Technology and dance was the topic of today’s presentation. I thought it interesting that we would be talking about technology during a physical education class but now that I think about, technology is very crucial and all areas of teaching. Just from visiting schools in our practicum we can see how technology such as projector screens, computers, smartboards, and ipads have been incorporated into the school systems to enhance learning. Although technology has greatly enhanced learning in the classroom for some students, we must caution how we use technology as it could create distraction or even hinder the learning process of some students.
Dance is a great way for students to learn to express themselves in a different way. I believe technology plays a pivotal role in dance because it provides a lot of the supporting elements that are just very difficult to perform without. Dance is much easier to learn when there is music to dance to. Videos and resources (such as go noodle) are a great way for students to begin to explore different movements without worrying about getting steps right or other people watching them because everyone is moving to their rhythm. That being said, technology is not the only component required for a dance lesson to succeed. It requires a very positive and energetic mentality and the belief that how one moves is their own and that nobody can tell them that it is wrong.
This week’s physical education theme was Dance and it was beyond pleasurable to be a part of! It triggered many memories of being back in my elementary school physical education class. The grade 6 dance unit was focused around student formed groups that had to create their own routine for an entire song and did not provide any fundamental skills prior to that. It created a lot of tension and pressure for students who lacked funds of knowledge relating to dance. This is why I thought that the use of a go noodle for today’s lesson was an excellent way to warm up the class by getting everyone moving, energized and engaged! The go -noodle approach to dancing eliminates the worry of being watched by peers because everyone is independently focused on following the routine on the screen. After having the privilege of participating in the groups activity it got me reflecting on the many different ways I can incorporate technology into the physical education classroom. It is so refreshing to experience all of these unique ways to teach students that move away from the traditional competitive game focused curriculum. Utilizing the presence of a smart board in the classroom can maximize physical education time without having to lose time by travelling to the gymnasium. Youtube dance tutorials, go noodle routines and yoga directed videos are just a few ways that technology can be utilized.Upon reading about the abundance of digital tools for physical education, I found that Excelade and Coach’s Eye will be very beneficial tools for my practice as they allow for both students and the educator to go back to reevaluate the performance. Students will be able to self assess how they did during a certain activity and evaluate themselves with a rubric or through a self reflection. Being able to visually see yourself during an activity is such a great tool for goal setting and working towards improving.I am looking forward to introducing my grade 5’s to the world of go noodle among many other digital tools for physical education!
Today’s dance lesson was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed seeing the incorporation of technology into teaching and learning dance. It made it especially fun and interesting as todays society is so reliant on the usage of technology that we as educators need to develop appropriate strategies for incorporating it into the curriculum. This is extra important as our students now and in the future are so connected to their phones and what not that they aren’t receiving the appropriate amount of physical activity that they need. That is why I thoroughly enjoyed how the group this week brought in technology to show a video where we were able to follow and copy the dance moves on the screen. This allows us (the students) to remain in contact with technology while also doing physical activity.
Another aspect to today’s lesson that I enjoyed was how the group allowed us to express our individuality in respectful and creative ways during the dance routine. At first we all did the same dance moves, but the second portion allowed us to create our own routine within the original; almost a symbol of how we must create our own identity while involved in society. This made it really interesting to see how everyone put their own spin on the dance and to see everyone have fun with it made it entertaining (in a good way 😀 )
Overall, it was an awesome lesson 🙂
The last two groups did really well with their lessons! The gymnastics group did really a great job of scaffolding our skills and giving us the introductory lesson to the world of gymnasts! They did a superb job of showing us how each station worked and what they specifically wanted us to work on at each station. They were very clear with what parts of the body we should be focusing on at each station. The various sets of skills were not overly hard nor were there too many; therefore allowing us students to focus on building up one or two skills, and building them up really well. I particularly enjoyed the “balance beam” station. While I would be pretty frightened of going on a real balance beam they created the environment for it! I felt if I were in an actual gymnastics class and started with practice on benches, I would have the confidence to move up to the real thing! I want to commend the group for creating that safe space!
