Working together with students to identify key ingredients for success in sprinting
One of the main student learning outcomes in my Athletics unit is to get students understanding specific techniques related to running, jumping, and throwing. Not only do they need to be able to understand important Athletics techniques, they also need to be able to provide genuine feedback to one another in order to help each other improve upon their performance.
For those of you who read my last blog post, you know that Ross Halliday and I have been co-teaching at my school here in Nanjing. Ross and I have been mapping out and planning learning activities for my students. This week we are focusing on breaking down effective sprinting into key components. Our line of questioning relates back to the original driving question of the unit which was "What are they key ingredients for success in Athletics?". In this week's lessons we are asking the question, "What are the key ingredients for success in sprinting?".
To get this done, we are having all students in grade 2-5 go through 6 phases in their sprinting lesson in PE.
A) Revisit prior learning in previous PE class (Usain Bolt lesson). As a funny way to introduce this lesson, Ross came up with the idea of having the students sing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes song but changed the word 'shoulders' to 'arms' (Head, Arms, Knees, and Toes). Including this song in our lesson really worked to emphasize the key body parts involved in effective sprinting.
B) In the next part of the lesson, we took the students outside to get their times in either a 50m-sprint or 100m-sprint. (grades 2/3-50m, grades 4/5-100m). Once we finished doing this, we went back into the classroom located beside the running track.
C) Once back inside the students recorded their sprint times and then watched the following You Tube video clip of Usain Bolt's sprinting technique broken down in slow motion. An excellent video to really initiate discussion about what effective sprinting looks like.
D) We broke down Usain's sprinting technique by looking specifically at what the head does, what they arms do, what the knees do, and what the feet do. On the assessment sheets provided, we allowed space for the students to record each of the key ingredients for success in sprinting. Once done the Usain Bolt sprint analysis part of the lesson, we had the students record these key ideas on their assessment sheets.
E) Feedback time! This was the best part of the lesson as the students then went back outside to analyze each other's sprinting style. As we had broken down what effective sprinting looks like, the students knew the key ingredients for success and began to give some feedback to one another. The feedback was rough around the edges and definitely needed work, but it was a GREAT starting point. It provided me with excellent information on what I needed to focus on next, but also gave the students a chance to put into practice the skill of providing genuine feedback to their partner.
F) After this peer feedback session, we went back into the classroom. The students recorded key feedback that they had received from each other (main areas in need of improvement) on their own assessment sheets and then set a target time that they would like to run the 50m or 100m.