What are your responsibilities on a team?
We are opening up with a great unit in PE that is being fully integrated into the unit of inquiry that is happening in the classroom in grade 2. To start off the year, the grade 2 students are doing a unit on 'Rights & Responsibilities' with their classroom teachers. The central idea of this unit is:
'With rights come responsibilities"
Getting the students to discuss what their responsibilities are in PE was a great way to lead into creating essential agreements with them in PE. The first couple of weeks of school was more or less devoted to getting the students in tune with routines in PE and introducing the idea of fitness and health being an important part of our program. With that out of the way now, I can move into the main guts of the rights and responsibilities unit.
My main goal over the next couple of weeks is to help the students be able to identify exactly what their responsibilities are when working on a team. This seems like quite a simple task, but when we try to go beyond surface level with the idea of what responsible teamwork is, it becomes more complex in nature, especially considering it's grade 2. However, it is imperative to breakdown what good teamwork is and to be able to describe specific components of success. Doing this will not only help students in this unit, but set them up for success for the rest of the year in PE.
To set the stage for learning, I am using the same driving question with all of my grade 2 classes in PE this week. Once I introduce this question to the students, I have planned a number of different activities aimed at requiring the students to obviously work together. I am giving them clear and simple instructions in each of the activities, but letting them figure out the best ways to accomplish the task.
When I was sure that the students understood the question and the expectations in the initial activities we were about to do, I set them off on teams of 3 or 4 to begin working. I will now outline one of the activities that the students were required to do. Using a large swiss ball, the students had to show as many different ways as possible that they could move the ball across the gym. The key rules were that all members had to be in contact with the ball at all times and that they had to be able to move the ball all the way across the gym using one style. Once they made it across the gym, they could then use a new method of moving the ball back across to the other side.
If they had great difficulty in using a particular style, they were of course allowed to switch it up and start over. I gave them a few short breaks, so we could discuss their progress or lack of. I gave them my own observations during this time. During these moments, I was assessing whether or not they understood my objective for the unit which was to ensure that they could clearly identify what their responsibilities are on a team. Here are some fun photos of the students in action today.
During the last 5 minutes of class, we got back together as a whole group to discuss what the students thought were their responsibilities when working together as a team. I recorded their answers in my journal and created the visual below to be used to initiate further discussion about rights and responsibilities in PE over the next couple of weeks.
As an exit pass, I required all teams to come up with one key idea that demonstrated their success working together as a team. It was clear to see that they really did understand the driving question and focus of today's lesson. All in all, a really good lesson. I will share the students' progress with their classroom teachers as this is an integrated unit of study.
Thomas: "We shared ideas well and listened to one another."
Alina: "We made sure we moved together at the same time and stopped when someone fell behind."
Elijah: "We switched up the hard work so people didn't get too tired."
Ludovico: "We did a good job taking turns talking."
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.