As physical educators we have been asked for many years to incorporate academics into our lessons. But, it’s important to remember a few key thoughts as we look at the best way to approach how we accomplish that.
- Remember we have National Physical Education Standards and Benchmarks that need to be the focus of our planning and teaching.
- Keep in mind the idea of “integrating” academics rather than “teaching” academics. By doing this you can continue to focus on the important skills and concepts that need to be taught in your physical education class.
- Find ways to work with classroom teachers in a cooperative way. Let them know how you are attempting to integrate curriculum concepts and at the same time suggest ways they can incorporate movement into their lessons.
- Math is fairly easy to integrate into our lessons but look for other curriculum areas to include. For example, include information in your lesson about where a sport or activity originated (for example, the inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith taught at the University of Kansas and is the only KU coach to not have a winning record and he was the first president of KAHPERD…) , put a map up and show where various teams play, let students know what you are reading, plan a nature scavenger hunt, do an activity that requires students to know directions, use spelling words rather than counting, etc.
- Take advantage of the current research showing what we have known for many years and share it with others. “Active kids do better” should be the focus for integration in physical education and movement in the classroom. The Let’s Move! Active Schools web site (letsmoveschools.org) has numerous resources that you can share on this topic!