PE in The Early Years

I’ve been teaching Kindergarten for 8 years and by no means have I come close to mastering the art of teaching young children, but there are definitely some subject areas that I prefer teaching (or am better at teaching) than others. I love teaching anything to do with literacy, music and art but I cringe at the thought of teaching PE to K’s. And of course, it’s their favourite subject- they get to run, scream and throw their bodies/objects around in a virtually limitless amount of space (so, yes, it does resemble a bunch of cages zoo animals who have just been released into the wild).

But it’s a (sort of) organized chaos. And it’s amazing how these little knee-knockers progress in their gross-motor skills in the span of 10 months. It’s what I love most about K: there’s so much growth and the credit mostly goes to them and their fearlessness and inhibitions.

With that in mind, I am still responsible for providing a framework for them to work in, a guide to help them build on their kinesthetic knowledge and skills. Simply providing a bunch of tag games and bouncy balls is not enough. And as I took on the role as a Sponsor Teacher for a couple of university teacher candidates, I needed a resource that was comprehensive enough to provide content that is relevant to the K  curriculum as well as activities that are engaging to my busy students.

That’s when I found this amazing resource published by Manitoba Education. The province groups PE and Health together and breaks down the subject into five key elements: Movement, Fitness Management, Safety, Personal/Social Management and Healthy Lifestyle Practices. 

What I really like about this resource is that many of their learning outcomes are integrated into other subject areas which is ideal for younger children. For example, the students are expected to identify practices for living a healthy and active life. They suggest creating a poster of healthy habits by cutting out magazine pictures and gluing them into their appropriate heading (dental health, exercise, etc.,). They also suggest playing charades using healthy habits. Teachers are also given assessment tools, such as a self-assessment checklist to evaluate their daily hygiene habits.

It’s a wonderful, well-laid out resource that will complement any Kindergarten PE or Health Education program. I highly recommend taking a look at it! Click on the link below if you’d like to check it out.

http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/physhlth/foundation/index.html

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