I was really involved in Physical Education throughout school. My hight to some extent dictated my involvement in sports like basketball, volleyball and some of the field events during track season. PE was a natural extension of my involvement in these teams. In high school my PE experience was probably improved because of my participation with the basketball and volleyball teams. I knew the coaches and we were on good terms and thus my below average ability level in running events was less important to those coaches than the effort I put in. It was difficult for me to achieve more than a B+ which means that my abilities were assessed as well as my effort. Teaching physical education is difficult in my practicum school because 3 classes worth of students occupy the small gymnasium simultaneously and if the weather is bad, activities have to be suitable for 90 students. assessment in these large groups is difficult, and without clear teaching goals it is even more challenging.
Q: What are some ways for ensuring that all students’ voices are heard and needs met
Going off of some of the insight gained from the 5-minute p.e. exercises was to pay attention to the mood of the students. Once I had realized that my activity was becoming less engaging for my peers, I stopped the activity and asked for feedback of how to make it more engaging. The feedback gained helped to make the activity far more appropriate and entertaining for my peers. It would seem that the same mentality and ethic could work for the class. If we look for periods where we could stop the class and get a feel for how the lesson is going, insight could be gained that might help you in adapting it better for all learners.
Another way we could ensure that all learners’ voices are heard would be to make time for reflections after each lesson or activity. While this might take up sometime, the reflections or feedback might allow the teacher to gain valuable information on areas where the students are struggling, and or stagnating. For subsequent lesson the teacher could adapt them based partly upon the reflections from the previous class.
I feel the same way. Once I see that my peers’, or students’, engagement is declining, I want feedback to see how I can improve it. What about responses in a duotang as a class? It seems odd in a p.e. class, but maybe a book to see how the students find the lessons, and see how they’re reflections on the lessons change/stay the same throughout the year!
I think another good idea would be rotating activity leaders (where you have activities requiring a leader) from gym class to gym class, making sure that you go through the entire class list. This would be applicable to simple warm up games and would give individual students the ability to understand the components of the game on a deeper level while also allowing them to work on their communication and leadership skills, which all all great abilities in sport. After, you could have a brief conference with the student and talk about what insights they gained into the sport from watching their classmate during the activity. This gives them a specific task to focus and reflect on,
I like how you incorporated your experience from the 5 minute lesson for this question. Taking time to ask the students about their opinions would be very important since they will feel more valuable, especially if you take their advice. I also like the idea of the students writing reflections so that the students can privately tell you how comfortable they feel in P.E.
It sounds like PE on a rainy day can be a real nightmare for you Brandon. We had a similar situation with overcrowding at my practicum placement and we were able to shuffle around our own schedule in our div to take advantage of the gym’s free block. Is that a possibility for your class? That is a big undertaking though.
Before our gym was complete, we also set up circuits in the classroom for the students to do if the weather was too gross to go outside. If your class is a little on the small side, maybe a multipurpose room could work? ActionSchoolsBC has lots of resources that can be incorporated into a classroom if the gym is feeling too overwhelming on a bad weather day.
Group A Movement Journal from Session 1 & 2
The purpose of physical education today is to promote physical literacy with our students. This means that as physical educators we are to foster the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to maintain physical activity throughout a lifetime (Robinson 228). Being that I am going to be teaching yoga during my practicum, I believe that I have a great opportunity to be able to show my students a baseline for these competencies. I can promote motivation to maintain physical activity for a lifetime with teaching them an accessible form of movement that they can do in the comfort of their home or in a class. I can foster their confidence to maintain physical activity for a lifetime because I will be scaffolding different techniques that they will build upon in their practice and hopefully in learning new skills they will transfer this learning experience onto other activities that they may have normally shied away from. The physical competence that they will gain from learning yoga is that they will inherit an understanding of the four key indicators of physical literacy: function, form, feeling, and flow (233). They will be learning about balance, coordination, flexibility, stability, learning about the explicit awareness of what the body does and where it moves, and also how to go with the flow of their body (ie. Be aware of what postures work well for them and which ones they can modify) (233-235). Lastly, in teaching them yoga I will be promoting the knowledge and understanding of how to maintain physical activity for a lifetime because yoga can be practiced alone or in a group, so it demonstrates how easy incorporating physical activity into their life can be because one can practice yoga for 5 min to an hour.
Do you have any fears about teaching physical education?
