Central idea before being unwrapped...
We are beginning a grade 4 Adventure Challenge unit at NIS today. As part of a pre-assessment task, the students are taking part in a couple of games before we actually unwrap the central idea for the unit. The central idea is ‘Effectively solving problems requires communication, trust, and an open mind.’
Both of the games played today require one partner wearing a blindfold and their partner giving specific directions/instructions helping them to maneuver their way around the gym. Here is a detailed description about the way each game works.
Equipment Needed in Today's Class
2. Blind Wars
This again involves one person being blindfolded and the other partner giving instructions/directions. Dodgeballs are spread out all over the gym. Only the blindfolded partner is allowed to throw in this game. The partner not blind folded, must give clear instructions to their partner to help them find the dodge balls, pick them up and throw them at another team. One point for a direct hit to either person on a team. A team loses a point if either person is hit. After a few minutes, an end to the game is called and the blindfolded partner switches. The game is then played again
Safety a Must!!
Before the game begins, we had an in-depth conversation about the importance of safety and trust. If any unsafe play occurs, the team must immediately sit out. In all the years I have played this game with my students, I have only seen a couple of instances of carelessness or unsafe play, but I observe closely to always be sure.
Role of the Observer
I like to pick a student out to be observer. If somebody volunteers, great. If not, we get on with the game. The role of the observer is an important one as they are responsible for walking around and writing down examples of good things happening. They then report their findings back to the class after the game. They are allowed to use names when reporting back examples of good teamwork. However, if they see a team struggling, they can report seeing what happened, but do not give names in order not to center out students.
Unwrapping the Central Idea
These 2 games are a great way to introduce the central idea and to help stimulate some good discussion regarding the importance of teamwork and communication in Adventure Games. We unwrapped the central idea immediately after playing the 2 games and then finished off with the students doing a pre-assessment reflective task dealing with the 2 games we played and how trust and communication were essential in order to have success. Please see pictures, video, and examples of student assessment below.
Each class' Sportfolios are filed away in individual class storage tubs. As I have over 240 students and each one has their own Sportfolio, it is absolutely essential to ensure they are filed away in a neat and organized manner. When a class does an assessment task, it is easy to retrieve the Sportfolios and to file away the assessment in a quick an efficient manner.
PYP PE Display Boards
I have three boards up this school year, The Learner Profile in Action, The PYP Attitudes in Action, and the Sportfolio and Assessment in PE. Check them out below.
As a single subject teacher, working collaboratively with classroom teachers and helping to lend support to their units of inquiry can be a very rewarding experience. Not only does it provide the foundation for authentic learning, but also allows students to know and understand the value of learning from a cross-curricular perspective.
I am fortunate to be able to experience this collaboration with an excellent grade 3 teaching team consisting of Marina Gijzen (you can see Marina’s teacher blog here http://marinagijzen.com), John Rinker, new to NIS this year having just come from Yangon International School in Burma (you can see John’s teacher blog here http://johnrinker.edublogs.org/) and Georgina Perry, also new to NIS this year.
NIS has made specific changes to how teams collaborate by setting up weekly meetings in which the single subject teachers can sit in on planning sessions. This past Thursday was our first meeting of the year and we were able to discuss and plan how PE would be integrated into their Body Systems unit. Often times the central idea for a unit of inquiry is unwrapped by the classroom teachers first, but in this case, I was going to be able to have a first go at it with the grade 3 classes.
There was some healthy discussion as to whether or not unwrapping the unit’s central idea first in PE was the best thing to do, but it was decided that doing so would make for an enriching learning experience for the kids. Added to this was the fact that the students brought the knowledge from our discussion in PE back into the classroom and were prepared to deepen their understanding of the central idea through continued discussion with their class teachers.
I posted the central idea ‘We need to care for our body systems to be healthy’ on a piece of large chart paper and John’s class was first to begin the unwrapping. Any ideas that John’s class came up with were written using GREEN marker. The central idea stayed posted and when Georgina’s class came to the gym they added to the discussion with their own ideas which were written in RED. Marina’s class was last to have a look at the central idea, but, in my opinion, benefitted the most, as there was a lot of information already at their disposal to prompt an in- depth discussion about body systems. Through this discussion, they were able to also add some of their ideas to the unwrapping (written in BLUE). The grade 3 Body Systems unit of inquiry is off to a great start at Nanjing International School.
Below are some pictures that show how the unwrapping of the central idea progressed.
Here are some very simple and fun games that I had the kids participate in this week in PE at Nanjing International School. Seeing as it is our first week of school, lots of quick, entertaining, yet challenging games are perfect in a situation like this.
Any ball can be used to play the game, but the bigger the better as it makes for a more complex and challenging task that requires greater communication in order to achieve success. I will highlight the games below.
