It is common for single subject teachers to try their best to integrate when authentic connections to the unit of inquiry are happening in PE. I am frequently asked by other PYP PE teachers how often I integrate during the school year. This can be a bit difficult to narrow down because in my opinion, there are different levels to integration. Full integration is when I sit in on planning meetings with the classroom teachers and plan how connections to the unit of inquiry can be made. I then create learning opportunities in my unit that connect directly to the UoI - its central idea and the lines of inquiry. I consider this to be ‘full Integration’.
However, on a smaller scale I believe there are loads of opportunities to integrate or make important connections. ‘Maths Integration’ is a great way to link what they are learning in maths to PE. Recording and collecting data, analysing data, graphing, and mental maths are among a few ways that I integrate maths into my PE lessons. There are also one-off type integrated activities that I can do, but I ensure that they fit nicely into the unit that I am doing in PE. Besides these one-off opportunities, no further connections to the UoI should be made as it wouldn’t be authentic.
If the unit of inquiry doesn’t fit into the PE unit, I take a look at the key concepts, learner profile attributes/pyp attitudes that the students will be exposed to in their UoI as another way to make strong connections. My students in grade 3 are currently doing a unit on Natural Disasters. Despite the fact that there are no connections possible to Natural Disasters in PE, I can still support their learning in this unit by linking the key concepts to the target games unit they are about to begin. Through informal collaboration with the grade 3 classroom teacher, Marina Gjizen, we narrowed down how the concepts could be applied to the Target Games unit they will begin today. In addition, the main premise of the central idea is that people use past experience to change behaviour. The little twist I will put on it is that in PE it is not so much behaviour, but performance.
The key concepts for this unit of inquiry are Form, Responsibility, and Reflection. Therefore, I will apply these concepts to my Target Games unit as well in order to lend support to the UoI. I created the poster below to initiate discussion with the students. I will record all of their ideas on this poster during the unit.
Is this integration??? Not really, but I believe that it is still a very important link to the UoI. What do you think???