No two students are exactly alike.
Many students are confident and not afraid to answer questions when called on. But sometimes our students aren’t getting the attention they need in a traditional classroom environment, and lack the confidence it takes to answer in front of his or her peers. That’s where physical education comes in.
PE classes have the unique ability to teach students information in fun and exciting ways—ways that include motion, imagination, critical thinking, memory, and fitness. Even the shiest students can feel a connection to a PE activity.
The Youngest Learners
Since many students in kindergarten, preschool and even elementary school are still sorting out their personalities, it can be difficult for them to shed their fear of speaking out in class or participating with other students. It’s a legitimate set of fears that can follow them throughout high school, college, and even their professional lives if they don’t overcome it early.
However, fears in the classroom can be unlearned with PE. Instead of using the direct question-and-answer method of finding out what students know, PE teachers can simply have the student perform a task without them even knowing they are performing on a stage.
For example, say you ask a student the answer to a simple question about what colors can be combined to make blue. A confident student will raise his or her hand and attempt an answer in a traditional classroom. A nervous student will attempt to avoid being called on. But in PE, you can ask a student to answer that question in other ways, like by using props and games. If you set up a color-building game with the entire class, that nervous student can run to grab a yellow ball and a green ball and show you that they make blue.
Preschool physical education classes allow you to combine learning with physical activity to help students gain confidence. The next time the question is asked in the regular classroom, he’ll know the answer because he figured it out himself.
These kinds of strategies have worked wonders for many students across the country. Teaching physical education is like teaching no other subject; PE teachers have the ability to reach students on a more intimate level, seeing how they interact with their peers and where their trepidations lie.
By using creative teaching methods, a vigilant PE teacher can turn those trepidations into strengths, and that student will never feel blue again.
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