Modifications in Physical Education: What you need to know

In our physical education classes, there will be learners of all abilities and needs. That is why we modify our instruction to meet all of their needs. Some of our students will have predetermined accommodations through IEP and 504 plans. Those we legally have to follow. But, some of our students may struggle or excel at a skill and we still need to make sure we are reaching them. Today, I am going to break down different ways we can provide modifications for our students.

I personally like to think about modification related to the senses. That way it helps in all ways that students might be struggling and can help pin point problems. Sometimes students need a modification for a day or two cause they are overwhelmed. We have all had those days where we want all noise to stop.


  • Reducing Noise – This can be done with headphones or soft music. Some students get worked up through loud noise.


  • Equipment with bells or beepers – If you have a student with a visual impairment, companies make balls and other equipment with bells and beepers. This makes sure they will be able to hear where the equipment is. Sound is very important to these students.
  • Visual Aids – Having pictures of all the steps to a skill or to how class goes that can significantly help students when they are struggling. Some students learn best through words and visuals along with the direct instruction.Sometimes students with an IEP or a 504 will also need these.

Equipment (Feeling)

Sometimes our students are struggling performing a movement. This is what I have found a lot. There are a lot of different ways to help make those students work on the skill. You just have to get creative.

  • Bigger / Slower Equipment – Sometimes a soccer ball or whatever your doing is too fast for your students. Beach balls and gator balls are great options for this!
  • Different Colors – Different colored equipment can help students see the ball better when its moving!
  • Add another skill – This can be used for challenging students. These students may be more advanced in the skill you are teaching. You can have them help a friend or add a challenge/skill while their peers are working on something else.

These are just a small list of the modifications you can make for your students. How do you do modifications in your physical education classroom?

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