I am afraid of students who refuse to participate. There is nothing more demoralizing to my teaching mantra in which I believe that all students can succeed as long as they try and put in the effort. However in my summer camp experiences, I had a kid who would refuse to participate anything that was called a game. She was actively participating in all the crafts and non-active components of the summer camp. We were playing wink murderer, and I had tried to entice her to join the circle with her peers. After my third attempt, this child had a complete mental breakdown that halted any of my attempts to try and include her in the activities. I would try once in a while throughout the week to see if she would change her mind, but she would otherwise begin to cry each time I mentioned it.
However, the child was completely content not participating in any of the more physical activities and games. She was content to entertain herself, and seemed to have no consideration to learn any physical education. Surely, she was getting her physical daily exercise with the amount of walking that was necessary to travel across the zoo.
I feel that this child may have been previously traumatized in past games, either she may have been hit or fell too hard in a game before. But within a week, it was difficult to change her mind.
I share your fear about this in a couple courses and in particular PE because it is so obvious when a child is not participating. But as educators I think what we do in PE should be similar to any other course where we try and keep the student in their zone of proximal development. I think we need to really appreciate the baby step a student may be taking to engage in an activity. Typically in PE I think there is a tendency to have everyone do the same activity and the paradigm should shift towards having students participating within their comfort zone, and essentially personalizing PE as we would in other subjects.
Melanie what about the app / card Yvonne showed us in cohort time today that would work really well for students to give responses with and be short/ less time consuming you could also make the cards part of a game.
‘What is the value of having experts support learning in your physical education classroom.’
Bringing a professional into the classroom would be of great benefit to the students because they will be able to see proper technique from the beginning. In any physical activity, it is extremely important for both adults and children to use proper technique. Improper technique can cause both immediate and long term physical harm, and starting students off with a proper base will help them in the future. Further, students will be able to see the passion of the professional and feed off of their successes and challenges.
What is the value of having “experts” support learning in a physical education classroom?
Bringing “experts” into a physical education classroom can be a great benefit to both teachers and students. Experts are able to add to the teacher’s explanation of a certain activity, for example, I feel like Tennis BC was able to scaffold the tennis skills in a thorough, well laid out way that I as a teacher may struggle with. In this instance, the student would benefit from learning techniques from presenters who are knowledgeable about tennis, rather than a teacher who may not be strong in tennis. Additionally, I feel as though “experts” have the ability to foster a sense of community amongst the students when they are presenting. I really saw this happen when our class engaged in wheelchair sports on Friday. I felt as though these activities really fostered a sense of community among us.
I completely agree with the idea that bringing experts into the classroom can strengthen instructions and explanations provided by the educator. Experts can also serve to correct any issues with form or process that they educator was unaware of, effectively increasing safety within the classroom. I have often found with my past experiences that experts also provide significant extra game and technique resources that educators either hadn’t been exposed to or willing to try. I really felt that sense of community as well during the wheel chair sports. In many of these situations the outside experts that come in exude their passion for that sport. The passion is often contagious, and as we experienced last class, can increase the effort and enjoyment of the lesson.
“In what ways can educators make connections with schools and communities?”
The easiest thing educators can do to make connections with schools and communities is utilize who’s around them. By leaving the classroom, and entering the world outside, educators can connect with various different communities near them. For example, the Tri-cities is made up of Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam, where each city is not too far from each other. Therefore, by living closer to different communities, and therefore different schools, connecting with those communities/schools is easier than communting to North Vancouver. If an educator in Coquitlam collaborates with a school in Port Moody, then they could meet at the closest park, rec center, etc. (if transportation allows). Otherwise, educators from different schools can “bring in” another school to their classroom, where students can participate in classroom activities with this other school.
“What is movement literacy or movement understanding?”
I believe that to be literate in movement, one must be competent at different activities that require various forms of movement. It is also important to be able to adapt one’s movement to the environment as well. Movement literacy/understanding includes knowing what is best for one’s body. For example, if an individual is suffering from an injury then they will know what activities will not hurt their injury further, or how to modify activities they enjoy. Not only should movement literacy be about how one moves, but also about how to live a healthy lifestyle and how movement can benefit one’s life. A person who is movement literate understands how being physically active is a lifestyle choice that extends past knowledge of movement. Since students are not as physically active as they were in the past, it is very important to teach students movement literacy and so that they may extend it into their daily lives.
I feel that having experts into the classroom really helps us teach concepts that we are not familiar with. This would be especially helpful for sports that you may not be as familiar with. I would use experts for something like gymnastics where I do not have the back ground experience to teach it in a manner that would give the students a good understanding and would be worried about the potential for injury and feel that having an expert in the room to teach it would reduce the risk. I also like the idea of allowing students to be experts when it is appropriate because they may have skills that we as teachers do not have.
