others through trial and error and a little suspense, which makes it even more fun!

Does your school do something similar?

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