Shirin Movement Journal October 6

Going into the first day of practicum on Thursday, I was excited and curious to observe how physical activity was being incorporated into the students’ activities through the day at Queen Mary, as well as to have the opportunity to assist in a PE class. Although I wasn’t able to observe an actual block of PE, I did have the chance to witness the Grade 2 students partake in physical activity in two other contexts, both of which were quite interesting to note.

The first example of physical activity I observed was the school’s “Kilometre Club” – a short period at the beginning of each day during which some teachers bring their classes outside to run laps. I was actually quite surprised to see this in schools today, as I recall doing something similar when I was in Kindergarten (though it wasn’t called Kilometre Club at that time)! The children would circle the playground, and receive a small line on their hand for each lap they ran; at the end of the time period, the teacher would tally the lines and mark it on her attendance sheet. I have observed this running practice in other schools I have volunteered at as well, and generally the children seem to be interested in running laps. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all of them are engaged – some are more interested in socializing, but they socialize with their friends as they walk around the field. For these children, the amount of laps they run is less important than having a chance to build relationships with their classmates, which I think is okay. However, this club is also used as part of the IB transdisciplinary theme the class is focusing on: How we organize ourselves. Their unit discusses physical and social/emotional health, with a focus on goal setting; thus the children set personal goals for the teacher with reference to their exercise and how many laps they are attempting to do for a specific time frame. It was interesting for me to see how the IB themes are used to incorporate a variety of subjects within a single theme, including physical activity.

The second instance of physical activity I observed was in the middle of the day, after the students had returned from the library. As they were restless from sitting and listening for a long period of time, the teacher had scheduled a 15 minute period where the students could be active and engaged, providing them with a necessary break from siting in the classroom.   The teacher used to overhead projector to put on a website called “GoNoodle” which provides amazing guided dance routines for young children, and many other activities to get children active. Students and teachers alike were participating in the dances and the children were very excited to do this activity. I thought this was a great way to add in a short period of physical activity in the middle of the day to help students use some energy and re-focus their attention after having some time to just move around. It was obvious that GoNoodle is a classroom favorite, as the children knew the lyrics to all the songs and were all extremely excited to participate, even the quieter children. I would definitely use this resource in the future, and if anyone is interested (it’s free!), I have included the link below.


2 thoughts on “Shirin Movement Journal October 6”

  1. Great post Shirin!

    I was very interested to see too what types of physical activity would be implemented at my practicum school in my Kindergarten class. Although, I did not get to witness a P.E. class, I did see several instances of required physical activity throughout the day. As you can imagine the level of energy in a Kindergarten class is quite high. They have a hard time sitting for too long, so regular breaks are required to get them moving. Not that you need to get them moving, the challenge is more how to get them to sit still and be able to focus. That entails burning off a lot of energy! We did lots of Simon Says, but with more energetic movement. For example, Simon Says do ten jumping jacks. It was a good way to get the kids moving in a fun environment. I love the idea of dance too! In the Kindergarten class that I volunteered in they would often do dance breaks and the kids loved it. They knew the songs and would jump right in.

    I was surprised to hear that they ran laps at your practicum school. I remember having to do those at the beginning of the year and we all dreaded it. I can’t believe they still run laps at school. I personally don’t think it is a great activity as it doesn’t inspire most kids and isn’t really a good representation of physical literacy. However, it was interesting to hear how they had incorporated some of the IB principals. I’m not convinced that I would implement this type of activity in my class. Perhaps you could have each student set a physical goal of their choosing and they could work on those goals and see how they progressed throughout the year. That way students could find an activity that they are interested in and want to improve upon.


  2. Shirin!! Thanks so much for sharing this great resource… I just spent the last 30 minutes laughing at some of the videos! I’m sure this is something we would all utilize in the classroom at some point. It’s really awesome that you were able to witness how physical activity is incorporated into the school day, even if it is just a five minute dance routine. These ‘brain breaks’ are so important, especially for young students who are stuck inside all day when it’s raining outside. We all know ourselves how easily our brains seem to turn to mush every time we have a 3 hour afternoon class!

    Like Jennifer, I was surprised to read about the ‘Kilometre Club’, but it reminded me that the students did this at the school I volunteered at too. It’s not something I would expect would go down well, and it’s interesting to hear how the IB principles were incorporated also. But I guess it’s an easy, no-fuss way to encourage the students to be active, so if the students respond well, why not?! When I was at my school last Thursday, unfortunately we rotated round the classrooms for the first day so it was unfortunate that I didn’t get to see ‘brain breaks’, or a physical education class in practice. But definitely looking forward to seeing this in action, particularly for the older grades.

    In regards to this weeks lesson, I thought Jessica, Ally & Kaira did a great job in introducing a ‘new’ sport to the class – including skill development and a game in combination worked really well. We would have been lost had we not practiced the ‘Ice Cream’ drill. I’ve never played netball before but I know of it, so it was a really fun class. In fact, I feel an IB netball team in the making…

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