Physical Education

Vision

FSM believes that everyone benefits from regular physical activity. A continuing goal of our physical education program is to help children see how an active lifestyle enhances overall health, creates opportunities for social connections, and positively impacts one’s general outlook on life. We help students develop a physically active lifestyle by teaching fitness and health concepts, and providing opportunities individual skill practice, team and individual sports, tag and movement games, and other group activities.

Concepts are taught in ways that reinforce our progressive education model and our Quaker philosophy. Students play an active role in helping to choose units they will study in class. Students learn about their physical health and bodies through movement exploration and play; students share compliments with each other during activities. Class discussions reinforce learning, and closing circles are used to reflect on practices in group play. The Quaker commitment to social justice, peace, simplicity, and equality also influences the curriculum through a deep focus on sportsmanship and love of the process—simply put, play. We believe that becoming confident in one's body and finding one's place in the physical world is defined differently for all individuals. Everyone is honored.

We share the standards of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, which defines a physically educated person as one who  

  • has learned skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities,
  • participates regularly in physical activity and is physically fit,
  • knows the implications of and the benefits from involvement in physical activities, and
  • values physical activity and its contribution, including social and emotional aspects, to a healthful lifestyle.

 

Linkages

The FSM physical education program selects a wide range of activities and skills which our students may choose to pursue for the rest of their lives. Creating a foundation that encourages students to seek out a healthy lifestyle is important to the development of the whole child, and helps foster students’ confidence and self-expression. To this end, Friends School strives to make physical education an important part of students’ daily lives by making movement activities available throughout the curriculum. We provide students with a wealth of opportunities to seek out play beyond the physical education classroom.

Classroom teachers allow time in the day for students to use outdoor spaces including our new gardens in the west yard, the school playground, Horton Park, and community resources in walking distance. These activities allowing for free play during which students can move in their own unique ways, create play structures in the natural environment, be active in a group, and express their joy in movement. 

Our extended day program, middle school sports program, and recreational clubs also support physical activity. Throughout the year teachers provide special offerings to lower school through open lab once a week, and offer middle school students advisory mini-units in dance, outdoor games, and free play.

FSM encourages participation in organized community runs as well, and many of our families support this practice by participating independently in offsite fun runs As a school, we have participated in the Melpomene Run and the Medtronics Run.


 

Strategies

Curriculum choices in physical education are influenced by The National Association for Sport and Physical Education’s (NASPE) Seven Content Standards in Physical Education, which identifies a physically educated person as one who

  1. demonstrates competency in many movement forms and proficiency in a few movement forms,
  2. applies movement concepts and principles to the learning and development of motor skills,
  3. exhibits a physically active lifestyle,
  4. achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness,
  5. demonstrates responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings,
  6. demonstrates understanding and respect for differences among people in physical activity settings, and
  7. understands that physical activity provides opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and social interaction.  

Instruction in physical education develops age-appropriate skills with a focus on coordination, strength, flexibility, speed, balance, and endurance. Students reach for a variety of achievements, such as hand/eye-hand/foot coordination, through the use of manipulatives, tag and group games, jump roping, balance work, challenge initiatives, fitness activities, free choice options, and discussions about health and nutrition.

In addition to learning about their active bodies, students learn about sportsmanship, fair play, and the joy of sharing physical experiences with others.

During closing circle, students frequently have opportunities to share compliments with their peers. This may include mentioning specific contributions that an individual made to the game, how a person appropriately challenged an opponent,  or how someone made personal improvement in a skill set. 

Students also gain an understanding that personal health is rooted not only in the love of movement, but also in developing lifestyle patterns that promote well being. Topics discussed cover the importance of nutrition, hydration, rest and sleep, stress management, social interaction, injury care and prevention, and honoring one’s body type.


 

Scope and Sequence

The study of physical education is accomplished through developmentally appropriate building of both fundamental and specialized kinesthetic skills. Children learn what their bodies can do and how to manage their bodies effectively through a variety of movement experiences and challenges which  incorporate the concepts of space, time, force, and flow. 

