All posts by annabourak

My Journey – Movement Journal

Since September, I started to notice how many children within my classrooms have a hard time sitting still. I began to realize that many of them are going through similar experiences to mine. In fact, since I started to attend school again for the BEd Program at UBC, I noticed just how hard it is for me to sit still in class. Luckily since I am in the IB Cohort, many activities we do in class are hands on. But regardless, I still get very restless and jittery and distracted in class to the point where I can’t focus. Having these feelings as an adult helps me to understand how difficult it may be for younger students who haven’t had the experience needed to successfully manage themselves (even I can’t sometimes!).

Incorporating physical education into everyday classroom education is important, and helps children who have a difficult time maintaining attention and focus due to restlessness. For me, I have two techniques that help me maintain my attention. 1) Drawing and doodling in class allows me to relax my mind and body, which helps me have a clear mind to listen to the instructor. 2) Exercise, which helps to release unnecessary energy and ticks that may be affecting me during the day, resulting in a never ending restlessness.

In fact, many studies have been done that showed positive signs between exercise, cognition, and attention. Incorporating physical education into the classroom has many benefits.

  1. 30 Minutes of exercise before school helps kids focus and manage moods.
  2. Exercise preps the brain for learning and encourages appropriate neurotransmitter connections which helps to retain important information.
  3. Controls aggression, and results in a better sleep.



Anna Bourak Oct 14 Reflection

Last week, our class visited Pacific Spirit park as one of our outdoor activities during our lesson. After participating in an amazing outdoor activity with the class, Steve directed us for a wonderful walk in order to facilitate our learning further. We had discussions and classroom discourse while enjoying the beauty of the nature around us. This experience was refreshing and inspiring for me, as it gave me the opportunity to reconnect with nature. For me, in particular, this was tremendous as I am aware that I do not give myself nearly enough opportunities to utilize the power of nature to my advantage. I’ve always seemed to forget about it and push it aside. I’ve never been an outdoorsy person who would prioritize hiking and exploring the wilderness over indoor activities. Why is this the case? I feel that as a generation (and for the future generations as well), we need to teach our children and younger students to reconnect with nature and all that it has to offer.

The video which I am going to leave you with is a good indication of the generational differences between grandparents, parents, and their children regarding the activities they enjoyed while they were younger. Are we enjoying nature more due to the restrictions placed on liabilities? Or is technology taking over our free time as the more prominent way to relax? Either way, one thing is for sure. Compared to the children today, I definitely spent majority of my time outside getting messy. Today, many parents become insane at the thought of their child coming home with a scraped elbow or knee.

How 3 Generations Of Kids Define “Fun” May Leave You Concerned For The Future

Anna September 30

This week in class, we had the pleasure to venture outside and enjoy a fun-filled lesson out in the sun. The team that did the group teach this week specifically chose games that encouraged everyone in the class to participate and get a chance to feel part of the team. It was inclusive, active, and collaborative.

Reflecting after this week made me realize my own feelings and attitudes towards sports and athletic games. Growing up, I was always very active and involved in tennis. Doing this as a young child allowed me to grow the confidence and skills that I needed in order to succeed in other sports and athletic events in my school. I could catch, throw, run, have quick reaction times, and succeed in any physical activities that my elementary/high school assigned. I felt good! I wasn’t self-conscious, and I wasn’t worried about gym class. But my question is – what would happen if I didn’t participate in any active sports that allowed me to develop hand-eye coordination, advanced motor skills, and a sense of confidence? Would I react differently to my everyday gym class in school?

After some research to support my initial thoughts, I found out that having children participate in sports OUTSIDE of the gym classroom has a big impact on their self-esteem and self-confidence. It teaches the child the necessary skills to not only succeed in gym, but also perform everyday functional tasks which many take for granted. Parents who dis encourage their children to participate in sports defer their child’s development in an important way. Children learn appropriate life skills about winning and loosing, sportsmanship, conduct, and they statistically are seen to have a higher intelligence and mood.

Movement Journal Week 2


Best. Time. Ever.

I have never done a flash mob before, and I didn’t exactly know what it was before either … BUT IT WAS AWESOME. I thought that we would go to a random place (such as the new SUB) and start dancing when cued. However, the instructor that was leading the flash mob was so energetic and full of life that she made it more of a confidence building experience rather than just a silly dance.

I loved that she started talking about something that everyone always thinks of, but never says anything about – the feeling of being self-conscious. We rarely express to others that we feel self-conscious when we do certain things. Perhaps you don’t enjoy public speaking because you feel that your voice sounds high and screechy, or that your mannerisms are odd and everyone will be nit picking at everything that you do. Or, maybe you have a hard time speaking out in class because you are worried someone will think what you said was stupid. Maybe you don’t enjoy taking photographs of yourself because you feel your face has that one aspect that will make you stick our like a sore thumb.

I don’t know about you, but all those things used to apply to me at some point in  life, and definitely limited my enjoyment of life and the experience of being myself to a great extent. That is why the instructor for the Flash Mob was such an inspiration to me. She highlighted a key fact that many of us have completely forgotten: WHO CARES? You’re different not by accident – but on purpose. Confidence and feeling good about yourself all come from within. Don’t let yourself worry about what others are thinking – because everything that you believe they are thinking, is actually what YOU are thinking about yourself. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is not to care, but it’s also the most rejuvenating.  Breathe in the freshness of all that is you, because it’s great. Go do your silly dance in front of your students, because it is great. Go and be too noisy in your class, because it is great, and so are you.

Until next time! Thanks again for the great Flash Mob learning opportunity!


Reflection Week 2 (Target Sports)


Movement Journal

This Wednesday, my group and I had the pleasure of being the first Team Teach participants for the class. We had the chance to teach Target Sports to the class.

Aside for the hustle and bustle of setting up our lesson plans and making sure we had all the required equipment, teaching my first P.E class was much more than I expected. My team did four activities. First, we played Chain Tag, then we played Apple Tree, then Tossing Game, and lastly finishing stretches for the cool down. I oversaw the Apple Tree activity, including the instructions and the clean-up. I had so much fun running the activities for the class, I even wished I had the chance to participate in some of them (especially Chain Tag!).

What worked for us was setting up the equipment beforehand, and making sure that everything was organized for convenient access. Perhaps in a smaller class, it wouldn’t be safe to lay out the equipment beforehand due to safety concerns. Another thing that worked was having the team mates who were not instructing perform equipment tasks – such as set up or clean up. Also, organizing the class into teams that could be applied from activity to activity helped the lesson go smoother. It was also very helpful to have the Lesson Plan prepared ahead of time. Instead of winging it, you have already thought about everything that could possibly happen ahead of time. We had extra activities, as well as adaptations for different players.

A few things I noticed was how extremely fast the time went. We had many things planned in a very short amount of time. I felt that if we made the activities more concise and shorter, we would have had more time for everything instead of being rushed.

The ‘students’ in our class were wonderful. They responded to questions, and were attentive when the teacher required their attention. Perhaps in a real P.E class, this will be more difficult. However, they had fun, could understand the premise of the lesson, as well as contribute to reflective questions at the end of class.

For next time, I would definitely attempt to change the times allocated for each activity to make it more realistic for the class. Time went by too fast and I felt that we were rushed, even though we managed to get through everything. Also, I will personally ask the students if they have any questions before we start the activity.

We had a blast!