Health literacy is encompasses a wide range of skills from the individual. As a result the definitions offered are fairly broad. The Canadian Public Health Association suggests it is the “ability to assess, understand and act on information for health”, while the Canadian Council on Learning defines it as the degree to which we are able to access health information for healthy decision-making and to maintain our basic health.
Daily Physical Activity (DPA) refers to provincially mandated initiatives targeting concerns about inactivity and poor health among Canadian children. DPA involves regular and consistent opportunities for physical activity in order to change student attitudes towards participating in physical activity. It has also been linked to higher academic achievement, readiness to learn and improved classroom behaviour. DPA can be implemented during instruction time, but is different from PE in that it is not a curricular subject in and of itself.
I am so surprised by how much I enjoyed PE class this week! When I heard it was taking place at the track, I started to dread it! I ran track and cross country in high school and I have very bad memories from the experience. Since I am extremely competitive, running in any form stresses me out greatly. This week’s group did an awesome job making the activities competitive enough to be fun, but in a way that there was no individual pressure to perform. Because there weren’t any one-on-one races, it was impossible to measure your speed against someone else’s. This is a great activity to do in an elementary PE class, because it provides motivation to run fast without putting the pressure of one-on-one competition onto the students.
I also found the discussion part of the class very interesting. Being inclusive is hard in any classroom, but it is often even more difficult in a PE class. We talked about how often times there is no black-and-white right answer when it comes to inclusivity. To include one student sometimes inconveniences and limits the quality of the lesson for all other students; but of course that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to exclude a child with a physical or mental disability. As teachers, our job is to design lesson plans that can include everyone without limiting anyone. I was thankful to hear some strategies on how to accomplish this. Hopefully we can all be fully inclusive in our practicum classrooms this year and in the future.
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!
It was nice to be back and see everyone in action!
It was good to experience and observe how our physiological responses are affected when we exercise. In this case, we looked at heart-rate. I liked how the group choose different levels of activity to alter our heart-rate. What I would have liked to see was maybe making the aerobic exercise more intense so that we could see our heart-rate jump a bit higher than it did. After comparing with other students, although our heart-rate changed from activity to activity, the heart-rates were not altered very much. I also would have liked to experience a more meditating and relaxing yoga session as I found one of the poses quite stimulating to my muscles, which actually made my heart-rate feel as if it were going up.
I think using heart-rate in exercise is very valuable and I have been in cycling classes before where they use heart-rate training in their classes. They use technology (ipads/tv screens) and HR monitors so that you can see your HR change as your effort level intensifies or decreases. I think it would be cool to bring in heart rate monitors for students so that they can visually see their HR change during an activity instead of just an end result.
One thing I reflected on this week was how PE was taught in my practicum school. This past week I was able to see two different PE classes with two different teachers. Interestingly, both classes played some form of dodgeball. The grade 7 class played a variation of dodgeball called partner dodgeball where they were taking turns hitting their partner. The grade 3 class played “skittles” a game where they had to hit down pins in the back of the opposite territory. Then they played the version of dodgeball where once a student is hit they go to the opposite side and have to hit someone on the opposite team to get back into the game. It is interesting to see so much of a hall of shame game being played in the classroom.
The result of this really made me think about how I would plan a PE lesson. I think my first PE lesson will be one with a variety of activities and one that is inclusive for all students. As I get to know the students I can learn what they enjoy doing and plan inclusive games around their interests.
We looked at alternative environments for lessons. My school is located within a residential area so walking to other environments is limited. However, they have a huge grass field in the back. There is a lot of space to set up fun amazing race, obstacle course type games. Some of the activities we did in this week’s class would work really well in this environment.
I really enjoyed our class last week, as I’m sure most of us did! I think we could all collectively agree that we enjoy being outside, whether it’s just for a walk or rigorous exercise or sitting quietly and reading. One thing that always stands out for me when I was in school (both elementary and secondary) was when we got to go outside. Sometimes we even got to go outside for our silent reading block, which was awesome.
