All posts by caitanna

Word of the Week 7: PE Inquiry

Our word this weeks (PE inquiry)  is inspired by our past few weeks at practicum. I think most of us would agree that inquiry based teaching is at the heart of our education at UBC.  As Teacher Candidates, we are encouraged to include an element of inquiry in all our lessons; we are encouraged to give students the time and space to ask questions, explore their surroundings and  wonder about the word around them.  While this model fits nicely into math, science, art and language arts lessons, I noticed my PE classes were chock full of  fulfilling IPO’s, covering fundamental movement skills, ensuring students are safe in the gym, completing student based assessments and managing student behaviors in the gym. With all this to cover,  when should teachers incorporate inquiry in PE? Moreover, as PE teachers who are devoted to teaching skill development, encouraging activity and having fun in the gym, what are some ways we can make our PE lessons more inquiry based that do not take away from activity time?


Word of the Week 6: Evolution

We found ourselves deep in discussion on the evolution of pedagogy this week.  Our conversation covered the political, social and structural changes in education in BC, and Canada more broadly. Admittedly, we are no experts in the history of elementary academia, but it was nice to pause for a moment and reflect on the ways in which past trends influence present decisions. For Robinson and Randell, an understanding the history of physical education is important as it helps us understand physical education today (2014, 13).

What events do you think have been most fundamental in shaping physical education curriculum today?  How do you think the curriculum today will effect future physical education programs?

Word of the Week 5: Competition or Cooperation?

To what extent should we foster competition in our Physical Education programs?  Should educators bypass traditional competitive sports like soccer and football to make way for yoga and recreational dance?  According to John Steele, chief executive of the of the UK Youth Sport Trust, “competition is not a dirty word.” Steele argues that teacher should not be afraid of educating children about winning and loosing.

What are your thoughts on competition in Physical Education programs?

For more reading on competition in PE see:


Here is another great article on Competition and Fair Play by Ellen Singleton:

 This is the kind of experience I plan to encourage by Singleton ..

Word of the Week 4: Geocaching

This is the ultimate game of hide and seeking treasure, and a great way to bring technology into your PE lesson. Pronounced “geo-cashing,” this game uses GPS technology to guide geocachers to the location of a geocache – a small water proof container with containing a notebook. The coordinates are published online and accessible to everyone. There are currently 1.1 million active geocaches located in over 110 countries.

Robinson and Randall suggest geocaching is a great way to get students outdoors and interacting with the natural environment (2014, pg., 273). How might you utilize geocaching in your PE program? What are your opinions regarding bringing technology into PE?

Word of the Week 3: ‘Movement Concept’

This little phrase caught our attention while reading Wall & Murry’s article this week. Wall & Murry  discuss the educator’s role introducing ‘movement concepts’ gradually to students – first as a floor activity before moving to apparatuses (1994, pg., 401).  We wondered, what constitutes a ‘movement concept’? And how do you know which movement concepts to teach , and which ones you should approach as ‘taken for granted understanding’?

According to Robinson & Randall, a movement concept answers the four following questions  (2014, pg., 319):
1. What is the body doing?
2. Where is the movement going?
3. What is the dynamic content or quality of movement?
4. With whom or to what is the mover relating?

With these questions in mind, what do you think is the most important movement concept to teach children at the start of a Gymnastics unit?

Note: Have a peak at the ‘Movement Concept Wheel’ designed by the University of New Mexico for an overview of different movement concepts  and how they relate to our broader understanding of what it means to be a physically literate individual.

Word of the Week 2: The Four ‘C’s

We couldn’t settle on a single word this week, so we chose four:

continuous, collaborative, comprehensive and criteria-based

These are the four ‘C’s that Robinson and Randall suggest are the “essential principals”  of physical education assessment “that must be constantly respected” (2014, pg., 102). If educators follow these four principals, Robinson and Randall suggest, students will be more likely to  achieve the outcomes of their PE program.

Which one of the four ‘C’s do you think is most important and why? Can we apply the four ‘C’s to subject areas beyond physical education?  Why?