Way to go Liz, Cheryl, Mary, and Rob! I really enjoyed the group teach today and was extremely impressed with the preparation and planning that went into the lesson. I liked that the instant activity, warm up, and cool down were inclusive of all physical abilities. By using animals and natural settings like the jungle or forest, I think these activities would be great as an introduction or follow-up to other subjects that focus on animals and land, like science. The main activity of stations that provided choice was by far my favourite aspect of the group teach as I liked being able to play and try out new equipment with different people. I also liked that it was OK to gravitate towards stations that I preferred (like soccer and dance). The stations did a great job of hitting on the learning outcome of, “how to participate in different types of physical activities, including individual and dual activities, rhythmic activities, and games.”
Through the discussion that focused largely on healthy living and well-being, we talked about how we could incorporate healthy living into our classrooms when we are not doing PE. In my practicum class we use movement stations that have card instructions such as, “run on the spot,” “wall push-ups,” and “jumping-jacks,” as brain breaks. I know DPA is supposed to be 30 minutes of daily physical activity, but not all schools are enforcing this. As future teachers, it is important to remember that daily physical activity and PE are as valid and valuable to learn as math, writing, or reading. Throughout my long practicum I hope to incorporate more active ways of learning, as well as educate my class about health and well-being.
I really enjoyed the gymnastics and dance this week, both groups did a fantastic job!
I was super impressed that the dance group incorporated technology into their group-teach. I had never associated physical education with digital literacy, so to see how it was used both through a headset when running an activity (made listening much easier) and when sorting us into groups through an iPad app, was very cool. I am not very tech savvy, so I think I will definitely start looking into some of the apps they shared with us on the hand-out and consider how I could better incorporate technology into lesson plans. I really liked the sorting app as it was much faster than counting out teams of 4.
I enjoyed the group discussion for gymnastics. Our group talked about liability and safety because gymnastics can be a riskier unit to run as there is more equipment and chance for injury. As a future teacher, I have to really consider the environment I am choosing for the lesson and how I want to best set up the activity so that it is inclusive and adaptable for all of the different students’ capabilities. Some examples include setting up the gym in a way that you can observe all of your students (using half a gym), and using padding on the floor around balance beams and equipment where there is a chance someone may fall.
I also liked that both groups focused on scaffolding and building up to the different movements in step by step processes that allowed us to practice and feel comfortable before moving on.
Great work to Sonya, Emily, and Pamela on their group teach! They did a good job considering the cognitive and psychomotor levels of their grade two students and how to best design a lesson for this age group. They considered how well grade twos would be able to follow instructions, run around with spatial awareness, and their ability to throw and catch.
I appreciated assessing the baseball activity. Looking at how well an activity incorporates participation, challenge, positive social behaviors, flow, safety and learning, are all important factors that I need to consider when creating my own lessons. As well, I need to keep in mind the objective of each lesson and criterion-reference what I am teaching to assess how well the students’ are learning in relation to what I want them to learn.
Some assessment and evaluation strategies that I prefer are exit slips, learning logs, and observation. I like the idea of reflectively assessing improvement instead of skill level as not everyone is athletic. I understand that in older grades there might be some sort of fitness testing that monitors effort/improvement, but I prefer the idea of active participation over grading. I also never liked written tests for P.E., and I feel that for the most part, P.E. should not have tests that involve pen and paper as all the other subjects already do.
After last week’s readings about The Physical Education Hall of Shame I thought about my own experiences in gym class. I always thought the more nerve-wracking or embarrassing aspects of PE (being put on the spot, competition, punishment, and allowing the best to run the class) were just accepted parts of PE we had to endure. I find it hard to think of any game/activity from my childhood that now does not fall into a ‘shameful’ category. Even trying to come up with an activity for our group teach is proving to be difficult as all of us can only come up with games/sports based on our past experiences in gym class. This reminds me that what we teach children in PE class really sticks with them and influences how they understand and view physical education. People that did/do not enjoy physical education probably have not had a positive experience and most likely endured some shameful teaching methods. I feel the Hall of Shame guidelines are something teachers need to consider when creating PE activities.
Secondly, my idea of a physically educated person is someone that is not just active, but also has an understanding of nutrition, is physically literate, and understands mental wellness and why it is important to be physically educated. To hear that Canada received a D- as an overall grade is disappointing. As a future teacher, I am hopeful that my fellow teachers and our schools can promote a better understanding of physical education and begin to value PE and daily activity as much as other subjects are valued.