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I believe I learned a lot from our physical education course this year. I expanded my definition of what it means to be a physically literate person and a great physical education teacher as well as how to educate the physical, mental and emotional health of the whole child. A person who is physically literate does not have to be super athletic and talented in very sport they pursue, it can include a large variety of people that are trying their best to pursue a lifelong and active lifestyle. This can include children that learning basic fundamental skills like how to throw and kick for the first time or an older adult who takes care of his or her physical health by going on long walks everyday. An excellent physical education teacher also does not necessarily have to be extremely athletic or in shape but have a genuine passion for physical activity in general. Similarly to more academic subjects, all of our students are learning at different rates and it’s important to try and create a supportive and respectful environment for all of our students.
I also learned the teaching philosophy of what it means to educate the whole child. To me educating in the whole child in a healthy way involves educating children to take of themselves both physically, mentally and emotionally. This means to teach them to have confidence in themselves and have belief that they can reach the goals they set. Also, we should help children find and practice a few physical activities they greatly enjoy and learn to empathize and socialize well with their peers. This means when we’re teaching physical education to our students we shouldn’t only focus on the physical skills they will develop but also on their general self-confidence and ability to work as a team. To me, physical and healthy literacy in an elementary classroom means making a healthy lifestyle a central part of a student’s education. This means giving students lots of chances to be move around in the classroom. For example, teachers can give students brain breaks throughout the day or make an effort to incorporating physical education with other subjects (eg math and body movement patterns). Teachers can also create physical activity journals so students are encouraged to be active outside their classrooms. In addition, students should have conversations about eating healthy and staying mentally healthy (eg MindUp Activities or Meditation). In conclusion, incorporating physical activity into the classroom is a wonderful way for students to be engaged in their learning and provide inspiration for a healthy lifestyle longterm.
Capstone, Journal Entries and Comments EDCP 320 101
Cheryl Burdick Dec 11, 2015
Elementary educators have an opportunity to help students put in place the foundations for a healthy life. Young children are often active and aware of their bodies’ immediate needs, such as to move, to drink water and to eat. We can add to that connection opportunities to gain knowledge about healthy eating and activities. We can offer opportunities to learn and practice movement skills. We can offer contexts in which to use those skills meaningfully, such as sports, games, dance and outdoor activities. We can offer methods to maintain that connection over the lifetime, such as yoga and mindfullness practices.
I believe an important part of learning in the elementary years is exposure to a variety of physical activities, offered in an emotionally and physically safe environment by an educator who understands the foundational skills and is good at teaching them.
Physical activity in the school should extend beyond the PE class, into naturally integrated (intercurricular) learning, body breaks throughout the day, and movement opportunities at recess and lunch breaks.
Because a learner is a whole and integrated person, learning in all realms is facilitated by the opportunity to move, and by a healthy body. Activity and knowledge about health supports all the learning that students do in school.
Health literacy includes knowledge about healthy eating, healthy activity, hygiene, and sexuality. The ability to think critically about health information, to consider the legitamacy of the source, and evaluate the information itself is important given the changeable nature of health information and the availability of information from a variety of sources with varying degrees of reliability. The ability to pay attention to the effects of various foods and activities on one’s health is also a useful tool in health literacy.
A good PE and Health educator should be moving constantly toward a healthy and physically literate life themselves.
PE Blog posts and comments
Week 1 Comment
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Amy! I liked that you included memories about other people’s experiences in PE and not just your own. I also really like the goals that you have chosen for this class.
Week 2 journal entry
This was an awesome week! I loved the flash mob, and that surprised me more than anything else so far in this program!
I have a very mixed bag of memories of PE from school. I was a very anxious child, so not many of my school memories are of relaxed, enjoyable, or exciting times. However, as I learned games and skills I came to enjoy PE. I liked running, basketball, and soccer. I did have some very bad memories from high school PE dance classes. Dance was the one thing that I was NOT looking forward to teaching.
The Dancepl3y instructor did an amazing job of making it safe for me to dance in public. Her rules – Be positive, Be fun, Be yourself – and especially the way she explained them, created in me an openness to join in wholeheartedly. I can now picture myself teaching dance and enjoying it. Just as importantly, I can picture myself teaching dance in a way that is fun for all the students in my class.
I am grateful to have experienced, both physically and mentally, a really good dance experience.
Week 3 Comment
I like Margaret Whitehead’s definition as well! It is more internal, about motivation and our relationship to an active life. I can see that it would not be something that can be assessed from the outside in the way the PHE definition can, since the PHE definition is more about doing. However, I see our relationship to activity as foundational to what we do, so I prefer Whitehead’s definition.
Week 4 journal entry
This was a really fun class! I noticed that the music instantly made the energy level go up in the group. The games were fun and I loved that everyone was active most of the time. It was great to talk about what was good about the game and what could be improved.
The discussion on assessments was thought-provoking and Emily did a good job of keeping us on track. Vivian was wonderful leading the dance. She made it so much fun!
Week 5 Comment
I really enjoyed this class, and while the warm up was challenging, I was surprised at how long I was able to keep it up! Kudos to Rylan for his energy and enthusiasm for the shuffle monkey!
I thought the lesson flowed well and the time to practice each skill was good.
Week 6 journal entry
This was a very enjoyable class! It really demonstrated how getting out of the gym and classroom can be inspiring and energizing. The new environment and fresh air
Katy, Brianna, Jackie, and Lexi prepared activities that challenged our minds as well as our bodies.
The discussion with Katy got me thinking about how I will structure gym time. The reading prompted me to think about the amount of structure that would facilitate learning, and how that would depend on the group of students, and would change over the course of the year. The idea of gradual release of the responsibility for learning from the teacher to the student is a concept I plan to think about, practice, and learn more about.
