I always say to other educators that our Physical Education (P.E) learning space is a classroom, but it's just bigger. So when I look back when I was at primary school and when I see other educators creating a theme or displaying student work, I thought why can't us P.E teachers do that!
So I did.
I am a big visual learner and if it's colourful, engaging and purposeful then students will be even more excited to come into your P.E classroom.
So what is displayed in my classroom?
1. School Values - this is number one. For your school to work consistently throughout all year levels and learning areas, school values must be displayed and tied into your programs.
Question: How do you implement your school values into your P.E program?
2. P.E Values - just as important as the school values. Make sure values are displayed and reinforced weekly. You may ask how did we come up with the values? Students from all year levels listed words they believed were important to their learning, then four were selected from the list.
Question: Do you have your own P.E values?
3. Skill based wall - this wall is for students learn and read about various skills. The skill wall is where students place their drink bottles down, so when it's time for a quick break, it won't hurt them to look and learn. We also use them during our learning and the correct focus areas.
Question: Do you display any skill posters? If so, how do you incorporate these into student learning?
4. House Names - Bright! Big! Noticeable! Each house name is linked with a school value. For example, Cahill - Community, Jackson - Respect, Hewitt - Effort and Gilmore - Integrity. My current school we have listed Australian Sporting Legends (the last 10 years). All students love house names!
Question: Does your school have a house system? If so, how do you include this into P.E?
5. P.E Motto and mission statement - A simple sentence for students to follow and agree. The mission statement is something that students look up to and work towards to. Both the motto and the statement are something that needs to be reinforced weekly. This allows your students to familiarise with them so they're all aware and know the expectations.
Question: Do you include a motto and mission statement?
6. Student achievements - my favourite - As P.E educators I believe this in one area we forget. Yes we recognise efforts and congratulate students, however displaying their achievements make those students proud. It gives your school community to read and learn about other students achievements.
Question: How do you recognise student efforts and achievements?
7. Check In and Tap Out - very important to implement into your program. Check In is where students share how they are feeling going into P.E. We know students go through mixed emotions and at times are afraid in sharing their feelings, the check in board allows them to do this quietly, with the teacher observing. The tap out cards, simple way for students to self reflect on their performance. This is great when the class has run out of time to reflect together, students will still tap out and be proud of their efforts.
Question: Do you notice mixed emotions from your students? How do you manage this?
8. P.E Word Wall - I've blogged and presented about the word wall. Very self-explanatory, it's all about connecting the words with their learning and developing their P.E vocabulary.
Question: How you incorporate P.E language into your programs?
When I have educators visiting my big classroom they always ask, "Do your displays ever get ruined from after care or other sports?" Sometimes they do, absolutely, but when you see your students observing the current displays and achievements you know you're on the right track on creating an unforgettable learning experience for your students.
Turn your learning area into a BIG CLASSROOM.
Facebook: Miss Physical Education
A verbal blog about the way I use Inquiry Learning and incorporating the driving question.
MY 5 Ways On Becoming An Outstanding Health and Physical Education Teacher.
Everyone’s view on this blog will be different, but I wanted to share my top 5 on becoming an outstanding educator in the field of Health and P.E.
1. Looking after yourself
You need to practice what you preach with your students. Every day we guide and encourage them to make healthy choices and to exercise as much as you can. So we need to be their role model. Share your physical activity experiences, allow your students to learn from your experiences so they feel inspired.
You may want to include photos or videos from your training or general physical activity that you perform. Lately I’ve been sharing my coaching experience with my students, sharing the success and failures I’ve had as a coach. Students are intrigued in what we do and how keep fit and healthy.
Simple! Being organised allows more quality time and teaching with your students. Be prepared and ensure your weekly or daily plans are ready to go, but also be prepared with backup plans. Being organised also beings ensuring you have enough equipment and effective resources for your lessons. Students well aware when teachers aren’t organised, this is when students ‘play up’ and therefore we go off track with our focus and focus more on student management and behaviour. Being organised also includes various strategies that may help you to become even more organised.
