During the school year I use physical education to promote different themes and concepts to my students. Some of the most important themes and concepts I stress include teamwork, persistence, safety, and sportsmanship. I design my lessons to challenge the students and at the end of each class we take some time to discuss what skills and strategies we used throughout the period. The students participate in a wide range of activities throughout the school year and every year they build on the concepts and skills they learned the year before.
Grade Specific Topics:
Grades K-1: During kindergarten and first grade I focus on teaching the students loco-motor movements. Some loco-motor movements we learn are skipping, galloping, hopping, jumping, leaping, and sliding. The students participate in wide variety of activities that involve practicing these loco-motor movements. It is critical that students master these loco-motor movements early on so that they are on the same page as the rest of their classmates.
After students begin to master loco-motor movements we transition into using manipulatives. I start my students with tossing and catching scarves and by the end of the unit the students are tossing and catching whiffle balls. It is important to start with easier manipulatives like scarves so the students can be successful when tossing and catching. I modify the lessons depending on the skill level of the class.
As we get to the end of the year I introduce the students to more complex concepts such as dribbling a basketball, bowling, and kicking a soccer ball. I modify these lessons to allow the students to have success in the activities. For example, dribbling a basketball is challenging for a kindergarten student so I allow them to use playground balls when first learning the skill. I spend a lot of time on these complex skills so that when they return to physical education the next year they remember the things that they learn.
Throughout the year I also am sure to include other subjects in physical education. The students’ practice counting and spelling in physical education often. I collaborate with the classroom teachers and so that I can incorporate the things they are learning in the classroom into physical education.
Grades 3-5: In grades 3-5 we begin to play more competitive games and discuss in detail the importance of sportsmanship and teamwork. I teach the students about the components of fitness throughout the year and sometimes have the students identify the components that were practiced in a specific lesson. We do more sports related units in grades 3-5 including a full basketball and soccer unit. Students learn the basic skills of both sports and participate in friendly competitions against students in their class. We also play several strategic games in these grades that are competitive and fun for the students. These games require critical thinking and exercise all at the same time.