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ELEMENTARY HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The best curriculums like the best teachers are those that can match learning experiences; which are consistent with the teacher's values and beliefs (philosophy) to the needs of the students.

Let's face it, teachers' values and student needs do vary. Curricula are based on theory and not pedagogy. Curricula may vary many times over the next ten years.

The purpose of this site is to provide general information about what I feel will and should influence your Elementary Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Then, I wish to challenge you to develop a curriculum that will meet the needs of your students.


"Ten years from now, the question will not be whether physical activity and health education are important, but WHERE and HOW children should be involved."

STANDARDS AND GOALS

DEFINITIONS

STANDARDS are clear and specific statements that communicate to students, teachers, and parents exactly what is expected for students to learn.

PHILOSOPHY is a statement of beliefs. In this particular case it is a statement about what we believe is important and what we want our students to learn.

GOALS are broad statements of what the state, school district, or school wants and expects its students to know and be able to do as a consequence of their elementary schooling. (Goals do not define student learning.)

BENCHMARKS are progress indicators that represent the attainment of certain skills at a particular grade level.

OUTCOMES This is where we stop defining and get to work. Too much terminology can confuse our purpose.

CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

DEFINITIONS


Curriculum is the framework of physical activities that will provide learning experiences for your students. Most physical education curriculums are comprised of units. Health education units are usually called content areas.

Units are a group of related activities. The activities may be developed around a theme such as throwing. The activities may be developed around a basic skill such as ball handling. The duration of a unit of instruction may be one to four weeks. Once content areas for health are determined the amount of emphasis depends upon the health needs and interests of the students.

Scope is the yearly content of a curriculum. It is the horizontal articulation of the curriculum. Basically this means there should be enough units so that students will learn about most of the available types of physical activity. In health education it means the difficulty or depth of the material to be covered throughout the grade levels.

Sequence is the order in which the units are presented. It is the vertical articulation of the curriculum. This order will insure that skill development is built on previously learned skills. In health education it is the grade level it is to be covered.

Balance is ensuring that all units have the correct amount of emphasis. A balanced curriculum will address all the goals and meet the needs of all the students.

ASSESSMENT PLANS


The role of assessment in the Health and Physical Education has four purposes:

  1. The teacher focuses on each individual student who might otherwise be neglected.
  2. The teacher receives necessary data that shows how the class as a whole is progressing.
  3. Valuable feedback on how you are doing as a teacher and how your curriculum is meeting the needs of every student.
  4. When designed and conducted appropriately, the assessment is a valuable teaching tool.


The primary goal of assessment should be seen as the enhancement of learning, rather than simply the documentation of learning.

Planning for Assessment
  1. Assess all three domains-cognitive, psychomotor, and affective.
  2. Assessment and instruction are linked. This allows the student and teachers not only to see that something has been learned but also to demonstrate it.
  3. The student is the primary client. The assessment should then be designed to improve performance, and not just to monitor it. There must be feedback to the student.
  4. Assessment is an ongoing part of teaching. It is not the end and it is not the afterthought.
  5. Assessment is comprised of meaningful and worthwhile tasks. Our assessment should support students' desire to learn.
Selecting Assessment Options
Teacher Observation-Was the skill performed correctly?
Peer Observation-With a partner I can provide feedback on a selected task.
Self-Assessment-Did I achieve this task and how could I improve on my performance?

Selecting Assessment Tools

Checklists-Most commonly used to assess skills.
Rubrics-Take time but indicate the quality of the task completed.
Portfolios-Keep them simple but include a variety of work completed such as videotapes. Student Displays-posters and bulletin boards.
Students may work in groups.
Students With Special Needs-use alternative assessments. Checklists could include social behavior. Rubrics should be extended to include more levels of development.

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