Keep asking and keep recording student answers in PE
One of the very first things that I present in the workshops that I lead is the importance of making student learning outcomes explicit and visual in all of the units that we teach in PE. Setting our students up for success requires that they understand exactly what is expected of them during the unit.
This requires me to think, well ahead of time, about the important questions that I need to ask in order to guide them on their learning journeys. And these journeys must always be rooted in and connected to the important student learning outcomes in the units that we teach.
I'm currently teaching a movement composition unit from grades 1-5 at Nanjing International School. I opened my week up by asking the same key question from grades 3-5 (for grades 1 and 2, I had a different key question). The key question that I asked grades 3-5 was:
I will blog next week about the specific activities that I did, but what was most important was that I had several short discussions with my classes during the week that revolved around this key question. I recorded as many of my students' answers as possible in my journal. At times it was necessary to help them articulate what it was that they were trying to say, but for the most part, they were spot on with the answers that they came up with.
I was able to narrow down on 4 generally agreed upon areas earlier this week. I used these 4 areas to springboard 4 new questions that needed to be broken down further. I asked these questions throughout the second half of the week and recorded more student answers. For now, have a look at the 4 big areas below.
Today was a lighter teaching day, so I was able to go through all of the student answers in my journal and further identify the most relevant answers to the questions that I had asked them the second half of the week. Although many of their answers were similar in nature, it was critical to capture their voice and make this visible. To make this happen, I generated a list of the most mentioned answers to each of the questions I had asked. I then created 4 separate visuals that I will use all of next week in my PE classes. I have a formative assessment task in place for next week which will help to check how 'on track' my students are in the movement composition unit in regards to the student learning outcomes expected of them. Check out the 4 visuals below that will be posted for all of my grades 3-5 classes next week.
The 4 questions and 17 student generated answers will help guide our learning over the next week in the movement composition unit. Movement composition can be a tough unit to teach as it is hard to get all students engaged and into it. Most of my students really are enjoying the unit and putting lots of energy and effort in. Hard work but well worth the effort! Please feel free to use these visuals in your own movement composition unit. Let me know if you do and how things went for you and your students.