EPEC Classic Overview

EPEC™ Classic Overview

EPEC Objectives are aligned with the new National Standards and Grade-level Outcomes (2014), as summarized below1.

EPEC™ Classic K-5- when taught with fidelity- reinforces Common Core State Standards in 1. Speaking and Listening and 2. Language. View the Common Core Standards Reinforcement (PDF).

The Exemplary Physical Education Curriculum (EPEC) is a nationally recognized program2 that combats the crushing burden of chronic disease in our population. Chronic diseases are the most widespread, costly, and preventable of all health problems. Physical activity is highly protective against the major chronic diseases (heart disease, diabetes, and obesity). The objectives in EPEC systematically and sequentially increase fitness levels, develop motor skills, increase activity-related knowledge, and develop and improve the personal/social/attitudinal characteristics students need to be physically active for life and to reduce their risk for chronic disease. Therefore, EPEC is a true public health initiative being carried out completely in the education arena.

EPEC is also a school reform initiative that is working to shift the emphasis of physical education away from merely keeping students busy, happy, and good toward instruction based on clearly-stated outcomes. As a result of a defined direction and clear objectives, students are more likely to learn, develop competencies and confidence, and be prepared for a physically active life.

EPEC grade-level benchmarks and materials provide a roadmap to achieve grade level outcomes for K-12 physical education. The EPEC K12 graduate is a physically literate person with the tools to be physically active for life (see Figure 1).


EPEC activities are designed to provide all students with equal amounts of practice, so activities do not eliminate less-skilled students. Eliminating less-skilled students deprives them of the opportunity to get much-needed practice, resulting in an even greater disparity in student ability levels. In addition, the EPEC philosophy opposes the use of physical activity as punishment for students who don’t perform well. None of the EPEC activities require students to do push-ups, sit-ups, etc., for failing to do well in an activity. We want students to enjoy physical activity rather than view it as punishment.


Use the tabs at the top left to explore this in-depth overview of EPEC™ Classic K–5.

For more general information and news, view the main EPEC™ Classic K–5 page.

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1 Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE). National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes For k-12 Physical Education. 2014

22002 Award for Excellence in Prevention Research and Research Translation in Chronic Disease from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

3 EPEC Grades 612 Modules currently include: Basketball, Golf, Personal Conditioning, Resistance Training, Soccer, and Volleyball.


The National Standards for Physical Education provide an excellent framework for delineating content (i.e., program objectives) that is appropriate for inclusion in a physical education program. Collectively, the standards represent far more content than can be taught effectively in programs that meet less than five days per week. Trying to address too many objectives, in too little time, results in programs that merely expose students to a variety of objectives without adequate opportunity to effect permanent change in behavior. If physical education programs are to make a difference in the lives of children, the number of objectives addressed must be proportional to the instructional time that is available. While the goal of physical education professionals is to provide students with quality, daily physical education, current reality is that students spend far less time than this in physical education. EPEC™ Classic is based on offering physical education two days per week. By implementing EPEC™ Classic, physical educators can easily foster and document student learning, and then use this effectiveness data to request more resources (e.g., time, equipment, facilities).
 
The EPEC™ Classic K–5 curriculum is based on a program that meets two, 30-minute class periods per week. Accordingly, the number of program objectives to include in the curriculum was matched to this resource (i.e., instructional time). The selection of content began by prioritizing objectives based on their relative importance to an exemplary physical education curriculum. 250 potential program objectives were rated by more than 130 stakeholders including physical educators, administrators, and parents from 18 independent school districts. Subsequently, they were ranked on the basis of the average scores received in these ratings. The highest-ranked, grade-appropriate program objectives were chosen for inclusion. Table 1 lists the 35 EPEC™ Classic K-5 program objectives with allocated instructional minutes by grade and by National Standard. The EPEC™ Classic framework is designed to accommodate addition of more K-5 program objectives as time for physical education expands to the desired five days per week.
 
 
The EPEC™ Classic K-5 curriculum is broadly defined in the Curricular Minute Matrix (Table 1). It is further outlined in the Curricular Scope and Sequence Matrices (Tables 2 through 5) located at the end of this document. These matrices define what is taught (i.e., the specifics about the program objectives) in each of the 51 lessons per grade. The specifics are delineated in EPEC™ Classic Teaching/Learning Progressions (TLPs), which are a series of instructional steps that, when mastered, lead to competence on a program objective. These TLPs are described in further detail in the following section. Collectively, all the steps from all 35 objectives were used to determine the Scope and Sequence for instruction within and across grades in the EPEC™ Classic K-5 curriculum.
 
