What a great way to end our group teach lessons for the semester! Elizabeth, Mary, Cheryl, and Rob did a wonderful job of taking all of the skills we have learned this semester, and created a unique and effective lesson!
The instant activity where we got to create letters of the alphabet using our bodies and partners, and then coming together as a group to create “CITE” was a lot of fun, and also provided an opportunity for us to work on our team building skills. This activity would be a great way to get students active in a fun way, as well to develop their group work skills, such as cooperation, giving instruction, and listening skills.
I really enjoyed the warm up and the cool down where the team lead us through an imaginative environment such as a forest and a jungle to stretch and move. I thought the music in the background was a really nice touch, and definitely sets the mood for the activities.
I thoroughly enjoyed the main activity, where the group set up several different stations that each focused on a certain skill that we had learned throughout the year. I especially liked how the group had activities that incorporated mental health, such as the meditation centre and the positivity wall.
What I think is really great about having a variety of stations and allowing students to explore them is that students are able to have a sense of ownership and choice in the classroom. They are able to become innovative and use their imaginations, such as when a group of us started a game of “hungry hippo”, even though it wasn’t a designated station.
I was surprised to read that teachers can get sued in the context of teaching physical education. I agree that the voluntary assumption of risk clause would be difficult to figure out with children. At some level children may have a sense that an activity might be dangerous but may not be able to form a decision about weather to participate in it or not. However, I question, the idea of the responsibility to be put on children to exempt themselves from an activity if they feel there is too much risk. I foresee children as hesitating to step out of the activity for fear of being marked as “not participating” such as gymnastics.
I think it is noteworthy to reiterate that educators should not be afraid to teach Physical education because of a remote change of being sued. I believe that educators should focus on prevention whenever possible and foresee risk while not getting overwhelmed with the potential of accidents or injury.
What is health literacy?
Health literacy is the ability to access, understand, assess, communicate, and demonstrate information to promote, maintain, and improve a healthy lifestyle. In order to be literate in this subject, one needs to understand the basics and fundamental proponents of being healthy and staying healthy. Self-evaluation is one key strategy in the comprehension of health literacy. According to the BC Ministry of Education, students should be involved in monitoring and evaluating their own knowledge, attitudes, and skills in the four aspects of healthy living: healthy eating, active living, healthy relationships and healthy practices.
What is DPA and how is it different from PE?
Daily Physical Activity (DPA) was introduced by the Ministry of Education to encourage all schools and students in B.C. to include daily physical activities in their lessons. PE focuses more on the educational course relating to the physique of the human body, and the proper technique for fundamental movement skills and strategies. DPA, however, focuses more towards participating in activities at a moderate to intense levels that will benefit all aspects of our well-being. The duration of daily physical activities differs between grades. From Kindergarten to grade 9, thirty minutes of DPA is required. However, in grade 8 and up, students are required to do additional physical activity and log them as part of their graduation transition program.
Staying healthy is important to all learners. In each grade from Kindergarten to Grade 7, the students are expected to participate in physical activities for a minimum of 30 minutes each day, and participate in a range of endurance (e.g., speed walking, jogging, soccer), strength (e.g., push-ups, core strength training, skating) and flexibility (e.g., stretches, dancing) activities.
Health literacy is encompasses a wide range of skills from the individual. As a result the definitions offered are fairly broad. The Canadian Public Health Association suggests it is the “ability to assess, understand and act on information for health”, while the Canadian Council on Learning defines it as the degree to which we are able to access health information for healthy decision-making and to maintain our basic health.
Daily Physical Activity (DPA) refers to provincially mandated initiatives targeting concerns about inactivity and poor health among Canadian children. DPA involves regular and consistent opportunities for physical activity in order to change student attitudes towards participating in physical activity. It has also been linked to higher academic achievement, readiness to learn and improved classroom behaviour. DPA can be implemented during instruction time, but is different from PE in that it is not a curricular subject in and of itself.
The last group teach was a fun way to end them all. Liz, Rob, Cheryl and Mary did a great job getting all of us involved and moving around with their instant activity. Movement is extremely important when teaching physical literacy and understanding how our bodies move. The group chose to do this through music and dance. I thought that this was a great game especially for kindergarten to grade 3. It is important to allow children to explore the different ways in which their bodies through animal movements. These different animal movements focus on locomotion skills which are considered to be fundamental in physical literacy.
