Over the past several months, I have been researching ways to provide students with more genuine and authentic ways to learn in PE. In my pursuit of creating a model of instruction that allows students much more ownership over their learning in my program, I was lucky to come across the work of Ewan McIntosh, a fantastic consultant who recently visited our school. I blogged about Ewan a couple of weeks ago and have been very interested in the work that he, Tom Barrett, and Peter Ford are doing in making a true difference in education.
Their work has inspired me to make a change in the way I teach by getting students to be much more actively involved in their learning process. I have a new vision for the way that I will run my PE lessons and will begin by putting this to the test in my upcoming Athletics unit. I believe that learning engagements will be much richer in nature and both problem finding and problem solving will be in effect from day one of this unit.
For me to truly assess the effectiveness of this new learning journey that my students and I will be involved in, I will be documenting each step of the way on my blog. It will allow me to reflect on an ongoing basis throughout the unit to ensure that I can improve and refine my instruction and my student learning.
I won't reveal too much at this point because I am still thinking my way through how the unit may evolve, but as a starting point, I can say that I will have students very actively engaged in designing all of their learning activities in the Athletics unit. My role will be more of a facilitator and coach in this process lending assistance and help whenever the need arises.
On day one of the Athletics unit, I will share with the students the Student Learning Outcomes(SLOs) that are in place for this unit based on our PSPE scope and sequence document. In kid-friendly language, I will breakdown each SLO and discuss what they look like. The kids will be made aware, from the very start of the unit, what specifically they are expected to know and be able to do by end of the unit.
They will then be asked to define obstacles/problems that may hinder or prevent them from achieving these SLOs at the end of the unit. In groups they will then begin to design their own learning activities keeping the end goals always in sight. I have included a rough draft below of a Student Learning Outcome Athletics Checklist that they will keep near and dear to them throughout the unit. Despite the unit still being three weeks away, I felt that making the SLO Checklist early would allow me some time to refine it. I am pretty happy with my first draft, but I am sure to make some changes before the unit kicks off. I would love feedback from anyone out there.
A closer look at the Student Learning Outcomes can be seen below. As you can see, the students will be required to self-learn a number of different essential tasks related to Athletics, including using a stopwatch, recording both time and distance related to specific Athletics events, learning special techniques related to running, jumping, and throwing, and setting up their own stations in which to practice. As well, goal-setting will be a huge part of this unit from day one.