The game, AIM 4 PIE, strikes the desired balance between academic and physical elements with the simplicity of its design. What better game pieces than the 26 unique symbols, the foundation for our entire written and spoken communication, rolling on a ball? 220 individually lettered balls are used by students to perform academic task (spelling words) combined with movement (skipping, running, etc) and sports skills (throwing to target).
- 10-100 students/rainy day
- 30 minutes
- 220 balls –individually printed with 26 letters
- 12 teams (6-8 members – captain, point guard, letter ninjas)
- 20 Task cards
- 100 PIE points
- 1 unique 9 ft “mixer” goal or PIE machine to some
Multi-sensory brain-based learning
AIM 4 PIE is a multi-level/multi-sensory learning system which uses a unique blending of intense physical movement, academic tasks and teamwork.
The simple concept of having each letter independently and randomly moving, with the students being the force that organizes the letters to spell words, is the essence of kinesthetic learning. The students must physically build the words.
AIM4PIE creates a dynamic image of someone shaking a snow globe. Spatial learners, preferring pictures and images, are very comfortable learning this way.
Logical thinkers use logic and reasoning to work the system of the game. They use prediction and probability to help them find the assigned letter: “I need a T and last time it was on a red ball, odds are with me if I look for a red ball.”
Teamwork and communication are vital elements in AIM 4 PIE and this appeals to social learners. Natural leaders find opportunity to practice leadership skills within the rules of the game. The flip side of this is natural leaders must build skill in following the lead of other students. Also students preferring to work alone have an opportunity to build skill in leading the team when his turn to be captain comes around.
Creates Concrete Concepts
Using a ball, with a letter rolling across the gym, and the task of physically “building” a word turns an abstract idea for some students into concrete idea. The student becomes the pencil point.
29 Years of Teaching Experience
The idea of AIM 4 PIE came from a desire of developer Carol Cranford to create a physically challenging activity by using academic elements as game pieces. AIM 4 PIE can be used to reinforce any classroom concept while moving and playing in PE class.
“With more and more time being taken from physical education class to focus on academics, the advantage of this idea became very clear. I have large classes of 60-80 students for 30 minutes. This game is played in 15-20 minutes with teams spelling 8-10 words and students sweating from the physical intensity. My students love to ‘make PIE’. Each time a team spells a word correctly a PIE point is awarded and the race is on to see how many whole pies a team can make. Students also enjoy telling others ‘To get a Healthy Heart you must have some PIE. PIE? I LOVE PIE!! Physical Intensity Everyday!’
This idea has evolved over 29 years of teaching and is one of the most powerful and effective methods I have ever found of combining physical intensity with academic elements.” –Carol Cranford