Our first group teach lesson took place this week and it was fantastic! Amy, Bobby, Mike and Nicole did a great job. They took command, shared the space, and combined a number of useful lessons. Bobby was my group leader and he did a good job of breaking down the history of PE in an accessible way. I thought they transformed dodge ball quite cleverly and overall kept the energy high and the lesson focused. Well done!
One thing I noticed is that even as adults we had tons of questions. Had they not been prepared, that could have been a hard part for them. However, they were able to make sure all of us were on the same page (especially for the last game). Looking forward to whoever is teaching tomorrow!
Cycling on my way to school, I passed a small elementary private school in Kitsilano. As I was cycling by, I watched the children in PE class, running laps around the field while the teacher followed in behind on her bicycle. The children did not look enthusiastic about the idea of having to run around in circles, but they still plugged away on their journey around the field. On my way home, I saw four children after a soccer practice, practicing their interception techniques to steal the ball and run away from the other children. They laughed and enjoyed one another’s challenges.
As much as we may not like fundamental elements of physical activity such as running, it’s a crucial part of Physical Literacy to be able to know how to use and control our body to develop further into other elements of sports. Our journey along the path of development within this form of literacy is unique to each one of us. Some will excel in certain areas where others may struggle. But part of Physical Literacy is teamwork and leadership and learning to help others and provide opportunities for them to also learn about the health of their body.
Our class presentation gave a unique example of this by means of the badminton exercise. Having the class constantly move courts and rotate among our groups exposed us to different skill levels which encourages diversity of practice and movement. Through this, students who had a more difficult time were given equal chances to work on their movements, often with the encouragement and support of classmates and peers which is a development of Physical Literacy, and students who admired a good challenge were able to take it to the next level and challenge their timing through rotations and shot techniques to make the overall rounds last longer.
Being Physically Literate is a lifelong journey as we progress through our lives with an every changing body and mind.
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!
After last week’s readings about The Physical Education Hall of Shame I thought about my own experiences in gym class. I always thought the more nerve-wracking or embarrassing aspects of PE (being put on the spot, competition, punishment, and allowing the best to run the class) were just accepted parts of PE we had to endure. I find it hard to think of any game/activity from my childhood that now does not fall into a ‘shameful’ category. Even trying to come up with an activity for our group teach is proving to be difficult as all of us can only come up with games/sports based on our past experiences in gym class. This reminds me that what we teach children in PE class really sticks with them and influences how they understand and view physical education. People that did/do not enjoy physical education probably have not had a positive experience and most likely endured some shameful teaching methods. I feel the Hall of Shame guidelines are something teachers need to consider when creating PE activities.
Secondly, my idea of a physically educated person is someone that is not just active, but also has an understanding of nutrition, is physically literate, and understands mental wellness and why it is important to be physically educated. To hear that Canada received a D- as an overall grade is disappointing. As a future teacher, I am hopeful that my fellow teachers and our schools can promote a better understanding of physical education and begin to value PE and daily activity as much as other subjects are valued.