The PE program at Desert Shadows borrows from numerous PE curriculum models, but the basis for the program stems from the Dynamic Physical Education Model.
In this model, the average day is broken up into four parts:
- Intro – This portion is no more than five minutes in length and serves as a "warm-up" to the day’s activities. It could be anything from a quick game of tag to simple stretches, depending on the day’s lesson focus.
- Fitness – This portion is where the students will get the majority of strength and/or endurance training in for the day. The fitness portion of the lesson will usually last anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Activities include Four Corners, Jump ‘n’ Jog, Animal Movements, Circuit Training, etc. These activities help promote our aerobic and muscular strength in our students.
- Lesson Focus – The most robust portion of the lesson, averaging 20 minutes in length. The students will learn the necessary components of the games we play in PE. For example, students will learn/perfect how to dribble, pass, and shoot a basketball before actually playing a full game.
- Game – The final portion of the students’ day consists of playing a game that consists of the skills just taught in the day’s lesson, and putting them to practice.
At Desert Shadows, we like to look at physical education as a progressive series of learning, much like students progress in the classroom; i.e., kindergarteners are not generally learning long division. There is a progression throughout their years that will get them to that point.
In the lower grades (K-3), we focus on gross motor abilities and keeping students active, all while instilling a love of activity. This means teaching the students how to catch a ball, throw a ball, etc. before teaching them how to play baseball or softball.
Once students reach the upper grades (4-6), focus turns more the game aspect of PE, while keeping the activities extremely varied and fun for all abilities and interest levels.
Spring of each school year brings all students in the 4-6th grades to Field Days, an annual track and field event that encourages all students to do their best, but have fun in the events of the day. Field Days run for three days at Desert Shadows, one day set aside for each grade level to perform with their peers and an awards ceremony follows to highlight the accomplishments of all the students in each grade level.
K-3rd grade students also participate in a special program, Fun Days, consisting of events running throughout the morning and allowing the students to utilize the strengths developed using motor skills throughout the school year. Fun Days run over a two-day period with K-1, and then grades 2-3 sharing the fields.