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.
Great work to Sonya, Emily, and Pamela on their group teach! They did a good job considering the cognitive and psychomotor levels of their grade two students and how to best design a lesson for this age group. They considered how well grade twos would be able to follow instructions, run around with spatial awareness, and their ability to throw and catch.
I appreciated assessing the baseball activity. Looking at how well an activity incorporates participation, challenge, positive social behaviors, flow, safety and learning, are all important factors that I need to consider when creating my own lessons. As well, I need to keep in mind the objective of each lesson and criterion-reference what I am teaching to assess how well the students’ are learning in relation to what I want them to learn.
Some assessment and evaluation strategies that I prefer are exit slips, learning logs, and observation. I like the idea of reflectively assessing improvement instead of skill level as not everyone is athletic. I understand that in older grades there might be some sort of fitness testing that monitors effort/improvement, but I prefer the idea of active participation over grading. I also never liked written tests for P.E., and I feel that for the most part, P.E. should not have tests that involve pen and paper as all the other subjects already do.
Friday was my first experience teaching the group in this program and it was my first time teaching PE; therefore, I was extremely nervous. Even though I thought we were pretty well prepared, I was still shaking the whole morning before class. I lead the instant activity without really paying attention to what was going on around me. I still cannot recall what happened during that time, but according to some reflections, it went well and most of you had fun dancing.
To be honest, I was focusing too much on what I thought I should and should not do as a teacher instead of paying attention to my students. I was constantly thinking of remembering to say things such as “when I say go” before giving instructions, and reminding myself to speak louder. Then I was concentrating on not saying “you guys” and focusing on the time, because I was the time keeper. Reflecting now, I wish I had paid more attention to everyone’s engagement level and given some feedback during the activities instead of focusing so much on myself.
I really appreciate how Steve showed us how to evaluate one of our games and modify it for safety issues. The brainstorming for modifications was very helpful, I am glad we got to do this here in Cite rather than during our practicum. Our focus age for this lesson was grade 2, so I was very worried the games might have been too childish for grownups to have fun. However, after class, many people told us we did a good job and that they enjoyed the activities which was very encouraging. Thank you everyone for being so supportive! 😀
This week’s team teach was excellent in many different ways. The warm up activity was hilarious. I got so many laughs out of other people’s animal dance moves and it was a lot of fun to be silly with a group of people! What a great fun way to get everyone moving!
The first activity was a lot of fun too. I was confused at first, I think the huge amount of cones set up made it a bit hard for me to visualize but once we got into our groups to play I was not confused anymore. The game was a good way to get students moving and practicing their throwing. There are so many modifications you could do to help enhance student learning.
The last game was an interesting game. I did not like the unsafe elements but other than that it was great. I was running around so much in this game that by the end I was exhausted! This really helped me to see the importance of an active curriculum. After class, I felt awake, alert and ready for the day. Being active in school really does help students in other areas of academics.
Our discussion of assessment was very important. Growing up we were often assessed on how fast we ran or how talented we were at a certain sport. Using strategies such as exit slips, or student evaluation on their performance in class not only gets them involved but also allows those who are not naturally fast runners to be successful.
That was one of my favorite classes by far. I loved how each one of the group members brought something to the class. Great job Amanda, Clarissa, Rylan and Terrance. I think that the best quality that this group brought was their enthusiasm. If I were an elementary student, I would have loved to see my PE teachers get involved. Witnessing my teachers so involved made me want to get involved as well. That’s a lesson I think that I will take into my classroom. Students will be excited to learn if we as teachers are excited to teach it.
The way this group broke down volleyball was very impressive and also was easy to understand. I think that I will also adopt this method into my PE class because It was simple yet fun. Children would be able to easily grasp the basic concepts of volleyball. This opens up a new door for them, so if they are interest in this sport and would like to pursue it, they now have the physical literacy.
I always assumed that PE was a simple class to teach, but that isn’t the case. This class requires the teacher to actually put thought in the mental and physical well being of the student. So I am very appreciative of the reading because it teaches me how to be a good PE teacher.
Yesterday we were given the chance to explore the grand concept of volleyball! Growing up I can easily say that volleyball was my least favorite sport. I had chicken arms and a lack of coordinator, which made every time I hit the ball feel painful. Include the lack of support from classroom peers and the teacher equals a lack of love for this wonderful sport. To this day I will never say ‘I LOVE VOLLEYBALL!’, but I will say that a positive atmosphere makes all the difference. Today’s group that presented showed the class that providing a high energy environment is possible without the competitiveness. Instead that provided constructive criticism and positive feedback without singling out anyone in the class. This made even the most The last two weeks have also given me some more ideas when it comes to classroom management. While our presenters have provided high content lessons, I see key difference between teaching children and teaching adults when these lessons are performed. I feel like classroom management in a class may not be a challenge for me, but perhaps a PE gym class will be more difficult. I will need to invest in a whistle and be specific when I give instructions on who is to do what, what line the children will stand on, where the balls will go at the end of the activity, and so forth. Watching our last group pair us off into separate activities made me think ‘that’s so cool! But can I do that?’ It might take some time, but I’m up for the challenge!