Kindergarten

  • demonstrate natural form in walking and running (bilateral movement, heel-toe verses mid-foot contact)
  • make progress towards mature forms of locomotor skills: skipping, galloping, side shuffling, and jumping
  • make progress towards mature forms of non-locomotor skills: catching, throwing, kicking, striking, and balance
  • establish movement vocabulary (fast/slow, light/heavy, high/low, personal space)
  • engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity and identify effects of exercise (increased heart rate/breathing)
  • learn about fair and cooperative play and safe practices of equipment and space usage
  • interact positively with others in class regardless of personal differences and recognize the joy of shared play
  • try new activities and skills, and associate positive feelings with physical activity (doing one’s best does not mean needing to be the best)
  • learn about bones, muscles, basic health concepts (nutrition, rest, stress management/progressive relaxation and yoga) 

Units include:

  • Locomotive skills:  walk, speed walk, skip, gallop, run, side shuffle, hop, bear crawl, rolling, the importance of landing properly and using shock absorbers (allowing joints to bend and cushion body from stress)
  • Tag games: chasing/fleeing, basic strategies, spatial awareness, rescuing and helping fellow classmate to return to game, knowing when to run and when to rest, challenging self when tagging others
  • Throwing/catching: tracking ball with eyes, fingers wide and relaxed, exploring how to get more power when throwing to a target farther away
  • Use of: Frisbees, foam footballs, different-sized balls and textures, individual popper toys, etc.
  • Kicking: stationary object, running up to ball, dropping ball and kicking off bounce, drop kick, places to kick ball, where on foot to kick ball and what result that produces
  • Jumping rope: individual jump rope, twirl and jump wands, long rope
  • Hula hoop challenges
  • Balance: stilts, walking domes, pedal and go, wobble boards.
  • Free choice days: students explore activities of personal interest, which could include sport skills, scooter play, climbing wall, jumping rope, etc.
  • Obstacle courses: the three big storage boxes and mats provide additional climbing options throughout course, tunnels, over-under and weaving props, balance, agility, etc.
  • Fitness: rock paper scissors 4-Corner rock; figure-8 run/walk; pedometer tracking; exercises such as jumping jacks, plank, ABC shoulder touches, bear crawl, mountain climbers, Frankenstein’s, inch worm, line jumps, burpees and star jumps, etc.
  • Nutrition and health: discussions about sometimes food and always foods (instead of bad food and good food), food is fuel, water is fuel, water needs and why, yoga and progressive relaxation, making smoothies with classroom teacher, the importance of rest, and listening to one’s body—what does your body tell you?
  • Sportsmanship: playing fair during games, using rock-paper-scissors to resolve minor conflicts, compliments to peers, helping rescue someone during game, doing your best and challenging yourself, no show-boating, how do you show you are proud of your work or proud of someone else’s work? 

First and Second Grade

  •  demonstrate mature form of running, skipping, hopping, galloping, side shuffle and grapevine step (practice the breakdown of the skill and gain fluid movement)
  • demonstrate control over weight-bearing and balance activities (start and stop activities, dance, kicking a ball, stilts)
  • use teacher and/or student feedback to improve performance
  • identify the components of health and physical activity (endurance, strength, flexibility, nutrition, rest)
  • seek and explore participation in physical activities outside of physical education class
  • work cooperatively with another to complete an assigned task (partner drills and other group activities)
  • treat others with respect during play (fair play, body control and spatial awareness, use of equipment)
  • try new activities and gain competence through practice to provide increased enjoyment in movement
  • learn about bones, muscles, basic health concepts (nutrition, rest, stress management, progressive relaxation and yoga)

Units include:

