The National Association for Sports & Physical Education (NASPE) recommends 60 minutes of light to vigorous physical activity school children. But it is not possible in most schools to provide the daily physical activity for every student through the physical education program alone. Thus, this has led to the development of the idea of having comprehensive school physical activity programs.
Here are some of the best ways to inculcate an age-appropriate physical education program in schools:
Provide Maximum Activity Time Within the Class Period
During the allotted class time, it is recommended that children be moderately or vigorously active for at least half of the class period. Several factors can contribute to making this happen:
1. Effectively organize space, equipment, and students.
2. Provide adequate equipment that allows each and every child to be active at the same time (e.g., one ball per child).
3. Limit teacher talk or instruction time and focus more on the activity.
4. Have a well-planned lesson framework
5. Indulge in practices that are structured for maximum participation (e.g., individual, partner, and small-group activities; non-elimination activities; activities that require no wait time).
6. Structure the class as such learning occurs while students are being physically active.
Teach Skills that Transfer into Physical Activity Outside of PE Class
Skills learned in physical education class should get transferred to skills used in a child’s play. Be it the second-grade kid jumping a skipping rope or an older child playing a game of kickball, a ‘skilled’ kid is more likely to participate in his/her physical activity.
If a child is confident in his or her skills, there is typically no hesitation to play. However, the low-skilled child, especially in the upper grades, is less inclined to take part in group activities for fear of failure and peer ridicule. Students need skills to be active participants in physical activity.
Motivate Children to be Active
Another role of the physical educator is to encourage and motivate children to be active. There are many ways to do this, including promoting community activities, assigning physical activity homework, out-of-class physical activity in which children participate, and giving them challenges during the physical education class.
Promote Community Activities
There are typically numerous activities that can promote physical activity, such as organized recreational sports, dance classes, gymnastics programs, and martial arts. A bulletin board in the gym, the School Website, and regular announcements are simple ways to promote these opportunities for students.
A structured Physical Education program ensures sports learning of every child, along with an increase in physical fitness and sports knowledge. This also helps in talent identification at the grassroot level, which can then be nurtured further.
Feedback During Sessions
A word of encouragement is a simple way to promote physical activity. Praising young students to play may sound somewhat strange to most of us; but for a generation that experiences limited physical activity, it is necessary. Simply inquiring about student involvement in physical activity and praising students for that involvement, carries a lot of weight. To take this a step further, if a teacher shows up at a youth league sporting event or a dance recital, the child will be elated.
Play a Leadership Role
- Being an active member of the school wellness committee
- Helping in the evaluation and planning process for the school
- Aiding teachers in understanding and implementing appropriate practices for physical activity
- Organizing schoolwide physical activity experiences
- Encouraging fundraisers that promote physical activity.
- Planning before- and after-school clubs for activities such as jump rope, walking, dance, gymnastics, and intramural sports.
Ensuring a Safe Physical Education Program for Children
KinderSports fosters a lively sports culture in schools which not only produces champions but also instils a sense of discipline and awareness for fitness and good health.
How? Let’s see!
- Active Start – Fitness and movement skills development as a fun part of daily life.
- Fundamentals – Play many sports with a focus on ability, balance, coordination, and speed.
- Train to compete – Play a variety of sports focusing on developing skills in these sports.
- Train to win – Optimize fitness preparation and sports, individual and position specific skills and learn to compete nationally and internationally.
- Active for Life – A smooth transition from a competitive career to lifelong physical activity and participation in sport.
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