In an attempt to keep students physically active during the pandemic, schools are replacing traditional physical education contact exercises with programming that emphasizes individual skill and strength progress rather than team achievements.
State guidance and national association recommendations say the modifications are necessary to fit with social distancing practices or for virtual learning formats, even as physical exercise for students is as important or even more so during the pandemic.
Keeping kids moving can help prevent sedentary lifestyles, reduce stress and contribute to readiness to learn, say health experts. Although the pandemic is making it challenging for schools to figure out the best instructional approaches that reach all students, some say this is the opportune time to reinvent the standard gym class.
Modifications to in-person P.E. classes may include limiting the use of ball sharing, avoiding the combination of classes, and using activities that require no physical contact or students being in close proximity to each other, according to guidance from the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America.
That means some group exercises and sports — such as soccer, tag and four square — are being replaced with yoga, dance, and kicking and target games.
In addition to the SHAPE guidance, several states have also provided districts with guidance for P.E. curriculum that offers ideas for the three types of learning formats: in-person, hybrid and remote.
Excerpted from “PE Adapts for Social Distancing and Virtual Learning” in Education DIVE. Read the full article.
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