Helping Students Find Flow and Rhythm in Their Learning
Think about all of the subject areas in school. Such an amazing array of abilities when we consider each of these subjects. Now I want you to think about physical education, in particular, for a moment. When the students come busting through the doors of the gym for PE, there is such a vast range of abilities that our young learners bring with them.
There are massive differences in cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills that our students possess. From a purely psychomotor point of view think about all of the differences in physical skills such as dexterity, strength, speed, agility, grace, balance and manipulation.
If our ultimate aim as educators is to engage our young learners and get them intrinsically motivated and believing in themselves, we have to create an environment that allows them to get into their ‘flow’ regardless of their level of ability.
As PE teachers, this requires us to greatly modify the learning experiences we offer our students including the resources and equipment used in the units we teach. This can be particularly challenging and requires educators to break down barriers in thinking as they plan their units and lessons, but I would argue that it is well worth the time and energy.
One of the most rewarding things to me is when I see students find their flow in PE while working on different types of skills and attitudes. However, this is not possible if I do not take the necessary time to plan out the most effective ways to deliver the learning experiences that I will have my students engage in. It’s a part of my teaching practice that I am always trying to improve upon.
How do you engage your learners in PE? Are you more one-dimensional in the way you deliver your lessons or do you strive to vary up tasks and equipment to best suit the ability ranges of your students? How can units such as net games, invasion games, movement composition, and individual pursuits be modified to help create more of a ‘Goldilocks’ task approach in your classes? Something to think about as you start or finish your teaching day!! Would love to hear your thoughts?