Strategy

Enlarged Equipment

Adapted Equipment

UDL 4.1

Enlarged Equipment is modified equipment that students use during game play or skill development activities that is larger than its standard counterpart (e.g., foam noodles as bats/hockey sticks, beach balls/balloons as volleyballs, larger goals or hula-hoops as enlarged targets). Enlarged Equipment increases accessibility for students that require physical supports to experience success and a sense of accomplishment during physical activities, while simultaneously helping those students build foundational skills for lifelong physical engagement. This equipment is primarily provided in the Physical Education (PE) setting to support students that are working to strengthen their fine motor skills. Alternatively, this equipment can also be used in the classroom setting to support a student that demonstrates signs of anxiety, stress, or loss of focus (e.g., allowing a student to lightly bounce on an oversized exercise ball before instruction to “calm the body”).

Implementation Tips

Selecting Equipment
Select equipment that is significantly larger in comparison to the standard equipment being substituted to make physical activities more accessible for students (e.g., a beach ball in place of a softball, a firm foam noodle in place of a thinner plastic/foam bat). Equipment can be enlarged by length, width, or both.
Arranging The Environment
Arrange Enlarged Equipment prior to starting an activity to avoid confusion that might be caused when swapping out standard sized equipment (e.g., place larger goals on each side of the court, preset a beach ball in the center of the room in lieu of a hockey puck, scatter colored foam noodles as hockey sticks).
Modeling Equipment Use
Model how Enlarged Equipment will be used for a given physical activity since some equipment will look different than the standard version and explain how to use each tool accurately (e.g., how to hit a beach ball in a game of volleyball, how to use a foam roller for stretching and muscle tightness).
Establishing Expectations
Establish clear expectations for the use of Enlarged Equipment before having students participate in a selected activity (e.g., “Remember, we will use the foam noodles to hit other specified equipment, not fellow classmates or teachers.” / “Place all equipment in its designated area after the activity.”).
Promoting Student Inspired Creativity
Invite students to suggest ideas for Enlarged Equipment, if accessible and applicable, to use for upcoming physical activities. Also, ask student to brainstorm additional activities that current Enlarged Equipment can be used for and allow students to model how the equipment can be used.
Providing Intervention Strategies In The Classroom
Use Enlarged Equipment in the classroom as an intervention strategy to help relieve a student’s anxiety/stress or to reduce energy levels through a calming activity (e.g., allowing a student to lightly bounce on an [[ https://target.scene7.com/is/image/Target/10988471?wid=520&hei=520&fmt=pjpeg | exercise ball ]], giving the student the movement they need with minimal classroom disruption).
Modifying Equipment
Modify Enlarged Equipment based on individual student needs and for specified activities. For example, use the largest ball available during activities to support a student with severe deficits in hand-eye coordination, or use a light foam noodle to support a student with muscle weakness during batting games.

Examples

Game Playing
While conducting a game of softball, a PE teacher notices that some students are continually challenged with hitting the ball during game play. To support these students, the teacher incorporates Enlarged Equipment, such as a foam noodle as a bat and a dodgeball instead of the softball, in order to increase accessibility and provide students with opportunities for success. The teacher explains the new equipment rules, models how to use the Enlarged Equipment, and invites students to practice with the equipment before game play resumes. After, students begin demonstrating some success striking the dodgeball with the foam noodle. The teacher continues to use Enlarged Equipment until the students consistently demonstrate mastery of this skill.
Skill Development
To support a student that is working on increasing gross motor skills (e.g., catching, throwing, striking), a teacher uses Enlarged Equipment. After explaining expectations and modeling the use of equipment (e.g., volleyball trainer ball, beach ball, balloon, larger goal/target, foam noodle), the teacher invites the student to practice with the items. As the student attempts to return a volleyball trainer ball, the teacher notices this poses a challenge for the student. Constructive feedback is provided (e.g., “That was so close to going over the net! Let’s try using a beach ball so that you can build up your skills to master the smaller ball.”), and then the student is given opportunities to successfully engage in the activity with the new item.
Increasing Classroom Engagement
Throughout the school day, a teacher notices that a student demonstrates signs of anxiety, stress, and hyperactivity (e.g., difficulty remaining focused, becomes disruptive or agitated). To minimize these emotions and peak the student’s awareness during activities/lessons, the teacher invites the student to lightly bounce on a [[ https://target.scene7.com/is/image/Target/10988471?wid=520&hei=520&fmt=pjpeg | large exercise ball ]] to re-engage and refocus the student’s attention. The teacher explains, “This item will only be used in a designated area (e.g., back of the classroom, quiet corner) when you are feeling anxious or need to get some energy out. You can lightly bounce or gently roll while seated on this ball.” Overtime, the student independently accesses the exercise ball to self-soothe as needed.

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