Adaptive Physical Education
The adapted physical education program at the McCarton School utilizes a curriculum consisting of a progression of various exercise and sports skills. It implements a teaching model that draws heavily on an ABA style method of acquisition, mastery, and maintenance of skills. Verbal and gestural cues are utilized to instruct the students on the skill, as well as visual cues as necessary. All the sports and exercise skills taught in each adapted physical education class are modified to meet the needs of every student in the class, in adherence to the adaptation theory as it pertains to sports and physical activity. This refers to the practice of managing variables, or adapting them, in order to achieve desired outcomes. This is facilitated using various modifications and adaptations to ensure progression and learning that will be reflected in the teaching methods, equipment, and curriculum.
Every student in the McCarton School takes part in an adapted physical education group. The classes range in duration from 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the needs of the class. There is one instructor that leads the students, with the classroom teachers providing support by prompting the students as necessary. The adapted physical education classes provide a means for the students to make progress in terms of general physical fitness, through the running and the performance of other various exercises and stretches, and the acquisition of sports skills. The environment of the A.P.E. groups are enthusiastic and supportive in order to provide the students a setting that is conducive to increasing self-esteem and confidence through skills acquisition and achievement. Sports included in the McCarton School adapted physical education curriculum include basketball, soccer, tee-ball/ baseball, floor hockey, kickball, and volleyball.
The students are enthusiastically encouraged throughout the adapted physical education session. Positive reinforcement through social praise (high-fives, cheers, hand pile at end of session) is utilized. Students are reinforced for cheering and encouraging their peers when it is their turn to perform a skill. Another goal of the program is the improvement of social skills, by working cooperatively and supportively in group drills and team oriented activities. The importance of good sportsmanship and teamwork are emphasized when appropriate.