Physical Education at Atlas
It is no secret that kids have energy! Here at Atlas we know that movement goes hand in hand with academic learning and skill-building. Games give us the opportunity to practice collaboration, structure, and goal setting. Play builds motor skills which increase confidence in all areas of life.
In short, physical education done well can be the perfect environment to practice important skills with joy. We’re excited to introduce our new certified PE teacher, Mr. Martin, who comes with 8 years as an educator, 4 years as a coach, and a lifetime love of movement and fitness.
Mr. Martin’s daily goal is to be joyful with students in active ways to encourage them so they will enjoy being active throughout elementary school and beyond. Active individuals are happier, more social individuals. We don’t all need to be superstar athletes, but we should all know how to move our bodies to have fun and stay healthy. PE is more than running around; it gives kids the chance to learn how to work and connect in groups. It also provides authentic opportunities to navigate big emotions like winning and losing. It can be frustrating not being the best at something new, so students learn to process these feelings in healthy ways. And they gain confidence as they build their skills.
Elementary physical education has come a long way from pull ups and the dreaded sit and reach! If you visit the gym during our PE classes you’ll see students moving their bodies joyfully. We practice running, dancing, and balancing. We explicitly teach key gross motor skills (like, kicking, dribbling with hands and feet, throwing, catching, and striking with a racket). These skills are critical for hand-eye coordination and brain development, translating success in the gym to success in the classroom. Mr. Martin also incorporates meditation and self-regulation strategies to support students if they are upset.
Exercise and play are crucial pieces of caring and growing with the whole child. And that is what we are here to do. So let’s get moving!