For illustration, a sample section of the Curricular Scope and Sequence Matrix from term four is reproduced in Figure 2 (click to enlarge). Note that it is arranged in columns by grade level and in rows by lessons within each grade.
 
 
Each 30-minute lesson is composed of two, 15-minute instructional portions. In general, each 15-minute portion addresses one program objective, with one or two and sometimes three teaching/learning steps being addressed. For example, Lesson 1-41 includes instruction on the program objectives Compassion (with TLP step 3 taught) and Catch Fly Balls (with TLP steps 2 and 3 taught).
 
Most object-control skill, locomotor skill, knowledge, and activity objectives are taught in a “spiral” fashion. Steps in the teaching/learning progression are introduced and/or reviewed in several lessons per grade. For example, Catch Fly Balls is addressed or taught in four lessons in kindergarten. Fifteen minutes of each of these lessons are dedicated to instruction in catching fly balls (for a total of 60 minutes of instruction in kindergarten) and the other 15 minutes are dedicated to instruction on another program objective (e.g., skip). In Lesson K-40, TLP steps 1 and 2 are the lesson objectives for Catch Fly Balls and become the focus of instruction in this lesson. In Lesson K-41, TLP steps 1, 2, and 3 are the lesson objectives; steps 1 and 2 are reviewed and step 3 is introduced. In Lesson K-42, TLP steps 2 and 3 are reviewed. In Lesson K-43, TLP step3 is the lesson objective.
 
Catch Fly Balls, like most other objectives, is actually taught all the way through grade five in this “spiral” fashion. Steps in the Teaching/Learning Progression are introduced and/or reviewed not only within grades, but also across grades. For example, in first grade lessons for Catch Fly Balls, TLP steps 2 and 3 are reviewed; however, the last lesson in first grade (i.e., 1-43) takes students through TLP step 4, which is farther on the Teaching/Learning Progression than where they were by the end of kindergarten. This review and introduction of new steps continues at each grade until all steps in the Teaching/Learning Progression eventually are addressed. In this way, students receive multiple opportunities to observe and practice each TLP step, increasing the likelihood that they will have the necessary prerequisites and competencies to continue instruction on the targeted objectives.
 
Since each step of the fitness objectives involves a different exercise, these objectives do not spiral, but instead are focused on helping students achieve grade-level standards through a variety of exercises.
 
The personal/social skill objectives are taught either from kindergarten through grade two, or from grades three through five. Each personal/social objective includes four TLP steps: step 1 is a definition of the skill, steps 2 and 3 each describe three different indicators of that skill, and step 4 involves using all six indicators when participating in physical activities. In the first two years in which each personal/social skill is taught, step 1 is taught on the first day, step 2 on the second day, and step 3 on the third day. In the third year, step 1 is reviewed on the first day, steps 2 and 3 are reviewed on the second day, and step 4 is introduced on the third day.
 
Although there are specific class segments set aside for instruction and practice using each of the personal/social skills, we encourage you to incorporate elements of these skills into other lessons throughout the term. For example, during term 3, ask students K-2 how they cooperated with you and with others during activities on the slide or hand dribble. Answers may involve the activities themselves (e.g., taking turns) or may extend to getting ready for the activity (e.g., working with others to get into position, helping others get needed equipment, etc.).
 
Experienced EPEC™ Classic teachers have reported success in extending the focus on these skills beyond the physical education classroom by encouraging the principal and other teachers to adopt the personal/social skills as a school-wide theme. Personal/social skill instruction is designed to align generally with the school year and popular activities as noted to the right.
 
Tables 2-5 illustrate the suggested Scope and Sequence for teaching the EPEC™ Classic K-5 content; however, you may adjust this as appropriate for your students and for your district objectives. Be aware that later steps in some objectives require the ability to perform skills from other objectives. For example, in order to perform TLP step 8 of the Instep Kick, students must be able to do TLP step 4 of the Foot Dribble. Following the EPEC™ Classic K-5 Scope and Sequence will ensure that students have the necessary prerequisites to perform the skills; however, if you develop an alternative scope and sequence, skills needed from other objectives are listed at the beginning of the Practice section in the Instructional Segments.
 
 

The specific content of each of the suggested EPEC™ Classic K-5 lessons appears in Tables 2-5. The Program Objectives addressed and the steps of the Teaching/Learning Progressions taught are listed for each lesson.

 


Use the tabs at the top left to explore this in-depth overview of EPEC™ Classic K–5.

For more general information and news, view the main EPEC™ Classic K–5 page.