I learned many interesting things about the UBC campus, and will take some time to walk around the neighbourhood of my practicum school and talk to the staff, parents, and students about the area.
Thanks for the great and inspiring class!
Week 7 comment
Alana, I really enjoyed seeing how you broke down the gymnastics skills into activities that we could (mostly) do. I learned a lot in the discussions about safety and the teachers’ responsibilities. Seeing ways to make gymnastics safer was very helpful! Thank you!
Week 8 questions in lieu of journal entry
How do I plan, participate in, and advocate for School Based Physical Activity?
-Ensure that PE classes for my students are well-planned so each student is moving for much of the class.
-Take body breaks.
-Take my class outside often for intercurricular learning.
-Help to plan and run intramural activities.
-Share ideas for active learning with other teachers.
How do I support lifelong learning in health and physical education?
-Expose students to opportunities to participate in a variety of well planned activities, including bringing in other skilled people to teach and lead activities.
-Ask questions about students’ goals for their lives, find out what they already enjoy and what they enjoy about it, get students to suggest and lead activities and connect with people in the community to encourage healthy activity and living.
What is DPA and how is it different from PE?
DPA is daily physical activity. DPA extends past the PE class to involve activity both in and out of school, and beyond the gym and field at school. For some students, this includes extracurricular and interscholastic activities. It could also include playground time and activity breaks in the non-PE classroom time. In some provinces, adequate DPA time is mandated during the school day.
Week 9 Comment
I learned a lot too about TGFU. I love the idea of playing a simple version right away. Students are so much more active and enthusiastic if they can play immediately and learn the skills as they play.
I plan to incorporate this into my teaching, and hope to learn more about how to simplify games so they can be played without much teaching beforehand.
What a great way to end our group teach lessons for the semester! Elizabeth, Mary, Cheryl, and Rob did a wonderful job of taking all of the skills we have learned this semester, and created a unique and effective lesson!
The instant activity where we got to create letters of the alphabet using our bodies and partners, and then coming together as a group to create “CITE” was a lot of fun, and also provided an opportunity for us to work on our team building skills. This activity would be a great way to get students active in a fun way, as well to develop their group work skills, such as cooperation, giving instruction, and listening skills.
I really enjoyed the warm up and the cool down where the team lead us through an imaginative environment such as a forest and a jungle to stretch and move. I thought the music in the background was a really nice touch, and definitely sets the mood for the activities.
I thoroughly enjoyed the main activity, where the group set up several different stations that each focused on a certain skill that we had learned throughout the year. I especially liked how the group had activities that incorporated mental health, such as the meditation centre and the positivity wall.
What I think is really great about having a variety of stations and allowing students to explore them is that students are able to have a sense of ownership and choice in the classroom. They are able to become innovative and use their imaginations, such as when a group of us started a game of “hungry hippo”, even though it wasn’t a designated station.
I really loved today’s group teach. I think it was an awesome idea to present mini games and activites for us to play that can be used in different ways during our own practicum experiences. My favourite was the maze game. Chris, Maymie and Julie placed coloured circles onto the ground and created a code. They then split us into two groups and the point was for each group to complete the maze by stepping on the correct colour all the way to the end without talking to one another. One person began, if they stepped on the correct colour our teachers would stay silent, if they picked the incorrect colour our teachers would make a beep sound that would signal our cue to restart. I thought this was such a cool team building exercise and is something I can really see myself using with my grade fives. Some modifications we discussed were spreading the circles out to encourage students to jump from one to the other, adding an extra component of skill building exercise and coordination. Chris also suggested moving the circles even closer together, and when the player steps on the wrong circle he or she has to take a lap of the gym. This adds exercise as well as an extra component of difficulty, as the person would have been running around the gym instead of watching their teammates and learning the code. Playing games which involve communication skills besides talking is a good learning tool for both teachers and students. It’s important to remember that not everyone will be comfortable with their words, so encouraging communication through other avenues is key. Great job!
Today’s group teach was really interesting and I feel the activities we did are things I can see myself implementing in my own gym class. The first activity we did was a small warm-up of a lap around the gym to get our heart rates up. Elixa, Sheena and Kate then instructed us on how to measure our heart rates, which we did after our lap and recorded on our worksheets. After recording, we did a dance aerobics routine. This was so fun, I really enjoyed the music. After this segment we re-measured our heart rates and recorded them again to evaluate if anything had changed from our previous record. After this we did a choreographed dance segment, which was fast paced and engaging too. We recorded our heart rates again and then moved into yoga. Yoga was obviously slower paced and more relaxing so my heart rate went down. I think this was a really great way to introduce a new area of health and physical literacy to the class. Knowing how to find your heart rate and being aware of what a healthy heart rate is for resting and exercise is so important and teaches students responsibility in their own health. I think this group did an awesome job of encouraging physical literacy and new knowledge for us!
This was a great way to end the course. It consolidated everything that we have been learning about when it comes to making physical literacy part of everyday life of students. What better way to do that then to work in into different curricular areas. Hearing everyone’s ideas facilitated the idea of creating a drop box in which all of the students within the cohort could submit their lessons for future use. My only issue was that there were two different groups that were presenting that day and it didn’t seem as though there was enough time to do both. If two groups had presented in the penultimate week, it wouldn’t have been so bad; we would still have been pressed for time in that class but the last class seemed to be unfinished. With the yoga group unable to get to all areas of the lesson that they wanted to, the lesson seemed as though it were left hanging. I believe that there should have been more of a warm-up for it but there didn’t seem as though there was enough time. Because of this my hip is still hurting a week afterwards and I am thinking of going to see a doctor about it.