What a great way to end our group teach lessons for the semester! Elizabeth, Mary, Cheryl, and Rob did a wonderful job of taking all of the skills we have learned this semester, and created a unique and effective lesson!
The instant activity where we got to create letters of the alphabet using our bodies and partners, and then coming together as a group to create “CITE” was a lot of fun, and also provided an opportunity for us to work on our team building skills. This activity would be a great way to get students active in a fun way, as well to develop their group work skills, such as cooperation, giving instruction, and listening skills.
I really enjoyed the warm up and the cool down where the team lead us through an imaginative environment such as a forest and a jungle to stretch and move. I thought the music in the background was a really nice touch, and definitely sets the mood for the activities.
I thoroughly enjoyed the main activity, where the group set up several different stations that each focused on a certain skill that we had learned throughout the year. I especially liked how the group had activities that incorporated mental health, such as the meditation centre and the positivity wall.
What I think is really great about having a variety of stations and allowing students to explore them is that students are able to have a sense of ownership and choice in the classroom. They are able to become innovative and use their imaginations, such as when a group of us started a game of “hungry hippo”, even though it wasn’t a designated station.
It was our last group teach for PE last Friday. I thought the group did an amazing job on teaching health and physical literacy. The instant activity of spelling out letters was fun and gave us the opportunity to be creative (I love the CITE photo Steve took). I was in Cheryl’s group for reading discussion; the summary was clear and concise, which gave us the chance to reflect more for discussion. I learned new information and strategies for facilitating health and physical activities into other subjects and I had fun listening to other people share their experiences. The warm up and the cool down were awesome; I can imagine grade 2-3 students would be really engaged with acting out as wild animals in the jungle. Also, this is a great activity to do a cross curriculum with a drama class! I loved the main activity and I was able to get to 13 out of the 16 stations. We all had so much fun; they must have spent a lot of time preparing for all those stations and setting up. I like how they connected different subjects to the activities at different stations, such as art, music, English and health. This last PE lesson was a great demonstration of how to do cross curriculum with PE and other subjects and it was very well taught!
As my final blog post I thought I would try to revisit what I have learned over the past few months, what I have enjoyed and what I am looking forward to.
Let me start with the basics. I have learned that P.E. can be fun. That may sound obvious but for me it was a huge learning that has evolved since September. As a child I wasn’t a huge fan of P.E. I was athletic and enjoyed a variety of sports but they were always solitary activities. I enjoyed swimming, dance, and gymnastics but I tended to shy away from group or team activities. I strongly disliked the competitiveness of team sports and dreaded participating in sports that I felt I wasn’t very good at. So, this course was a wonderful opportunity for me to revisit P.E. and gain a new, fresh perspective. I greatly enjoyed all the activities we participated in and was particularly surprised to find that I thoroughly enjoyed activities I hadn’t in the past. I think it made all the difference that as a cohort we made the effort to make the activities enjoyable, cooperative, inclusive and attainable. It seemed that we could all participate in the activities and didn’t feel we were being judged as the activities were manageable for everyone. I also liked how we designed activities so that no one was ever in the performance spotlight, it was team effort, that was supportive at all times.
I also greatly enjoyed learning about physical literacy as a concept. As an adult I do not participate in any of the activities that I did as a P.E. student. It is unfortunate as I am sure I would still enjoy dance and gymnastics in-particular, but my lifestyle doesn’t seem to afford these activities at the moment. Rather, I now participate in hiking, pilates and spinning classes. Also, I am also much more concerned as a adult about my complete wellness. For example, I am careful in selecting what I eat, I try to get as much exercise as possible, although it is increasing difficult in such a busy program, and I take time for myself to get outside and get some fresh air. When I was a student in P.E. we never talked about wellness as a concept and what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle. It was more about how many laps you could run in ten minutes. I am happy to see that there has been a shift towards physical literacy, in that there is a focus on teaching children how to live a balanced lifestyle and why that is important. I am also excited to see that there is room now in P.E. to teach activities which will realistically be a part of a student’s life. Not many of us will become professional soccer or basketball players but we might go hiking, biking, or to a yoga class and it is nice to see how we can incorporate those activities into our P.E. lessons.
I am grateful that I have learned a variety of activities that can be applied to my practicum class and future classes. I feel I am leaving this course with practical hands-on skills and improved confidence that I might be able to teach this subject. I look forward to my years ahead in the gymnasium and outside in teaching students about what it means to live a well-rounded lifestyle. I hope to design lessons that are fun and inclusive for all. I will rest assured that there are plenty of resources available for my information and colleagues who I can share ideas with. I look forward to continuing my P.E. education and vow to never make another child run the ten minute mile again!
Congratulations to the group this week. Liz, Cheryl, Mary and Rob, the lesson was so much fun. Upon first glance, physical and health literacy seems like a hard topic to create a PE lesson plan around, however, you all did a great job incorporating both topics into the lesson. The creativity of the warm-up and cool down was awesome and the instant activity was so much fun as well. All in all it was great to have so much choice and flexibility within the lesson.
I never really thought about health and physical literacy before this course. These concepts are an integral part of the foundation of physical education and life as well. It is clear that health literacy has a symbiotic relationship with physical literacy. Being a balanced person and understanding how to be literate and take care of one’s own self is important for children to understand. Physical education is no longer just about sport but about the child or person as a whole. Health literacy encompasses more than I thought and learning about the many aspects of health literacy was enlightening. The lesson made me take into consideration how literate I am in both health and physical literacy and how I can change that.
Well done Brianna, Jackie, Katy and Lexi! It was a nice change of environment to be outside. I really enjoyed the instant activity. It reminded me of the amazing race. Our cohort is energetic so it was nice to have the chance to run around outside!
This week we are learning about Outdoor Education and how we should incorporate our environment and setting in our lesson plan. I have always thought outdoor education was like going on a tour or a field trip. But that isn’t the case. We can take indoor activity and played them outside. This is great in many ways. Most students enjoy being placed in a different setting, we love being in the sun when it is sunny and most importantly, it gives students ideas how to play outside while teaching physical literacy. For example, passing a balloon teaches a lot. We had to work as a team, we had to think of a strategy and also, manage our strength so we won’t pop the balloon. It was a lot of fun.
I liked the discussion question Lexi proposed to our group in regards to the characteristic of our own PE teacher. I had a really great connection with my PE teachers and they are my role model. I would not be where I am right now without them. I can only hope I can do the same to my future students.
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.
Through the literature about physical literacy, I have learned to change my perceptions of simply seeing this course as a way to do plain exercise. I have realized that a physical literacy is taken from a standpoint of mind and body being the same. Such an analysis I feel is important because often the mind is ignored and the focus is just on meeting fundamental movement skills. Therefore, I feel that as I teacher I should incorporate social emotional learning within the curriculum in a way a child will understand. The goal of using social emotional learning in PE is to see the child as a whole, rather than someone who needs to meet skills in a check box fashion.
I also feel that learners would benefit tremendously from alternative activities outside the classroom as suggested in our reading. However, I question how many lessons would be optimal in case the change of venue becomes too distracting for the children. I think that I would allow time for a reflection about physical education experiences after the students returned to the classroom as a transition activity. I wonder what the best approach would be to encourage a child who refuses to take part in basketball lesson because he/she fears she will get hit by the ball?
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!