One of the great things about P.E. is that it can be a great tool to build school / community connections. A sports team requires support from many different stakeholders to ensure success, many of which are not involved in a physical way. Making efforts to involve parents, community based sports experts, community centres, other schools etc. is a great way to show students the support structures that are in the community while also showing them alternate places to become involved in physical education. Inviting community partners to you P.E. class to introduce programs available outside the school is a great way to connect curriculum to real life application.
Educators can make connections with schools and communities through networking. Social media is a great resource for networking. An increasingly amount of educators, schools, and community partners are now on twitter and just by adding a hashtag to a tweet, educators are able to view who else it talking a similar topic. This can initiate some communication and hopefully, some collaboration. For example, an educator may learn that a school tweeted about a presentation/workshop conducted by BC Wheelchair sports at their school and that the students loved it. The educator, in turn, may connect with that school to get BC Wheelchair sports contact information and get the program to present at his/her school.
“What is the value of having ‘experts’ support learning in your physical education classroom?”
Bringing ‘experts’ into the physical education classroom can help support teachers who may lack a foundational level of understanding of a certain activity or sport. They can help to create connection between your students and the greater community, and can help connect communities together. Having experts support learning in the PE classroom can also allow for a diversity of perspectives, abilities and experiences.
My personal connection with this question is the in class presentations from Tennis BC. Because I have no previous experiences with tennis outside of this program my confidence in teaching the skills associated with this unit would be very low. Having experts come in and do a one day skills workshop would be a very valuable experience not only for my students, but for me as a teacher as well. It would build up my students confidents giving them small victories and building their feelings of self-efficacy while at the same time building my repertoire of activities and pedagogical strategies that I can weave throughout my unit, modelling proper form and execution, and building my confidence.
I think the possibilities are probably much broader than we anticipate. Of course there are things like leagues with other schools and other competitively spirited events, but rarely are the events collaborative. I think this is possibly an under-utilized relationship schools have with each other, and opening it up means opening up the potential for synergy between schools and working towards a larger common goal. In terms of physical education it could mean that a sports league does not have set teams, instead having all the participants together. From there, students could be mixed into teams changing the focus from competition and directing it towards fitness and making social connections with other schools based on similar interests. The goal in all of this not necessarily being to eliminate competition amongst schools, but to offer in addition so that students are exposed to the other collaborative goals such as fitness, fun, and making new friends.
I really like the idea of “opening up the potential for synergy between schools and working towards a larger common goal.” Instead of having separate teams from separate schools, have everyone working together to create more unity between schools, and ultimately between the different districts. I believe that this really opens up more opportunities for participation for students that are less competitive. In switching the focus to “fitness, fun, and making new friends,” this shows students that physical activity is more of a lifestyle rather than a competition.
What is the value of having “experts” support learning in your physical education classroom?
The scope of the world of sport is endless. It would be impossible to gain a thorough understanding of all the components of all organized sport. By having community experts come into the PE classroom, we give our students a high quality sampling of a sport which they might otherwise not have been exposed to. This is especially important for developing participation in sport which may not be a popular mainstream activity. We want to expose our students to as wide a variety of physical activity as we can so that they find something which they really enjoy and will start them on a journey of lifelong physical activity.
This has a particular connection with me because the sport I love to play is netball, an almost unheard of sport in Canada. Netball is a popular game in other commonwealth countries, with professional netball in Australia, New Zealand and the UK attracting the best players from around the world. I would have never been exposed to netball if an expert from Netball Alberta had not come into my elementary school to run a PE program. After that exposure I went on to play netball provincially at the U18 and U23 level, travel abroad for tournaments and training tours, and coach the next generation of netball players. I would have never have had any of those experiences if my elementary PE teacher had not asked an expert to come into our class.
So to sum up, experts are excellent resources to incorporate into the PE classroom, especially in areas of sport which are developing or you may not be familiar with. Not only will your students gain valuable exposure and experience, as an educator you will be able to gain more knowledge and strategies to guide your future practice.
It is so great to hear someone’s firsthand experience to bringing in an expert to support learning. An expert provides a strong mentorship to students interested in the sport. It also gives students life-long learning in physical education and this seems to relate in Andrea’s experience. She built a connection with a sport at school that transferred out into the community. The idea of bringing in the community to the school provides lasting relationships for the students. This is probably a great strategy for other subject areas as well.
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