Kenthen Thomas blog week two movement.
Physical activity for as long as I know has been an integral part of my memory, from playing and running to just downright having fun. However in the early years of physical education the structured fun that was being taught to me was in more than one way very confusing. I wasn’t sure what was going on and why all of sudden the act of running and having fun had to be so structured with so many rules and why there always had to be winners and losers. The fun of physical movement befuddled what i thought to be just fun, thus i think physical education needs to be clear and concise about what the projections are for the children and what they hopes are for their assessment and achievements. Running and having fun and just moving are integral parts but the term physical literacy is also a huge part of what will make up the educational part of this learning experience. Also the constant need for my own reflection and self assessment of my own teaching techniques and considering and reconsidering what works and what doesn’t. Also there seems to be an overwhelming fear of PE as a class and how can I as a teacher change that fear, how do I combine fun, athletics and the inevitable competitiveness that will arise in a class of twenty or more personalities?
this was a great class for two points; the first being that everywhere in the world and especially in schools everyone should access to all aspects of education. Secondly, the racing around on the wheelchairs was great. Sadly though I can recall as a child there was one kid who was in a wheelchair and he never got to take part in PE. His education assistant would at times let him watch for awhile or when we would do long distance runs he would hand out water to us. But for the most part he was never or rarely involved in our physical activities.
I cannot stress enough how much I would work to ensure everyone had equal and fair access to any activities I will plan in physical education. I would consider what they have to offer in terms of suggestions for me to deal with their unique situation. I would educate my self on how to deal with such a situation and i would also use it as an opportunity to engage the students in educational terms as well. But at the same time i would not let my concern single them out and the need dictate the class either, A healthy balance will be what i will always shoot for in any classroom activity.
As for rolling around all morning at first I was pretty hesitant because as a child my elders would always tell me to not play with a wheelchair or crutches unless I wanted to be in one myself. They believed if you play with one of these items you would end up in one of them. I got over that fear and I sat down in one thinking that my Gramma must be up with he spirits looking down upon me shaking her head saying, “ah you! Kenthen!” But I enjoyed the experience and instead of looking at as ‘playing’ in a wheelchair i was educating myself on what it will be like for a possible student in the future.
This week was technology and dance. Both of those serve to make life more enjoyable, give some laughs and work to benefit all of mankind. However for the dance part it was both fun and funny, I have no soul nor any real moves. I wasn’t horrible but I wasn’t good either which says to me i either could spend some time working on my moves or perhaps loosen up, either way something needs to be done before I bust out anymore moves.
How could i as a teacher fit this into say my present situation as a teacher candidate for grade twos? Simply put on some music and let them go, let them examine their physicality as they not only express themselves but as they seek out emotion from within. i think this could be worked into a hip hop class with some other forms of movement and dance. Or perhaps one of the kids could introduce a dance from their culture or even have one of their family could come in and showcase and help lead a lesson in where their culture is celebrated. There could be so many ideas like a hoop dancer or some west coast dancers that could celebrate some local culture.
As for technology I think its nothing but a greatness that has yet to be explored to its boundaries, meaning that I think ideas such as fit-bit are just the beginning. The only problem with technology will always be cost especially when companies like apple are coming out with products every three months to replace the product you just purchased. Maybe that’s why you need to really reach out to the PAC committee and convince them that technology is where its at if they wish to have physically literate students.
Or perhaps just throw on a cd for them and let them dance instead!!!
The concept of physical literacy will definitely make the practice of assessment much tougher to deliver. One reason is the overall concept of physical literacy is not about winning or losing or who might be faster or stronger or even neccasarily even full completion of a task. Rather its about the child reading their environment, facing the task, multitasking, engaging moving, designing etc etc, thus making it much harder to assess than just seeing which child is the quickest.
However I enjoy the physical literacy model as opposed to the military style phys ed we might have experienced because it engages children on different levels. Now saying this I saw incredible value in the groups rubric because it went far and beyond the form of assessment that we might have received as children. I also enjoyed the game in relation to bat and swing where we were the trees and buckets.
