Physical education classes in Ottumwa not only teach students how to move but also promote a healthy lifestyle. "We spend 30% of our time doing exercises we can do anywhere," said Ryan Morgan, a PE teacher at Wilson Elementary.
Morgan has seen a shift in PE instruction over the years. Students are physically active for the majority of his 40 minute class. Each class begins with five minutes of running and walking, then another five minutes of locomotor exercises like skipping, sliding, hopping and touching toes. And many of his units teach students how to stay active as an adult. “My big thing is teaching them to play catch and shoot baskets.” Morgan feels both skills transfer to activities they can do as adults.
Some activities connect his class to the world outside of school. For example, on Wednesday students and parents walked at Schafer Stadium for 30 minutes as part of the state's Healthiest State Initiative. Morgan has participated in the event since its inception. “We walk every year.”
“We had over 400 particiapants!” he said.