I’ve been thinking about how I can bring physical literacy to the classroom. Even in my practicum classes, P.E. still seemed to be an isolated subject–looked forward to or dreaded by students when the period came. Just like all things done in school, I think it’s important for students to see how what they are learning is applicable to their lives. Instead of learning games and doing activities 3X a week, I wondered how I could bring physical literacy into their daily lives. With many students being inactive at home and eating fast food regularly, I wonder how physical activity and healthy choices might be made a daily part of the school day. I’ve heard of a program that brings a new fruit or vegetable into classrooms each week. Students all have the opportunity to try it. I think this program, maybe along with talking with students about all the good things these vegetables and fruits do for our body, can maybe begin to make students more aware of what they are eating. I also think teaching students how to make healthier choices when it comes to eating would be a valuable lesson. Perhaps helping students find something active they like to do and allowing students to share about their physical activity outside the class would start to build a desire to have a more physically active lifestyle.
It seems unanimous that having physical education classes outside is favoured. I agree. People need fresh air. People need sunshine. These are hard to get when we are boxed up all day. And when those people are children, I think being outdoors is more needed.
It’s funny because though there is a consensus that being outside is needed and wanted, it seems that going outside for classes (including P.E. class) is not a daily thing in a lot of schools/classes. I guess the thought is that things have to get done. I guess it’s easier to keep 25 kids in a boxed area. I guess sometimes it’s too cold or too hot.
I think it will take effort and planning to create the time to take a class outside. A friend of mine teaches grade 6. He loves the outdoors and has taken his students to do the Grouse Grind several times. He often instagrams photos of his class reading outside. He has even posted photos of his entire class with their desks outside. I think the children appreciate his effort and planning to do this. And I think it is something I am going to have to think about as a teacher. How am I going to implement this time to be outside? How can we learn outside? What things could we do outside? And, like Steve was getting us to do, where/what places can we use to do these things?
Thank you to the scavenger hunt group for showing us another way to do P.E! It was fun, active and involved collaboration.
I don’t think I’ve ever been part of such an active P.E. class! From the walk (jog) to the field to chuck the chicken and the super active adaptation of one of my favourites (California Kickball), I think I barely had a consecutive 3 minutes to stand still. I really enjoyed the activities. I found both of them fun and activities that everyone could participate in. Not being tagged out during the California Kickball adaptation was new to me though. No “out!”s. I, personally, have never felt bad when I was struck out in a game, but if I think of it from a student who usually strikes out perspective, I could see how playing a game like California Kickball might be dreaded. I thought that fun might be removed if alterations were made to such a beloved game, but the challenge to still get points was there, and the increased active time and team work really made it a great game. I thought the team did a great job finding a game that ended up being fun and sensitive to students’ needs.
This week, I also learned how to connect a warm up activity to the main activity when the team used chuck the chicken. It was great to see how a warm-up activity could be fun while at the same time practicing fundamental movement skills.
Finally, I appreciated talking about assessments. Things have changed since I was in school. I really liked the idea of using blogs as a way of assessing as well as having one-on-ones with students.
And! I loved being outside this week! Fresh air and sunshine!
When I told my sister that I had a course in physical education at UBC, she couldn’t stop laughing. I think there are a lot of students who rejoice after high school when they realize they have had their last P.E. class. And, like we have talked about in class, this has a lot to do with experiences they have had in high school. Feelings of awkwardness, dread, embarrassment, and others can be associated with P.E. for some people.
I learned about the history of physical education in our small group discussions this week. I find it interesting to learn the roots of things. I was surprised to learn that many provinces in the early 1900s had a focus on physical training and military drills. And these were often run by military drill sergeants! During World War II, most provinces had a focus on defense training. I wonder how the students of those days enjoyed P.E. class? And though physical education has been evolving since the world wars, to make a dramatic shift away from anything is never easy. It is hard to completely restructure something you have done for so long. The focus of physical education in Canada has long been about being physically adept. In general, it has not looked at the whole student. Now, 100 years later, though there has been much evolution in the area of P.E., P.E. seems to be shifting once more: this time, seemingly, toward physical literacy where much more than physical performance is focused on. A good thing, I think, for all students, but maybe particularly for those young ones whose experience so far with physical education has imparted dread and real dislike for physical activity.