This week’s physical education theme was Dance and it was beyond pleasurable to be a part of! It triggered many memories of being back in my elementary school physical education class. The grade 6 dance unit was focused around student formed groups that had to create their own routine for an entire song and did not provide any fundamental skills prior to that. It created a lot of tension and pressure for students who lacked funds of knowledge relating to dance. This is why I thought that the use of a go noodle for today’s lesson was an excellent way to warm up the class by getting everyone moving, energized and engaged! The go -noodle approach to dancing eliminates the worry of being watched by peers because everyone is independently focused on following the routine on the screen. After having the privilege of participating in the groups activity it got me reflecting on the many different ways I can incorporate technology into the physical education classroom. It is so refreshing to experience all of these unique ways to teach students that move away from the traditional competitive game focused curriculum. Utilizing the presence of a smart board in the classroom can maximize physical education time without having to lose time by travelling to the gymnasium. Youtube dance tutorials, go noodle routines and yoga directed videos are just a few ways that technology can be utilized.Upon reading about the abundance of digital tools for physical education, I found that Excelade and Coach’s Eye will be very beneficial tools for my practice as they allow for both students and the educator to go back to reevaluate the performance. Students will be able to self assess how they did during a certain activity and evaluate themselves with a rubric or through a self reflection. Being able to visually see yourself during an activity is such a great tool for goal setting and working towards improving.I am looking forward to introducing my grade 5’s to the world of go noodle among many other digital tools for physical education!
This week we focused on bringing physical education to an alternative environment. Prior to the group teach I could not envision any outdoor activities that moved away from competitive sports so I was excited to see what they had planned for us! The predator game was also a great way to complement what we engaged in last week with the space invaders activity. It was not a matter of winning or losing, but rather having that teaming up element to eliminate that competitive and humiliation aspect of games. As always, I was blown away and inspired by the many different possibilities outdoor education had to offer. I thought this was such an excellent group teach because being outdoors made me feel both at peace and energised at the same time. For the last year I have been more interested in mindfulness and Lisa’s cool down activity was such a unique way to incorporate this approach into physical education. It was so surprising at how quickly I was able to calm down and ground myself after being overly excited during the predator game. As a hyper-active individual, I myself struggle with this and it always worried me to think of strategies to facilitate calming activities to bring down the energy of a collective group of children. Especially when thoroughly planning for an alternate education lesson, mindfulness can help contain the energy of the group to ensure the safety of all children. Just as the group explained, these kinds of activities revolve around trust, awareness and safety.
This week we learned about Striking and Batting games through Jennie, Carrie and Travis’ group teach. I am completely blown away by their lesson, it really set the bar for the upcoming groups. From start to finish they kept the group engaged with alternative ways of getting through the lesson. The conga line method of getting the groups to quickly line up and exit will definitely be a tactic that I am going to use with future physical education classes. The warm up activity of stop and go dancing, transformed my morning grogginess into a more positive energy. The instructions, demonstrations and extension options were clear and easy to understand. As someone who never truly enjoyed physical education class, this lesson got me very engaged and the hour actually flew by!
When thinking about the different assessment strategies that can be used to effectively gather student information, I felt that a mixture of formative and summative would be the best way to accumulate thorough evaluation records. Formative assessment will help build each students’ physical literacy as they use that constructive criticism as a tool to improve their skillset in the current activity. Afterwards, a summative evaluation report will be a great way for students to reflect on how well they improved after using the information from their formative assessment. Since I lack a strong physical education background, I always felt that solely using summative assessment unfair in the sense that it does not give students the opportunity to work on their problem areas before a final summative assessment. I appreciated that Travis came around to my group and pointed out areas to improve that I was unaware of. Instead of becoming discouraged with my performance and the activity itself, I was able to enjoy it a lot more with the formative observations along the way.
Tuesday was our first group teach session about target games. The group teach along with the Hall of Shame article led me to reflect on the considerations physical education teachers make when creating conditions for student learning. After reading the Hall of Shame article, it made me realize how damaging a particular physical activity may be to a child’s development. Games such as Red Rover are based around humiliation and isolation of the weaker students in class. They are not meant to celebrate good sportsmanship, team work, physical development or increase the level of physical activity in a child’s life. Physical Education teachers have a responsibility to instill passion in children in order to continue physical activity in the future. They need to create safe but also challenging conditions for student learning which is related to the high support high challenge environment tailoring to each specific child.
Participating in Group 1’s activity was a great example of a fun, safe, inviting and active environment to learn about physical education. I enjoyed how they set different levels of difficulty in order for teams to determine what level they are comfortable with. It was an excellent way to avoid isolating the students that may struggle with the concepts of an underthrow and hand/eye coordination. By splitting up the class into small groups we were free of the pressures to perform for the group which truly made me feel more comfortable actively participating. I started out throwing at the closer pylon but after a few trial throws, I felt ready to challenge myself from the second and third pylon points. Since starting this program, I have been struggling with the habit of overthinking our assignments. Thus, participating in Group 1’s lesson helped me grasp the idea that if you keep it simple and stick to one theme, then the teachings will be more effective. Looking forward to seeing what Group 2 has in store for us next week!