The physical education curriculum throughout the district is getting a makeover of sorts, and, interestingly enough, these changes aren’t just limited to health and PE classes. Starting this year, teachers have begun to implement changes in their curriculum that not only make PE classes much more dynamic, but that also incorporate movement into more traditional, lecture-based courses.
One of the biggest changes that’s already been set into motion at the high school is to now offer a much wider variety of lifelong fitness options from which students can choose, in addition to the option of participating in a regular PE class. These currently include outdoor pursuits, aerobics, team sports, dual sports, personal fitness, and weightlifting.
“We’re also trying to incorporate parts of each of these new courses into the regular physical education classes,” says high school health teacher Heather McKallip,“ so that students get to experience a little taste of each one.”
And the fun doesn’t stop at the door, either. Students in this year’s outdoor pursuits class have already taken an off-campus kayaking trip during the school day, and the district plans on incorporating more of these off-site excursions into the curriculum in the future. Sled riding and hiking are just some of the many possibilities that could expand PE outside of the classroom…literally.
Given the importance of staying active and moving throughout the day, students will also be given the opportunity to get up out of their seats while in traditional classroom settings. Whether that means spelling out words with their arms in the elementary school or splitting into groups and moving across the room in the high school, the idea is to place a larger focus on getting up and moving throughout the school day.
At the middle school and elementary schools, some of these ideas have already been a component of course curriculum prior to the current changes at the high school. Middle school PE classes already include dance, for example, and the elementary schools utilize a classroom version of Dance Dance Revolution to help keep students active.
The next move is to explore the possibility of using geocaching as a way of engaging students more actively during school hours. This is something that the elementary school is already familiar with, thanks to the annual Science Olympiad, making it a promising possibility to be able to incorporate into the curriculum throughout the district.
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