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West Ada PE teacher's lesson goes 'cosmic'

Tim Fulwood says his students may think they are just playing, but they are actually learning skills and gaining knowledge.

EAGLE, Idaho — Editor's note: This content is sponsored by CapEd Credit Union.

Blacklights, music, lighted lanes, bowling pins, glow-in-the-dark markers, and a whole bunch of bright-eyed bowlers fill the gym at Galileo STEM Academy in Eagle.

"In a really fun, dynamic, exciting, energetic activity with cosmic bowling," Physical Education teacher Tim Fulwood said. "Their faces, their expressions, their screams and their excitement; they could not wait to play.

Fulwood is the brains behind the bowling.

"I'm a big kid myself. I love to play and have fun, and I want the kids to have a blast as they're participating," he said.

Cosmic bowling was the grand finale of a weeks-long lesson on the mechanics and skills of underhand rolling. It falls under Fulwood's philosophy of playing with a purpose.

"We're teaching them skills, movement knowledge and they're utilizing those skills in the play activity, whatever it is," he said. "So, while they're thinking they're just playing, they're actually practicing and learning the skills and gaining knowledge."

He uses the philosophy in all of his lessons, like drum fit. The kids played drums while on exercise balls to work on rhythmic skills.

"It was a hit last year," he said.

So was hitting, or striking, balloons to learn volleyball skills.

"Young kids don't quite have the dexterity yet and the hand/eye coordination for the real volleyballs," Fulwood said. "So we break out the balloons."

Whether they roll a strike, a spare, or a gutter ball, Fulwood hopes activities like cosmic bowling help his students fall in love with fitness. Fulwood says he's always looking for new activities for his lessons so he can keep things fresh for the kids. 

"I want them to, throughout their lifetime, remember how fun it is to actually do an underhand roll and go bowling and get active and get moving," Fulwood said. "I want to foster, as much as I can, a love of movement."

If you would like to nominate an Innovative Educator who is going above and beyond, send us an email to innovativeeducator@ktvb.com. Educators, for information on submitting an application for a classroom grant through the Idaho CapEd Foundation, visit www.capedfoundation.org.

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