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For each of the 35 objectives in the EPEC™ Classic K-5 Curriculum, there are multiple components.

Each Objective includes:

  • The Teaching/Learning Progression (TLP), which outlines all steps of the Objective and gives both teachers and learners clear expectations of what is to be learned.
  • Instructional Segments, which teachers can use as guidance to motivate, explain and demonstrate, practice, and review the individual steps for the Objective.
  • Reinforcing Activities, which provide additional physical activity and fun ways for students to practice the lesson objectives. Many reinforcing activities also include nutrition content.
  • Assessments, which help measure how well students are mastering the content and progressing through the steps of the Teaching/Learning Progression. Assessments can be used as both pre-tests and post-tests.

See tabs at the top left side of this page for detailed descriptioins of these components.

Now available, EPEC™ Classic K–5 Objectives — strong on physical activity, fitness, knowledge, motor skills, and personal and social skills — can be purchased as individual units of instruction. Individual EPEC™ Classic™ Classic Objectives can:

  • Fill gaps in current physical education programming.
  • Provide effective teaching/learning content to meet standards and achieve competence.
  • Supplement physical activity programs for a stronger focus on outcomes.
  • Support positive learning outcomes for special needs students.



For more general information and news, view the main EPEC™ Classic K–5 page.

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Each EPEC™ Classic Teaching/Learning Progression provides you and your students with a series of small steps that, when learned, take students from little or no ability to competence on the objective. The steps are discrete, progressive, and clearly specified so your students know exactly what is expected of them and can realize success. Each step is designed so that 80 percent of students will master it with approximately 15 to 30 minutes of good, focused instruction.

Each step in a Teaching/Learning Progression has a name and is a precise description of what is to be mastered (see Figure 3). The steps in the Teaching/Learning Progression become the focus of instruction in daily lessons (i.e., the lesson objectives). Cumulatively, instruction using the EPEC™ Classic Instructional Segments (one per step), assembled into lessons, leads to competence on the Program Objective.

The Teaching/Learning Progressions are formatted for easy use. You can see at a glance which steps emphasize foundational skills (i.e., Learn), performance (i.e., Do), and performance in real-life situations (i.e., Use). Mature form is always the last step in the Learn section of the Teaching/Learning Progression for object-control and locomotor skills.

Cue words or phrases are found above the graphics in each step of the Teaching/Learning Progression. They are very short, precise statements used to reinforce learning by focusing the students’ attention on key points for each step. The graphics and cue words found in each TLP step are exactly the same as those found on the EPEC™ Classic Posters, in the Assessment Rubrics, and in the Instructional Segments.

The Teaching/Learning Progression contains targets, also called benchmarks, that tell you what you can expect students to master by the end of instruction in each grade. The benchmark is an actual step in the Teaching/Learning Progression. You should strive for 80 percent of your students achieving proficiency on the benchmark by the end of instruction in that grade. Benchmarks are used as a way to monitor progress toward competence on each Program Objective. They should be used as guidelines to move students through instruction on a Teaching/Learning Progression so students are competent on a Program Objective by the time they complete grade 5 (or sooner).

As can be seen in the Teaching/Learning Progression for Compassion for Others, TLP step 1 is the benchmark, or target, for kindergarten. Likewise, TLP step 3 is the benchmark for grade one, and TLP step 4 is the benchmark for grade two. As can be seen in the Teaching/Learning Progression for Leap, TLP step 2 is the benchmark for second grade. Likewise, TLP step 4 is the benchmark for third grade, TLP step 6 is the benchmark for fourth grade, and TLP step 8 is the benchmark for fifth grade.

As you can see from the examples, TLPs may be one or more pages.

Use the tabs at the top left to explore this in-depth overview of EPEC™ Classic K–5.

For more general information and news, view the main EPEC™ Classic K–5 page.

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The EPEC™ Classic Instructional Segments were designed using research on effective instruction. Each segment has a clearly-delineated lesson objective taken directly from the corresponding step in the Teaching/Learning Progression. They are not merely a collection of activities that keep students busy, happy, and good. Each Instructional Segment includes content to: a) motivate students, b) clearly explain and demonstrate the lesson objectives, c) maximize student practice, and d) review the day’s work.

All Instructional Segments have the same format and contain the following elements:

  • Step/Lesson Objective — The lesson objective describes the desired student performance. It comes directly from the corresponding Teaching/Learning Progression step.

  • Equipment/Materials — The equipment and materials needed for the lesson are listed in this section.

