I thought the group who lead the “Target Game” on Friday did very well. Their activities were well planned and the timing and transitions were great. They also did a fantastic job of explaining the readings, such as the history of PE, and they came up with interesting discussion questions. The part I liked the most was how they demonstrated that games which use humans as targets, such as dodgeball, are not appropriate to teach in PE class. When Steve mentioned this last week I was very surprised, because as a kid, I loved dodgeball and had always enjoyed playing it. My other thought was, it’s just a game so why do we have to take it so seriously? However, from last class’s games and discussion, I realized that no matter how well the instructions are explained, students can still unintentionally hit people in the head. If this can happen with us adults, it will be even harder to prevent it in a younger class. Also, I agreed with the point mentioned that maybe we can just laugh it off when we get hit, but kids might feel bad if he/she is the first one out. Therefore, I liked the revised version our teaching group came up with. In the modified version, the targets were not people, no one will be out alone, and the underhanded throw prevented hitting people above their shoulders. If I have a chance to teach PE in my practicum, I will definitely consider using this activity in my classroom.
Growing up I loved PE! I loved being active and I always noticed the difference in my energy post-PE class. In high school we had conditioning 11 and 12 and for PE we would work out in the school gym with programs by Level 10 Fitness which to me has high standards for program design. We learned not only about proper technique (i.e. how to do a dead lift) but also about hypertrophy training. It definitely gave me a boost of confidence when I went into my KIN degree.
But focusing a bit more on PE teaching and the future… I think there is no question that students should be physically active at least 5 days out of the week. I think it’s important for students to learn about why they are doing physical activity or why they are doing a certain activity and how being active is important both physically and psychologically. I think it’s important that we teach children some biological aspects with physical activity and bring in a small bit of biology to our class. Proper understanding of good nutrition is also very important and should be addressed to your students.
Having taught fitness for over 3 years I have acquired some teaching techniques which has definitely gained me some confidence in overcoming any fears of teaching activities to a group. I think it’s great that we all share our individual stories, as it will confirm that other people have similar thoughts and feelings and it will bring great ideas on how we can effectively teach PE.
PE is meant to get kids moving!! Not enough kids are getting up and getting their heart rates up. Other than the exercise aspect, it brings students together, decreases their stress levels and educates them about living healthy lifestyles.
Let’s change the way some teachers feel about teaching PE. Let’s knock away the fear of it and have FUN! 🙂
I must point out how much fun I had on Thursday doing the Flash Mob with all the Elementary TC’s. I was motivated by the instructor; she was so enthusiastic and encouraging, getting us to dance along with her, and to BE fun. I know at the begging I was very worried about other people looking at me and thinking I was dancing strange. But as it went on, I knew all of us were doing the same thing. We were all just letting loose, laughing and enjoying ourselves.
This inspired me to want to teach in a similar way as her, very motivating and encouraging. Being able to teach in a fun environment like we experience on Thursday was very beneficial. This type of environment allows people to learn easily, especially if they see the environment as being a safe and warm place. I was a little nervous thinking of myself trying to teach such a dance class when I am not a great dancer myself. But I remember seeing YouTube videos where they show the dance moves to popular songs. They show the movements, you just have to follow along on the screen with the music. These videos are only 3-4 minutes long, so they could be used as a brain break in the classroom, or you could bring this idea into the gym and have a full PE class of dancing along to these videos.
Get up and DANCE! YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOeebil3eKY
In reflecting on today’s class what really stood out to me was the list of Hall of Shame activities. At first I was shocked to learn that activities such as Tug of War, Capture the Flag and even Duck Duck Goose made the list. I have fond memories of playing those games with friends and classmates and found it difficult to believe that these simple childish games could in any way be damaging to the children who played them. It was sure an eye opener!
However, as we talked more about the feelings of exclusion, inactivity and, in some cases, fear that children may experience while playing these games I had to take a moment and rethink what these games really prioritized. It became clear to me after our discussion that these games, as harmless as they may initially seem, can be socially and emotionally damaging. In fact, I learned that many of us, myself included, have memories of experiencing all of these emotions at some point in our P.E. history.
I left today thinking not only about the games that made the Hall of Shame list but all sports and how they might affect the children who play them. As soon-to-be teachers I feel it is our responsibility to create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment of learning for our students. This philosophy certainly lends itself to P.E., a subject that many students dread to participate in and many teachers dread to teach. So, the challenge becomes making P.E. a fun, fulfilling and enjoyable class for students of all ages and abilities.
Moving forward I will certainly look at each activity and its outcomes before I suggest it for any class with the benefits and potential drawbacks in mind. In this course, I look forward to learning how to better equip myself with the knowledge and tools to better serve my future students.