The dance group was also fantastic! They really got us moving! I was so exhausted at the end of their lesson! I liked that their focus was on expression and movement rather than getting perfect steps. And while we worked on timing and counting in beats, it was still fun and focused on the movement aspect! Being one to let loose and be silly, I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to be free and have fun! They taught a few dance moves which were used throughout the whole class; this was very effective teaching tool! We were taught only a few moves but were free to add our own flavour. As well, they used the dance moves in different ways, in the group dancing with Cheryl, the game and the dance-off. I thought the friendly dance-off was a nice touch and definitely something tailored to our class. I think our class is comfortable enough to have fun with something like a dance-off and I thought it was a great addition to their lesson.
I thought that both groups did an excellent job with their presentations! There are some very talented students in our cohort and feel like all the presentations keep getting stronger and stronger. With the gymnastics group, I loved how they incorporated Halloween so much into their presentation. It was really cool how each team was named after a different halloween creature (eg ghosts, zombies). I also loved the halloween tag where each group that had to act like the creature their team was named after. I thought that was a very creative and neat way to shake things up. I also greatly enjoyed the stations and think they’re an excellent idea to use when there are multiple teachers in the room even though they may be much more difficult to run individually. I found that each station focused on a very specific skill (eg balancing, rolling) that was relevant to gymnastics and that was great to see.
With the dance group, I loved how gradually different skills were introduced. I found the popcorn dance to be very liberating and fun. I was a bit nervous about the dance off but I really liked working together as a team and thought it was great that there were no winners and losers in any of the games that were introduced. I’m not sure which group did the egg, chicken dinosaur game as a warmup but I thought that was a very fun and inclusive game as well that I think I will very likely end up using in my longterm practicum. I also really enjoyed the confidence of the teachers in the dance group. It seemed like all the teachers and students were having a lot of fun that day.
Unfortunately, I was away the day of the dance and gymnastics presentation! However, in that statement alone, I believe the importance and draw of dance and gymnastics is illustrated by the fact that I — someone who has not been interested in PE in the past — was disappointed to be missing this part of our class. Dance has many cross-curricular connections, as well as connections to culture and society. Of course, one of the most common cross curricular connections of dance is that of storytelling skills being demonstrated through dance and movement. However, one can incorporate the movement and rhythm skills of dance in every curricular area. During my short practicum, I taught a lesson using rhythmic movement patterns to practice and internalize Skip Counting in grade 1 and 2 Math. Children stomped, tapped, and clapped beats, as well as crossed the midline as they chanted their skip counting patterns. Dance can be used as a way to introduce cultural connections in the classroom using a cross-cultural art-movement form.
I also believe that dance aids in children’s social and emotional development. I have often observed young children letting go of many of their inhibitions when dancing or participating in more expressive forms of movement. Partner and group dances can increase cooperation within a class community, and the performative aspects of dance and gymnastics encourages a supportive audience as well as builds confidence for those performing.
I think both groups did an excellent job of presenting their lesson. They were both engaging and I had a lot of fun participating.
I found that the gymnastics group was very balanced out. I did not feel like I was doing the same thing in each of the four stations. For the forward roll and log roll it was demonstrated for us and then we got to practice it. If we had any problems there was feed back on how we could improve our rolls. When we did the front walk and crab walk we practiced a couple of times and then to challenge us they added a bean bag. I thought that was an interesting way to build on our skills and realized it takes a lot of concentration not to drop the bag. I liked how there were options for the jumping technique. There was a higher and lower vaulting box to allow students at different levels to participate. Student’s could choose the box they felt more comfortable with and if they decided they wanted to challenge themselves they were given that option. A student was not singled out for doing the lower box. They also incorportated that for the hoops. The student could either use both feet which was an easier task or one foot. The last station one for the bench really helped with a student’s balance. They had different variations of balance techniques and I liked how when the line for the backwards balance got too long it was immediately addressed and you were allowed to skip that part so you were not standing around.