  • Setup — A diagram of the gym illustrates the setup needed for the lesson. The diagrams are drawn for an area 50 feet by 83 feet, although most activities will not require an area this large. Text near the diagram provides directions for completing the gym setup. You can modify the setup to accommodate your specific area, using your own methods and best judgment for maintaining a safe and efficient environment.

  • Instruction — Four important instructional components maximize student learning: preparing students to learn, explaining/demonstrating content, practicing content, and reviewing content. These components are easily remembered using the mnemonic PEPR, pronounced “pepper.”
    • Prepare Students — This component of a lesson is a typical anticipatory set. It includes getting the students’ attention, stating the lesson objectives (i.e., student expectations), and making the instruction relevant (i.e., motivation).

    • Explain/Demonstrate — In this component of instruction, the students learn the “what and how” of the lesson objective and observe a demonstration of the skill or part of a skill to be learned. A full technical description of the content to be taught is found in the Teaching/Learning Progression step. In the Instructional Segment, graphics, cue words, abbreviated descriptions, and common errors are provided for you. Use this information when you explain and then demonstrate each part of the TLP step so that students clearly understand the mechanics and performance expectations. Keep in mind that students may need to see and hear multiple explanations and demonstrations of new skills before grasping the process. And by stating and then showing each portion of each TLP step, you will be appealing to students through multiple modalities, improving the likelihood that they will perform adequately during the practice.

    • Practice — Practice components are scripted to provide maximum support to new teachers and to teachers who are new to this style of instruction. We expect that the majority of teachers will read over the practice script and then present the information in their own words to students. During practice, students apply and rehearse what was just explained and demonstrated. Practice opportunities are arranged to maximize time-on-task for every student. Your critical job is to observe students and provide specific feedback using cue words related to the explanation/demonstration. Refer to the common errors or reminders provided to assist you in diagnosing and correcting improper performance.

    • Review — This final component of instruction asks the students to recall what they have just learned and practiced.

  • Homework — Ideas for homework are provided so students have the opportunity to practice what they learned and to gain additional opportunities for physical activity outside of class. At the beginning of each class period, a brief check of students by asking who completed the homework demonstrates the expectation that they complete the homework tasks.

Instructional Segments are intended to be compiled into lessons according to the Scope and Sequence Matrices listed in Tables 2 through 5 at the end of this document. For example, to teach EPEC™ Classic Lesson K-40, you would gather Instructional Segment 2 for Compassion for Others and Instructional Segments 1 and 2 for Catch Fly Balls (see Figure 6). As mentioned earlier, you may adjust the suggested scope and sequence and compile the EPEC™ Classic Instructional Segments in other lesson configurations as appropriate for your students and for your district objectives.


Use the tabs at the top left to explore this in-depth overview of EPEC™ Classic K–5.

For more general information and news, view the main EPEC™ Classic K–5 page.

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Assessment provides you with information on how well students are mastering the content taught and whether students are progressing through the steps in the Teaching/Learning Progression by achieving grade-level benchmarks. To this end, Assessment Rubrics are provided for each TLP step. A school district may require either a four-point or a five-point rubric score; therefore, a scoring option is provided for both (see Figure 4). On the back page of each assessment rubric is a recording sheet with space to record results for up to 30 students on both a pretest and a posttest. You may make as many copies of the recording sheet as needed for your own classes. Directions for recording the assessment results are printed directly on the assessment rubric.

Conducting assessments need not be a formidable task. In fact, every time you provide feedback to a student during a lesson, you assess that student’s performance prior to stating the feedback. Taking it a step further, you can record the observed student’s performance on the recording sheet and, at a future time (e.g., at the end of the day), calculate the rubric score based on the number of elements mastered.

When used as a pretest, assessment outcomes help you decide which steps to subsequently teach to that class. When used as a posttest, assessment outcomes help ascertain if students have reached and/or exceeded the grade-level benchmarks. Comparing pretest to posttest scores illustrates the amount of student learning that has taken place due to instruction and provides powerful data to support continuation or even increased instructional time for physical education. It also offers documentation that performance objectives have been achieved in physical education—just as they are for core classroom subjects—and helps administrators understand the structure and importance of time students spend in physical education.


Use the tabs at the top left to explore this in-depth overview of EPEC™ Classic K–5.

For more general information and news, view the main EPEC™ Classic K–5 page.

