This week’s gymnastics lesson was my first group teach experience and I think it went quite well! Maria, Sienna and I put together a very in depth, detailed lesson plan, and I think that helped in our delivery of it. The very descriptive lesson plan that we created could easily be followed and implemented by another person who was not part of the planning process because we put every single little detail we could think of into it!
Steve posed a very good question to us during our lesson which was along the lines of, if you were one person, how would you be able to control the circuit from the middle of the room? Little changes could have been made such as leaving instructions at the stations to remind students of what they are supposed to do as well as larger lesson changes. Another option was to focus on just one of the three stations per class with the circuit occurring in the fourth class, after everyone had experienced the activity together. With the grade level we were “teaching” (grade 2) it would have been beneficial to do everything together and move through the activities as a class as it would have really solidified the instructions for the students.
It was also suggested that should have done our demonstrations at each of their respective areas in the circuit. This was a discussion we had prior to our group teach and we decided with the time frame we had and the logistics of moving “grade 2s” to and from each station, it would just eat up too much of our time. With a real class of grade 2s and a longer amount of time to teach the lesson, it would be very beneficial to demonstrate at each station since it would help the students remember which balancing activity instructions were associated with which station.
It was important for us to remain flexible during this activity. Although it was designed for grade 2 students, in reality it was adults doing the activities and the activities were obviously quite easy and quick for our group to complete. Because of the lack of difficulty presented for our adult students, we modified our activities, adding in different variations. For example, the activity where we asked students to balance bean bags on their head and walk along the gym floor lines was changed so students had to move quicker, dance, and play tag. These changes were made with the intent of keeping students involved and engaged.
With our lesson plan at least, I don’t think teaching gymnastics will always be scary. Once you start introducing more complex activities and gymnastic structures such as high beams, then no doubt the risk factor will increase. I hope my experience teaching this lesson is indicative of future gymnastic lessons in that it had little risk and no injuries!
Thank you all for being such great students despite the repetition and easiness of our activities!
Having done the reading summary for last class, I was able to familiarize myself with the various models associated with teaching Physical Education. I myself liked the Teaching Games for Understanding the most as I really liked the aspect of skills learned in one game being carried over into other games and sports. I also liked how drills are not a part of this model since skills should be developed in context as opposed to in isolation. I remember doing drills in elementary school PE and being so bored as well as not understanding the important concepts and strategies behind the game. I feel like the initial modified game also takes some of the pressure off of students because the game feels less formal than the complex, actual game/sport that some students may already know and excel in.
I think the majority of my high school PE classes followed the Multi-Activity Model with the seasonal sport aspect. I never really liked the seasonal sports except for volleyball and we were stuck doing the same sport for a long chunk of time. I feel like the net sports that involved a net in the middle of the gym, like badminton and volleyball were done out of convenience since our teacher did not want to dismantle and then re set up the net, but the other seasonal ball sports could have easily been swapped for something else given that our amount of time with each sport was long and repetitive over the years.
Wednesday’s group teach lesson taught me that I am much worse at badminton than I remember! I would not consider myself “physically literate” in badminton, but there are definitely sports where I would be more confident saying that I am. Growing up, I was a very over-programmed kid going to a huge variety of active classes like ballet, Taekwondo, kung fu, and gymnastics. These are not the areas that I would consider myself physically literate in, but I do think that having experienced all of them contributed to my over all physical literacy that I can then apply to other activities. I loved playing ultimate frisbee and volleyball in elementary and high school, and I attribute my hand-eye coordination to my martial arts training where I sparred and broke boards. That being said, I absolutely hate running and avoid it at all costs, even during a game of ultimate. I don’t think that takes away from my ability to play since I throw and catch well enough to make up for that deficit, and I understand the rules of the game, so I do consider myself literate in that aspect.
I found a TED Talk that was an interesting and informative watch. An astounding fact stated was that the current generation of children will be the first to have lower life expectancies than their parents! There is a distinct correlation between our health and technology. As our world becomes more technologically savvy, health declines and obesity levels increase. He has a great definition of Physical Literacy that emphasizes the importance of creating a FUN environment where children can learn how to engage with physical activity. Take a look!
It felt so odd to be back in a gymnasium for Physical Education after years away. I stopped taking PE as soon as it became optional in high school because I absolutely hated the fitness tests (especially the 4 lap run) and how none of my friends ended up in my class. PE in elementary school was different though – in a good way. It was more about team work and having fun, while in high school it was more about developing specific skill sets and repeat practise of techniques. I think it’s important to keep a fun and encouraging atmosphere in Physical and Health Education. In my high school classes it wasn’t fun or encouraging; we were told to run around the track until the whistle blew. I had zero motivation to do so. When exercise is under the guise of an interactive and fast paced game, it is much easier to have an enthusiastic group that looks forward to PE class. I think the purpose of PE is to build interpersonal skills, communication skills, hand/eye/foot coordination, and to keep kids active. By sharing our personal experiences, we can take a step back and examine our stories with another perspective, possibly gaining more insight into why we had those experiences and how they will shape our teaching. We can recreate the positive experiences we had, and avoid recreating the negative ones for our students.