Not only do I want them to understand that their bodies become stronger when they exercise, I also want them to be able to see connections between these systems (one of my lines of inquiry for this unit and an important key concept).
As it is a health related exercise unit, I am trying to bring lots of different options in for promoting good health, so today's class was focused on yoga and its positive impact on our body systems. I am lucky in the fact that my wife, a certified yoga instructor, school nurse, and ESL instructor is available to me when I need her to come and teach yoga sessions as she works at the same school as me. THANK YOU NEILA STEELE!! Neila happily agreed to come in and teach some basic yoga poses and to speak about their benefits to my students.
The assessment task, although simple in nature, really challenges the kids to show their understanding of the key concept connection and to describe how their bodies feel when practicing yoga. As they have been very use to being super active and moving their bodies in this unit, they were required to slow everything down while doing yoga. Neila led a very interesting discussion about the calming nature of yoga and how it's meant to relax our bodies and quiet our minds. The assessment task required the students to do three things:
A) To identify the yoga poses that they could do in today's class (by circling the pose on the assessment sheet)
B) To show which systems were at work while doing yoga (again circling an image that represents each body system)
C) To use one or two words to describe how each system felt while doing yoga
For the most part, students used appropriate vocabulary to describe how each of their systems felt while doing yoga. Many used words such as calm, quiet, soft, and slow to describe the circulatory and respiratory systems and words such as warm or hot to describe how their muscles felt while practicing yoga. Using descriptive words such as warm and hot are perfect as the muscles are being challenged while doing yoga. However, the very nature of yoga itself is calming to our respiratory and circulatory systems. Again, most of the kids made these important connections, but for the ones that didn't, their assessment has shown this, so I can spend more time with them next class in helping to clarify things with them.
I am happy with the assessment task as it once again helped to consolidate their understanding that all of our body systems are connected and work together which is one of the key goals in this unit and is highlighted in the PSPE Scope and Sequence. Please see some examples of student assessment below.