Research proves that consistent physical activity increases learning, enhances self esteem, and improves health in children. Physical education is necessary in order to achieve these outcomes. Research also indicates that students need to participate in a physical education class daily. These benefits are too important to neglect by minimizing the value of physical education as part of the total curriculum package.
Physical activity is imperative to our children. It is necessary to offer a comprehensive program guided by the Washington statewide academic standards Essential Academic Learning Requirements (or EALR's) for Health and Fitness and national guidelines established by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) for teaching students to apply physical and social skills, and health and fitness concepts (through seven distinct standards). As a result, physical education provides the opportunity to learn positive behaviors, values, and attitudes, along with sportsmanship, teamwork, self-discipline, rules and work ethic in a safe, meaningful, and enjoyable way.
Understanding occurs as students are challenged to apply concepts and skills in class through a variety of activities, games, and other teaching strategies that incorporate fitness goals and safety skills. The outcome of this program is a student who chooses to lead an active lifestyle and has the skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong participation.
The elementary years incorporates the basic learned acquisition of multiple skills from the primary years into a balanced curriculum that covers fundamental skills, sport skills, games, rhythms and dance, stunts and tumbling (gymnastics), and individual and duel indoor/outdoor adventure activities (traverse climbing wall). Emphasis is placed on developing a broad foundation of motor skills for all students through curriculum while fostering respect and responsibility for others and self through instruction. Students at this level find time for experimentation, practice, and decision making about all movement possibilities. The development of personal health and fitness habits also begin during the elementary years focusing on concepts of human wellness, lifetime activity and personal habits as highligthed in the EALR's Grade Level Expectations, or GLEs.
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