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Like the practice component of the Instructional Segment, Reinforcing Activities are scripted. Make sure you understand the activity, and then present it to your students in your own words. Reinforcing Activities provide additional time on task as well as fun opportunities for students to practice the lesson objectives. These activities also provide a chance for you to check mastery of the TLP steps for each objective by assessing student application of the skills during the activity. The Reinforcing Activities are intended to supplement—not replace—the instruction and practice found in the Instructional Segments. Therefore, for maximum learning to take place, always precede these activities with sound instruction using the PEPR model described above. During the activities, it remains important to remind students of the lesson objective and to provide feedback using the cue words.

Since healthy eating is crucial for good health and to decrease risk for some chronic diseases, many of the Reinforcing Activities incorporate basic nutrition concepts. Those that do are designated by a nutrition icon (apple) in the left column (see Figure 7). You do not need any nutrition-related training to use these activities; the concepts are simple and consistent with the new USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. We recommend that you display the MyPlate poster (available from choosemyplate.gov) throughout the school year.

Four nutrition messages/concepts are incorporated into the Reinforcing Activities:

  • Eat a variety of foods from the food groups. The new dietary guidelines recommend choosing foods that are low in fat from the dairy and protein groups and suggest that half of the servings from the grain group be whole grain. Learning about and trying new foods is an important part of getting the variety needed to supply the various nutrients. Encourage children to try new foods, especially fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and non-fat or low-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt. Consider taking a few minutes each week to ask students which new foods they have tried and how they liked them.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Children’s health depends on getting adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables; however, many children do not eat even one fruit or vegetable per day. Canned, frozen, and fresh fruits and vegetables all have vitamins,  minerals, and fiber. Also encourage children to drink 100% fruit juice or water. There is no reason that children need to eat any one particular fruit or vegetable—all fruits and vegetables have nutrients, and it’s important both to eat ones they like and to try new ones. Tell students ways that you include fruits and vegetables in your busy day so they have ideas of how they can follow this important guideline. MyPlate materials say “Make half your plate fruit and veggies.”

  • Eat healthy snacks. A lot of calories, sugar, and fat are incorporated into the diet in the form of high-sugar drinks, chips, candy, and other snacks. Healthy snacks are a great way for kids to get nutrients they need, such as calcium. MyPlate messages include “Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.” Most children love flavored milk and drinkable yogurts; smoothies can be inexpensive if you make them at home and string cheese is an easy way to get calcium for families on the go. Getting enough fiber can also be very difficult, but is essential to a healthy diet. Eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods (like crackers, breads/toast, and bagels) for snacks or meals is a good way to add fiber to children’s diets. Encourage students to ask their parents to have nutritious, easily-accessible snacks available. If teachers at your school reward students with treats, encourage them to use either healthy foods or non-food rewards.

  • Wash hands properly. This topic is covered to a lesser extent but is crucial to preventing food-borne illness. Emphasize using soap and water and scrubbing hands (both sides), wrists, and between fingers for at least 20 seconds to kill germs.

All activities were developed and/or evaluated by experienced physical education teachers. Care was taken to ensure that they are appropriate and enjoyable for the recommended grade levels.

 


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2012, from http://www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines


Use the tabs at the top left to explore this in-depth overview of EPEC™ Classic K–5.

For more general information and news, view the main EPEC™ Classic K–5 page.

Ready to Order? Visit our Product Ordering Page

Have questions? Email us at resources@michiganfitness.org


Posters are also available for purchase with the EPEC curriculum and are a great aid to instruction. Posters are 11” x 17” and full-color. There are 60 posters for locomotor skills, 84 for object-control skills, 35 for knowledge, activity, and fitness, and 32 for personal/social skills.

The posters serve several instructional purposes. First, they provide a graphical illustration of correct elements of form to use during instruction, particularly during the Explain/Demonstrate component of an Instructional Segment. Second, the posters, with their graphics and cue words, exactly match the assessment rubrics so students know exactly what is expected of them. Third, they contain reference to the National Standard being addressed.

Posters are provided for most steps in the Teaching/Learning Progression. Be sure to display the poster that accompanies a given TLP step being taught in an Instructional Segment in a visible location for students. 

Demonstrate skills using DVD-quality, computer-generated animations.

One disc includes object-control skills, the other locomotor skills. In addition, the animations feature diverse characters of both genders and several races and can easily switch between right- and left-handed demonstrations.

You can play animations smoothly or with slow-motion pauses and optionally activate voice-narration of cue words to accompany the action onscreen.


Use the tabs at the top left to explore this in-depth overview of EPEC™ Classic K–5.

For more general information and news, view the main EPEC™ Classic K–5 page.

Ready to Order? Visit our Product Ordering Page

Have questions? Email us at resources@michiganfitness.org