For our final project, the cross-curricular lesson, Sydney and I developed a mini-unit that integrates science, math, and PE/DPA for primary-aged students.
Through an inquiry into the body’s reactions to exercise, students will learn about how activity level leads to changes in heart rate. Students will measure their heart rate and use this data in real-life math problems. Further, students will be able to experience the workings of the cardiovascular system through a relay activity where they play the part of red blood cells carrying oxygen.
We hope you’ll find this resource useful and that you’ll have fun implementing it with your students!
This week in Physical Education, my group and I presented our reading summary and instant activity. For our instant activity, we decided to have our peers participate in a game of chain tag. My group and I wanted to introduce a game that our peers could use during their practicums. My Grade 1 and Grade 2 students play various tag games during Physical Education. Therefore, I decided to teach my students chain tag during the PE lesson I taught in my practicum. I thought this tag time was effective in that it required students to work together and play cooperatively with one another. My students seemed very receptive to the new game and were enthusiastic throughout the entire activity. The great thing about tag times is that they can essentially be used in any grade level, and they often require students to be constantly moving. When I consider which games to include in a PE lesson, I am always thinking about which games require full student participation and activeness. I believe that these are two important things to consider when devising a lesson, in order to meet the curriculum standards and to achieve physical literacy.
The reading summary this week focussed on Chapter 7, Diversities in Physical Education, and Chapter 8, which addressed the areas of Adapted and Inclusive Physical Education. My small group and I had an in-depth discussion about the contexts of diversity (i.e. race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, and so on) and possible approaches for alleviating the problems these different diversities pose. For example, when discussing body image, my group suggested that the physical educator should invite people from the community with eating and weight challenges to speak to the students about ways to overcome unhealthy body images. In Chapter 8, my group discussed how there is no formal Canadian or provincial law to ensure physical education for people with disabilities. Instead, we must trust that the physical educators will do their best to include people with disabilities in Physical Education. We then read a case study of an educator refusing to include a student with Asperger’s syndrome in his class because of the student’s perceived bad attitude. We analyzed the case study and stated recommendations as to what the educator should have done, and what we would do in such a situation. Overall, it was great to have my peers thinking and discussing important concepts and scenarios because these are issues we will have to face as future educators!
My practicum is at a private school, so they have specialist teachers that teach PE. Luckily, the PE teacher for my grade five class was happy to let me teach a class today. It was based on Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). We started with a tail chase game, which was played in pairs. Students tucked a scarf into their shorts and the aim of the game was to remove their opponent’s scarf without losing theirs. We discussed the tactics they used to be successful in the game. Students said that being successful in this game involved constantly moving, moving backwards and placing their body between the scarf and the opponent. Then we talked about applying these skills to a game of soccer. The next game we played was four goal soccer. I have included a video below. We started with one ball and ended with four balls in play. I stopped the game so we could discuss the tactics again and the students talked about the same skills we talked about earlier. We also noticed that some students were not playing fairly, so we talked about being principled in PE by not cheating. We have been talking about being principled throughout this week because it is the IB Learner Profile of the month. We played another game and did a quick debrief at the end of the class.
Overall, I think it went well. The games allowed for maximum participation and students were active throughout the lesson. Having a small number of players on each team and adding more balls to the soccer game made it almost impossible to be inactive. Additionally, the students grasped the strategies that were required to be successful in playing soccer. However, I would have liked to see more students participating in the discussions about tactics. They were easily distracted in the gym and it was difficult to get them to sit still. They just wanted to get up and play another game. The PE teacher suggested adding an incentive to the discussion by saying that we would play the next game when we figured out what tactics we learned in the previous game. This is something I will implement in my next lesson. If anyone else has any other ideas, please let me know!
You probably know by now that I’m not much of a dancer. Despite 8 years of classical ballet training I don’t have much of a sense of rhythm nor do my limbs seem to coordinate themselves particularly gracefully.
I’d really love to be a PE teacher, but one of the things that makes me apprehensive about following this dream is that I’d have to teach dance. I managed to get through PE dance lessons by hiding in the back, but that’s not an option when I’m the one teaching it!
Aiming to solve this problem, I went on a hunt and found this great resource about teaching dance in PE:
I LOVE that the first thing they say is to start small. That’s manageable. I can do that. I even already know the Pata Pata (thanks Ms. DL & the grade 1s!)
I also love all the ways they integrate media and pop culture into their suggestions. I know that as a child I was always more excited to do something when there was a video or multimedia component to it; hopefully this is still the case for today’s kids.
This week’s dance lesson was a great example of how to “hand the heavy lifting” over to your students. While the teachers demonstrated the steps, they weren’t in front the whole time, which handed the responsibility over to us but also took them out of the spotlight, which is key for me if I were to teach dance. I loved the way the iPads were integrated into the lesson, and I think this would be awesome for a whole unit for students to see their progress from the first time they tried the dance to the end of the unit.