My kye7e (gramma) used to tell us that everything that we need is outside, whether we want entertainment, food, clothes anything and everything is out there for us to share. However i think as a society we have moved away from that philosophy to the point where it has become harmful for some which is in regards to the unhealthy desire to just stay inside always.
Some will say that everything we need is inside, how could we possibly need to or even want to go outside. I even saw a movie based in the 2000’s about a group of newly graduated twenty somethings employed in Calgary having a bet to stay inside for one year, only using the plus fifteens to get back and forth from work and to entertainment and for food. I thought to myself that i would lose immediately that I couldn’t handle not going outside.
I love being outside so much and I would enjoy the chance to share that with my students and anyone who would care to listen. In fact in my community a man has started up a group where they drive out into the forest once a week for an afternoon and just spend the day, whether it hunting or just hiking they spend the day together and for their health. The benefits have yet to be measured but I bet they will be good in the long run.
So how would this fit into any teaching or lessons that i would develop in the future? well I will try to go outside as much as I can and even bring some of the lessons outside too, cross curricular stylez, YO! Like my Kye7e once said, everything that you could ever need is outside, you just have to go out there and look.
What a great game and so fun. I enjoyed this game and exercise simply because it was a blast to play and one doesn’t need to be a great athlete to play it. Have a little luck and the desire to run and have fun and that is all you need. I used to work at a boys and girls club in Kamloops before i started the education pursuit of education. I found a game called nuts and squirrels where the game was simply four hoops and a bunch of balls to represent the nuts, the kids were the squirrels.
The kids couldn’t defend their hoops but they had to collect as many nuts as they could. There was one child who was very smart and really competitive and he saw that there could never be a definitive winner because without the ability to defend his hoop the kids would always be stealing his nuts. He was so angry that he stomped off and refused to play saying that this was a dumb game because there would never ever be a winner. He wrote me an essay titled “this game of yours is so dumb.”
The point of this story is that while i knew there could never be a winner and it was a great way to run all the energy out of the kids, I didn’t expect this response. I forgot how competitive our society can be and that some will always expect an outcome of their actions to measure against. I asked him to give the game another chance without expecting to win, to just play the game for fun, the second time he enjoyed the game and he told me a number of times that there didn’t need to be a winner, that sometimes a game is just a game.
Initially i found the concept of physical literacy a tad bit confusing, because i didn’t read into it very much. However as the readings progressed I soon realized the entirety of how beautiful this theory or concept really is, very much like reading, physicality doesn’t have to be relegated to just sports, PE, getting into shape or pre-wedding traditions. Physical literacy looks at the entire life of the human whether they are inclined towards having phenomenal physical attributes or just someone who enjoys to walk and dance. The main point is that they get up and move, the texts and readings use key words and phrases such as, respectful, life long, holistic, adventurous, appropriate, trust, empathy, encouraging, and and many more.
The main point is that as educators there is a need to enable and encourage our students to keep on moving for the rest of their life. Thus we need to be mindful that we are creating an environment that will foster literate physical movers for life and that we need to focus both on the literacy part and the educational component of teaching rather than just using sports or their own innate motivations to attain this level of literacy.
What is my vision of teaching? Physical education while I was growing up was an experience that wasn’t always fun as it led to shaming and the varsity kids always leading the pack. it wasn’t until I started to become athletic and my propioception increased that I was able to start having fun and being included. However I look back and I wonder if all the other kids that didn’t find a way to fit in to the make it or break it style of teaching, what was their experience like.
Thus it leads me back to my original question of what is my vision? Well I hope that it will be fun and inclusive which would get away from the hall of shame style teaching and towards physical literacy. This hopefully would be a class where the kids learn to move at their own pace getting away from the competition and towards movement for the sake of moving towards a healthier lifestyle. A lifestyle that would incorporate a holistic meaning into their life where not only would the mental, spiritual and emotional be taken care of but the physical as well. Because the entirety of the circle or the holistic vision is reliant on all four components working together to form a fuller healthier human.