  • Locomotive skills: walk, speed walk, skip, gallop, run, side shuffle, hop, bear crawl, rolling, grapevine
  • Learning new skills and how to practice: be open to trying new things, try different things when learning a skill and notice the results, know when to ask for help, the difference between taking a break and quitting, how do you know you are getting better at a skill?
  • Tag games: chasing/fleeing, basic strategies, spatial awareness, rescuing and helping fellow classmate to return to game, knowing when to run and when to rest, challenging self when tagging others, having empathy and not just going for the easy tag, use of decoys to distract a tagger to make greater use of strategies
  • Throwing/catching: tracking ball/object with eyes, fingers wide and relaxed, further explore how to get more power when throwing to a target farther away, working with and without a partner and using peer feedback and compliments, moving to receive a ball/object (when to move your feet); use of Frisbees, foam footballs, different-sized balls and textures, individual popper and helicopter toys, etc.
  • Kicking and dribbling a ball:  stationary object, running up to ball, dropping ball and kicking off bounce, drop kick, places on foot to contact the ball and what results that produces
  • Striking: batting practice using a T-stand, learn basic stance and grip
  • Jumping rope: individual jump rope, twirl and jump wands, long rope, timing of jump and twirling by self and with a partner, start with basic jump and provide challenges as skills progress.
  • Hula hoop challenges: basic hula on waist, jump rope with hula, roll and jump through hula, twirl hula and jump in and out of it before it stops, etc.
  • Balance: stilts, pogo stick, walking domes, pedal and go, wobble boards, slack line, walk on thick battle ropes, introduction to biking
  • Introduction to sports: 4-square, soccer, football, kickball, baseball, volleyball, badminton; lawn games including bocce ball, bean bag toss, Koob, ladder golf; more skill-based team sports and modified lead-up games
  • Free choice days: students explore activities of personal interest, which could include sport skills, scooter play, climbing wall, jumping rope, badminton, catch-a-cup, etc.
  • Obstacle courses: the three big storage boxes and mats provide additional climbing options throughout course, tunnels, over-under and weaving props, balance, agility, etc.
  • Fitness: rock paper scissors 4-Corner rock, figure-8 run/walk, pedometer tracking; exercises such as jumping jacks, plank, ABC shoulder touches, bear crawl, mountain climbers, Frankenstein’s, inch worm, line jumps, burpees and star jumps, etc.
  • Nutrition and health:  discussions about sometimes food and always food (rather than bad food and good food), food is fuel, water is fuel, water needs and why, yoga and progressive relaxation, R.I.C.E. principle, why do we stretch?, discussions about activities students do outside of school—what do you enjoy doing in your spare time that helps your body be healthy?, the importance of rest and listening to one’s body—your body talks to you, what does it tell you?
  • Sportsmanship: playing fair during games, using rock-paper-scissors to resolve minor conflicts, telling someone nice job/compliments, helping rescue someone during game, doing your best and challenging yourself, no show-boating, how do you show you are proud of your work or proud of someone else’s work?

Third and Fourth Grade

  • adapt a skill to the demands of a dynamic, unpredictable environment (introduction to team and individual sports), transfer of learning
  • develop peer coaching skills  (give feedback to partner about key concepts of specific skills)
  • select and independently seek out regular physical activities for positive social interactions, improving skills, and health
  • identify several activities related to each component of physical fitness (endurance, strength, flexibility, nutrition, sleep/rest)
  • work independently as well as cooperatively with a partner or in small groups to practice skills
  • recognize the value that individuals with differences can bring to group activities (empathy and opportunities to draw out skills in both individuals)
  • realize that guided and independent practice of individual skills can lead to heightened enjoyment in activities as a result of increased skill competence
  • learn about bones, muscles, basic health concepts (nutrition, rest, stress management, progressive relaxation and yoga)
  • are encouraged to participate in community fun runs

Units include:

