As my Athletics unit comes to a close, I must reflect on what worked and what didn’t in terms of the new approach that I put to the test. I originally blogged about this new approach several weeks ago. If you missed that blog, you can check it out here. There were definitely a number of successes in this unit that I am very pleased about. As well, there were some major challenges. The one major challenge that I faced was the fact that I simply ran out of time in the unit. It didn’t go completely as planned due to a couple of reasons. The main reason being that I had lost a couple of classes in grade 3 and 4 PE because our school was putting on its big elementary production. I had to give up these classes in order to let the students attend rehearsal for the production.
Because we had fallen behind in the unit, I had to step in the last week and really direct all of the learning that took place. However, having said this, it was best to step in and direct the instruction as I was teaching high jump and shot put. These 2 events really do need more of a hands on and teacher directed approach. Although I took control away from them when learning these 2 events, I still had them discuss in groups the technical aspects of high jump itself and shot put. The grade 3 classes are currently doing a ‘Forces’ unit of inquiry and the grade 4s did the same unit last year. The kids were able to carry on a very intelligent discussion about how certain forces are applicable in high jump and shot put (transference of learning). Some words that were thrown about by them students themselves were ‘acceleration’, ‘friction’, ‘inertia’, ‘weight’, and ‘force’.
We are on a week long holiday starting tomorrow. Sports Day is the first Tuesday once we get back from our week off, so I did a final wrap up discussion in which we discussed the new approach that I used in this unit. I asked them to give me their feedback as to how they liked the unit. I also encouraged those that didn’t like this student led design approach to let me know as it would give me great feedback as well. I told them that hearing things that they didn’t like would help me to be a better teacher.
Although the unit has wrapped up, I will still do a few more blogs on some of the learning experiences that my students were engaged in. As well, once Sports Day has concluded, the students will complete self-assessment tasks and reflections. I will definitely be sharing the results on my blog once
Switched on Students with Offering Great Feedback
The Words of My Students......
Sean: “I really liked being able to design my own learning because there were no limits on what we could do with running, jumping, and throwing.”
Lennard: “I like the Athletics unit because we could form our own groups and create our own running, jumping, and throwing activities.’
Amelie: “ I liked the Athletics unit because we had to figure things our on our own”
Harald: “ I enjoyed the Athletics unit because I like running, jumping, and throwing. We could choose what we wanted to do by ourselves.We could find problems and things that didn’t work and then ask Mr. Andy for help.”
Lucas: “ I liked the Athletics unit because we could choose our own learning groups and figure out what we could and could not do.”
Owen: “ I liked this learning because we had a lot of freedom to choose and practice whatever activities that we wanted.”
Tirso: “ I liked this unit because we were outside in the nice weather. We could run, jump, and throw. Mr. Andy could have taught us more though.“
Julian: I liked running, jumping, and throwing, but I didn’t like choosing groups because some of my group members didn’t help out and went off on their own.”
Francesca: "I liked the Athletics unit and feel the same way as Amelie. I liked learning on my own."