Sept. 8, 2016

We have updated our curriculum resources for the new school year.

IHT’s new Spirit Curriculum Resources provide teachers with ready-to-use lessons that cut down on prep time and allow for a greater focus on student performance. The lessons tie directly to national outcomes of standard-based learning.

“ Curriculum is in a format that is one of the most touted lesson-planning formats,” said Rachel Winsten, the Brevard (Fla.) County Schools PE administrator. Winsten was a member of the IHT curriculum resources development team.

Development of the Spirit Curriculum Resources

curriculum resourcesSpirit Curriculum Resources takes IHT’s concepts focused on fitness and healthy living and provides guided lessons for students to learn the concepts. Through, teachers have access to lesson plans complete with exercises that are based on national measures and outcomes. Teachers can also utilize measurement logs customizable to any specific program.

Winsten and our curriculum development team accomplished several key goals:

  • Created complete lessons that teachers can follow
  • Tied the lessons to state and national standards
  • Specified outcomes for students to attain from each lesson
  • Spirit Curriculum Student Resource guide to help students track their progress

Curriculum resources embraced by veteran teachers

Winsten spent the beginning of Brevard’s school year meeting with the PE teams at many of the 70-plus schools in her district.

“At one of my middle schools, they were really struggling with coming into the whole new planning thing, very resistant to change, the new way of doing things and implementing some new things in PE,” she said. “Their program really hasn’t changed much since I’ve been in the district.”

To her delight, though, the veteran team embraced the new resources.

“The feedback and acceptance among my teachers was beyond what I thought it would be,” she said. “I am a physical educator to my core. I love being able to put tools in the hands of teachers that are going to change and improve the instruction happening for students because the ultimate goal is the kids.”

Standards-based lessons aligned with national outcomes

Standards-based physical education works when students’ grades are an accurate reflection of students’ learning, explained Amanda Stanec. It begins with the understanding that students learn at different rates and in different ways.

In conjunction with our Spirit Curriculum Resources, teachers can use the IHT Spirit technology to assess students as they move through lessons at their own pace. The Spirit Curriculum Resources from IHT allows:

  • Teachers to customize lesson plans to each student’s fitness level
  • Teachers to align lessons with national outcomes
  • Students to create and meet their own tailored goals
  • Students to learn to understand the process behind evaluating fitness data and take ownership of their health performance.

“It’s really a best practice in education,” Winsten explained. “When you can pull it all together under the umbrella of those national outcomes, the way the teachers are working, it’s powerful for them.”

Winsten said some of the teachers would not leave the meeting until they were sure they knew where to find the lessons. Through the dashboard, teachers can:

  • download any PDF lesson material straight to any internet-capable device (smart phone, tablet, etc.)
  • enable students to compare and contrast different aspects of the lesson
  • students can report their understanding of the measurements before using the system
  • students can better identify standards met through reports sent to parents

“The fact that the teachers were making sure that they knew the steps to take to get to the material when they’d never expressed an interest in that before was very powerful,” she said.

Changing the PE landscape

“One of my teachers was so excited that there were multiple lessons they could just print out and follow along that were aligned to the national outcomes that had everything,” Winsten said. “If an administrator walked into the gym while he was doing that lesson, anything that the administrator could have asked for, from learning outcomes and objectives to essential questions, was all there, done for him. He could just focus on teaching the students.”

The Spirit curriculum resources are a supplement for all physical educators. With ready-to-use, customizable lesson plans and built-in data IHT Assessment Measures, teachers can evaluate their programs. The Spirit curriculum resource provides students with tools to set goals and measure their progress, understand activity skills and enhance their understanding of how to take ownership of their own physical fitness.

Note: Along with IHT project manager Bev Brown and staff members Lois Mauch and Jen Reeves, John Dunlop (Portage Central (Mich.) Middle School) and Lance Johanson (Dallas Independent School District) also helped craft the new curriculum.