  • Locomotive skills: increased focus on running form, arms and stride, grapevine, agility runs, and technique
  • Learning new skills and how to practice: be open to trying new things, try different things when learning a skill and notice the results, know when to ask for help, the difference between taking a break and quitting, how do you know you are getting better at a skill?
  • Tag games: chasing/fleeing, advanced game strategies, challenging self when tagging others, having empathy and not just going for the easy tag
  • Throwing/catching: working with and without a partner and using peer feedback and compliments, moving to receive a ball/object, when to move your feet, throwing ahead of receiver, timing when and where to throw to object; use of Frisbees, footballs, basketball, baseballs, etc.
  • Kicking and dribbling a ball: stationary object, running up to ball, dropping ball and kicking off bounce, drop kick, places on foot to contact the ball and results that produces 
  • Striking: batting practice using hit zone, basic stance and grip, hitting ball off a pitch
  • Jumping rope: individual jump rope and long rope challenges, adding more difficult turns as skills progress
  • Balance: stilts, pogo stick, pedal and go, wobble boards, slack line, unicycling, balance stilts, etc.
  • Team and individual sports: 4-square, soccer, football, kickball, baseball, volleyball, badminton, cricket, basketball; lawn games such as bocce ball, bean bag toss, Koob, ladder golf; skill-based sport activities which include drills and lead-up games
  • Free choice days: students explore activities of personal interest, which could include sport skills, scooter play, climbing wall, jumping rope, badminton, balance activities, etc.
  • Obstacle courses: the three big storage boxes and mats provide additional climbing options throughout course, tunnels, over-under and weaving props, balance, agility, etc.
  • Fitness: rock paper scissors 4-Corner rock, figure-8 run/walk, endurance runs, pedometer tracking, group circuits; exercises such as jumping jacks, plank variations, ABC shoulder touches, bear crawl, mountain climbers, Frankenstein’s, inch worm, line jumps, burpees and star jumps, etc.
  • Nutrition and health: discussions about sometimes food and always foods (instead of bad foods and good foods), food is fuel, water is fuel, water needs and why, yoga and progressive relaxation, R.I.C.E. principle, why do we stretch?, discussions about activities students do outside of school—what  do you enjoy doing in your spare time that helps your body be healthy?, the importance of rest and listening to one’s body—your body talks to you, what does it tell you?
  • Sportsmanship: playing fair during games, using rock-paper-scissors to resolve minor conflicts, telling someone nice job/compliments, helping rescue someone during game, doing your best and challenging yourself, how do you show you are proud of your work or proud of someone else’s work?, playing win/lose games and what that means for both sides

Fifth and Sixth Grade

  • demonstrate increasing competence in more advanced and complex situations, higher level of strategic play and tactics in team and  individual sports and large group games
  • use basic offensive and defensive strategies in more complex settings, recognize options in group discussions or situational practice sessions
  • identify opportunities in the school and community for regular participation in  physical activity (recess, clubs, sports, community runs)
  • begin to gain independence in the pursuit of personal fitness goals (start designing own workout/activity program)
  •  increase level of challenges in a particular skill they choose to work on during free choice time (e.g., unicycling)
  • work cooperatively and productively in a group to accomplish a set of goals in both cooperative and competitive activities 
  • work cooperatively with different peers ranging in ability and experience in drills and games providing opportunities for peer coaching and drawing out individual talents
  • recognize physical activity as a positive opportunity for social and group interaction
  • learn about bones, muscles, basic health concepts (nutrition, rest, stress management, progressive relaxation)

Units include:

