The focus on this blog will tie directly into how I prepared my grade 1 students for their summative assessment task in the Health Related Activities unit that we just finished up today. Documenting the process not only helps me to reflect on how the unit went but also hopefully provides any teachers reading this blog with some useful ideas should they be teaching a unit or want to teach a unit such as this.
I blogged earlier last week about what is worth knowing in a Health Related Activities considering the fact that they kids are 6 or 7 years old. When I have done units related to health aimed at the grade 1 or 2 grade level in the past, I feel as though I have put expectations much too high in regards to the actual content that I wanted the students to know. The aims that I had set for this unit were as follows:
Today’s class was set up in a way that allowed the students to create their own exercises using various equipment that I had set out (hula hoops, soccer balls, bean bags, skipping ropes, and basketballs). This summative assessment task required that the students:
A) Draw the 3 body systems that we have been working on and discussing in class. They had to do this first before moving on to second part of the assessment task.
B) They had to select separate activities for 3 different intensities of exercise; light, medium, or hard. Please see assessment sheet below. You will notice that there is a blank box for each exercise selected on the left of the table. They had to either draw a picture or write down specifically what the exercise was.
C) The students then had to focus in on the specific body systems that we have learned about during this unit; the circulatory, the muscular system and the respiratory system. I wanted them to be able to describe how exercise affects these systems. The main idea is that as level of intensity increases, there are distinct differences in how these systems feel.
You’ll notice that there were three different images representing the heart; a happy and calm heart, a running heart, and the word ‘BOOM’ which means a very hard working heart. The kids had to circle how their heart felt at each level of exercise.
For the muscular system there is a blank box on the assessment sheet. In preparing the students for being able to describe how their muscles feel when exercising, they themselves came up with the idea of using different colors to represent how their muscles feel. One student described their muscular system at level one exercise (light) as bluish-green because their muscles were not yet really warm due to not moving around too much when exercising. Another student described level 3 exercise as fire-red which I thought was a fantastic description of how muscles feel when doing high intensity exercise. The students simply had to colour in a blank box to show how their muscles felt. I think it worked great and not surprisingly, this wonderful idea came from the students themselves.
As for the respiratory system, the students had to circle one of three images to show how hard their rate of breathing was; an image of a girl blowing bubbles (represents a soft and calm breathing rate), an image of a tree blowing in the wind (represents a more active rate of breathing), and finally an image of a woman who can barely hold on to her umbrella (obviously a high rate of breathing).
I have included a video of some of our previous class discussions as we prepared for this final summative assessment task. As well, included below are some examples of the student assessment sheets used in today’s class.
The grade 1 students actually begin a health related unit of inquiry in their classroom this week. Although the PE related health unit I have worked on would have been perfect to fully integrate into their UoI on health, scheduling these units to overlap was not possible. I opened the year with the health unit and the UoI on health is happening now in the classroom. This is actually a perfect example of how front loading a health unit in PE can serve as an excellent introduction to a UoI on health in the classroom. The kids will hopefully bring a great deal of prior knowledge into their unit of inquiry on health allowing the grade 1 teachers to delve much deeper into their UoI right from the start.
A few years ago I would have not seen the value in front loading, but I now see that it can work extremely well, especially when good collaboration takes place between the classroom teachers and PE department.