Physical Education

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What is Physical Education?
Physical education should be regarded as a vital and dynamic aspect of every educational program. Physical education is education through human movement. It is the aspect of education that contributes to the total growth and development of the child mostly through selected movement and physical activities. It also enhances academic learning, helps meet the overall elementary school mission, employs authentic assessment strategies, treats students with dignity and respect and applies instructional and motivational techniques (Pettifor 1). Physical education prepares students to live physically active, healthy lives through learning experiences at school. These learning experiences must include appropriate motor skills, healthy-related fitness, knowledge of health-related fitness, confidence in being active, and also an appreciation of the benefits of physical activity. Physical education helps develop the whole child, including the child's cognitive development, physical development, social development and also helps develop psychomotor skills.

According to the Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum; Grades 1-8 resouce, there are three strands of physical education: Healthy Living, Fundamental Movement Skills, and Active Participation. Healthy Living includes healthy eating, growth development, personal safety and injury prevention and substance abuse. Fundamental Movement Skills includes locomotion/travelling, manipulation and stability. Active Participation includes physical activity, physical fitness, living skills and safety (OPHEA 2).

Some key points of a Quality Health and Physical Education Program: •Skills and activities relate back to Curriculum Expectations •Students have the opportunity to participate in daily vigorous physical activity. •Physical activities are planned organized

•The program includes everybody
•Activities are challenging and engage students to build a commitment to leading an active life. •Variety of assessment strategies.

Creating a Positive and Learning Environment
The positive learning atmosphere you set in the regular classroom should carry over to the physical education setting. Resist the urge to become a harsh drill sergeant because you are nervous about allowing your students to move. At times you may feel like you have lost control of the classroom because they are continuously moving around. As a teacher, try to ensure that you offer a warm but firm demeanor that creates an emotionally and safe learning environment. It is important to encourage your students to make everyone feel special, valued and needed by setting a good example.

Strategies for Being Positive:
•Catch students being good
•Expect students to follow your directions
•Keep your cool and address problems quickly
•Focus on the behaviour not on the person
•Be consistent
•Use a continuum of teaching styles
•Use positive tools
(Pettifor, 47)
All students deserve a quality Physical Education program that addresses their individual needs and strengths. In order to accommodate students with special needs, consult support staff and ensure that program accommodations and modifications are put in place so that they have to opportunity to learn and perform to their full potential. Teachers need to be familiar with students' Individual Education Plans and establish good communication skills with parents and needs to have a better understanding of how to meet students special needs.

Balanced Physical Education Program
A balanced Physical Education program has a broad selection of activities that meet a diversity of needs in order to ensure that all students are given every opportunity to learn and perform to their full potential (OPHEA 14). The three strands (Healthy Living, Fundamental Movement Skills and Active Participation) provide a framework for planning a program that provides a balanced instructional...
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