Education majors teach physical education course

Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University education majors have begun teaching another round of classes for Huntington County homeschooled students.

This learning takes place because of collaboration between the HU’s Department of Kinesiology and Recreation and Management and the Huntington Area Home Educators. The Teaching Elementary Physical Education class, taught by Jody Davenport, instructor in physical education, will facilitate this course for eight weeks this fall.

Under Davenport’s supervision, HU students will use the most up-to-date educational research and methods when they are working with the homeschool students in developing their gross motor skills.

This small group teaching experience is vital to the development of the teachers-in-training. Not only do teachers have to be more than competent in the subject area that they teach, but they must interact well with students. This requires excellent communication skills, a high level of self-confidence, and the ability to inspire trust and the capability to motivate students.

The HU education majors have been planning and creating lesson plans for students in grades kindergarten through fifth. Then they applied these lessons in a small, controlled setting when they had their first session with the homeschooled students on Oct. 2.

At the first meeting, HU students like Leah Winger, senior elementary education major, and Jen Gehrke, a senior elementary and special education major, were engaged in teaching the homeschool students soccer skills that were combined with addition skills.

Elizabeth Hull, a senior elementary education major said, “The homeschool kids are having more fun because not only are they are athletically moving, but they are integrating math skills too.”

About 35 Huntington home educated students participated in the first session of the physical education classes. They were divided into three groups according to grade level. The kindergarten through third graders worked on learning soccer skills. They practiced stopping and passing balls and even played a combination bowling/soccer/math game. These games reinforced mind and body coordination.

Megan DeRenzo, a senior elementary education major, said, “I especially enjoy working with the younger children because they are so excited about the activities.”

The group of fourth and fifth graders worked on learning football skills. Justin Branock, a sophomore physical education major, and Brett Thompson, a senior physical education major, tested their teaching strategies and tactics on this group. They led the students through football drills and spent time teaching the homeschooled students how to pass a football in various ways. Brooke Thoele, a sophomore elementary and special education major, and Sarah Jenkins, a senior elementary education major, honed their teaching styles and had fun helping the homeschooled students pass a football through a hula hoop. Stephanie Strong, a senior elementary education major, worked to get the homeschooled students involved in the learning process.

The homeschooling parents are big supporters of the HU collaborative program. Misty Snodderly of HAHE is extremely enthusiastic about HU. “Our goal as homeschool parents is to see our students excel in every area of life,” she said. “There are many opportunities and avenues to explore while trying to accomplish our goals. The HU physical education program is one of those avenues that are greatly appreciated by so many homeschool families.”

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director