I thought our lesson on Individual Sport went pretty well. It was hectic and a bit last minute planning it, but the day of it felt like it flowed pretty seamlessly and I had fun teaching it. I contributed to the lesson some experience and enthusiasm for track and field. It was exciting for me to just be at the track. I did notice that the planning and teaching of an activity can differ greatly. I think until you’ve done an activity, you won’t be able to anticipate all of the hiccups that could occur in it. In the rabbits and roosters drill, I did not anticipate students being confused about which direction they were running so it was a little chaotic at first. I think that the skill progression was relayed however and it worked out in the end. Something we could do to change it might be have more of a visual cue to which team is running and a reminder which side is which before the start of each game. The learners responded really positively to the lesson. Everyone was enthusiastic and many students said they really enjoyed the pursuit relay part of the lesson. Many students also commented that even if they didn’t usually like running, they found it an enjoyable activity. It think that means that the activity did meet the needs of diverse learners, which is what we hoped for. The only thing I would change is some clarification in the rabbit and rooster game. There are several options to carry out that skill progression and it might be worth playing around with a few of them.
This week I enjoyed learning more about Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). I like the idea of breaking down fundamental skills and categorizing them into types of sports. Until recently I would have thought of Capture the Flag when someone was talking about invasion games. It has been interesting to learn about the break down of sports into fundamental movement categories. I have always played a lot of invasion games such as soccer, basketball, field hockey and ultimate and never thought to break down the skills this way. I like the idea of slowly building up to the skill to perform a sport, the way we did in PE this week with both the team teach and after with Steve. However, I think it could be challenging as a PE teacher, because many kids just want to play the sport right away without any breakdown of skill. It would be helpful to get some resources on how to break down different types of sports into games that slowly build up the skills required for the sport. I think the discovery approach is useful because it allows students to understand why they are learning what they are learning and to be in control of their own learning. What we learn stays with us longer if we were in charge of our learning. One condition for including all learners in game playing, would be breaking down skills enough that everyone is able to perform them at first. Everyone should at least be able to accomplish the first level of the skill. Like in the game with Steve, we were all able to perform the first task of getting through the people on the line but still gaining the basic fundamental principles of dodging opponents.
Physical literacy is a term that I have heard around for awhile now but not had a full understanding of its meaning. It has been interesting in the last couple classes to learn what it means to be physically literate and to promote that in physical education. I like the idea of breaking down sports into fundamental movement skills. I think a lot of the enjoyment that comes from being physically active has to do with feeling comfortable and competent. This is why kids who naturally excel at sports immediately enjoy them and continue to play sports and be active. Whereas children who find they are not immediately competent at sports or physical activities may develop a negative association perhaps from public failure or embarrassment. It’s always easier to pursue things that we have a natural ability for. I do not have a natural ability at math, but if it is broken down for me into simplified steps and patterns, it becomes easier for me to grasp. It makes sense that the same logic would be used for physical education. I think that up until now, more emphasis would be put on helping a student who is struggling with math than one who is struggling in PE. However, I think that physical literacy is just as important as math literacy. Hopefully the new PE curriculum will emphasize the importance of encouraging competent and confident movement patterns in children throughout their schooling so that all children can learn to enjoy physical activity, not just children with a “natural athletic ability”.
I was already looking forward to P.E. class before going last Friday, but my excitement grew when I arrived at the door and saw that everyone was shooting hoops, kicking a soccer ball, running around with foam and ribbons and things that I was not even sure the name of. I was excited to jump right in. I always looked forward to P.E. growing up because I loved being active for one, but it was also so enjoyable to me to just get out of the classroom and move! I would say from that, that my experiences of P.E. were primarily positive. I do know however, that this is not the case for everyone and often P.E. is thought to be only for “athletic” children. I think in the past, that P.E. class was tailored towards children with a natural athletic ability and therefore provided a negative experience to others. In talking to each other and learning about our own experiences of P.E., I think we can better understand how to avoid these negative experiences in the future. In my opinion, the purpose of P.E. should be to promote a healthy active lifestyle in everyone. As such it should incorporate a diversity of activities that would cater to a wide range of abilities and, just like in the classroom, take into account a variety of learning styles. I am looking forward to learning what the P.E. curriculum looks like now, and how it has changed and evolved since I was in elementary school.