Next we moved on to the small group discussions. My group was led by Liz. We talked a lot about healthy living and well-being, we talked about how we could incorporate healthy living into our classrooms when we are not doing PE. This moved us into the main activity. There were more than 12 stations we could move to freely, without instruction. There were small explanations of what was to be done at each station and it was nice that we were allowed to move to the specific stations that we were interested in. Each station was optional. My one concern with this is making sure that your students are actually working at the station that they are at. Keeping them motivated to keep at that station or to try a new one might be tricky when you are the only teacher in the gym with 30 students. The age group is also important to consider. Classroom management would really have to be monitored. Overall, I think that the group teach went well and it was a lovely way to end.
It was our last group teach for PE last Friday. I thought the group did an amazing job on teaching health and physical literacy. The instant activity of spelling out letters was fun and gave us the opportunity to be creative (I love the CITE photo Steve took). I was in Cheryl’s group for reading discussion; the summary was clear and concise, which gave us the chance to reflect more for discussion. I learned new information and strategies for facilitating health and physical activities into other subjects and I had fun listening to other people share their experiences. The warm up and the cool down were awesome; I can imagine grade 2-3 students would be really engaged with acting out as wild animals in the jungle. Also, this is a great activity to do a cross curriculum with a drama class! I loved the main activity and I was able to get to 13 out of the 16 stations. We all had so much fun; they must have spent a lot of time preparing for all those stations and setting up. I like how they connected different subjects to the activities at different stations, such as art, music, English and health. This last PE lesson was a great demonstration of how to do cross curriculum with PE and other subjects and it was very well taught!
How do I plan, participate, and advocate for School Based Physical Activity? An important question that as educators it is our responsibility to encourage the school as a whole to be more physically active. This increase in physical activity does not need to be drastic by building a new gymnasium. Physically active lifestyle choices can be implemented into the daily routine of the individual class. I would encourage fellow educators to start their day with a brisk morning walk, approximately 20 minutes, and during this walk the class can engage in cross-curricular education. One morning the students could be observing for scientific research, for example, the different types of moss. I would also recommend for schools that have limited Physical Education time, anything less than once a day, to combined blocks with other classes to optimize student physical activity. Finally the last tool that I would use to increase the physical activity of the whole school would be once a month offers a “sports day”. This program would change monthly to adapt to the weather. During the winter months I suggest a school trip to a swimming pool, skating rink, or a ski hill. This program would expose students of all ages to the wide variety of sports related positions.
Through adaptations to the school as a physically active environment we will encourage students to become lifelong students of health and physical education. By supporting students at a young age we are setting them up with the knowledge and skill base that they need to strive in the future. By educating students on healthy eating practices they will be prepared to make healthy choices throughout their life. The programs that encourage healthy eating habits are present in PE class, Science, and Home Economics. Cross-circular programs that encourage students to inquire about their health is the future. The presence of school or community gardens is impressive. By teaching students to get dirty and grow their own vegetables we are teaching them valuable life long skills.
What is the importance of collaborating and sharing ideas and resources?
As a teacher candidate, I am walking into the teaching environment as a fresh slate. With this comes advantages and disadvantages. Most importantly, I have little knowledge of the physical education classroom that I can apply to my own teachings in the future, besides what I have learned about in EDCP 320. The importance of collaborating, sharing ideas, and resources is that you should be taking ideas from your fellow teacher candidates and more experienced teachers to create the best classroom culture and physical literacy environment that you can have. As someone who grew up being quite weak in physical education class, I know that I valuable perspective for those students who do not love to exercise or feel that they are good or that they enjoy certain sports. What this means for my students is that I can support their needs better than someone who has excelled at PE their entire life. On the other hand, perhaps those who excel in PE would be better off with a teacher. These are the people I need to be collaborating with so that I can create an inclusive environment for everyone.
How will I support and create conditions for student growth, success and enjoyment?
I will support and create conditions for student growth, success and enjoyment by creating a positive atmosphere. I don’t care how long it takes for me to build this culture at the beginning of the year. To me, the most important part of a physical education classroom will be the fact that it is a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. Name calling or teasing will be addressed immediately as something that is absolutely not tolerated in my classroom. With this type of inclusive environment I will be giving my students the tools they need to succeed in physical education. As well, I strongly believe that a growth mindset needs to be supported in every classroom, so I will constantly model and share this mindset with their students so that they will not think that their ability in any sport will be stagnant, but as something that can improve with time. Lastly, I hope students will have a chance to try many different types of physical activity so that they will learn to love and enjoy a variety types of physical activity.