Sometimes as educators we are afraid in asking for feedback, whether it’s for our planning, organisation skills or even for our lessons. Receiving feedback is one of the greatest ways to learn and to become an even better educator. Feedback is not negative, feedback is constructive. I know some educators feel down after their feedback, but this is your chance to review what needs to be improved and what is working. Don’t be afraid to receive feedback from your students, whether it’s face to face or even creating a Google Form for them to complete. Remember, whoever is providing you feedback obviously cares and wants you to succeed even more. Don’t ignore feedback.
4. Trial and Error
This ties in nicely with feedback above, sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t. When they don’t you need to look back at why and how can I get this right. Every week one of my lessons don’t go to plan, but that’s ok and this is where we review and see what needs to be altered. I’ve also learnt that it’s important to share with others when things don’t go right, we can’t be afraid of ‘failure’ because ‘failure’ makes us better.
Reflect, reflect and reflect - we all know what it is and why it’s important. But do we all do it? Do we do it every week? Every day? How often do you reflect?
Easily I could of listed more, you may have other top 5, but the list above is something that keeps going and makes me want to succeed even more.
Write down your top 5 and share with other educators.
This is the difference between a good educator and an outstanding educator.
Facebook: Miss Physical Education
I am wanting to share a successful lesson which occurred with the year 5/6 students during our Community Building program. Our Community Building program is all about our year 5/6 students (37) working together, teamwork, values, community work and much more once a week.
Every week I think about how can I ensure our program can the best and make sure our students are getting more and more out of these programs. So our focus was working with different people and I wrote this statement on the whiteboard “Did you know, that in life you’ll be working with different people that you don’t know.” This was very important for the students to see and to accept that not all the time you'll be with your ‘mates’ as this is something my students have found challenging. We have been working really hard to ensure students mix and match every week when working in groups and this is one reason why implementing values education in #physed is so important (refer to my 5 Star Physed Blog for more information - under PE Blog).
Let’s begin from the start of the session, we quickly spoke about our focus then it was time to break into groups. When I mentioned you won’t be choosing your groups, students weren’t happy, but I did say Team Shake (a fabulous app to organise groups) will choose their groups. The look on their faces when Team Shake was operating was phenomenal, I could sense that some students were praying to be in the same team as their mates. Once the the students were split, there were some mixed emotions, however the groups got together worked out their team names and accepted their groups and their members.
Run, Run & RUN.
This challenge is a running activity where we set 6 minutes on the clock (Apple TV) so students are aware of the time. In their groups, one student is the scorekeeper where they keep count on how many ‘laps’ they’ve completed. On the word go, one student per team runs up and down the basketball court (making sure they touch the baseline with their hand) to complete one lap. The groups continue to do this until the 6 minutes is up. It was amazing to see the encouragement, mateship and achievements in those 6 minutes, before that some students were upset of not wanting to be part of that specific group. At the end of the time, students got around each other and were ready for the next challenge.
Decide Now is a great app for teachers to use if undecided on what to do or what game/activity to play. I used this app to create an equipment list for students to create minor activities with. Students were in their groups with the teachers ‘spinning’ the wheel on the app. Whichever equipment the spinner landed on, that group needed to use that equipment to come up with an activity or game. The equipment that was on offer - hoops, tennis ball, bouncy balls, cones, scooter boards and bean bags.
Each group had 3 minutes to come up with something very creative, then we would spin again and see which equipment they’ll be using next. It was super, positive and fun atmosphere. The creativity that the students were demonstrating was very cool. The engagement level when the wheel was spinning (all students were hoping for the spinner to land on the scooter board) was intense! (check out my twitter account @cpola17 to see the replay of the spin - using Periscope). By the way, I’ve asked for the students permission to use their creativity/ideas for my lessons - they were brilliant!
The photos that are attached on this blog do not any justice on how well these activities went and by splitting the students from their mates and getting them to work with others was a success.
If you haven’t used these apps before, definitely have a go and see how these little things can help you and your students.
