Friday’s PE class was so much fun! I really enjoyed the ‘Teaching games for understanding’ model that both Steve and the group presenting demonstrated.
I think this approach to a new game can be extremely beneficial. It allows children to build upon their skills while keeping in mind the main point of the game. Teaching our students in this way forces kids to appreciate the game and can help them understand on a deeper level what the game is about. Kids may start to be able to see how to break down components of the game and recognize that each step, no matter how small, is important and has its own challenges. For example, I can imagine a child who has some experience with an invasion game not understanding the amount of teamwork involved. Breaking down the game using the TGFU model and playing a game, like the one used by the group on Friday, could be the eye opening moment that child needs. It quickly becomes clear in games like that, that everyones role is important and one student can not succeed on their own.
Games like this are also good for discussing carry over skills. The space invasion game used or the chicken game can be a great place for us as teachers to have students thinking critically about the skills involved and what sports or activities in their lives such skills would be useful for.
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I agree with you, Jessica, that the break down of the game is so beneficial in appreciating and understanding whatever it is your are trying to accomplish in your learning objectives! I think that the concept of presenting concepts and skills within the context of a game, breaking them down and looking at them in more isolated detail, and re-instituting them within the game draws many parallels to the pedagogies of other subjects. In particular, I see many common threads between TGFU and teaching ELL or early readers about the features of language within the context of stories, breaking stories down into sentences, words, phonemes, meanings, themes, etc., and reintroducing them within the context of a story.
I also agree with your point that TGFU can highlight transferrable skills within games and beyond the gym into school and life in general! Games are a fun and engaging way to explore participation, teamwork, leadership, fundamental movement skills, appreciation for healthy and active living, and much more!
On Friday, I felt much more confident in playing “MC Hammer Can’t Touch This” as well as the ball game with the presenting group after playing a series of lead up games that scaffolded my understanding of game concepts. The lessons (both presenters and Steve) were eye opening in regards to seeing and experiencing the benefits of TGFU.