If you ever attend teacher Justin Black’s “math” class, don’t stand in the middle of the room.
You’re liable to get trampled.
That’s because Black, who was recently chosen as “Physical Education Teacher of the Year” by the New Mexico Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, has a unique way of exercising the muscles and brains of Chamisa Elementary students, all at the same time.
It’s something you have to see to understand. For each history section of the class, Black posts images of historical figures and places all around the walls of the gym at Chamisa Elementary, which is Black’s classroom. Black calls out the name of said figure or place, and the students are expected to run to the correct picture. It makes for an exciting class, as a lot of students get it right, and some don’t. Either way, everyone wins as the physical experience of winning or losing reinforces the right answer in their heads.
Math is set up like a relay race. Black divides his class in two, and each “team” forms a line facing one of the inside walls of Chamisa’s gym. On the walls are large sets of cross hairs with numbers in each of the crosshair’s sections.