Facebook: Miss Physical Education
After listening to a podcast (@joeyfeith) about how he goes about his teaching, was just what I needed to get back into teaching mode after our term break. He spoke for over an hour and I just couldn’t believe the amazing things I was hearing and learning from him, that I was so excited to try some of these things at school. If you want to hear more about the podcast, head over to http://peumbrella.com/welcome-to-the-pe-umbrella/ and for more other great podcasts.
I would like to share with you about the experience I had with juniors, 1-2 students. Our learning intention was “To celebrate our physical activity success which occurred over the holidays” driving question “Why was it important to be active over the holidays” success criteria “I was able to share my success about being physically active over the holidays.”
My session was all about getting students to make connections of the importance of physical activity, sport and health and how that impacts their everyday lives. So speaking about their holiday activities was a great way to share and be proud of their ‘physical moments.’ However I set the challenge for my students to break down their activity (idea from Joey Feith).
Firstly I sent them out on an Active Jog/Walk and students must carefully go around the room and speak to at least 5 different students about their holidays and discover what they did. Once a student has spoken to 5 different students, they stand inside a hoop (jumping, hopping), waiting for the whistle or time.
From here we had 30 seconds of ‘open air’ which means students put their hand up to share their findings. Their next challenge was to go on another Active Jog/Walk and to find 5 different students. Once we were warmed up and our minds were focused on our learning intentions etc, we were ready for our whole class discussion (2-3 minutes)
Our classes created a chart (see above) which then instead of just listing what we did on the holidays, we spoke about how each activity was helping our mind and body.
EG - a student (8yo) who shared about his physical activity moment - him breaking down into the columns.
Activity - Soccer (what they did) Skills - kicking and passing (skills that were required) Attitude - Never giving up (you need positive attitude and good body language) Health - my body feels good (health is number 1, if we don’t have good health, we be able to do what we want).
I put down on top of the chart THIS IS WHY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS SO IMPORTANT. There was one student who said “It also helps me to read properly because if I’m tired I won’t read.” I thought, that’s fantastic and more students contributed to that.
This discussion went for longer than I planned (extra 5 minutes) I had to stop my students and get them back moving. It was brilliant to see 7 and 8yo students having discussions and thinking outside the square about how creating their own physical moments make them healthier, better human beings and making good choices.
As we continued the lesson it was great to hear students referring to their skills and attitude “I am throwing the ball and I am doing my best” 7yo girl.
As the lesson came to an end, we reflected together and I set them a challenge - Be physically active every day. When you come back to our next lesson, tell the class what skills you needed, what was your attitude and how it improves your health.
Thanks again for the inspiration Joey.
I am looking forward to continuing the ‘physical moments’ as the year goes on with all year levels.
Facebook: Miss Physical Education
This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ve blogged in the past about the importance of ensuring you have a great start up program in your P.E program and ensuring all students are on the same page.
This 5 Star Physed concept is something I thought about on my way home from Brisbane, Australia. I kept thinking how all P.E educators around the world have brilliant ideas, plans, programs etc which are fantastic. But it also got me thinking that before we get into our brilliant ideas and programs that we need to include the 5 Star Physed concept. Will this concept take off? I’m not sure, but this blog is about sharing my beliefs on building a positive, safe and vibrant classroom before getting into the curriculum.
So what is the 5 Star Physed?
This is star is about including the ‘little things’ constantly into our programs for ALL year levels. Now you may do this already, but I am talking about dedicating 4-5 week program at the beginning of your school year to ensure you create that positive, safe and vibrant classroom. Also constantly referring to the star as the school year continues.
Sessions 1 Building Relationships - This may include a lot of team building activities which are very popular in all learning areas. We constantly refer back to team building when needed. But how else do your students build relationships with each and with you as their educator? Sometimes this can be tricky, as some students may find it a challenge to build relationships - but challenge them and students love to be challenged. If your students and yourself build a positive relationship from the start, it will to develop that trust and bond between each other.