I really liked how the group teach mixed it up a bit and implemented a scavenger hunt (my favorite)! I appreciated that they incorporated a range of values/aspects into the scavenger hunt. For instance, they covered nutrition, teamwork, motivation and even looking after the environment (picking up a piece of garbage) within the hunt. On top of that, I loved that we continued walking to the beautiful forest AND even did our teaching summaries out in the sun at WesBrook Village. Thank you Steve!
It’s important to find times throughout the day where you can bring your students outside. Over the last 2 visits at practicum I have noticed two different occasions where teachers implement this. One teacher told the class that they were going to head outside and they voted on whether they wanted to either sit in the forest to be silent and reflect or head out to a viewpoint where they could see the ocean. AMAZING! The other example was a teacher taking her class out for 5 minutes to grab some fresh air and run a couple of laps around the field. I loved this because it allowed the kids to get up and move and get some fresh air. I think its healthy for children to clear their head a bit, especially if they have been sitting working hard at something for a long period of time. It’s a nice way to break up the day.
Being active and being outside is a huge priority of mine and as a future educator I will most definitely get my students outside at any opportunity I can.
See you Wednesday!
I really enjoyed this week’s lesson by Jackie, Lexi, Katy, and Brianna. They had a great lesson and did a wonderful job of not just telling us, but showing us some examples of outdoor environment lessons. Lexi’s station with “mine field” is a great team-building activity that could be done indoors, but moving outside brings a new level of fun and excitement. It’s so important for students to have an opportunity to go outside and be active throughout the day. This encourages both physical and mental health.
I also loved that we learned how to incorporate other curricular areas into alternate environments. Katy’s station with the planes could incorporate science or math, while still allowing children to be outside and active. Jackie’s station was a great way to include art, environmental studies, and physical education within a lesson. We all know that Physical Education classes are important for children…I liked that this week’s lesson focused on the importance of physical activity and being outdoors across all classes. As teachers, we should try to bring classes outdoors as much as we can. I remember as a kid, we were rarely allowed to go outside during class, but I always loved class whenever we did. Moving class to alternative environments is a great way to make students more interested and involved, while also allowing students to include more physical activity in their day.
It was so nice to finally get outside this week! I had a lot of fun teaching our lesson in PE. I felt like the prep-work and the lesson-planning, and knowing what equipment you needed etc. was a lot of work, but once you finally got in there and started teaching it all came together smoothly and before you knew it was all over! If I were to do the same lesson plan over again I would have wanted to practice a bit before-hand on striking technique and tips on how to get power on the ball. There was also a few rules that could have been put into place beforehand that weren’t (i.e. can you “tap” the ball behind you – probably not!)
I loved watching everyone play Chuck the Chicken! I thought that was hilarious. It really showed how teamwork is a huge aspect of that game. I have to say how supportive everyone is… I always see and hear our fellow classmates sending out positive vibes and feedback and high fives and I absolutely LOVE it!!
Overall I thought it was great! I cant wait to learn more new games and ideas for our PE classes 🙂
I thoroughly enjoyed week 2 of PE. Group 1 lead us in an interesting and engaging lesson in target sports, and I was so impressed by their enthusiasm and content, especially for being the first group out. Way to go guys! The side by side comparison of regular dodgeball and their modified version was instructive as to how certain games need not be exclusive as long as they are thought through and adjusted with care. By having the opportunity to participate in both games, it was easy to see the differences between the two and connect it to the points in the readings.
This lesson lead me to reflect on my own experiences, and the prevalence of human targeted sports, duck duck goose, and having to perform alone in front of my classmates (and failing miserably). I always enjoyed gym, but I was never an athletic kid, and didn’t feel like I was able fully master any of our activities. Reading specifically about the ways in which many PE activities are by nature exclusive and targeting, I was surprised to realize that it wasn’t just my lack of ability that was problematic, but the nature of the lessons themselves. Our class discussion about PE and physical literacy as a holistic approach, including overall health and nutrition as a lifestyle, really resonated with me for the same reason. I was initially nervous to take a PE course after so many years, not to mention teaching one, and it was so refreshing to see how the curriculum and objectives have changed to look at the whole child regardless of their initial athletic inclination. I’m excited to see what the rest of the course brings!