With an increased focus on test scores, most if not all special area teachers (don’t you love being “special”) are being required to show how academic content is included in their lessons. I heard a quote at a conference once that really stuck with me and I use it often because it helps us with this challenge. The quote was “I don’t teach other academic areas, I integrate them”. It’s not difficult for us to find ways to integrate academics into our lessons and still keep the focus on our physical education standards and objectives. On the other hand, with the focus on increasing physical activity during the school day, it’s a great opportunity for us to help classroom teachers see how they can integrate movement into their lessons. Here are just a few examples of how this can work as a two way street!
Reading Common Core Standard, Grades 3-5: Describe relationships and explain events, procedures, ideas or concepts in a scientific or technical way.
Skillastics® Resource: Fitness Skillastics® and Fitness Extreme Skillastics® Activity Kits
Skillastics® Lesson Application Example: Give students a 3 x 5 card and ask them to look at the mat and select one activity that can be done to help improve a specific fitness component. The student must give one reason they think the activity will improve that fitness component.
Mathematics Common Core Standard, Grade K: Identify and describe shapes.
Skillastics® Resource: Halfpint Skillastics® Activity Kit
Skillastics® Lesson Application Example: As students roll the shape die, ask them to call out the name of the shape that the die lands on.
Classroom Integration Activity Idea for Reading Integration:
“Teacher, Teacher”: Give a copy of the task cards to classroom teachers. The teacher has students work in small groups and each group has one task card. Each group reads the directions, practices the activity and then demonstrates it for the rest of the class. This can be done to help students review the activities for that specific activity kit and also helps the teachers learn the activities as well as giving students an opportunity to practice reading and comprehension.
Classroom Integration Activity Idea for Math Integration:
“Roll ‘Em”: Students work with a partner for this activity, with each group having a pair of die. On the signal, they roll the die and then find the “answer” based on what is designated (add them together, multiply them, subtract them, multiply the total by 2, etc.). The teacher calls out one of the Skillastics® activities and the students do that activity the number of times of their “answer”.
Remember, you aren’t “teaching” academics; you are “integrating” academics while you teach physical education!