Originally published April 30, 2020 in the Porterville Recorder.

By Charles Whisnand

Call it Tik Tok meets hopscotch.

Porterville Unified School District physical education teacher Shelby Lozano has found ways to connect with her students on a daily basis through distance learning she wouldn’t have been able to do while school campuses were still open.

Lozano teachers 430 fourth through sixth graders at Monte Vista and Santa Fe Elementary Schools. Normally during the school year, Lozano would meet with her students two to three times a week.

But now through distance learning, Lozano has her students exercising 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Lozano has set up Google Classroom to connect with her students. She has found other ways to connect with her students such as YouTube and TikTok, the video app that’s popular with youth. “I had no idea what TikTok was,” Lozano said.

Through TikTok, Lozano learned the Panini challenge, a dance to Lil Nas X’s hit song. But also through TikTok her students learned what hopscotch was.

Lozano said one of her students told her “oh my gosh that’s hopscotch” when talking about what they saw on TikTok.

Lozano remembers at the beginning of this school year when another student saw some painted lines and asked what they were for. Lozano said that’s when she realized “I need to teach them that this year,” referring to hopscotch.

So Lozano has used YouTube to go old school, showing students to use something they’ve likely never used before — chalk — to draw hopscotch lines or other patterns on the sidewalk to be used for physical activity.

Lozano said one of her students drew an obstacle course. “It’s way better than my course,” she said.

Students are also required to fill out a form reflecting on their physical activities. “They reflect on what they did, why they did it and what they enjoyed about it,” Lozano said.

Lozano is a 2014 Granite Hills High graduate who went on to Fresno State. Her mother, Shelly Lozano, teaches P.E. at Granite Hills.

Lozano is in her second year of teaching. As a young teacher, she has reached out to state and national P.E. Associations when it comes to instruction through distance learning.

“I’ve been using their ideas in incorporating things and connecting with my students in Porterville,” said Lozano about using the expertise of other P.E. teachers on the state and national level.

Lozano posts videos on YouTube presenting ideas for what students can do. Among what’s posted on YouTube is a challenge to do 50 jumping jacks a day and the sock basketball challenge.

Lozano said she’s trying to come up with activities students can do at home. “They don’t have access to facilities,” said Lozano about such places as schools and parks being closed.

And parents and siblings are joining Lozano’s students in their activities. “It’s really awesome to see the families joining,” Lozano said. “You don’t get that at school.”

Lozano’s brother joined her in the video on the challenge to do 50 jumping jacks daily and her mother joined her for the sock basketball challenge.

Lozano has even created a movie-like trailer she posted on YouTube encouraging students to do the challenge of 50 jumping jacks daily.

She said students can use her ideas or come up with their own ideas such as riding a bike.

While it’s recommended youth receive 60 minutes daily of physical activity, Lozano said it’s a good step to having students doing 30 minutes of physical activity a day at home. “Making them move is really important,” Lozano said.

“What I like to teach is lifetime movement. It’s a lifetime skill or a lifetime movement they can use for the rest of their life.”

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