What is a Curriculum?
Your curriculum is a roadmap to success. There are some factors that make a difference in how you organize that and let me just take one of those factors today. Your curriculum should offer something for every student somewhere along the way they should find something they really enjoy and really look forward to. Let’s talk about that.
Three Physical Education Curriculum Activities
Curriculum is a compilation of activities organized in terms of progression from easy to more difficult and then you take these units of instruction and you put them together in a year long plan. I mean that’s a simple way of looking at it. The way you put them together in a year long plan will make a difference to your students. Just think about it. There are basically three different types of activities:
- The first is group activities, team activities, whatever you want to call them, but where skill and quickness and sports skill is rewarded.
- The second group of activities are dual-activities. They lean towards lifetime sports such as the racket sports and other sports that can be played with one other person.
- In the third or individual sports – kids who don’t particularly like being on a team or playing with a partner or even competing all the time against someone else. They like to compete against themselves and we might put activities such as rhythms, such as gymnastics, such as beanbags where you’re tossing and catching and challenging yourself. They would enjoy individual equipment and individual activities much more.
So you’ve got all these different kinds of activities, but kids can put up with some activities they don’t like if they know there’s something that they really like coming up. So one of the things I would remind you as you organize your curriculum is to alternate between team activities follow it by a dual sport activity, maybe followed by an individual activity and then revolve right around that same rotation. That beats eight weeks of basketball and eight weeks of football and eight weeks of track and field. Man, if you don’t like team sports, why would you like PE at all?
You’re willing to put up with a couple of weeks of basketball if you know there’s going to be some rhythms or some gymnastics or some bean bag activities or some individual skills that they can challenge themselves on and that’s what I mean by offering something for everybody. So when you think about your curriculum, try to have, particularly with elementary kids and middle school kids, fairly short units because you’re trying to develop positive entry behaviors to these activities and if they go for a long time and some kids aren’t doing well at them, first thing that’s going to happen is they’re going to turn off to them and we never have a chance of getting them turned back on.
So good luck as you put together your curriculum, think about how you offer it. Offer lots of variety and focus on success and let me finish by saying thank you for being teachers. It’s a hard job, and I appreciate everything you do for youngsters.