This week was my group’s turn to teach. We taught track and field, specifically sprinting. I think our lesson went well, my instant activity was short, fun and engaging. The class enjoyed the warm up as well. We did dynamic stretching to music and it turned into a dance party. I think these ideas really transfer to the classroom as students really enjoy doing things this way. I also felt that my discussion group for the reading summary went really well. We had a great discussion and I almost did not get through everything I needed to for the summary. I felt that the reading was really engaging for us to discuss and we were all in the same mindset for it.
Our planning was difficult. We ended up changing our lesson plan quite significantly as we had planned way to much. However it came together in the end which was great. We ended up changing our track relay the morning of. We realized that the track was bigger then we were thinking in our heads and needed to modify the game so there was not as much running involved. We wanted to make the game enjoyable for people who are not runners and we felt this modification was important for that.
I felt the group was really engaged and I was not expecting this! I felt people were not excited when they heard what we were doing but the attitude really changed as we got into the activities. I think we managed to make running fun!
This week’s reading summary was particularly interesting to me – in modern society, so many things are taken for granted and normalized, that certain topics such as diversity can so easily be overlooked in the PE classroom. Notions such as “Bob can’t participate in class today because the activities involve running and he is in a wheelchair” or “Liam is a strong and healthy 17-year-old male Caucasian student, he should be on the football team” are so ingrained into our culture that we rarely stop and critically assess them.
I still remember experiences from school, when boys were expected to play soccer outside and girls were expected to participate in quiet activities, when a Sikh boy couldn’t participate in roller blading because the helmets didn’t fit over his turban, when a boy with a physical handicap never participated in our PE classes. I recall recognizing the injustice of the situations, but never stopping to think about or address the issues.
Throughout the week, diversity seemed to be a common discussion in our classes. Racism, gender biases, stereotyping – these are just a few of the epidemics that have taken over society. These epidemics are not spreading through loud or visible means however. They are silent killers, deeming us mute and seemingly ignorant of the discrimination and segregation happening all around us.
In all of our class discussions, the solution spiraled down to something fairly simple – awareness. Simply by speaking out loud about an issue, or educating people so they could learn more about something that was previously ambiguous, can bring topics out of the darkness and demystify and de-normalize them. Yesterday, Sheena did a wonderful job of leading our group discussion and helping us to identify what we should be aware of (in regards to diversity) as educators. I hope that as a cohort, we can continue to question and build on each other’s thoughts and ideas, and push each other forward on this amazing learning journey!
The concept of TGfU was surprising to me – not because it was counter-intuitive, but because I felt that it was common sense! Play is something that comes naturally to children – it allows them to explore, to test their abilities, and to use their imagination. Children learn naturally through the process of play.
When Steve gave us the example of TGfU at the end of class, our group noticed something when we were playing the very first simple game (passing the ball to get it to the other side). We got bored fairly quickly, and started to wonder if we would be progressing to the next game anytime soon. By the time we got to the third game (trying to knock down the pin), it was complex enough to keep us excited and engaged. This made me think of what the situation would be like if it were applied to elementary aged children. From what I have observed in children, when they get bored they will invent new activities to entertain themselves. They practice problem solving skills without any prompts from their teachers!
TGfU ties in neatly with some of the IB principles. By starting with simple games and slowly progressing to increasingly complex games, students learn through scaffolding and critical thinking. Through each step of progression, students build on pre-existing knowledge and think critically about how to make the current game more fun and exciting. By adopting the concept of TGfU in teaching PE, we can encourage and motivate students to take initiative and ask critical questions to build on their own learning.
Something I reflected on a lot this week was the hall of shame games article. The three games I was struck most by were dodge ball, tag, and red rover. I have lots of memories playing all of these games growing up and I remember them quite fondly.
When it came to dodge ball, I was never that good at throwing the ball but I was good at jumping and dodging. Growing up we played many variations of the game and our teachers always tried to make the teams fair. Little did I realize until reading this article all the negativity behind the game.
Tag is a game that I believe does not need to be a hall of shame game; if played in a positive way. There are variations of the game where everyone can be involved; for example: “everyone’s it tag.” I think if tag is played correctly it can be played in a positive environment that is inclusive and fun for all students.
Finally the last game that stood out was red rover. I absolutely loved this game growing up! The competitive aspects of the game and trying to break through my friends were so much fun! Looking back at the game I understand how it taunts the less athletic students but it also is so dangerous.