Game A) Scoop, Lock, and Deliver
In this game the students, on teams of three or four, must lock arms, scoop a big aerobics ball up to roughly shoulder level and move the ball carefully across the gym and back aiming not to drop the ball along the way. If the ball is dropped, wherever it touches the ground, the team must take three big steps back and keep going. Although it is a race, they need to carefully maneuver their way across the gym ensuring the ball stay in place, on top of locked arms. Here are some pictures of this game in action.
Game B) Back to Back Delivery
The students must somehow wedge the ball behind them using their backs. As a team they must move the ball carefully across the gym and back. Same penalty for dropping the ball (3 steps back from point of contact with the ground)
Game C) Backwards Pass Relay
In this activity, the students must line up in order and pass the ball backwards, over their heads to the person behind them who then passes it on in the same fashion. Once the ball is passed, the students must run to back of the line and continue to receive and pass the ball until the team goes the length of the gym and back. Essentially, the team is moving backwards and passing backwards at the same time.
Game D) The Great Atop the Head Game
The students love this one. It is very challenging and an excellent culmination to the class. Each team must scoop the ball up and place it atop their heads. Once the ball is in place they have to apply just enough pressure to secure the ball in place and then try to move the length of the gym and back. All of their heads must be at the same level obviously in order for them to establish solid stable contact with the ball. This is a difficult activity and requires tremendous teamwork and communication in order to accomplish the task successfully.
The Learner Profile plays a pivotal role in the development of every student in a PYP school. Along with the Learner Profile are the 12 PYP Attitudes which play just as important a role.
Each year, I try my best to identify and recognize students who authentically and genuinely demonstrate the Learner Profile and PYP Attitudes in PE class. It may be a simple act, but these simple acts are very worthy of recognition in my opinion. I feel great when I can capture these moments on camera and share them with the students and my fellow teachers.
As you can see by the picture, I identify which attribute or attitude was exhibited in PE class and add a detailed description as to why this student is so deserving of the recognition. I will then post the recognition award on my PYP PE display board in the main corridor of the school for all to see. It often serves to motivate students to try their best in PE which is all that can can hope for and expect. This is my first recognition award of the 2012-2013 school year. Once the award is taken down from the display board, it is filed away in the student's Sportfolio.
My first PE class of the 2012-2013 school year. I love their enthusiasm and excitement for PE!
Wow! Where did the summer go? Amazing how time flies and before you know it, you are in the midst of a new and exciting school year. I hope every one of you reading this blog had a healthy, happy, and safe holiday. I am sure some of you are just like me in the sense that as the holidays start to dwindle down, your mind becomes more focused on the upcoming year and what is needed to start things off on the right foot.
As professionals I think that it is essential to set new goals for yourself each year. Perhaps some of the goals carry over from the previous year which is absolutely fine. An example of such a goal in my own practice is to always better the PYP environment that I have set up in my own teaching space. This is a goal that I have each year that doesn't change too much. I will once again strive to improve upon my teaching environment making it more warm, welcoming, and hopefully stimulating for each and every child I teach.
Another carry over goal is to continue building upon the network of PYP PE teachers that I created last year on this website (see Connecting with Other Good Practitioners page). Through connecting with other excellent practitioners, I feel that I always improve upon my own teaching. I was fortunate enough to connect with a number of very enthusiastic teachers who are all motivated to be the best that they can be. I hope that I help them as much as they help me. What wonderful professional opportunities exist when we set our minds to it.
Aside from the carry over goals from last year, having new goals sets the stage for continued development and learning as a teacher. I hope that any teacher reading this blog has set goals for themselves and are willing to share their success on PYP PE with ANDY. It is always so motivating to hear about other teachers' successes.
The very best of luck to all of you in the 2012-2013 school year!!
For those of you following my blog, you have seen how I implement the Sportfolio in my classes. At the beginning of each year, every student must create a new front cover for their Sportfolio.
A key change that I made at the end of last school year was that I keep, on file, all students Sportfolio work from the previous year. This completed work from the year prior, will be added to the back of their new Sportfolio folder.
My aim is to show how the student progresses in PE in terms of their understanding of big concepts and ideas over the years and for previous Sportfolio work to be used as a resource to look back upon when needed. This is especially valuable during the pre-assessment phase of any new unit. Once the student leaves the school for good, I will give them their Sportfolio to take away with them.
As the 2012-2013 school year started up this week at Nanjing International School in China, I have had many of the classes for the first time this week. I had new Sportfolio cover pages ready to go, along with pencils, pencil crayons, erasers etc, for them to use when creating a new design for their front page.
They are meant to use illustrations and/or words to show what PE means to them. I also had examples of Sportfolio front covers from previous years on display to give them some new ideas. Once the students have completed the new front covers of their Sportfolios, I will post some of their work on my website.
Interested in starting up the Sportfolio in your PE program? If so, let me know any questions that you may have. Thanks!
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.