Re-Inventing Physical Activities
Elementary Physical Education and the Four “Cs”
Madera’s Elementary Physical Education (EPE) department prides itself in modeling the four “Cs”: (1) Communication, (2) Collaboration, (3) Creativity, and (4) Critical Thinking. Via bi-weekly professional learning communities, our credentialed EPE specialists constantly re-invent ways to support physical activity, physical fitness, socialization, and student learning in Madera’s schools. In turn, students receive standards-based and scientific EPE programs that include curriculum from partnering organizations like SPARK PE and the Dairy Council of California.
Due to our strong partnerships with local organizations, well-advanced curriculums, and strong positive relationships amongst EPE specialists, other districts in the valley, and the state of California attempt to learn from our EPE department in hopes of replicating the successes Madera’s students achieve.
Through funding provided by the Carol M. White PE Program Grant, MUSD was able to send ten PE teachers to a conference hosted by the California Association of Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance, in late February. The 3-day conference was guided by the theme “OUR TIME,” where PE teachers attended sessions focused on quality PE instruction, inclusion, research, leadership, advocacy, and wellness. In addition, MUSD’s EPE specialists presented, at a total of five sessions, that focused on how to finish the school year with purpose, technology use in PE, and strategies to support new PE teachers.
Because Madera’s EPE department strives to be the best in the valley as well as the state of California, the four “Cs” do not stop when it comes to student performance and growth. The department also strives to grow professionally as a team and model positive behaviors for Madera’s students. One strategy used is ongoing book readings that include titles like “Mindset,” by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. and “The Energy Bus,” by Jon Gordon. Both resources value the belief that abilities can always be enhanced and that growth occurs when positive energy is emulated by teams. Madera’s EPE department is determined to replicate those beliefs. Madera’s EPE department strives to sustain positive energy while helping students enhance their development physically, mentally, and socially.