7 Steps to Curriculum Planning in Physical Education [Interactive]

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An effective in quality physical education program’s origin story starts in part with a well-thought-out and planned curriculum based upon student needs and desires. It is critical to provide our students with the best possible learning environment.

[0:47] Welcome back to school everyone. I’m Collin Brooks and I’m an assistant professor at the University of West Georgia. As a former physical educator and someone that mentors future physical educators, I know how challenging it can be to create effective learning experiences for our students.

[1:02] It all has to start with our curriculum. Although there is uncertainty again this year regarding the learning modalities related to our schools, it is important to do our best to meet the needs of our students. This is something I know you are all trying very hard at doing and thank you for all you do for students. Whether you are a new teacher looking for a fresh start or a veteran teacher looking to revamp your curriculum, the beginning of the year is always a good time to start thinking or reevaluating what it is that we’re doing. Often the question is where to start?

[1:37] Attempting to plan backwards is a great way to ensure student learning can occur in your class. Grant Wiggins and J. McTighe brought us Understanding by Design a number of years ago and right now I’m going to outline some of the steps that they suggest based upon backwards design to help you with your physical education classrooms as you design your curriculum or as you design your units.

Step 1: Start with Standards and Outcomes:

[2:02] The first step is always to start with our standards. The standards are essential for informing us about what it is that we should be teaching. The grade-level outcomes from SHAPE America are a great resource for us all to pull on as we develop our curriculum and as we develop our units for our school year. Also, your state standards and their grade level outcomes are an essential part of this. So step one is always starting with your standards.

Step 2: Think About What your Students Want to Learn:

[2:31] Step two is thinking about the contextual information about your students. We need to know our students, knowing who they are and where they come from is really an essential part of the planning process. Also, I suggest asking them what they want to learn at the beginning of the year. That’s a really important and crucial part to planning. Students should have a voice in what they learned.

Step 3: Develop a Big Picture Goal

[2:58] Step three would be, come up with a big picture goal. You can also think of this almost as a mission statement. You should use both standards and contextual information to come up with your big-picture goal for an overarching curriculum or an individual unit plan.

Step 4: Determine How To Measure Student Learning

[3:16] After step three we go on to step four which is really starting to think about the assessment piece, how will we measure student learning? How will we know whether students have met the standards and we align this with our big picture goal or mission statement? What kind of formative and summative assessments have we provided our students? And how are we making sure that they’re learning?

Step 5: Write Student Learning Outcomes

[3:41] After we get our assessments together for our unit or in some cases big picture, our curriculum at this point you should write some learning outcomes. Now when we think of the word learning outcomes, I want you to think big picture. Think about a whole unit, the outcomes of the whole unit. When we think about the word objective, I suggest that you think about student learning on an individual lesson planned level. So step five is coming up with some learning outcomes to inform our whole unit.

Step 6: Start Developing Individual Lesson Plans

[4:18] Step six: At this point, you can start your individual lesson plan design. I suggest that you look back at all the information that you have collected and that you have planned for and then you can use all this information to inform all of your lesson planning. Whether that be the learning objectives, whether that be the lesson content. All these different parts are informed by steps 1 through 5.

Step 7: Reflect

[4:48] After all of this is said and done then the most important piece comes in and that is the reflection. We look at student learning. What happened? What can we learn from it? And then what can we possibly do to change or impact student learning the next time around to enhance our lesson plans? All right everyone. Have an awesome school year and happy planning.

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