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 P.E. Curriculum

"The race is not always to the swift...but to those who keep on running"
RPES Physical Education Curriculum
Why it is NOT  "GYM CLASS"
     The phrase "GYM CLASS" originated during the first quarter of the century when physical activity classes were first introduced into school settings.  At that time, the curriculum was limited to merely Swedish and/or German style gymnastics. Since this phrase fails to accurately describe the scope and magnitude of today's curriculum, the phrase physical education (or P.E.) is used now.
     Our program utilizes appropriate physical education practices designed to facilitate the students' physical, intellectual, social, moral, and emotional growth.  It is based on the premise that all children can learn and improve.  My goal is to challenge each student, at their particular skill level, and allow them to progress at a rate they feel most successful.   Classes are carefully planned to utilize a wide range of teaching strategies to achieve specific learning objectives and offer the students a variety of fun activities.  Emphasis is placed on individual self-improvement ("personal best"), cooperative effort, encouragement of others, and facilitating the development of positive attitudes physical activity and fitness.  The content focuses on three major areas that contribute to one's physical health and well being.
1.  Movement Concepts
        Movement concepts help children understand how to move.  In the early grades, for example, the program emphasizes the variety of ways we travel (e.g. running, galloping, skipping).   Children practice skills that emphasize movement concepts such as changes of directions, pathways, levels, and speeds.
2.  Skill Themes

Basic psychomotor skills such as throwing, catching, kicking, and striking are taught in the lower grades.   In  the upper grades, the children are taught how to use these fundamental skills in games and sports, cooperative activities, and various forms of rhythmic movement.
3.  Wellness Concepts
        Wellness concepts are taught throughout the program.  They include such concepts as physical fitness, safety, bones and muscles, healthy and less healthy foods, and ways to make choices that will encourage a healthy lifestyle.  Each fall and spring 4th & 5th graders participate in the Virginia Wellness Fitness Testing Program (one mile run/walk, curl-ups, flexed-arm hang, and sit-and reach tests). Fall test scores are used to help each student develop an individualized fitness plan which can be done at home (since they only have P.E. once each week) to help them improve in any of their areas of weakness. If a student's SPRING test scores are within the "wellness zone" they will receive a "Wellness Award" at the end of the year.

Health-related fitness education is an important component of a physical education program. A well designed fitness assessment process provides students, teachers, and parents with the necessary information to design an individualized program of fitness for each student. The Virginia Standards of Learning personal fitness goal for elementary students is to become aware of health-related fitness components (cardio respiratory endurance muscular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility) while engaging in a variety of physical activities. . The Virginia Wellness fitness testing program provides basic health-related fitness assessments to help students identify areas of fitness that are directly linked to overall quality of life. Health-related fitness includes the components of fitness directly related to improvement of health:

 1. Cardio respiratory Endurance --- the ability of the blood vessels, heart and lungs to take in, transport, and utilize oxygen. This is a critically important component of fitness because it impacts other components of fitness and decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

 2. Muscular Strength --- the maximum amount of force a muscle or muscle groups can exert.

 3. Muscular Endurance --- the length of time a muscle or muscle group can exert force prior to fatigue.

4.  Flexibility --- the range of motion in the joints.

*The PACER “Beep” Test - a 20 meter progressive, multi-stage shuttle run set to music assesses Aerobic Capacity

 *The Curl-up Test – done to a set recorded cadence measures strength and endurance of abdominal muscles

*Trunk Lift - measures trunk extensor strength and flexibility Upper Body Strength

*90 degree Push-up Test or Flexed-Arm Hang Test – measures muscular strength of the upper body

* Back-saver Sit-and-reach Test –measures lower body (hamstring muscles) flexibility)

FITNESSGRAM uses criterion-referenced standards to evaluate fitness performance. These standards represent a level of fitness that offers some degree of protection against sedentary lifestyle diseases. Performance is classified in two general areas: “Healthy Fitness Zone” and “Needs Improvement”. The healthy fitness zone indicates the child has a sufficient level of functional fitness. The needs improvement zone indicates that the child may be at risk if that level of fitness stays the same over time. The healthy fitness zone represents a range of scores (by sex and age) that would provide health benefits if the same level of fitness is maintained into adulthood.  Click here to access the standards.

Ideally each child would be able to participate daily in physical education, but since my time with the students is unfortunately limited, it is imperative that we maximize learning in each class session.  To ensure safety, every child MUST WEAR TENNIS SHOES.  Backless or platform tennis shoes, sandals, boots, hiking boots, clogs and dress shoes are NOT acceptable.  Any student who reports to physical education class with unsafe shoes will not be allowed to participate.  If for some reason a female students must wear a dress or skirt to school on a physical education class day, please also have them bring a pair of shorts to wear under their clothes for class.  If your child is injured, please provide me with a note, or where applicable, a note from their doctor, telling me what limitations your child may have and also what they may safely do.  Attempts will be made to modify their activities to meet their specific limitations so that they will still be able to participate.
     Besides always trying to do their best, students' goals for each class should be to:
Listen to the Teacher
Follow Directions
Keep Your Own Space
Cooperate with Others

Be Safe, Be Smart, & Be Fair!



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