Thursday, February 25, 2010

Physical Education, not just a class for students to "play"

Three critical issues facing children in the United States today are childhood obesity increasing, the increase among youth in-school & community violence, and some students reaching puberty as early as third grade. Childhood obesity has risen partially due to the rise in technologies keeping children occupied. These include video games, the internet, television, i-pod's, etc. There are ways that children can do both, as shown in one of our classes earlier this year. The increase in youth violence could be due to budget cuts, which end up cutting after school programs, and other activities that keep children out of trouble. It's important that schools setup a program, using either a gymnasium, or cafeteria to use after school. You can engage students from the local high school to volunteer to help out if it's an elementary setting.

One goal of "Development Physical Education" is the acquisition of movement skills for elementary students. It's important that at a young age children develop skills, and it's important as teachers to incoporate these skills in fun activities. You have to make it seem that the children don't think they're learning, but playing a game instead, while they're learning. Another goal is for students to be physically fit, and be enhanced in physical activity. It's important that we engage students in physical activity in our classes, and that they enjoy it, so they will be physically active when they're on their own time.

The three factors that lead to the development of the whole child include the biology of the individual, the conditions of the learning environment, and the requirements of the task. This is to make sure the child is developed enough to participate in the task, the task is age appropriate, and the environment is safe for the child to participate in the activity. Individual appropriateness is when the learning experiences in the PE program are appropriate to the individual's motor skills and development. Age-group appropriateness is when the learning experiences are incoporated into the program based on a student's age or grade level. These are both important, and relate to the three factors in the development. They have to do with their age, and their skill level, making sure the student's will be able to participate in the activities. This is so the game isn't too simple or complicated for the students.

Three examples of locomotion are running, leaping, and hopping. Three examples of manipulation throwing, kicking, and striking. Advanced movement skills include stability movements which are axial and static/dynamic movements. Two examples of axial movements are twisting and turning. Rolling and dodging are examples of static/dynamic movements. Physical Fitness is a combination of health-related and performance-based concepts. The health-related concept has to do mainly with how strong they are, and how far along a student is physically developed. The performance-related concept has to do with how a student can show what they learned, such as balance, coordination, and speed.

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