Here’s more about this week’s featured classroom:
Teacher: Laura Thompson
Class: Physical education
Schools: Robinson and Peach Plains
What makes your classroom special? My classroom is special as it allows the students to grow in academic and movement abilities. On the first day of physical education class, Young Fives students walk into the gym and ask where their chair or table is. This is the only room in the school where students don’t have to spend a lot of time sitting. Students still follow curriculum standards in my class, but they participate in drills, stations, and games that incorporate movement each class period. I incorporate different themes to my lessons throughout the year to increase enthusiasm and participation.
In addition to the curriculum, what are some things you teach your students? Every year I strive to teach students how to be positive leaders. There are many ways a student can lead. It is my hope all students will find a way they are comfortable to demonstrate leadership skills. A leader can be the quiet student that helps keep the gym safe by wiping up the spot of water left behind from a water bottle spill. Other leaders step up by assisting others will tasks such as correctly putting on a heart rate monitor.
Life long skills related to teamwork and sportsmanship are taught at all grade levels. Physical education class is an opportunity to teach students how to successfully work with all members of a group. The focus is on the inclusion of all group members, listening to each others ideas, and being open to the challenge of trying each others ideas. For example, at the beginning of the year, students were given the challenge of using rocks to build a tower. The purpose was to stack as many rocks on top of each other as possible. Students had to experiment with different sized rocks, different weights of rocks, and types of rocks (flat, round etc.). This was an opportunity to work together and support each other.
What special project is your classroom working on now? This week, students are learning how to use heart rate monitors in physical education class. Each student wears a heart rate monitor on their arm. This allows students to monitor their own heart rate throughout a class period of movement. A student can be seen running in place while waiting in line in order to keep the heart rate in the expected goal zone. I am so excited to see how heart rate monitors positively impact students in physical education class! This is a great opportunity for the Physical Education department to have the ability and track the heart rate information during the class period of the student.
How is your classroom involved with the community? Jaime Dibling, a fourth-grade teacher at Robinson, and I lead the Fuel Up to Play 60 Team. Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today's youth to lead healthier lives. This team meets several times a month to plan school-wide healthy events.
On Friday, Oct. 19, several local service men and women will be visiting Robinson Elementary students during afternoon recess. The students will be participating in a variety of boot camp related fitness activities. Our Fuel Up to Play 60 team has already begun collecting donations such as books, food, shampoo, and toothpaste. These items will be sent to the men and women serving our country. This is a great opportunity from the Fuel Up team.
How do you hope what your students are learning now will affect their future? In 2014, SHAPE Amerjca updated the Physical Education National Standards. This included the following definition, “Physical literacy is the ability to move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person.”
My hope is for all students to incorporate regular exercise into their daily lives. Physical education is a class that teaches students a variety of lifelong fitness and movement skills that can positively impact their lives. Also, I hope students are more prepared to work positively in group settings in order to prepare them for future cooperation in the work place.