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Physical Education FAQs

Integration in Physical Education
Fitness Testing at Edgewood
When Do They Have P.E. ?
How Often Should My Student Exercise?
 
 

Integration in Physical Education
        Integration in Physical Education, refers to the idea of using  "academic" topics as part of games, skills and activities.  Many students learn better through movement; bodily kinesthetic learners are better at remembering things they have actually done themselves.  These students can frequently remember something they have done only once, often better than things that they may have read or listened to several times.  It is these students who benefit the most from integrated lessons in the gymnasium.  All students however; can benefit from this concept since our brain files all experiences and learning.  This approach creates new pathways for the brain to access many areas of knowledge.
        These new roads in active children CAN boost brain power.  A great way to improve this is through daily quality physical education programs!  It is important that we get the word out about the powerful link of movement to learning and the success of brain compatible Physical Education. In the gymnasium, we are potentially the MOST brain compatible discipline on our campuses and research is backing up the importance of physical education in the learning process.  It is exciting to see neuroscientists and educational experts questioning the role that activity plays in brain function and, subsequently, advocating the importance of active, healthy children and adults.  We now have research that says that lifetime physical activity grows new brain cells in the hippocampus (a portion of our brain) and now that the same brain protein that increases brain power is naturally increased with regular physical activity.
 
                "It is helpful to think of the brain as a muscle.
                One of the best ways to maximize the brain is through exercise,
                 movement. Everybody feels better after exercise. There is a
                 reason for it."
                    Dr. John J. Ratey, Harvard Medical School.
 

        Physical activity adds to the children's overall education and keeps them from becoming obese as so many children and adults are in this country.  Educating the whole body is essential to a well rounded person.  Did I mention that the only way that we grow new brain cells is through physical activity?  What better way to make use of physical activity than in learning itself.  Math, science, social studies, spelling, social skills, can all be enhanced by using activity both in the gymnasium in Physical Education and in the classroom using "energizers".  This will increase your students possibility for success in a variety of "academic" areas; by exercising the brain and the body simultaneously.  So why not build those biceps right along with increasing your brain power.

 

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Fitness Testing at Edgewood

        There is no official fitness testing at Edgewood Elementary School.  The Pennsbury School District Policy for elementary physical education believes that fitness concepts are more important at this age.  We educate your students on what it takes to live a healthy life.  Children learn the basic bones and muscles of their body.  They learn not only how to use these parts, but also where they are located and the proper names.  We do a wide variety of activities which require the students to identify which muscles are in use.  The students work, individually, in small groups and as teams to locate and explain muscle usage.  With guidance, the students often have a chance to create their own activities to focus on a muscle or muscle group.
        Students do have a chance to try out several of the fitness tests that they will be using at higher levels.  Some of these you may be familiar with yourselves; 50 yard dash, distance run for time, shuttle run, curl ups (modified sit ups), V-sit and reach, push ups, and pull ups.  Strength, flexibility, endurance, agility, and cardiovascular ability are all addressed by these "tests".  The main difference in administering these tests  is that they are done through a goal setting process.  Students are given baselines for each activity and then they are asked to predict the score they can achieve.  During class, the students are then given the opportunity to try to complete as many tests as possible.  The kids do the "tests", the kids time or measure the "tests", the kids record the scores earned and then they set new goals.  After each "test" or event is complete, the student is to record the numbers on their card.  They then decide if they have reached their goal; if so they set a new goal for the next attempt.  If they have fallen short, they evaluate whether the goal is still attainable or if they need to set a more realistic goal.  This continues for each of the class periods that we work on theses fitness "test" stations.
 

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When Do They Have P.E. ?
        In Pennsbury, elementary school students receive Physical Education once per six day cycle.  This means that the children see me every six school days (or every 8-10 calendar days).  This unfortunately does not take into account special events, assemblies, holidays, half days, conferences, parties, etc.  I see most classes an average of 25-28 times per year.  We make the best of time, working on skills, learning anatomy (bones, muscles, heart, etc.), integrating academic curriculum, practicing respect and other social behaviors, and of course... having FUN !  The students Physical Education day rotates and therefore is not on any given day of the week.  For those new to the system, you can use the lunch menu to help remember the day of the cycle.  It is far from the ideal situation, your student should be physically active as every day if possible.  Daily physical education is the best way to ensure this for you student.  In the absence of daily P.E. we attempt to provide your student with the necessary knowledge to maintain their body.
 
 
 
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How Often Should My Student Exercise?
        Every student, every person, should exercise as many days as possible.  Everyday would be the best we can do, but that is very difficult.  It is also important for your body to have time to rest after heavy activity.  What you and your student need to do is try to fit some small level of exercise into every day.   Exercise does not have to be sports related, although it can be a lot of fun in that form.  A short session of exercise is what is needed, but many everyday things will qualify.  Take a look at a few suggestions:.

Household chores/jobs:  vacuum, mop, hang up laundry, dust the house, plant or work in the garden, chop some wood and stack it too, mow the lawn, shovel the walk clear of snow (*), rake leaves (then jump in them with the kids), clean the car/truck, and lots more...

Daily activities: go up and down the stairs an extra time, do not skip any steps, walk around the house, take a walk at the mall (window shop), go for a walk with the dog or a friend, walk your student to the bus instead of driving them, park your car in the far spot don't wait for the one next to the store, GET up and change the channel instead  of the remote, dance (with or without rhythm and music) to a favorite song, take a hike (for real), fly a kite, bicycle, and lots more of course...

(*)  When shoveling snow be careful, it put a lot of stress on the heart, especially if the snow is deep or wet.  Make sure to use your legs and not your back, by bending your knees.  Also be sure to throw snow straight ahead to prevent  injury.  Be sure to pace yourself, take breaks,  breathe properly, do not over exert yourself, and check with your doctor.    If you are not in an active daily aerobic routine you WILL be under duress while shoveling.

 

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Do you have a question that you think others may also have about Physical Education?
E-mail me to let me know.        Mr Gallo at       kjatoz@juno.com