Session 2 Equality - This is huge these days and we need to ensure that we stamp our authority on equality. Everyone has the right to learn, to feel safe and to happy in their learning environment. Everyone has the right to maximise their learning and to feel they belong to a learning community. Educating our students about equality could be something simple as all boys and girls have the right to play any physical activity. Blue colour is not a boy colour, nor is pink is a girl colour. The little things make a difference and make your students feel comfortable. How would you fit equality into your programs?
Session 3 - EveryBODY is Different - This is very important, as this can lead into bullying. All students are different, size, colour, race and gender, like above with equality we need to ensure our students respect each other and accept one another. All students learn differently that’s ok. Some students would feel self conscious of themselves and are worried of their peers reaction if trying something new. This session could be about zero tolerance on bullying in P.E or recognising different people and cultures. How would you fit this into your program?
Session 4 - Values - All schools have their own values, some of us create P.E values, but one thing that we need to model is our own personal values towards our students. Share your values with your students and then allow them to develop their own values they want to implement into their learning. This is real powerful stuff as they realise how they can contribute to the class and how their values can support others. Firstly break down what a value is, show some examples of sporting heroes or teams. Give this ago, this leads into some great discussions with the class.
Session 5 - Mindset - You may have the greatest basketballer at your school, but if he or she is fixed on something that can’t be change or thinking they can’t win, they shouldn’t be on the court. We know the mind plays a huge role in our learning and we see and hear negative talk all the time, but how do you stop this? Growth v Fixed - Positive v Negative. Allow your students to share their experiences and how their mind played a huge role with their results. Create some growth mindset posters (examples on site under P.E resources). This would also tie nicely with body language and how poor body language can affect learning and achievements.
Small overview of the 5 Star Physed - but don’t just focus on this at the start of your year, incorporate these into your lessons as much as possible (for all year levels) to benefit student learning, development and culture at your school.
Facebook: Miss Physical Education.
Term 1 - WOW That Went QUICK!!
After a 9 week term, it doesn’t seem long and for me it wasn’t. This is the first time I have felt so on top of my work, committed and organised for my school. But most importantly, the vibe around our school is contiguous.
Here are my top 5 things I have learnt in the last 9 weeks.
2. Values Education
I have thoroughly enjoyed building the values, not only in my Health and P.E classes, but also within the whole school. So important that you spend a good few weeks at the beginning of the school year to ensure your students are aware of the school values, class values and learn about their own values. Thanks to Sean DeMorton for motivating me with this. This is something I’ll re visit at the beginning of next term.
3. It’s ok to be different
This term when teaching and building the relationships with my students, I alway ensured them that it is ok to be different. Meaning we all learn differently, reflect differently and display different emotions. Educating my students the respect that we need to show for all students is vital. All students are different and we need to allow our students to be themselves and not to expect them to learn all at the same time. Check in with your students and ask are they ok and what can you do better next time or even talk to them about what they enjoy doing.
4. Students LOVE to learn
Every student LOVES to learn and that’s a fact, for us it motivates us even more to challenge our students to see what else they can discover in their own way. How creative can you be? What questions will you pose for your students? What questions will your students pose for you? Let them take charge and make a difference.
I have high respect for reflection and this is how we learn by reflecting. My students now reflect and learn more by sharing their learnings. They also love standing at the front (well most of them) and talking about how they felt and how they can help their peers.
Term 1, you were sensational! The challenge is for term 2 is to maintain that intensity, positive vibe and the culture we have created.
Facebook: Miss Physical Education
Reflect and Learn.
Reflection in the past for me personally was something that I didn’t do because I always thought ‘I don’t have time to reflect’ ‘I have better things to do’ and the excuses went on. However, over the last 18 – 24 months I’ve realise how important reflection is for my growth and professional development and this is why I find blogging a great way to reflect for me personally. But then of course I begun to realise my students don't reflect in my classes and this needed to change.
Reflection I believe is the most powerful part of the lesson, this is where students share, discover and are proud of their efforts. As educators we need to celebrate their success, we need to allow our students to feel proud of their efforts.
