As my final blog post I thought I would try to revisit what I have learned over the past few months, what I have enjoyed and what I am looking forward to.
Let me start with the basics. I have learned that P.E. can be fun. That may sound obvious but for me it was a huge learning that has evolved since September. As a child I wasn’t a huge fan of P.E. I was athletic and enjoyed a variety of sports but they were always solitary activities. I enjoyed swimming, dance, and gymnastics but I tended to shy away from group or team activities. I strongly disliked the competitiveness of team sports and dreaded participating in sports that I felt I wasn’t very good at. So, this course was a wonderful opportunity for me to revisit P.E. and gain a new, fresh perspective. I greatly enjoyed all the activities we participated in and was particularly surprised to find that I thoroughly enjoyed activities I hadn’t in the past. I think it made all the difference that as a cohort we made the effort to make the activities enjoyable, cooperative, inclusive and attainable. It seemed that we could all participate in the activities and didn’t feel we were being judged as the activities were manageable for everyone. I also liked how we designed activities so that no one was ever in the performance spotlight, it was team effort, that was supportive at all times.
I also greatly enjoyed learning about physical literacy as a concept. As an adult I do not participate in any of the activities that I did as a P.E. student. It is unfortunate as I am sure I would still enjoy dance and gymnastics in-particular, but my lifestyle doesn’t seem to afford these activities at the moment. Rather, I now participate in hiking, pilates and spinning classes. Also, I am also much more concerned as a adult about my complete wellness. For example, I am careful in selecting what I eat, I try to get as much exercise as possible, although it is increasing difficult in such a busy program, and I take time for myself to get outside and get some fresh air. When I was a student in P.E. we never talked about wellness as a concept and what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle. It was more about how many laps you could run in ten minutes. I am happy to see that there has been a shift towards physical literacy, in that there is a focus on teaching children how to live a balanced lifestyle and why that is important. I am also excited to see that there is room now in P.E. to teach activities which will realistically be a part of a student’s life. Not many of us will become professional soccer or basketball players but we might go hiking, biking, or to a yoga class and it is nice to see how we can incorporate those activities into our P.E. lessons.
I am grateful that I have learned a variety of activities that can be applied to my practicum class and future classes. I feel I am leaving this course with practical hands-on skills and improved confidence that I might be able to teach this subject. I look forward to my years ahead in the gymnasium and outside in teaching students about what it means to live a well-rounded lifestyle. I hope to design lessons that are fun and inclusive for all. I will rest assured that there are plenty of resources available for my information and colleagues who I can share ideas with. I look forward to continuing my P.E. education and vow to never make another child run the ten minute mile again!
Thanks for a great class!
There are a couple things I wanted to share about last week’s discussion group and team teach.
Firstly, I greatly enjoyed learning about the difference between formative and summative assessments. I really think formative assessment is an excellent tool and one that I hope to implement in all my classes. I’m not sure if my elementary or high school P.E. teachers did any formative assessments, as I do not recall them ever discussing them in class. If they did, I am sure they were loosely based on performance standards only. That being said, I think one of the most effective tools of formative assessment is transparency. We have all heard the saying “no secret teacher business” and I think this really applies here. I think it is very helpful to students to let them know what you are looking for and what you will be assessing so there are no surprises. It also allows students to give their feedback and an assessment of their teacher too. These discussions can also be a great opportunity to talk about physical literacy as you can explain that formative assessment will be based on more than performance alone. In this way I hope students can ask questions and not feel so intimidated by the grading process.
I also wanted to mention how much I enjoyed the striking game activities this past class. What a fun and active class, the team teachers thought of everything! From stretches to the field to fun warm-up games and an inclusive new edition of California Kickball, I had my heart pumping and my feet moving. I really enjoyed how the team teachers made sure everyone was included and moving at all times. I also wanted to highlight how the games were FUN! It sounds simple but Chuck the Chicken is loads of fun and still gets students to practice their skills. Also, the adaptation of California Kickball was inclusive and I liked how no one was ever caught out. I have terrible memories of playing baseball and heading up to the plate nervously waiting to have the ball thrown to me. I rarely hit it and always felt terribly embarrassed. This wonderful game eliminated all those feelings and brought out great team spirit and comradery.
Great Job! I would love to use your entire lesson plan in a future P.E class!
Something I reflected on a lot this week was the hall of shame games article. The three games I was struck most by were dodge ball, tag, and red rover. I have lots of memories playing all of these games growing up and I remember them quite fondly.
When it came to dodge ball, I was never that good at throwing the ball but I was good at jumping and dodging. Growing up we played many variations of the game and our teachers always tried to make the teams fair. Little did I realize until reading this article all the negativity behind the game.
Tag is a game that I believe does not need to be a hall of shame game; if played in a positive way. There are variations of the game where everyone can be involved; for example: “everyone’s it tag.” I think if tag is played correctly it can be played in a positive environment that is inclusive and fun for all students.
Finally the last game that stood out was red rover. I absolutely loved this game growing up! The competitive aspects of the game and trying to break through my friends were so much fun! Looking back at the game I understand how it taunts the less athletic students but it also is so dangerous.
I learned so much from the hall of shame articles. My perspectives on teaching P.E. were changed and I hope to provide my students with a positive learning environment.
I had mainly negative experiences in P.E. We concentrated mostly on traditional ball sports, which I had no prior practice with, so wasn’t very good at. Also “team captains” were allowed to pick their teams, in a kind of twisted popularity contest, so it was always socially ackward. I always maintained that I hated P.E. and I skipped class a lot.
Despite my experience with P.E., I discovered, towards the end of high school, that I love being active, and I started dragon boating and hiking. These activities turned my life around in a lot of ways. It could have easily gone the other way for me though, and I could have spent my whole life being really intimidated by physical activity, all based on being miserable in gym class!
I don’t really have any fears about teaching P.E., partly because I’ve been teaching yoga for a long time. Also I think sharing things you love with children is generally pretty fun. Some of my best conversations with my daughter are when we are hiking, and it was a proud day when she got her first pair of rock climbing shoes. I’m really hopeful that she will have a much better P.E. experience than I had.