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Phys ed fitness takes new form: Curriculum’s new goal: maintain elevated heart rate

October 7, 2011

It’s good to see that there are schools out there that take physical and health education seriously and attempt to get the students moving in the class.  It is important to take into consideration such elements MIP (Maximum Individual Participation) & ALT-PE (Academic Learning Time in Physical Education).  For these elements to be favorable, each student must maintain a high activity rate and teachers should attempt to minimize time sitting around and explaining and more time having the student engaged in the activities at hand.  Of course, a result of all this may be a higher heart rate, which is desirable to maintain in the class as it has been suggested that students should engage in 50% of moderate-vigorous physical activity.  Read more here:|head



Although it is true that there has been a shift in recent years from the sport education model of instructing through sports to a more modernized model of teaching through activity, I do believe that sports are important to teach to our students.  However, in doing so, the focus should be on teaching skills through modified forms of the sport at hand rather than focusing on repetitions and repetitions of foul shots and set passes.  Although repetitions can aid in the refinement of a skill, I believe the focus should be placed on learning these skills through games & activities first and foremost.


Nonetheless, I’m a firm believer that students should be moving more than anything in a classroom setting.  Whether it’s through the sport education model or a more games/activities approach, it is important to get everyone involved from the weakest to the strongest student in your class.  Include all.


Please read the comment posted below by @coachdeneef.  Excellent points.  Feel free to add to the discussion and hey, if you don’t agree with my comments, or if you do, explain and elaborate your sentiments towards them and why they might be arguable.


Thank you all for the feedback!


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One Comment
  1. Sports and exercise circuits are not mutually exclusive. In my lessons s’s complete a circuit during the beginning of every one of my middle school classes; then we work on skill/strategy components of sports we are learning followed by practice activities. Then the game (or a modified version). The circuit changes slightly from week to week, incorporating both sport specific movements (usually cardio based directly applicable to the unit of study) along with general fitness movements (strength/flexibility/cardio). I only change the circuit slightly over time so that I only have to ‘teach’ a little bit in regards to the circuit daily and students therefore spend more time active. S’s use pedometers to track their movement throughout the entire lesson (not just the circuit)- encouraging movement even during direct instructional time.

    We have either 70 minute or 90 minute blocks of instruction (but I have also used this strategy in 50 min classes). Students progress from 3-5,000 steps at the beginning of the semester to 6-10,000 by the end. An added bonus is that I am able to incorporate skill testing of some sport specific skills during the circuit (ie: open cone pass and move for the instep pass in soccer / sit-up and set for the volleyball set….); saving ‘play time’.

    Sure there has been a shift in focus – but I don’t think it helps to throw sport out entirely (however I must mention I am teaching in an international school setting and there are some social/transitional elements to having sport as a part of the curriculum in this environment). Seems like a baby/bathwater thing….

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