Welcome to my classroom, you’ll notice that there are no desks! As physical education teacher, I am lucky enough to call the athletic facilities at my school, Sacred Heart Schools, my classroom. All grades use these facilities, including the ones that I teach: Kindergarten, 1st grade, 3rd grade and 4th grade. Additionally, all of the teams that I coach also share these spaces: 5th grade basketball, 6th grade basketball, 6th grade soccer, middle school cross-country, high school varsity girls’ lacrosse and even sometimes my high school varsity high girls’ golf team!
What Facilities Do I Use?
As mentioned, I’m lucky to work at a school that provides endless opportunity for physical education. These facilities include:
- Palatella Field and Track
- Gavello Field
- Dollinger Field
- Spieker Pavillion
- Dunlieve Aquatics Center
- Daryabari-Malek Tennis Complex
What am I teaching?
In the lower school, the physical education (P.E.) department has a sports-based curriculum. What does that mean? Throughout the year, I introduce age and skill appropriate versions of many kinds of sports. Students will have the opportunity to try everything from soccer to basketball, from racquet sports to tag games. The aim isn’t just to get students to understand sports, but to encourage teamwork, sportsmanship, and social and problem-solving skills. Additionally, students will challenge their coordination, balance and spatial awareness.
What Does a Typical Week/Year Look Like?
A typical week consists of four, 30-minute days of P.E.: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Generally speaking, I try to keep the week consistent so that students know what to expect.
- Monday: Unit Day — Skill instruction and small groups
- Tuesday: Track Day
- Thursday: Unit Day — Skill instruction and small games
- Friday: Unit Day — Larger group/full games
The school year itself is divided several 6-week units. Below is an example of what the school year might look like:
- August to mid-September: Tag unit
- Mid-September to end of October: Basketball
- November to end of December: Soccer
- January to mid-February: Racquet Sports
- Mid-February to end of March: Hand ball
- April to mid-May: Kickball and Wiffle Ball
On track days, students will progressively work to run farther each week. For instance, the first week students will run a 50m sprint. The second week they will run a 100m sprint. Students will work all of the way up to a 15-minute fun run. Additionally, they will get to try other track day activities such as relays, long jump, softball throw and more!
How Many Students Are in Class?
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In P.E., an entire grade will attend at once (three homeroom classes). Typically, this means that there are about 45 students on average in a class at one time. Depending on the unit, students will be divided into smaller groups by homeroom teacher, gender or often times I will assign specific color groups for the unit (4-6 colors with 8-12 students in a group). This allows students to work with different peers than those in their homeroom, and helps facilitate