Time For Action in Setting Goals For Area(s) of Improvement
I blogged a couple of weeks ago about a new approach that I am taking with my grade 5 fitness unit this year. To sum up, I am giving my students freedom of choice in regards to how they would like to improve upon their current level of fitness. We have looked at 3 key areas of fitness; Cardiovascular Endurance, Muscular Endurance, and Flexibility. The students took part in a number of different fitness tests the first couple of classes of this unit and recorded their results. They will finish off the unit with some fitness testing as well so that they can compare how they have improved.
There is an undeniable reality that adults own the choices that they make regarding their level of fitness. I discussed this fact with my students and told them that they too own the decisions that they make about how fit that they want to be. Now that my students have gotten through the initial phase of our fitness unit, they are responsible for choosing which area(s) of fitness that they want to improve upon as a next step. I have created fitness journals for them to use in order to help guide them through the rest of the unit. I will be with them every step of the way offering them whatever help and guidance that they need in setting goals and creating an action plan.
I had the students do an initial self-assessment at the very start of the unit to get them thinking about how fit that they thought they were. We had not discussed or broken down any areas of fitness at that point. Now that they have a working knowledge of the 3 different areas of fitness and have completed various fitness tests, they will do a more specific self-assessment of how fit they think that they currently are based on their new knowledge of the 3 different areas of fitness. This will be done in tomorrow's class.
We have discussed the need to record data in regards to how they progress with their training program and their classroom teachers have agreed to use this data back in the math class which is great integration. If there is ever a unit that students must record information, this one is it. I have tried to create the journals in a way that is straightforward and easy for them to use.
Key Considerations When Designing and Creating This Assessment Journal
For those of you who have seen my work, you know that I am big on creating visuals. What I like to do is embed jpegs of those visuals on in the assessments that I use as it works to spark my students' memories and helps to get them connected with prior learning in a unit. As well, I scan actual assessments used in the past and use these jpegs as well. It has worked so well to get them really tuned into their learning.
We will have a brainstorming session in tomorrow's class to get them thinking of all the possibilities that exist for improving upon their level of fitness. Hopefully this will get their brains firing with ideas to put into practice. I will blog on this brainstorming session later in the week. In the meantime, I have posted all of the pages from the fitness journal that they will use. Check them out and let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading!