I had an opportunity to teach the balance lesson that Maria, Sydney and I created for our P.E. team-teaching assignment. I modified my lesson plan to suit the need of my Grade 2 students.
First, rotating stations for different activities is eliminated. Since it was the first time for the Grade 2 class to participate in balancing activities, I had to provide detailed explanations to the students. Students were asked to participate in the activities as a class in order to spend more time on each activity and receive feedback from each other.
Secondly, from the original lesson plan, I only chose two activities for the balancing lesson. At my practicum school, one block is only for 30 minutes. Also, the gym is far away, making it time-consuming for students to get ready for gym class, go to the gym and come back to the class after the lesson. To ensure that injuries do not occur in the gym, it also requires a long time to prepare the class. Therefore, I chose to do two out of the five activities in the original lesson plan.
After the lesson, I have learned that a lesson plan is simply a guideline, and I have to be prepared to make changes if required. This is especially true of teaching a P.E. class, which requires more classroom management since students are in a larger setting. Thus, it is difficult to address all content of a lesson plan. I am glad that I tried the same lesson in the two different classes because I was able to understand the modifications of the lesson I had to make. One thing I should always remind myself as a teacher is that I have to be flexible and open-minded in modifying my lesson plan.
My practicum is at a private school, so they have specialist teachers that teach PE. Luckily, the PE teacher for my grade five class was happy to let me teach a class today. It was based on Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). We started with a tail chase game, which was played in pairs. Students tucked a scarf into their shorts and the aim of the game was to remove their opponent’s scarf without losing theirs. We discussed the tactics they used to be successful in the game. Students said that being successful in this game involved constantly moving, moving backwards and placing their body between the scarf and the opponent. Then we talked about applying these skills to a game of soccer. The next game we played was four goal soccer. I have included a video below. We started with one ball and ended with four balls in play. I stopped the game so we could discuss the tactics again and the students talked about the same skills we talked about earlier. We also noticed that some students were not playing fairly, so we talked about being principled in PE by not cheating. We have been talking about being principled throughout this week because it is the IB Learner Profile of the month. We played another game and did a quick debrief at the end of the class.
Overall, I think it went well. The games allowed for maximum participation and students were active throughout the lesson. Having a small number of players on each team and adding more balls to the soccer game made it almost impossible to be inactive. Additionally, the students grasped the strategies that were required to be successful in playing soccer. However, I would have liked to see more students participating in the discussions about tactics. They were easily distracted in the gym and it was difficult to get them to sit still. They just wanted to get up and play another game. The PE teacher suggested adding an incentive to the discussion by saying that we would play the next game when we figured out what tactics we learned in the previous game. This is something I will implement in my next lesson. If anyone else has any other ideas, please let me know!
Dance isn’t something that comes naturally to me. The only time I believe we’ve done dance in PE was during the month of December, in preparation for the Christmas Party where we would have a Ceilidh. Practicing involved having the boys line up on one side of the hall and the girls on the other, with each taking turns to select a partner. Possibly the most awkward thing ever when you’re in your pre-teens! So seeing dance in a different way was great fun. Everyone was moving and having a great time, and I felt like we’d achieved something by the end of the class. I thought the ladies did an excellent job leading, and I have to also give a shout out to Meghan for being such a ‘risk-taker’!
This week during practicum, we’ve been able to see how physical education is being implemented in the schools. Southpointe has 4 specialists who cover the K – 12 years. The first day when I walked into a PE class the students were sitting individually on their ipads reflecting on videos of their batting movements. I think it’s safe to say that physical education has definitely changed from when I went to school!
I’ve been able to watch my class transition through skill building drills to mini-games, before participating in full class batting/fielding games. They even played Chuck the Chicken! Not only that but they have also been connecting to their next Unit of Inquiry (body systems). How did their muscular system/central nervous system/respiratory system help them achieve that movement? How are they connected? Thus, the students already have some knowledge before they even get started! It’s great seeing everything that we’ve been discussing during our classes being implemented in the field.