Category Archives: IB cohort

October 28th – Gemma’s Movement Journal

Dance isn’t something that comes naturally to me. The only time I believe we’ve done dance in PE was during the month of December, in preparation for the Christmas Party where we would have a Ceilidh. Practicing involved having the boys line up on one side of the hall and the girls on the other, with each taking turns to select a partner. Possibly the most awkward thing ever when you’re in your pre-teens! So seeing dance in a different way was great fun. Everyone was moving and having a great time, and I felt like we’d achieved something by the end of the class. I thought the ladies did an excellent job leading, and I have to also give a shout out to Meghan for being such a ‘risk-taker’!

This week during practicum, we’ve been able to see how physical education is being implemented in the schools. Southpointe has 4 specialists who cover the K – 12 years. The first day when I walked into a PE class the students were sitting individually on their ipads reflecting on videos of their batting movements. I think it’s safe to say that physical education has definitely changed from when I went to school!


I’ve been able to watch my class transition through skill building drills to mini-games, before participating in full class batting/fielding games. They even played Chuck the Chicken! Not only that but they have also been connecting to their next Unit of Inquiry (body systems). How did their muscular system/central nervous system/respiratory system help them achieve that movement?  How are they connected? Thus, the students already have some knowledge before they even get started! It’s great seeing everything that we’ve been discussing during our classes being implemented in the field.

Maria’s Gymnastics Group Teach Reflection: October 21st

This week Sydney, Sienna and I had our group teach for Gymnastics, which was specifically designed for Grade 2 students. Our gymnastics lesson plan primarily focussed on teaching students to balance. We executed this through the use of two warm-up activities followed by a three-station circuit, which required students to practice using both static and dynamic balances. For someone who enjoyed participating in Gymnastics during my childhood, it sure brought back a lot of memories and nostalgia when devising this lesson plan. Some teachers dread teaching gymnastics due to the safety precautions they must adhere to, the time it takes to set up and take down equipment and the fear of having students injure themselves on equipment. However, after devising this lesson I learned that gymnastics can easily be taught in a safe and positive environment with minimum equipment needed. I believe Gymnastics should be included in every Physical Education curriculum because it is most effective in teaching students fundamental movement skills, for example, balancing, rolling, jumping and so on.

One factor that worked effectively in our lesson was that each of the activities including the warm-up activities involved some type of balancing movement. Having students complete each activity in the sequence we implemented enabled them to gradually build their understanding and further develop their balancing skills. All the activities were linked in that students were required to balance; however, the range of creative activities we developed enabled students to reflect on the many different ways we use balance in our daily lives. Moreover, we highlighted to students that gymnastics is often focussed on the individual and involves less teamwork. However, we believed that collaboration in gymnastics is necessary and important. Therefore, we included a collaborative activity in our circuit. We instructed students to work as a team and rearrange themselves on a bench from number one to eight. This was a great team building activity and one in which students were required to work together while developing their individual balancing movements.

If I were to replicate this lesson again in the future, I would re-evaluate whether I would include a circuit with only one teacher supervising and circulating the three stations. During our circuit, Steve had my partners and me to try and teach from standing in the center of the gym and from a birds eye view perspective. He posed the question of how we would manage this circuit on our own? I realized this was much more difficult than I had originally envisioned because of the inability to focus my attention on one station without having the other two stations attended to at the same time. This was especially difficult when students were instructed to switch stations and in need for the teacher to repeat instructions. In the future when teaching Grade 2 students I will break up the three-station circuit into one activity per day. Once the students have mastered each station, a circuit would be included at the end of the unit. Furthermore, instructions could be provided at each circuit for students to read over and remind themselves of the responsibilities for each activity.

Another thing I would do differently in the future is to demonstrate each activity at the designated station. This provides students with a better visual to remember the instructions and strategies for the activity before they are separated into groups to do the activities themselves. As a group, we decided to demonstrate all three activities at one of the stations. Also as a group, we agreed that in order to save time it was best to not have the whole class move from station to station for the demonstration. However, after consideration we decided this was not the most effective way to demonstrate the stations to students.

Overall, this experience was very enriching and rewarding. I learned that it was important to be flexible and not to be afraid of making changes in order to enhance or challenge the various activities. I hope to develop and implement a similar lesson that includes the modifications addressed above during my practicum this year!

Gymnastics – Maymie

Class this week caused me to reflect on my own experiences with gymnastics and how much I loved it. It was always my favourite unit of PE throughout elementary school. It was always an exciting time walking into the gym and noticing the gymnastics equipment set up. I think the main reason I liked it is because it really felt like simple play. In my experience, gymnastics never had a distinct set of rules to follow, unlike other units such as basketball or volleyball. Of course we had to stay safe, but we were also able to explore new movements and positions our own way. We usually worked through stations and tried different moves. We were also given the opportunity to create our own gymnastics routine. I remember this being a highlight in Grade 3.

