Rhythmical activities, games, relays, stunts and tumbling, skill development, and athletic games are part of the physical education curriculum for all students in levels K through 4. Kindergarten classes, which have always included rhythm and movement activities as an important part of the core curriculum, have 30 minutes per week during which the kindergarten teacher and the physical education teacher team together to involve the children in gross motor activities beyond those which are practiced in the kindergarten classroom.
Students in levels 1-3 have two 30-minute periods of physical education each week.
A variety of adaptive activities, as well as modifications of regular class activities, are provided on an individual basis for students who need such accommodations.
The primary program uses six units to develop skills as students progress through levels 1-3. They are:
- Rhythmical activities
- Primary developmental games
- Stunts and tumbling
- Primary sports
- Recreational activities and athletic games
Rhythmical activities include various story and singing games, as well as folk and square dances, to help build rhythm and coordination. Learning to move and play safely, to work with team members in a sportsmanlike way, and to participate in sustained physical activity to build endurance are the objects of the primary developmental games unit. Using beanbags, playground balls, the parachute and other equipment, the children love the wide variety of running and tag games which are part of their semi-weekly physical education classes.
The building of team skills continues in the relays unit. Students demonstrate locomotive skills such as the proper technique for handing off a ball or baton to a teammate and maneuvering around and over various obstacles.
In the unit on stunts and tumbling, students learn techniques for performing basic skills such as forward and backward roll, frog stand, headstand and cartwheel. The proper progression of stunts and tumbling is emphasized, as is the need to apply principles of safety.
Throwing and catching skills, ball kicking and striking, and various locomotor skills such as jumping, hopping, skipping and galloping are enhanced during the unit devoted to primary sports and recreational activities. Catching, striking, kicking, dribbling with hands or feet, and skipping rope are further developed as the goals of the athletic games unit. In addition, children learn and apply game rules, demonstrate teamwork and sportsmanship and use proper terminology as they apply their new skills and knowledge.
The intermediate program, which begins at fourth level, focuses heavily on team sports and physical fitness. Students at fourth level participate three rather than two times per week in physical education classes, an increase of forty minutes per week.
Units on stunts and tumbling, recreational activities and games, and rhythmical activities, begun in levels 1-3, are continued at fourth level. A unit on fundamental body conditioning and physical fitness is added to improve flexibility, balance, strength and coordination.
Fourth level students who demonstrate above average levels of fitness are eligible for the district’s physical fitness awards. These are given in the spring of the year. Units on the following team sports round out the fourth level physical education curriculum: touch football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, track and field, softball, and floor hockey.
In each unit, the emphasis is on basic techniques, offensive and defensive play, teamwork and good sportsmanship behavior.