Having done the reading summary for last class, I was able to familiarize myself with the various models associated with teaching Physical Education. I myself liked the Teaching Games for Understanding the most as I really liked the aspect of skills learned in one game being carried over into other games and sports. I also liked how drills are not a part of this model since skills should be developed in context as opposed to in isolation. I remember doing drills in elementary school PE and being so bored as well as not understanding the important concepts and strategies behind the game. I feel like the initial modified game also takes some of the pressure off of students because the game feels less formal than the complex, actual game/sport that some students may already know and excel in.
I think the majority of my high school PE classes followed the Multi-Activity Model with the seasonal sport aspect. I never really liked the seasonal sports except for volleyball and we were stuck doing the same sport for a long chunk of time. I feel like the net sports that involved a net in the middle of the gym, like badminton and volleyball were done out of convenience since our teacher did not want to dismantle and then re set up the net, but the other seasonal ball sports could have easily been swapped for something else given that our amount of time with each sport was long and repetitive over the years.
Once upon a time there was a little elephant. Little elephant had a trunk that was a little too long, and so little elephant was teased often. Little elephant was called pinocchio, long nose, and weirdo. Little elephant wished on every star and blade of grass that he would wake up one day with a normal sized trunk and so all of the other little elephants would be his friend. Little elephant’s long trunk often made him unbalanced, and so he often fell over, because none of the adult elephants ever took the time to teach him how to walk with a slightly longer trunk. One day ‘Old Gray’ walked up to little elephant and told him about all of the wonderful things that his longer trunk can do, such as throwing objects. Little elephant created games where he learned to shift his weight while he threw, and really project objects using his trunk. He started small, sticks and stones, and ended up tall, with fallen trees and boulders. Every game he played helped increase his trunk strength, his aim, this distance and so his confidence.
Little elephant grew, and as he grew, his trunk grew with him. Fortunately the other elephants realized little elephants potential, and started to appreciate his talents. The other elephants wished that they had such a mentor that helped them realize what they could do. One day, a hunter was creeping towards the elephants, wanting ‘Old Baboo’s’ tusks. Little elephant was by the watering hole, and so was too far away to help the other elephants attack. However, there was a giant rock by Little Elephant, and he picked it up. Because he had practised and played so diligently as a little elephant, he aimed and threw. He killed the hunter!!! Little elephant became a hero, and all of the other elephants decided to never tease the ‘different’ elephants again. They also learned that starting with easy games helped realize each elephant’s potential for strength and fitness later on in life, to help kill greedy horrible tusk hunters. And elephants were never poached again.
This week’s PE class was so active and fun, I honestly have not moved around this much in class since high school! It was pretty much non-stop from the instant activity to the group teach to Steve’s mini-activities. The instant activity and this week’s group teach was amazing by the way, definitely worked up a sweat early on! All of the activities involved a ton of movement and got our blood pumping and warmed us up quickly, especially in the chilly gymnasium :). I also appreciated Steve’s demonstration games on the importance of TGFU. It was really useful to see it in action and to actually participate in the activities. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish with minimal equipment!
When I was at my first practicum visit at Southridge, I was impressed to hear from some students that their DPA was actually implemented every day during school hours. I was able to witness this firsthand in a first class grade when the teacher noticed the students were getting antsy from having sat on the carpet for quite some time. She told everyone to stand up, head outside and run some small laps around the courtyard just outside their classroom. Students came back out of breath but energized, and were able to contribute even more to the activity the class was completing beforehand! I guess something to keep in mind is to always keep our eyes and ears alert to make sure the class is still paying attention instead of focussing on getting the lesson done. From all the different group teach presentations we have done, a valuable lesson I have learned from them all is definitely to be adaptable!
Julie, Helen, and I were in charge of the group teach activity last week and I must say, it was a nerve-racking and fun experience at the same time. One thing we realized is that no matter how prepared you feel like you are in your lesson plans, there will always be something that needs to be altered during your actual lessons. You cannot predict everything! I think that was one of our biggest take-aways we got from Steve. Nonetheless, we had a great time teaching and we were so pleased that everyone enjoyed the activities and playing badminton!
Something else I wanted to mention during last week’s class was the case study of Billy during the physical literacy reading summaries. The scenario was similar to something that happened when I was in Grade 6, when I received my first C+ in PE class. I was always an active child and participated in PE class regularly, so the letter grade was basically a slap in the face for me. I remember thinking what was I doing wrong? Back then, I always thought PE was built solely on skills and athletic ability, and the term ‘physical literacy’ was all but non-existent for me. But after the short discussion during our summary circles, I finally have a better understanding of what the new school curriculum is shifting towards. This change towards an holistic understanding of healthy living and physical well-being is going to be vital for children and youths today, teaching them about the importance of physical literacy and the motivation to stay active for life.
I can’t wait for the rest of the class’ group teach!