3 Physical Education Strategies for Success
Physical education is a necessary part of our children’s healthy growth and development. However, if the physical education program isn’t well-rounded and thought-out, it won’t do nearly as much good as it could. If students aren’t receiving a balanced and engaging physical education curriculum, they’re more likely to treat PE as they do spelling–learn it for the test and then promptly move on to something more interesting. Here are the three strategies of good PE programs that ensure successful and happy PE participants.
- Sports – Sadly, this is where many PE programs begin and end–with sports skills. While sports skill development is a good thing, unless every student is either engaged in after school sports or is a member of the school team, those skills aren’t going to be used much. And a program that focuses too heavily on skill mastery can discourage those students who simply aren’t adept in athletics. Sports DO have their place–teaching teamwork, introducing students to fun, fitness building activities, offering opportunities for those with talent to excel. But sports can’t be the be-all-end-all of any successful PE program. Too many students will be the losers in that particular game.
- Games – PE games are a great way for students to have fun, compete as a group or individually, and become physically active at the same time. Programs should include games, but should also remember the other elements for success, as well. A program too heavily game-oriented will find that few students can take what they are learning out of the class. Games typically require a crowd, and in today’s world of heavy homework loads, after-school activities, and smaller families, opportunities to engage with a large group of children outside of school for a game of Red Rover or Freeze Tag are few and far between.
- Solitary Activities – Teaching solitary activities rounds out a successful PE program. Why? Well, let’s look at it: Not all kids will have desire or talent for sports. Not all kids will have access to large groups of other kids for games. Nor will kids have access to physical education equipment like balls, cones, hoops, etc. So it just makes sense to teach kids solitary activities that they can engage in anywhere, anytime. Activities like yoga, jump rope, tumbling, and tai chi are all great for everyone. You need nothing except a jump rope (or a substitute) and a little free space.
Combining all three strategies will produce an interesting PE program that the students will look forward to each and every class period. And the benefits of what you’ll teach them will last a lot longer than Friday’s spelling test.