Oct 28th – Self-reflection (Dance Lesson) Ashley Wong

This was my very first time teaching physical education, and I can honestly say I learned a lot just in the planning and execution of this one lesson. First, I learned there are so many details (particularly with dance) that you have to consider when prepping your lesson. For example, considering your student’s skills and prior knowledge. As a group, we wanted to come up with a dance lesson that was challenging and new, but still accessible. We also wanted to come up with a routine that was fun and engaging. It was difficult coming up with a dance routine we felt was both age-appropriate and fun. We also had to consider in what format were we going to introduce the routine, for example, if we’d teach it in parts, or as a whole with music. All these minor details had to be thought out and discussed.

Overall, I’m really happy with our lesson. I feel like we were able to create a lesson that encouraged a lot of class participation, group collaboration and fun! Something that we can definitely consider for next time is (as mentioned to us by Steve) is ensuring every student feels supported and included in their learning by giving them that one-on-one support if needed. For example, while I was demonstrating at the front of the class, we could have had Amy and Jennifer roaming through the students to see if anyone needed extra help in learning the dance moves. As an educator, it’s easy to forget that even though you’re teaching to a group, you’re teaching individuals who learn at different rates. When we check in with students to see their progress, some students may be too shy to admit that they are behind the class or just not understanding the material. It’s our job to notice this and take the time to help those students. That’s the same with teaching dance, knowing when to break in your lesson or take that initiative to help those students learn the dance moves and overall, feel included.

2 thoughts on “Oct 28th – Self-reflection (Dance Lesson) Ashley Wong”

  1. Ashley,

    As somebody who is not particularly confident about her dancing skills, I was admittedly skeptical about a dance unit for PE. I started thinking of potential students who would feel uncomfortable dancing in public, including myself. However, I have to commend you and your team for doing such a fantastic job with this unit! Your dance group teach was amazing!!! There were two things that I thought made your lesson run smoothly:

    1) Big group – small group – big group
    It was beneficial for all of us the way you divided the unit. First, we were all taught the moves as a big class, then we were able to practice in small groups, and finally we came together as a class for the entire dance. You made a good point about it being a teacher’s job to be sensitive to all her students’ needs, particularly those who might be too quiet or shy to even ask for help. By dividing the class into smaller groups, you made it a more manageable size for you as an educator!

    2) Dance steps were taught in sections AND were memorable.
    I’ve said it once but I’ll say it again: Your unit made me want to teach dance! I found it very clever naming the dance moves with actions that are memorable and fun (e.g. “Shoulder check! Attitude!”). I know from experience that I always panicked during dance units because I would concentrate so hard to remember the sequence of steps, that I would miss a beat and altogether lose focus. Children will have an easier time remembering moves if they are taught in manageable chunks, which in turn will lessen any anxiety that dance may bring.

    Again, great job!

  2. Hi Ashley!

    I thought that you did wonderful on teaching your dance lesson. I completely agree with you, there will be many level variations in your students abilities and it is important as a teacher to have a keen out and spot out the ones who may need more time. During my practicum, I’ve been trying my best to attend to the needs of all my students. You did this wonderfully during the class by giving us ample time, demonstrating the moves continuously, and also pairing us in teams in order to synchronize our learning further.
    One thing I’ve learned during my practicum was to pair stronger students with those who might need some extra help. In this way, you don’t have to only pay attention to the weaker students. The stronger students also get to solidify their learning through teacher and helping others.

    Great work!

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