As PE presents teachers with many opportunities to address the Learner Profile in class, I have always tried to recognize students when they genuinely display one of the ten attributes during the games and activities played in class. I will get a couple pictures of the student and then create a document to be displayed for all to see. I always include a brief description of why the student is being recognized along with the pictures. Once the document is taken down, it is filed in their Sportfolio. See example picture below.
The central idea for the grade 4 Adventure Challenge unit is "Effectively solving problems requires communication, trust, and an open mind." In order to really emphasize the importance of communication, trust, and having an open mind, I have started the unit off with a bunch of blindfold activities. In today's class the kids played 2 games, Blind Wars and Blindfold GOLD(see separate blog for description of Blind GOLD).
Description of Game
In this game the students are paired up on teams. in today's class there were 9 teams of 2. The teams are spread out around the perimeter of the gym. Partner A is blindfolded, Partner B is the "Navigator". The Navigator must give verbal cues to their partner without touching them in any way. The aim is to help the blindfolded partner navigate their way around the gym picking up dodgeballs along the way. Through verbal cues such as "left, right, walk straight, bend down, reach forward etc., the Navigator must help their blindfolded partner locate balls and then describe where to aim and throw. Only blindfolded people can throw the ball. They are trying to hit either blindfolded students or Navigators. It is the responsibility of the Navigator to really think about the way they are communicating as the blindfolded partner is totally dependent on them. I put a time limit of about 5-7 minutes on the game and then have partners switch roles. This way each has a chance to be the Navigator and the Blindfolded.
Obviously safety is of utmost importance. Before the game starts safety and the need for trust are thoroughly discussed. I stress that there is no need to throw the ball hard. A simple toss is as effective.
Key Questions and Considerations
1. How can you best communicate with your partner?
2. How trustful were your actions?
Upon playing the game for the first time possible questions
3. How did your team perform in the game?
4. What can be done to improve upon your performance?
Please see slide show below for examples of assessment that I had the students complete as a cool down activity. Essentially, I had them show levels of trust, communication, and how open minded they were through bar graphs. Bar graphs are a simple way(and effective) to have the students reflect on their performance. This assessment task had them evaluate their own performance and their partner's.
As mentioned in a previous blog, the grade 3 classes at Nanjing International School are currently doing a unit of inquiry on Body Systems. In PYP PE I have chosen to integrate with this unit of inquiry as it is a perfect fit with the unit that I am doing- Health Related Exercise. I will lending support to the classroom teachers by focusing on 3 body systems; the Circulatory, Muscular, and Respiratory systems. Upon collaborating with my colleagues that are teaching grade 3, I learned that they are currently studying place value in maths. As PE presents ample opportunities to integrate maths, I decided that I would create a worksheet that allowed them to record their resting heart rate, their heart rate during moderate intensity exercise, their heart rate at high intensity, and their cool down heart rate. Recording data is an important transdisciplinary skill in the PYP and PE really does allow for a lot of opportunity to record and collect data (they actually record the heart rates of three of their peers as well). The worksheet below shows how I bring place value into the mix. I had the grade 3 class today and it went very well. Try this out sometime!!
CAPTURE THE GOLD (see slide show below of game being played in class yesterday)
Description of Game
In this adventure challenge game the students(their teams) are required to cross an imaginary river using hula hoops. Once they get to the other side, they can disembark on land and take a piece of gold (a beanbag) and bring it with them back across the river and place it into their Pot (a bucket or hula hoop). The main rules are:
1. Without giving names, what were some of the negative ways that people communicated?
2. What were some of the positive ways?
3. Describe any times that you did not trust the actions of others? (no names)
4. Can you give examples of how an open mind was important when working on your teams.
5. How can your team more effectively move the bean bags (the gold) from one side to the other? (in a quicker, safer way)
6. How can you decrease the amount of running and moving yet still transport bean bags from one side of the river to the other?
PYP PE: Adventure Challenge Integration with the grade 2 unit of inquiry "Rights and Responsibilities"
The grade 2 classes at Nanjing International School are currently doing a unit of inquiry on "Rights and Responsibilities". The central idea for this unit is: With rights come responsibilities. In PYP PE, the grade 2 classes have started the year off with an Adventure Challenge unit.
I have been unwrapping the Rights and Responsibilities central idea from a PE perspective, focusing on what the students responsibilities are in regards to PE class, but also what their rights are. The kids have come up with some great ideas. As I unwrap the central idea from scratch with each grade 2 class, some of the ideas generated are different, however the reoccurring student ideas when looking at rights and responsibilities has been:
The students are responsible for:
As the focus of the adventure challenge unit is solving problems and completing challenges, working on teams and communicating are absolute keys to being successful.
I have planned at least 10-12 challenging tasks that they will take part in over the next few weeks and have highlighted Communication, Trust, and an Open Mind as being the most important assessment criteria during the unit.
I have added pictures below of the formative assessment tasks that I will be using during this unit. Please have a look. A brief description is also included.
If you are currently planning an Adventure Challenge unit, I hope that you may find this preassessment task useful. It seems as though it worked well with my students when we completed the task last week here at the Nanjing International School in China.
The central idea for the Adventure Challenge unit is:
Effectively solving problems requires communication, trust, and an open mind.
The activity that I planned for my group was called The Human Square. I have done versions of this activity many times before and it has generally worked very well.
How to play:
Every student (with exception to two or three who will act as observers) will be blindfolded and spread out around the gym. Stressing safety as being most important, the students are instructed to carefully and gently make their way into the center of the gym (or there about) and meet. Once all students have met around the center, they must figure out how they can create a human square formation that requires everyone to lay on the ground/floor. They are to remain blindfolded the entire time. Communication is emphasized as one of the keys to being successful in this challenge. It will no doubt take them a while to accomplish this task, but as teachers, we must let them figure out how to do this on their own and try our best not to get involved. If safety is at stake or total meltdown occurs, the teacher must step in to help. Otherwise, THEY CAN DO IT!!! (I have rarely had a class to be able to complete this task.
The role of the Observers
Choosing observers is very important as well. The role of the observers is to watch thoughtfully and carefully, noting on paper both positive behaviors that help the team or negative actions that hurt the team. They are instructed to look for examples of trustful/non-trustful actions, positive and negative communication, and examples of people being open-minded during the activity. At the end of the activity, the observers provide feedback to the group based on what they had witnessed. However, the golden rule that I use for the observers is that they are not allowed to mention a student's name if they are feeding back anything negative. If the comments are positive, a student's name can be used, but not for negative comments.
Please see picture below of the preassessment task given. Essentially, the students must reflect on the activity and jot some notes down regarding how they think Trust, Communication, and an Open Mind played large roles in this activity.
In Action Photo
As always, I like to include action photos whenever possible on assessment sheets. As you can see by the photo on the right hand of the assessment sheet, the students were able to complete this task and did quite well. Although this assessment sheet was not completed in time, the students will see the picture next class that will serve as a tool to help them remember the activity.
The grade three classes are doing a unit on Body Systems. Seeing as it is a perfect fit with my PYP PE unit Health Related Exercise, I am fully integrating within this unit. I am using the same central idea from the classroom, but had the students unwrap it from a PE perspective. See picture below to read some of the ideas that the students came up with. I like do use little visuals (photos) to help give a better understanding for the ESL students.
Anything body or fitness related is an excellent opportunity for PE specialists to integrate their subject area into the unit of inquiry happening in the classroom. At Nanjing International School, the grade 3 class has just started their year off with a unit of inquiry on body systems. The transdisciplinary theme, central idea, key concepts, lines of inquiry, and teacher questions are as follows:
Transdisciplinary Theme: Who We Are
Central Idea: We need to care for our body systems to be healthy
Key Concepts: Function, Causation, and Responsibility
An inquiry into:
*how the systems of our body work
*consequences of our choices
1. How do our body systems work?
2. What choices do we have?
3.What are the consequences of our choices?
To introduce the central idea in PE class, we unwrapped the central idea that is being used in the classroom, but did so from the perspective of PE. Please see the picture below of the thoughts and ideas that the students came up with. As you can see, the focus in PE will be on the circulatory, respiratory, and muscular systems. I will do another blog soon that discusses the specific learning experiences and how these experiences integrate with the unit of inquiry. Have any good suggestions? Please send them my way and I will post them.
Andy Vasily- Workshop leader, presenter, consultant and PYP PE teacher. Love what I do!
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