I learned so much from the hall of shame articles. My perspectives on teaching P.E. were changed and I hope to provide my students with a positive learning environment.
Looking back at my P.E. timeline I can say that I was lucky enough to have had positive experiences from start to finish. I had great teachers and enjoyed playing sports outside of school myself so enjoyed my time spent in P.E., but I can definitely understand why it was some student’s least favourite part of the day. I want to do my part as a future teacher to show my students the benefits of P.E. that exist besides just learning physical skills, as there is so much more to be gained from the subject. Learning how to work together as a team and being educated about proper health and nutrition for a balanced life are so important for all students. I think the key for us as future teachers will be to put ourselves in the shoes of a student who’s interests don’t lie in athletics and try to think of how to make each and every class fun for him or her. The P.E. classes I remember the most were when we participated as a class in exciting and different units such as dance, which I enjoyed even though I was not a natural dancer. These classes were similar to our flashmob in that no one cared how silly they looked during line-dance day in gym, all that mattered was that everyone was having fun and being active. I want to be able to foster this kind of positive energy in my classes to help all students enjoy the time they have to be active at school 🙂
Growing up I never really enjoyed PE, I had more negative experiences then I did positive. The only positive part of my experiences from PE was when it was time to leave. I wasn’t a very athletic child, this made it very difficult for me to be a valuable part of the class. Many of my PE teachers would make captains, and since I wasn’t very good at any sport, I was usually picked near the end. This brought my self-esteem down and those experiences still affect me to this day. Instead of having fun while i play sports, I am more self-conscious, I still have a fear that if I don’t play my hardest I will be last pick again.
I think that the most important thing we need to teach in PE is to stay active. Regardless of the child’s skill level we have a responsibility teach that individual to take care of their body. My concern is that I might be too soft on them and let them do whatever they please. I don’t want to force a child to do something and if they fail I don’t want them to feel like they are not good enough.
Sharing stories, and reflecting on our own experiences is valuable because it will help us develop a personal identity. This identity is important if we want to become an effective teacher. They can also aid us when we are trying to relate to our students. For example, because I know the feeling of being picked last, I will never allow my students to pick their own teams. This way I can focus on always uplifting my students. Finally, I am very excited to be in this class, and I hope that I receive plenty of constructive feedback so that I can be a great PE teacher.
On a side note, this was my first course in my post secondary career where I was expected to be active. It was quite a shock for me to experience that. It made me think that courses similar to these should be offered more and required for college student to take every year. According to “HealthLine.com,” 44 percent of college students in the United States suffer with depression, and 19 percent of young people either contemplate or commit suicide. Fortunately, researchers have proved that exercising and being active can decrease depression. One reason for why this happen is because, when an individual is regularly active, their brain releases neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids. These are called the “feel-good” chemicals. One of their less scientific purposes is to make the person happy. In conclusion, I believe that requiring students to enroll in courses similar to this will help reduce the percentage of depression in universities all across the world significantly.
The evening prior to our first class, I was very nervous. Having experienced mostly negative experiences in my childhood Physical Education (PE) classes, I was apprehensive about what this course would be like, and how I would be able to teach a class and make it exciting and fun for everyone.
The PE classes of my recollections involved a lot of standing in the sidelines during soccer games, and wishing that I wouldn’t be “saved” during dodgeball so I didn’t have to go back into the battle zone. Although teachers encouraged everyone to participate, children who were already good at whatever sport or game that was being played tended to take the spotlight, while the rest of the class stood by and watched.
I did not quite understand this problem until we discussed the article regarding primary school teachers not feeling qualified to teach PE. In my own conversation with a classmate, a multitude of reasons could contribute to this issue. Fitness and athletic abilities, as well as past experiences were brought up. Having never been exceptionally athletic, as well as experiencing the feeling of being left out, I was hesitant about my own ability to teach PE successfully. It then made sense that teachers with a similar background would feel unqualified to teach PE.
The views toward fitness and physical education are changing, however. Rather than being focused on “super stars” with skills that the majority of the population are not able to achieve, attention is being drawn to staying active through whatever means you are comfortable with. I hope that I will be able to create an environment that emphasizes the importance of staying active, rather than letting it become an exhibition of skills.
This week, I decided to create a Video Blog. Enjoy!