  • Locomotive skills:  increased focus on running form, arms and stride, acceleration/deceleration concepts, agility runs and techniques, etc.
  • Learning new skills: remain open to trying new things, ability to recognize movement patterns and make adjustments for improvement, provide and receive feedback about skill progression
  • Tag and group games: increase cardiovascular endurance, individual sport skills, sportsmanship, teamwork, and overall game strategies
  • Throwing/catching: working with and without a partner and using peer feedback and compliments, moving to receive a ball/object when being guarded and making V-cuts to evade defender, throwing ahead of receiver, timing when and where to throw object to a teammate being guarded, use of Frisbees, footballs, basketball, baseballs, etc.
  • Kicking and dribbling a ball: maintain control of the ball while being guarded and looking for opportunities to pass or score
  • Striking: greater use of more court strokes in badminton, pickleball, and tennis; use of different grips/stances in baseball
  • Jumping rope: individual jump rope and long rope challenges, adding more difficult turns such as double dutch as skills progress
  • Balance and other: stilts, pogo stick, pedal and go, wobble boards, slack line, unicycling, balance stilts, juggling, etc.
  • Team and individual sports: 4-square, soccer, football, kickball, tennis, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, baseball, volleyball, floor hockey, badminton, pickleball, cricket, basketball; lawn games such as bocce ball, bean bag toss, Koob, Kan Jam, ladder golf; sport activities providing individual and partner practice sessions and drills, modified lead-up games and full games are adjusted for class abilities
  • Free choice days: students explore activities of personal interest, which could include sport skills, climbing wall, jumping rope, badminton, balance activities, etc.
  • Fitness: interval training runs, figure-8 run/walk, endurance runs, pedometer tracking, group circuits; exercises such as jumping jacks, plank variations, ABC shoulder touches, bear crawl, mountain climbers, Frankenstein’s, inch worm, line jumps, burpees and star jumps, etc.
  • Nutrition and health: discussions about food as fuel, water needs and why, yoga, R.I.C.E. principle, why do we stretch?, discussions about activities students do outside of school—what do you enjoy doing in your spare time that helps your body be healthy?, the importance of rest and listening to one’s body—your body talks to you, what does it tell you?; tracking heart rate at rest, during activity, and recovery; fitness measurements and goal setting (quarterly check-ins)
  • Sportsmanship: playing fair during games, using rock-paper-scissors to resolve minor conflicts, telling someone nice job/compliments, doing your best and challenge yourself, respecting official’s calls and honoring everyone

Seventh and Eighth Grade

  • demonstrate competence in a variety of movement forms such as throwing, catching, striking, kicking; higher level skills in team and individual sports, balance activities, and fitness
  • understand and apply advanced movement patterns and game strategies, offensive and defensive play
  • explore a variety of new physical activities for personal interest in and out of physical education class (city recreation, clubs, sports, etc.)
  • understand and apply principles for training to improve physical fitness (endurance, strength, flexibility, diet/nutrition, rest/sleep, FITT formula, heart rate tracking)
  • work together to create their own games and work through group initiatives
  • reflect on the benefits of rules, safe practices, and sportsmanship; officiate games, demonstrate positive attitude, share compliments with players
  • recognize physical activity as a means of self-expression, a way to expand and support their self concept, and create social opportunities embedded in overall personal health
  • learn about bones, muscles, basic health concepts (nutrition, rest, stress management, myofascial release, and foam rolling

Units include:

  • Locomotive skills: increased focus on running form, arms and stride, acceleration/deceleration concepts, agility runs and techniques, etc.
  • Learning new skills: remain open to trying new things, ability to recognize movement patterns and make adjustments for improvement, provide and receive feedback about skill progression
  • Tag and group games: increase cardiovascular endurance, individual sport skills, sportsmanship, teamwork, and overall game strategies
  • Throwing/catching: working with and without a partner and using peer feedback and compliments, moving to receive a ball/object when being guarded and making V-cuts to evade defender, throwing ahead of receiver, timing when and where to throw object to a teammate being guarded, use of Frisbees, footballs, basketball, baseballs, etc.
  • Kicking and dribbling a ball: maintain control of the ball while being guarded and looking for opportunities to pass or score
  • Striking: greater use of more court strokes in badminton, pickleball, and tennis; use of different grips/stances in baseball
  • Jumping rope: individual jump rope and long rope challenges, adding more difficult turns such as double dutch as skills progress
  • Balance and other: stilts, pogo stick, pedal and go, wobble boards, slack line, unicycling, balance stilts, juggling, etc.
  • Team and individual sports: 4-square, soccer, football, kickball, tennis, disc golf, ultimate Frisbee, baseball, volleyball, floor hockey, badminton, pickleball, cricket, basketball; lawn games such as bocce ball, bean bag toss, Koob, Kan Jam, ladder golf; sport activities providing individual and partner practice sessions and drills, modified lead-up games and full games adjusted for class abilities
  • Free choice days: students explore activities of personal interest, which could include sport skills, climbing wall, jumping rope, badminton, balance activities, etc. (depending on group of students—not all classes find this option desirable at this age)
  • Fitness: interval training runs, figure-8 run/walk, endurance runs, pedometer tracking, group circuits; exercises such as jumping jacks, plank variations, ABC shoulder touches, bear crawl, mountain climbers, Frankenstein’s, inch worm, line jumps, burpees and star jumps; tracking heart rate and fitness measurements, etc.
  • Nutrition and health: discussions about food as fuel, water needs and why, yoga, R.I.C.E. principle, why do we stretch?, discussions about activities students do outside of school—what do you enjoy doing in your spare time that helps your body be healthy?, the importance of rest and listening to one’s body—your body talks to you, what does it tell you?; tracking heart rate at rest, during activity, and recovery; fitness measurements and goal setting (quarterly check-ins)
  • Sportsmanship: playing fair during games, using rock-paper-scissors to resolve minor conflicts, telling someone nice job/compliments, doing your best and challenging yourself, respecting official’s calls and honoring everyone 

