I’m going to focus on one particular guiding question for this post – what are the conditions for including all learners in game play? I feel like this is a really important part of the teaching model we focused on this week: Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). One condition is having games where a clear “winner” is not a focus of the game. I thought the invasion game lesson, Alien Invasion/Prairie Dog Pick-off, was a great example of this – the students who won the game in the end included students whose skittles had already been knocked over, so there was no identifiable winner. Also key to including all learners is to minimize down-time and have movement be something that is constantly happening in a PE lesson. This avoids turning part of the class into spectators, which makes many kids nervous, and keeps as much time as possible open for students to explore and practice different movements.
In general, I think Teaching Games for Understanding is a model because of its emphasis on experiencing and learning. Rather than a focus on mastering sports, TGfU focuses on the lifelong benefits of healthy activity and getting kids moving in fun and engaging ways. I really like the fact that the TGfU model gets the kids playing games right away – it takes the pressure off working towards playing the game “perfectly” as the ultimate goal and instead focuses back on the experience of the learner in trying different ways of being active.