I learned in our discussion group that the wooden wall mounted gymnastics equipment is no longer used because of safety. I remember as a child how I really enjoyed playing on it especially when my teacher made obstacle courses where you had to climb over, under and swing on the rings. I understand that with so many children there are more chances of accidents’ happening so I see why they would want to get rid of it. It’s a shame though because it was a fun piece of equipment.
1. I thought the flow of our station rotation and the lessons within each station worked really well. The different skills taught in each station were gradual, as it started off with basic movements to more challenging ones. I also thought we worked really well with the time given, and we were able to modify/adapt our lesson plan to fit our schedule.
My fellow group members and I shared the workload evenly between the lesson plan and reading summaries. It worked out really well. Although, credit for activity ideas goes to Klara!
2. There were a number of changes to our lesson plan. Within my station, I did not realize how difficult it was for students to do the bear walk and crab walk while weaving between 5 cones -back and forth, and because we started with only two line ups, there was more wait time for them than actually moving around. So, I made three lines instead of two, to spread the students more evenly, and removed 2 cones. In the end, they were able to weave between 3 cones (spaced out), and challenge themselves with the beanbag. This modification gave everyone more time to practice their walk at least two times before adding the bean bag.
3. When I started off with 5 cones and 2 line ups, the students found it difficult to weave through the cones. Also, with a number of people lining up in the two lines, there was a lot of wait time, and I noticed the students just hanging around. So, I created a third line up so I could space the students out more evenly, and to quicken up the pace of the line. I heard a lot of responses that told me that it was too difficult and tiring weaving through 5 cones, so I changed it and used three cones instead, and spaced it out so they had more time to walk forward than focus on weaving in and out. It worked really well – students had enough time to do the walk with and without the bean bag.
I was so nervous to be teaching dance in PE since I don’t have a coordinated bone in my body. But working with Jen and Ashley was so much fun, I think we created an energetic yet comfortable setting for the class today. Our goal was to create a simple and enjoyable lesson that would be a great for a dance introduction class for grade 5 students. Overall, I think the class went well. Everyone seemed to enjoy practicing the dance sequences and bringing everything together to perform a final dance routine. The class shared some great recommendations for what we can do next time and how to make the lesson even better. Firstly, we could have tweaked our instant activity a little by playing music while students completed the fitness activity instead of playing music while they ran, walked or skipped. The music would have motivated the students to complete their exercises and free style dance. Secondly, we could have incorporated a wider range of dance moves that involved bigger movements like arm reaches and bending to the ground. This would have been a great adaption that could have been incorporated if students needed a challenge. Thirdly, Steve brought up a great recommendation of introducing the class by sharing a bit of dance history. This would have been a good opportunity to access prior knowledge and motivate students for the rest of the class.
We were glad we incorporated technology into our lesson by allowing students to use iPads to record themselves while practicing the dance routine. It was helpful for students to see their routine on video since we did not have a mirror in the gym.
I really enjoyed teaching the dance class. Next time, I will use more of a ‘teachers voice’ in the gym to make sure everyone in class can hear me. I think dance will always be a fun unit to teach in PE. I look forward to teaching more fun classes in future. Can’t wait for our next class!
The concept of physical literacy will definitely make the practice of assessment much tougher to deliver. One reason is the overall concept of physical literacy is not about winning or losing or who might be faster or stronger or even neccasarily even full completion of a task. Rather its about the child reading their environment, facing the task, multitasking, engaging moving, designing etc etc, thus making it much harder to assess than just seeing which child is the quickest.
However I enjoy the physical literacy model as opposed to the military style phys ed we might have experienced because it engages children on different levels. Now saying this I saw incredible value in the groups rubric because it went far and beyond the form of assessment that we might have received as children. I also enjoyed the game in relation to bat and swing where we were the trees and buckets.