Everson Elementary physical education teacher Tyler Perry has adopted the sports educational model of teaching in his class. And the fifth graders have really taken to it, upping the excitement and ownership of the lessons.
Typical PE unit features students always as the players or athletes, but the sports educational model creates teams and assigns roles, from coaches to trainers and statisticians to rules specialists. Students get a practice plan and a playbook, create and lead warm-ups, fitness trainings and skill routines.
"In general, people whether they are children or adults, are looking for some sort of responsibility," Perry says. "This (fifth grade) class specifically is full of students who are ready for that responsibility in class." In the current football unit, the group has a handful of youth football players with knowledge of the game serving as coaches while other students focus on being teammates.
"Becoming a better team allows for a higher level of achievement and competition," Perry says. "In PE we have high and low days of competition. The final day of a unit is highly competitive and has the opportunity to provide a learning opportunity that is not there in basic skill development days. This unit already, on day three, has the feelings of a final day."
Perry says this model is part of his effort to give the students more ownership. "The goal for me is to remove myself from their games," he says. "Children have the capabilities to organize and play games at a high level without any adults. They also have the ability to teach each other in a constructive way. It is fun to hear the coaches come to me at the end of class and say, 'It's really hard when people don't listen to me!'"
The fifth-grade classes at Everson already experience the sports educational model and Perry expects to expand it to third and fourth grade when they move to a unit on soccer, a sport that many of the students have a higher familiarity with.
"I hope that this type of learning style allows the students to continue their group work from the classroom into PE and vice versa," Perry says. "The classroom teachers do a great job of creating opportunities for students to learn from each other and base a lot of their work on common experiences."