Assess, Reflect, Reassess
As a starting point for my grade 5 fitness unit, I thought that it would be extremely informative to have the students assess at what level they believe they are at in regards to their current level of fitness. We opened up the unit by having a discussion about what being fit means. Using this discussion as a springboard, I gave the students an assessment task that had them identify what level of fitness that they felt they were at. They also had to do a brief description of why they feel they are at that level. We used an assess, reflect, reassess strategy in today's class.
Once the students completed this task, they shared their thoughts with a partner. Once done this initial fitness assessment, my goal was to have them participate the rest of class in a number of games in the moderate to rigorous intensity zone. They were encouraged continually to reflect upon their current level of fitness. Although we did not go too deeply into what being fit means, our general discussion was directed at getting them in tune with the fact that level of fitness matters when participating in games.
I won't go into a description of all the games played, but a great opener was what I call "Leg Battle". The students square off with a partner. The object of the game is to get into a fight stance and using their hands be the first to make contact with any part of the leg of their partner. Each person is allowed to defend by using their hands to block the attack. Whoever makes contact first scores a point. However, once a partner makes contact, they must immediately run away. The other person has ten seconds (counted out by the chaser...."One 1000, Two 1000, Three 1000 etc.) to chase down and tag their partner. If they do, they score a point then the battle begins again. If they cannot tag their partner in time, the other person gets a second point. The battle then resumes. Here is what it looks like.
End of Class Reassessment
To me the most important thing in this class was just getting the students to initially assess themselves in regards to what they believe to be their current level of fitness. There was no need to go into great detail about what being fit means at this point as my intention is to really dig much deeper into what being fit means as the unit progresses. Bearing this in mind, I felt that it would be good to get my students to reflect on their performance in the activities done in today's class and offer them a chance to reassess their current level of fitness (with justification for their rating).
The students were allowed to assess themselves in the same category of course. I only asked that they write one or two sentences to reflect on how well they thought they had done in the activities. Were they able to fully participate? Did they need extended rest periods between activities? These were some of the questions I asked them at the end of class. I then had 2 of my students explain how the Assess, Reflect, Reassess cycle allowed them to really think about their current level of fitness. This is what they had to say.
I believe that today's class went well and for the most part, the students grasped the idea behind the initial fitness self-assessment. They understand that we are moving into a fitness unit and that measuring fitness is important in order to see improvement. Over the next couple of classes we will still be in the pre-assessment phase of this unit taking one step at a time in breaking down what being fit means. I am very much looking forward to this unit. Please see an example of a student self-assessment sheet below. Thanks for reading.