I think opportunities for kids to create their own routine or game is very important. My practicum class created their own game and the kids were very engaged. For the Pro D Day I attended a “5 steps to a happy classroom” workshop with Scott Hughes and he discussed the importance of play in the classroom. Creative play is an opportunity for kids to engage in their own learning and feel a sense of ownership over what they are doing. I think this can be applied to gymnastics and many other subjects. It allows students to be creative and to contribute to their own learning environment. I hope to bring many experiences like this to my future classroom!

Gymnastics Group Teach Reflection – Sydney (Oct 21)

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!

Gemma’s Movement Journal – October 14th

Being part of the BEd program has provided me with a lot of new experiences, although I think being a hedgehog and a polar bear are an absolute first for me! But the lesson on Wednesday was fun and engaging, and we managed to work up a sweat while we were at it. So great job ladies!

The Crocodile
The Crocodile
The Polar Bear

I love doing and planning scavenger hunts (I’ve done a few for birthdays & bachelorette parties), but I also think they are an ideal activity for encouraging students to experience the outdoors. There is a healthy dose of competition, and allows for students to practice their thinking, creative and team-working skills, as well as encouraging them to experience new things. In thinking about my own experience growing up, we very rarely experienced outdoor education or alternate environments for either P.E. or regular classes… I only remember one occasion of going outside to a nearby field in the last week of the year as a treat (although this may have something to do with the horrendous Scottish weather!). It was still a time where we spent a lot of time playing outdoors outside of school and I was lucky enough to come from a family who came from more rural communities and who enjoyed this. We would spend every summer up in the islands, playing on tractors and in the moors helping to collect peat.


So it’s scary when just 20 years later, the majority of play occurs indoors. I remember going out for dinner a month or two ago and seeing a family sitting nearby and all three of the kids were straight away sitting on their devices playing games. We are so lucky to be living in British Columbia where there is nearby access to so many varied environments. Yesterday it was a 5-10 minute walk until we were in the middle of a forest. We could have gone 10 minutes in the opposite direction and been at Wreck Beach. So as educators we really need to instill this outdoor mindset from the start. I saw a couple of videos on Youtube of teenage gamers and the impact on their social skills and their understanding of society is clearly evident. I know Steve mentioned this in class previously, but the David Suzuki Foundation has some really great resources and ideas for implementing an outdoor mindset within the classroom, and this is something I will definitely be incorporating if I’m lucky enough to have my own classroom one day. It even has some benefits for teachers too… (

Maria’s Movement Journal # 3: October 7th

In the reading summary and discussion this week, we reviewed the different pedagogies for teaching physical education. The pedagogy I found to be most effective and the one in which I hope to implement when teaching my Physical Education class was the TGfU or in other words, Teaching Games for Understanding. This pedagogy focuses on learning and performing sports skills in a variety of settings. The end result is athletes who acquire a strong knowledge and recognition of the game and their own abilities. I found the six-step process that TGfU activities follow to be most helpful in understanding this pedagogy in greater detail. Step 1, the game, was the step I found to be most interesting and unfamiliar to me. Step 1 involves having the teacher introduce a modified version of the game that has clear objectives and follows the basic rules and concepts of the formal game. I was unfamiliar with this step because in my previous experiences in physical education, my teachers would often have us students jump straight into the game without learning the fundamental movements and rules. My teachers assumed that we would learn these basic rules, movements and tactics through continuous playing and practice. However, this in turn caused me to lack the game appreciation and tactical awareness (steps 2 & 3), I needed to gain, in order to apply in playing the game. I will continue to review and familiarize myself with this six-step process and apply it when teaching physical education.

On another note, I wish to highlight an experience I witnessed during my first day of practicum in my Grade 1 and Grade 2 classroom. The teacher of this class starts every morning with a thirty-minute walk in the forest next to the school. I think this is a great way to start the day as it keeps the students active and is a great source of energy for the day ahead. Moreover, I noticed that the students were able to focus better and were more energetic once they returned from the walk. The teacher tries her best to implement physical education throughout the day such as taking breaks from sitting and listening in order to stretch and move around. I look forward to learning more about her physical education techniques and to see if she is incorporating the strategies and knowledge we have learned in class thus far. I now know that I must always have my running shoes nearby, ready to be slipped on as required!


Picture: Natural artefacts Grade 1 and Grade 2 students collected from their nature walk

Gemma’s Group Teach Reflection (September 30)

I had absolutely no idea how Wednesday’s group teach would turn out. I was quite happy at first when our group was given striking/fielding games, but after thinking about it for a while, it was actually quite difficult to put together a lesson that ensured maximum participation. There is a lot of standing around in baseball, kickball etc, so I was worried that our lesson was going to be boring. So “maximum participation” was something that we tried to keep in mind throughout the whole process. But actually, it turned out okay – having a very positive and cooperative class surely helped! And I think it was the first time  that we’ve actually worked up a sweat (good thing we decided to take out the laps around the field at the last minute!).

I had never heard of “Chuck the Chicken” before it was suggested for our lesson. Frankly, I initially didn’t see the purpose of throwing and running after an ugly rubber chicken, and how that could be relevant to fielding. But it actually turned out amazingly well! It reminds me that you have to keep an open mind and be creative when engaging kids, as the main priority is to have fun and get them moving! Although, I’d still be really interested to learn who first came up with that game (and how!)…

I have to say though, I found the lesson planning part of the process quite difficult to wrap my head around… and i’m wondering if this is a similar concern for a lot of people (given the expressions in Lisa’s class today). We’ve not really had much direction on lesson planning but it is an assignment required for most classes. What templates do we use? What resources/information do we have to include? How do we base it off the curriculum? So it took a while to get going. But maybe we do just make things up as we go along and it will get easier over time. Becoming more efficient at drafting these is definitely going to be a goal of mine for this coming year.

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Movement Journal Week 2


Best. Time. Ever.

I have never done a flash mob before, and I didn’t exactly know what it was before either … BUT IT WAS AWESOME. I thought that we would go to a random place (such as the new SUB) and start dancing when cued. However, the instructor that was leading the flash mob was so energetic and full of life that she made it more of a confidence building experience rather than just a silly dance.

I loved that she started talking about something that everyone always thinks of, but never says anything about – the feeling of being self-conscious. We rarely express to others that we feel self-conscious when we do certain things. Perhaps you don’t enjoy public speaking because you feel that your voice sounds high and screechy, or that your mannerisms are odd and everyone will be nit picking at everything that you do. Or, maybe you have a hard time speaking out in class because you are worried someone will think what you said was stupid. Maybe you don’t enjoy taking photographs of yourself because you feel your face has that one aspect that will make you stick our like a sore thumb.

I don’t know about you, but all those things used to apply to me at some point in  life, and definitely limited my enjoyment of life and the experience of being myself to a great extent. That is why the instructor for the Flash Mob was such an inspiration to me. She highlighted a key fact that many of us have completely forgotten: WHO CARES? You’re different not by accident – but on purpose. Confidence and feeling good about yourself all come from within. Don’t let yourself worry about what others are thinking – because everything that you believe they are thinking, is actually what YOU are thinking about yourself. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is not to care, but it’s also the most rejuvenating.  Breathe in the freshness of all that is you, because it’s great. Go do your silly dance in front of your students, because it is great. Go and be too noisy in your class, because it is great, and so are you.

Until next time! Thanks again for the great Flash Mob learning opportunity!


Reflection Week 2 (Target Sports)


Movement Journal

This Wednesday, my group and I had the pleasure of being the first Team Teach participants for the class. We had the chance to teach Target Sports to the class.

Aside for the hustle and bustle of setting up our lesson plans and making sure we had all the required equipment, teaching my first P.E class was much more than I expected. My team did four activities. First, we played Chain Tag, then we played Apple Tree, then Tossing Game, and lastly finishing stretches for the cool down. I oversaw the Apple Tree activity, including the instructions and the clean-up. I had so much fun running the activities for the class, I even wished I had the chance to participate in some of them (especially Chain Tag!).

What worked for us was setting up the equipment beforehand, and making sure that everything was organized for convenient access. Perhaps in a smaller class, it wouldn’t be safe to lay out the equipment beforehand due to safety concerns. Another thing that worked was having the team mates who were not instructing perform equipment tasks – such as set up or clean up. Also, organizing the class into teams that could be applied from activity to activity helped the lesson go smoother. It was also very helpful to have the Lesson Plan prepared ahead of time. Instead of winging it, you have already thought about everything that could possibly happen ahead of time. We had extra activities, as well as adaptations for different players.

A few things I noticed was how extremely fast the time went. We had many things planned in a very short amount of time. I felt that if we made the activities more concise and shorter, we would have had more time for everything instead of being rushed.

The ‘students’ in our class were wonderful. They responded to questions, and were attentive when the teacher required their attention. Perhaps in a real P.E class, this will be more difficult. However, they had fun, could understand the premise of the lesson, as well as contribute to reflective questions at the end of class.

For next time, I would definitely attempt to change the times allocated for each activity to make it more realistic for the class. Time went by too fast and I felt that we were rushed, even though we managed to get through everything. Also, I will personally ask the students if they have any questions before we start the activity.

We had a blast!