Julie, Helen, and I were in charge of the group teach activity last week and I must say, it was a nerve-racking and fun experience at the same time. One thing we realized is that no matter how prepared you feel like you are in your lesson plans, there will always be something that needs to be altered during your actual lessons. You cannot predict everything! I think that was one of our biggest take-aways we got from Steve. Nonetheless, we had a great time teaching and we were so pleased that everyone enjoyed the activities and playing badminton!
Something else I wanted to mention during last week’s class was the case study of Billy during the physical literacy reading summaries. The scenario was similar to something that happened when I was in Grade 6, when I received my first C+ in PE class. I was always an active child and participated in PE class regularly, so the letter grade was basically a slap in the face for me. I remember thinking what was I doing wrong? Back then, I always thought PE was built solely on skills and athletic ability, and the term ‘physical literacy’ was all but non-existent for me. But after the short discussion during our summary circles, I finally have a better understanding of what the new school curriculum is shifting towards. This change towards an holistic understanding of healthy living and physical well-being is going to be vital for children and youths today, teaching them about the importance of physical literacy and the motivation to stay active for life.
I can’t wait for the rest of the class’ group teach!
This week, I finally understood the true meaning of physical literacy. A physically literate individual values his or her involvement in various physical activities and their contribution to a healthy lifestyle. I come to realize that I am not a physically literate person. Not at all! I do not like to engage in any physical activities except yoga. If I happen to participate in some physical activities, it is for the purpose of losing weigh, a means to an end. Moreover, in the past, I thought the purpose of teaching physical education in a class is to teach various skills of physical activities to students. However, I begin to understand the significance of teaching physical literacy in a PE class and to embrace the values of being a physically literate individual. For instance, unable to visit the yoga studio the past two months, I have been feeling lethargic lately. Suddenly, I realize how I view yoga has changed. Instead of treating it as an activity to lose weight, I am appreciating yoga as a physical activity that contributes to my energy level. I hope to participate in various physical activities, not just yoga, from now on and become a physically literate individual. The way I present myself in a classroom will affect the way students accept classroom activities. I want my students to treat PE class as a fun and lifelong learning experience. In order to make students to approach PE class as I hope they would, I must set an example myself. I must integrate physical activities in my life and appreciate the value of engaging in physical activities and their impact on creating a healthy lifestyle.
Margaret Whitehead’s definition of physical literacy involved the word “motivation.” I thought that this was really interesting. My definition of physical literacy involved competence and confidence, both of which were included in Whitehead’s and the Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE) definitions. I never thought about motivation as a component of literacy before, but I definitely think it is an essential part. After all, if a student is confident and competent in certain kinds of physical activity, but does not want to do it, we would not be able to accomplish our goal in PE to inspire students to be active for life.
I really enjoyed the badminton lesson. At first, I thought that it would be boring to only work on a few skills. I played badminton in high school and I was so eager to get onto the court and play a full game. However, after playing the adapted version, I realized I was having fun, and so was everyone else! I think that having teams work with the team on the opposite side of the net fostered a team spirit and made it so that no one could really lose. I thought that this was a great idea, especially after the talk we had last week on the Hall of Shame games and activities. The badminton games were also arranged in such a way that all students were able to participate equally, without much rest. This was also brilliantly done. It inspired me to think about how different games like basketball or soccer could be adapted in a similar way to maximize student participation. Finally, I think that it was great that the group only taught a few skills. This makes perfect sense because we will be teaching elementary school students, and this will likely be their first time encountering badminton. By teaching a few skills at a time, students will not be overwhelmed.
Wednesday’s group teach lesson taught me that I am much worse at badminton than I remember! I would not consider myself “physically literate” in badminton, but there are definitely sports where I would be more confident saying that I am. Growing up, I was a very over-programmed kid going to a huge variety of active classes like ballet, Taekwondo, kung fu, and gymnastics. These are not the areas that I would consider myself physically literate in, but I do think that having experienced all of them contributed to my over all physical literacy that I can then apply to other activities. I loved playing ultimate frisbee and volleyball in elementary and high school, and I attribute my hand-eye coordination to my martial arts training where I sparred and broke boards. That being said, I absolutely hate running and avoid it at all costs, even during a game of ultimate. I don’t think that takes away from my ability to play since I throw and catch well enough to make up for that deficit, and I understand the rules of the game, so I do consider myself literate in that aspect.
I found a TED Talk that was an interesting and informative watch. An astounding fact stated was that the current generation of children will be the first to have lower life expectancies than their parents! There is a distinct correlation between our health and technology. As our world becomes more technologically savvy, health declines and obesity levels increase. He has a great definition of Physical Literacy that emphasizes the importance of creating a FUN environment where children can learn how to engage with physical activity. Take a look!