"Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world."—Maria Montessori
Transforming children is par for the course in the Title I, K to 5 school where I teach physical education.
We have one of the largest enrollments of English as new language learners of any elementary school in our city. The challenges these kids face are amazing. Many are learning to speak English for the first time, even as they continue to develop and master their native tongues at home.
There are over a dozen languages and dialects represented in our school. This, along with the long hours of school and after-school program enrollments, severely limit the time available for social interactions and the formation of meaningful friendships outside of school.
In every grade, there are students with special needs. All of the children are working hard to meet our rigorous curriculum. What is more amazing than all of this, however, is the dedication these students show day in and day out as they strive to reach all of their personal, social, and academic goals.
Learning a new sport can be challenging, especially when goals are set too high.
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” —Zig Ziglar
This is especially true when learning how to shoot in basketball.
We currently have two standard height basketball goals, two mid-height goals, and two adjustable-height goals. However, even the lowest goals can prove to be too high for our youngest and least experienced learners. They are also particularly challenging for our students with special needs. The requested tierdrop and individual, low hanging, large rim basketball goals, will help us to physically lower the height of our basketball targets. This will allow all students to practice shooting at the goals successfully. Challenge by choice is a preferred method of student engagement, as it allows young learners to make meaningful decisions about where and when to enter an activity and apply motorical concepts. This increases their success rate, which improves the chances that they will repeat an experience and engage in that type of physical challenge in the future. These successful, self-selected encounters are building healthy practices that will pave the way for overall healthy lifestyles.
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