 

BENCHMARKS

By the end of fourth grade students should be able to

  • throw, catch, and kick using mature form
  • skip, gallop, side shuffle, and grapevine using mature form
  • understand that appropriate practice improves performance
  • understand and use a foundation of movement concepts to self and peer coach during practice drills
  • demonstrate good spatial awareness when moving to avoid and/or catch an individual or object
  • balance on a variety of objects with control
  • consistently strike a softly delivered object (ball, birdie) with a bat or racket demonstrating an appropriate grip, side to the target, and swing plane
  • recognize fundamental components and strategies used in simple games and activitiesidentify one activity that they participate in on a regular basisdescribe healthful benefits that result from regular and appropriate participation in physical activityidentify potential risks associated with physical activities and understand
  • the basic concept of the R.I.C.E. principle
  • maintain continuous aerobic activity for a specified time
  • support, lift, and control body weight in a variety of situations
  • demonstrate acceptance of the skills and abilities of others during play and practice sessions through verbal and nonverbal behaviors
  • celebrate personal successes and achievements of self and others

By the end of eighth grade students should be able to

  • participate in regular physical activity for personal enjoyment
  • continue to explore and find activities that support individual interests and expand physical literacy
  • detect, analyze, and correct error in personal movement patterns
  • recognize that time and effort are prerequisites for skill improvement and fitness benefits
  • throw a variety of objects with both accuracy and distance 
  • apply tactics and strategies to modified game play
  • demonstrate fundamental movement skills in a variety of contexts
  • maintain a record of moderate to vigorous physical activity and track fitness goals
  • identify principles of training and conditioning for physical activity
  • recognize that idealized images of the human body and performance as presented by the media may not be appropriate to imitate
  • participate in vigorous activity for a sustained period of time while maintaining a target heart rate
  • recover from vigorous physical activity in an appropriate length of time
  • monitor heart rate before, during, and after activity
  • demonstrate activities designed to improve and maintain muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardio-respiratory functioning
  • distinguish between compliance non-compliance in game rules and fair play
  • accept and respect the decisions made by game officials, whether they are students, teachers, or officials outside of school
  • understand basic concepts of offense and defense in team and individual sports
  • design and play small group games that involve cooperating with others
  • accept, recognize, and actively involve persons of similar and different skill levels in games and practice sessions

 

Additions to the Health Curriculum

In 2013-14, we gave special attention to our health education curriculum using the Minnesota Health Education Standards as a guiding model to inform our practice. We generated a document to highlight where we are teaching health and what specifically is being covered in grades K-8. In 2014-15, medical students from the University of Minnesota collaborated with us to create nutrition lessons covering topics such as hydration, healthy snacks, and appropriate servings and sizes. They shared three to five different lessons with two different groups of students in grades 3-4 and 5-6. The medical students and FSM teacher talked regularly during this time to connect the lessons to our students’ needs.