All posts by Alana Westerhof

Week 8, Movement Journal

This week was dual and individual activities in P.E. taught by Devon, Michelle, Megan and Jen. When everyone was out at the track, and the group told us we were going to be sprinting, the whole class groaned simultaneously. Everyone seemed to have a negative view on running and sprinting before entering the class, and by the end of the class I know I had changed my views. I felt that through this lesson, I felt more able and comfortable with teaching sprinting and running. Their instant activity was engaging and not only was a warm up physically but also brain activation, connecting the brain and the body. I have played this before with other animals, and can be changed to animals or topics which the class could be studying to make it more cross-curricular. Another great thing about this lesson was that it was very inclusive. All students were included at all times. When we were doing the activity on the track, we were either working on marching in proper form in a walking speed, or we were sprinting towards the next group working on your form at a quicker pace. This was also set up in a way that the whole class was working together rather than on teams. There were no winners or losers. Although there were no winners and losers, we were able to work on our own to improve on our own sprinting abilities.

Great lesson group!

Week 7 Gymnastics Teach Journal

This week Klara, Elissa, Jessica and I taught our P.E. lesson on Gymnastics. We aimed our lesson towards a Grade 5 class with all different athletic abilities. I felt as though the class went a lot more smoothly than I was expecting. We decided to start off with some warm-up instant activities that were associated with Halloween and gymnastics since it was the day before Halloween. It as a way to have the class be more involved. During the whole class, the students were given a Halloween character, and were supposed to act like that character throughout the class. When it came to teaching the gymnastics movements and activities, we decided to teach in a circuit rotation format, breaking each station down with different challenges and ways of making the stations either easier or more difficult depending on the students abilities. I was in charge of the jumping stations, and there were also a balance, rolling and bear walk stations. At my station, I started everyone together breaking down the steps of how to jump with single legs as well as two foot jumps and how to land. I talked about the importance of using your arms to help create more upward movement, as well as ‘loading/activating’ your leg muscles, and how to land best without harming your knees and the rest of the body through ‘soft landing’ and lowering your center of gravity. We practiced our jumping, and then worked on jumping forwards and backwards and side-to-side. After I felt the majority of the students were fully able to jump with proper form, I allowed the students to go to the small stations within the jumping station. We had hula-hoops to practice two feet and single foot jumps. Then there were vaults at different heights where the students were able to jump off of and focus on their landings. I emphasized that they did not have to do anything they did not feel comfortable with, so some of the students did not jump off of the highest vault.
One of the questions we focused on this week was how are teachers suppose to teach activities was limited equipment? When teaching this week, we used very limited equipment as well, using only mats, benches, cones, hula-hoops, and then the vaults which we didn’t have to use. These are all pieces of equipment that is most likely found in most Elementary and High school gyms. Although the students may think that these activities are not equivalent to attending a gymnastics facility, these are a lot of the same movements being done in the school gym.
The main topic in the readings for the week talked a lot about the connection between law and teaching, including TORTS law. Being a P.E. teacher, there is a great deal more injures that occur compared to all other classroom settings. Therefore as a P.E. teacher, as well as all other teachers, we have to be more aware of the surroundings and possible situations which could occur, and how to avoid any negative situations. Torts law is not very well defined in a few words, but it is pretty much any situation that could have been avoided while a teacher is responsible, that teacher can been seen as guilty. We must treat all students as if they are our own children.

Week 6 Movement Journal

This week was my most enjoyed class of the year so far for this class. I realize that this is a big statement, and even coming from me being someone who loves playing sports and games in P.E. classes. But I loved the way that this group used the outdoors and proved the ousdoors are an effective way to teach your class, an outdoor classroom. It was also great way for us to get to know our campus surrounding better as well. For instance, the upside-down tree and the echo circle, the flag pole and the rose garden were all things we were able to see during our class outside. These are all structures which could be used to teach a lesson on, outside of the classroom and outside of Physical Education. For instance, the upside-down tree could be used in a science class to learn and understanding as to how tress are able to survive through this process. Or the echo circle could be used in a science class as well, learning the way in which soundwaves work. These are huge inquiry ideas as well, giving students the opportunity to wonder and ask questions to go and test it out for themselves and research it. Therefore, this group proved that teaching outside proves to help teach cross-curricular. Thank you so much to this group for their hard work and preparation on their group teach, and thanks for bring up the expectations :p

Week 4- Movement Journal

This week I was really excited because we were focusing on the skills of throwing and catching for games such as baseball/softball. Since I grew up playing softball my whole life, I was eager to see what this week’s group had prepared for us in class. I had fun with the warm up, for it allowed us to use our own dance moves and imaginations as we warmed up. I really enjoyed myself, and found it interesting too. When I was told to dance around like a fish for example, I started how I thought they looked like, but soon noticed that every single person danced like a fish in all different ways. It was interesting to see peoples elaborate ways of dancing like a fish. That was great fun.

Then we moved over to a tossing game. I thought the idea of this game was great! Although it turned out to be a little hard to explain and became a little bit chaotic, I still had a good time playing it. I do think that it could have been usefully to first teach how to do an underhand throw using proper technique first before playing the game. That way the students could have been working on that technique while playing.

The final game was highly inclusive. Everyone was playing at all times, which was successful. I think the idea of the game was easy to follow and everyone was having fun while playing it. It was however, kind of dangerous. There were balls flying everywhere and the mats which were being used as bases, were not secure. I did fall pretty hard because I was getting intense trying to touch as many mats as possible, and tried pushing off of a mat and the mat slipped out from under my feet. I did enjoy the lesson, but I would have just changed a few things. But I think it was well done.

Week 2, Movement Journal

I must point out how much fun I had on Thursday doing the Flash Mob with all the Elementary TC’s. I was motivated by the instructor; she was so enthusiastic and encouraging, getting us to dance along with her, and to BE fun. I know at the begging I was very worried about other people looking at me and thinking I was dancing strange. But as it went on, I knew all of us were doing the same thing. We were all just letting loose, laughing and enjoying ourselves.

This inspired me to want to teach in a similar way as her, very motivating and encouraging. Being able to teach in a fun environment like we experience on Thursday was very beneficial. This type of environment allows people to learn easily, especially if they see the environment as being a safe and warm place. I was a little nervous thinking of myself trying to teach such a dance class when I am not a great dancer myself. But I remember seeing YouTube videos where they show the dance moves to popular songs. They show the movements, you just have to follow along on the screen with the music. These videos are only 3-4 minutes long, so they could be used as a brain break in the classroom, or you could bring this idea into the gym and have a full PE class of dancing along to these videos.

Get up and DANCE! YouTube Video: