Michael Alberts, a physical education teacher in Broadwater, Montana, plans to use math and science in the curriculum by making his students add up the number of laps they are required to run.

Young basketball players scrimmage during the second and final Brad Underwood Lumberjack Basketball Camp of the summer at the Health and Physical Education Complex gymnasium at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, Andrew D. Brosig)

Overlapping different subject is part of how Montana is applying Common Core to physical education, the Helena Independent Record reported.

The newspaper reported on a gathering of the state’s PE teachers at the Montana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Conference — held at Helena High School on Monday and Tuesday — focused on applying the controversial Common Core K-12 education standards to PE.

Common Core was developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, and initially applied only for English and math standards. However, in recent years, states have sought to apply Common Core to other subjects such as social studies and science. And in Montana, it is being applied to physical education.

SPARK, a public health research arm of San Diego State University Research Founcation that focuses on fighting childhood obesity, has promoted implemeting Common Core in PE nationally.

The South Dakota State Board of Education is considering adopting Common Core PE standards by September, and not getting the same parental pushback as the math and English standards in the state, the Argus Leader reported.

Alberts told the Independent Record he also learned new games and activities, but doesn’t anticipate a sweeping change.

“I don’t know how it’s going to change that much, I guess,” Alberts said.

Karen Dunfee, a physical education teacher at Cornelius Hedges Elementary in Kalispell, Montana, told the Independent Record that Common Core is as important in the gym as in the classroom and that exercise would rejuvenate students when they return to the classroom.

Common Core was initially adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia. However, many states are having buyers remorse. Debate over the implementation of the standards is widespread among several states, while three states – Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina – have repealed Common Core altogether.

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