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PE Goes From Dodge Ball to Circuit Training

In an effort to help end childhood obesity many physical education classes are changing their focus in schools nationwide as more gym teachers strive to teach individual activities that students can incorporate into their lives outside of gym class. Sure dodge ball and red rover are fun, but they're not practical ways for kids to keep moving beyond PE. I think this emphasis on general health (and nutrition in some cases) could really help kids implement skills into their future health goals. It sort of reminds me when schools started adding yoga to their curriculum, which many of you did not agree with.

What do you think? Should gym class maintain a focus on sports and games or should all PE classes shift to this new structure of functional fitness for kids?

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mangopeachie mangopeachie 8 years
I think you definitely need to strike a balance -- I was not athletic at all as a middle schooler, but I at least learned the basics of all the general team sports, which was useful. As an unfit kid, I also HATED "fitness test" days, which we had every trimester. Why did the ENTIRE CLASS need to witness that for four straight years in middle school, I had yet to do a single pull up? Or that it took me 10 minutes to jog/walk a mile, 5 minutes longer than half the boys? Seriously, by the 8th grade I would be faking cramps to get out of PE.
mangopeachie mangopeachie 8 years
I think you definitely need to strike a balance -- I was not athletic at all as a middle schooler, but I at least learned the basics of all the general team sports, which was useful. As an unfit kid, I also HATED "fitness test" days, which we had every trimester. Why did the ENTIRE CLASS need to witness that for four straight years in middle school, I had yet to do a single pull up? Or that it took me 10 minutes to jog/walk a mile, 5 minutes longer than half the boys? Seriously, by the 8th grade I would be faking cramps to get out of PE.
Chessia Chessia 8 years
I noticed that a lot of you who claim you were not the best athletes in school prefer individual activities in gym class. I was in 3 varsity sports all through highschool and an all-state athlete, and I have to say, I prefer the individual activities for gym class as well. Of course games must be incorporated to teach kids cooperation, and competition, but individual sports typically teach skills that kids can hang onto for a lifetime. I also think kids are more likely to give those activities their full concentration and effort-when you know you are going to get knocked out right away in dodgeball or basketball, there is a natural kid instinct to pretend that you don't care at all->you are way cooler than people that care about dodgeball, duh! It is a better use of time for those who are interested in organized sports, because they are not held back, but learn new skills.While the conversation about innovative gym programs is nice, I know that lots of schools have not quite caught on yet (budgeting and stubborness). I am working for the New York Kids Club, and they offer many activity programs for kids that can teach lifelong skills. They have classes like rockclimbing, gymnastics, dance, and martial arts where kids can burn off their energy while learning a fun skill. If you live in the New York area, you are invited to come to the NY Kids Club for a Free Friday Jan. 18. Kids 6months to 12 yrs. can try out the facilities, meet the staff, and enjoy free drinks and snacks with parents. http://nykcbloggerparty.smnr.usWe can only hope that gym classes keep improving, but in the meantime, extracurriculars may be the saving grace.
Chessia Chessia 8 years
I noticed that a lot of you who claim you were not the best athletes in school prefer individual activities in gym class. I was in 3 varsity sports all through highschool and an all-state athlete, and I have to say, I prefer the individual activities for gym class as well. Of course games must be incorporated to teach kids cooperation, and competition, but individual sports typically teach skills that kids can hang onto for a lifetime. I also think kids are more likely to give those activities their full concentration and effort-when you know you are going to get knocked out right away in dodgeball or basketball, there is a natural kid instinct to pretend that you don't care at all->you are way cooler than people that care about dodgeball, duh! It is a better use of time for those who are interested in organized sports, because they are not held back, but learn new skills. While the conversation about innovative gym programs is nice, I know that lots of schools have not quite caught on yet (budgeting and stubborness). I am working for the New York Kids Club, and they offer many activity programs for kids that can teach lifelong skills. They have classes like rockclimbing, gymnastics, dance, and martial arts where kids can burn off their energy while learning a fun skill. If you live in the New York area, you are invited to come to the NY Kids Club for a Free Friday Jan. 18. Kids 6months to 12 yrs. can try out the facilities, meet the staff, and enjoy free drinks and snacks with parents. http://nykcbloggerparty.smnr.us We can only hope that gym classes keep improving, but in the meantime, extracurriculars may be the saving grace.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 8 years
Individual excersizes AND team should be practiced in PE classes. Sure, you can have your yoga and kickboxing, but I really loved playing volleyball in gym. It's one of my more fond memories of PE class.
catander catander 8 years
Team sports should NOT be entirely replaced! Oops!
catander catander 8 years
I am all for the more individual exercises. Yes, team sports teach children many valuable skills and should be entirely replaced. Team sports, however, are also competitive by nature. Although I was a fairly popular kid in middle and high school, I was always picked last in gym class. I am terrible at most team sports, but today live a healthy, active lifestyle. If I hadn't had access to a gym in college, I probably never would have discovered how much I enjoy exercise. Gym class always made me feel like a real loser.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 8 years
This is fantastic because tradition exercise is something that is not taught in school to children. Most people will not be able to play sporty sports when they grow up because of time management issues or other issues, learning to exercise for the sake of health at a young age instills a sense of importance of exercise in children.Also, I was always picked last because I was the chubby gay kid, LOL.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 8 years
This is fantastic because tradition exercise is something that is not taught in school to children. Most people will not be able to play sporty sports when they grow up because of time management issues or other issues, learning to exercise for the sake of health at a young age instills a sense of importance of exercise in children. Also, I was always picked last because I was the chubby gay kid, LOL.
meumitsuki meumitsuki 8 years
It should be both. I can't picture a group of kids getting together after school to do pilates, but I can see them playing jailbreak and kickball.The problem is that kids go home after school and stay inside. I can remember growing up we would come home, have a glass of milk and my mom would turn us around to go back outside to play.
meumitsuki meumitsuki 8 years
It should be both. I can't picture a group of kids getting together after school to do pilates, but I can see them playing jailbreak and kickball. The problem is that kids go home after school and stay inside. I can remember growing up we would come home, have a glass of milk and my mom would turn us around to go back outside to play.
rscarter rscarter 8 years
I think there should still be a good emphasis on sports and games as children need to know that fitness is fun. Many children need games to burn off energy, learn to play with others, and build their friendly competition skills. A gym class without dodgeball, softball, basketball, or other team sports would have been boring and not one of my favorite parts of the day. However, I also agree that more lifelong fitness skills should be taught. Children need to know how to keep their bodies healthy on their own and outside of gym class. Also, the non-sport personalities would have a chance to enjoy their time in P.E. The half and half approach would be best.
catgirl1 catgirl1 8 years
Yes, I think individual exercises would be very beneficial to kids. When I was younger, I was not athletic at all and hated all the team sports we did in PE. I think I would have started making exercise a part of my life much younger if we had done a few things that I could have excelled at in class (yoga, etc.).
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