There are a couple things I wanted to share about last week’s discussion group and team teach.
Firstly, I greatly enjoyed learning about the difference between formative and summative assessments. I really think formative assessment is an excellent tool and one that I hope to implement in all my classes. I’m not sure if my elementary or high school P.E. teachers did any formative assessments, as I do not recall them ever discussing them in class. If they did, I am sure they were loosely based on performance standards only. That being said, I think one of the most effective tools of formative assessment is transparency. We have all heard the saying “no secret teacher business” and I think this really applies here. I think it is very helpful to students to let them know what you are looking for and what you will be assessing so there are no surprises. It also allows students to give their feedback and an assessment of their teacher too. These discussions can also be a great opportunity to talk about physical literacy as you can explain that formative assessment will be based on more than performance alone. In this way I hope students can ask questions and not feel so intimidated by the grading process.
I also wanted to mention how much I enjoyed the striking game activities this past class. What a fun and active class, the team teachers thought of everything! From stretches to the field to fun warm-up games and an inclusive new edition of California Kickball, I had my heart pumping and my feet moving. I really enjoyed how the team teachers made sure everyone was included and moving at all times. I also wanted to highlight how the games were FUN! It sounds simple but Chuck the Chicken is loads of fun and still gets students to practice their skills. Also, the adaptation of California Kickball was inclusive and I liked how no one was ever caught out. I have terrible memories of playing baseball and heading up to the plate nervously waiting to have the ball thrown to me. I rarely hit it and always felt terribly embarrassed. This wonderful game eliminated all those feelings and brought out great team spirit and comradery.
Great Job! I would love to use your entire lesson plan in a future P.E class!
The reading group from last week really helped me to rethink about PE assessments and assessments in general. In our group discussion, we talked a lot about formative assessment vs. summative assessment. Formative assessment provides a positive feedback to teachers and students. In a way, not only is the teacher assessing the student, but students can also assess the lesson. These active feedback loops assist teachers to adapt their lesson for the future and at the same time help students to be more aware of their own learning, thereby closing the gap between teacher’s and student’s expectations. Sometimes teachers may think they made everything crystal clear, but to the students a lot of the instructions might be quite confusing. If we don’t receive the feedback from the student we can never see our own mistakes and improve upon them. This idea of involving students in the decision of their own learning provides higher motivation and self-esteem. In comparison, summative assessment is quite different from formative assessment. This is also the type of assessment most students are familiar with. In our class discussion, we mentioned, rather than giving students a final exam, perhaps, we can design a final project that will evaluate student’s fundamental movement skills and fundamental sports skills.
As expert Paul Back puts it,” When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative assessment. When the customer tastes the soup, that’s summative assessment.” I think as a facilitator and an educator it is important to incorporate both formative and summative into our practice.
I have recently come to understand that one of the fundamental and foundational pieces of education is an understanding of one’s students. Thus, pedagogical approaches for the accommodation of the diverse needs and interests of learners is to first understand what those diverse needs and interests are! Entry and exit slips with simple questions are a good way to gauge students’ feelings about PHE, as well as journals or blogs. After you have an understanding of who you are teaching, you can begin to differentiate your lessons to accommodate a diverse student population. I really enjoy stations as a part of my own Physical Education. Stations provide diversity in the learning environment and account for differences between students. Even if there are one or two stations that students enjoy less, a limited amount of time and a variety of stations ensures that all students’ will be catered to.
In the same way as understanding your students feelings about PHE through entry and exit slips, journals, etc. is important, observing your students throughout physical education is important to give them formative assessment, and to find the best ways to provide summative assessment at the end of the learning period. Formative assessment is critical in subjects such as PHE as many students struggle with testing and performance at the level to which they are actually capable. Observation is more likely to provide those performing assessments with an understanding of students’ authentic ability to apply fundamental movement skills in real-life situations. Observation is another way in which educators can glean a better understanding of their students’ needs and interests. Levels of engagement during a lesson can be observed and lessons can then be adjusted to better suit the needs of the students. Thus, reflective and observational assessment of one’s own teaching is incorporated in the PHE experience.