Where can you kayak, learn to fly fish, test your physical fitness and have fun all at the same time? Episcopal physical education classes offer all of this and so much more.
At Episcopal, our physical education teachers work hand-in-hand with classroom teachers to extend project based learning onto the court, the track or trail and even into the pool. Our goal is to get kids moving, expose them to new activities, and encourage them to do their best while having a great time.
We achieve this by finding creative ways to infuse what many think of as PE with classroom learning. For example, we play Spell Checker Tag using the students’ spelling words of the week. Students must correctly spell a word to be unfrozen once tagged. We also play math games that students solve to determine which activity they’ll do on our exercise wall.
We’ve tagged the middle of the week as Wellness Wednesday. On these days we focus on our fitness goals and work throughout the year to achieve them. Over the course of the year we track students’ progress and celebrate with them as they build stamina and endurance. Since the implementation of Wellness Wednesday five years ago, we have seen an overall increase in the students’ fitness levels and an “I can do it” attitude among those who have worked hard to reach their goal.
Physical education is not limited to the playing field. Our instructors play a vital role in the project based learning activities for each Lower School grade level. The Healthy Selves project introduces first graders to everything from first aid tips to the annual mini-triathlon which has them biking, running and swimming. We help the second graders bring Charlotte’s Web to life each fall with a country fair, complete with horse lassoing, sack and wheelbarrow racing and a friendly game of horse shoes. Each spring our students become NASA astronauts for the day, donning “spacesuits” and participating in agility, balance, endurance, strength and flexibility stations. In third grade we teach students the fun of Cajun dancing during their Louisiana studies and in the fourth grade we promote outdoor adventure during the National Parks study unit.