As we know, all students learn, play and interact differently and this is ok. We need to ensure all students are reflecting their own learning experiences and are WANTING to share their experiences.
Some students may be afraid or embarrassed of their efforts, thinking that their efforts aren’t good enough. As their teachers and guiding them during their schooling we need to remind our students the following;
Mistakes make me better
Everyone fails at something – but how to you respond in a positive manner?
What can you do better next time?
What are you proud of?
Why did this happen?
I also reflect as well with the students (during class time about the way the lesson went and how I went with the students) using the same resources. This has made a difference for students to reflect and to share.
I have created a few resources to help my students to reflect and most importantly reflect with a purpose.
How do I feel? (Cards) Sharing how they’re feeling after participating in physical activity and giving reasons for their feelings.
How does my body feel? (Cards) Sharing how their body feels after participating in physical activity and explaining why their body feels that way.
How did I go? (Cards) Sharing their achievements, what they found challenging and what they are proud of.
Superhero Moment (Card) Sharing a special moment/achievement they experienced during the lesson. Sharing their reasons and why it was special.
I am always learning on how to become a better educator. I believe since I’ve started reflecting, my teaching has gone to the next level. Beginning at a new brand new school this year, has allowed me to educate my students on the importance of reflecting and how this will make them better learners.
You may also want to check out my Flipped Reflection link.
All resources are found under the PE resources tab
Facebook: Miss Physical Education
Challenge Your Students
When I plan, I firstly plan a skeleton for the whole term and then week by week I adapt, reflect and make changes to my weekly planners.
I’m writing this blog as my Prep planner didn’t really work out, well let me just say I’m glad things didn’t work out as I had planned! I have been focusing on Locomotor Movement Skills and then my next step is to introduce them to Mini Athletics. I planned for my students to incorporate the movement skills that we have discovered into our Mini Athletics program. I wanted for them to combine these movements and understand that these movements can be used in many sports and in everyday life. One of my Prep grades have challenged me to challenge them, so today was the day to challenge them.
My challenge was for them to create their own obstacle movement course and then sharing and explaining their process. They were given 3 hoops, 10 cones, 2-3 hurdles and 2 bean bags and off they went. They worked in small groups and had 15 minutes to come up with their own course. When the students took on this challenge I thought to myself, hmmm maybe this won’t work? Maybe this is too hard for them? Maybe they won’t be able to explain their process and why they design their course the way they did.
They proved me wrong! These students are 4 and 5 year olds and they were amazing! They all created their own course incorporating various movements including jumping, hopping, running, leaping and crawling. They presented like they’ve been presenting at conferences for years. The way to spoke about their course and breaking down how to complete their course was amazing. Not only did they speak with confidence, but the language they were using was inspiring.
So it doesn’t matter if your lesson doesn’t go as planned, be prepared to adapt and be prepared to challenge your students.
Never be afraid in giving your students that chance to further their learning, as I continue to learn I see the magic they can create and most importantly I see the enjoyment on their faces when they make new discoveries.
Facebook: Miss Physical Education
Creating Physed Moments
This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but I wasn’t sure on how to go about it. I have been very inspired by @phys_educator and @iPhys_Ed by creating my own episodes to support all educators, especially the educators that are just starting out.
We all know that teaching is a demanding job, sometimes more admin than actual teaching and with more and more new tech getting involved in teaching, some teachers would feel very overwhelmed to keep up with the latest tech and various professional learning.
These Physed moments are all about supporting and guiding educators. The moments that I share are based on my experiences and what I have used in the past and still using. Like I mention in the episodes, there are many ways or various apps/programs that you can use to further develop your teaching, therefore will equal student success.
Every Monday I upload another Physed Moment episode on my Facebook page and Twitter page, which lasts from about 2-5 minutes. This gives our educators a basic insight on different tools and apps, how to get started and ideas on implementing into their programs. Some episodes may seem basic for you, however we need to remember that there are thousands and thousands of Physed teachers around the world that require that initial push and support to get them on the right track and feel motivated.
This project means a lot to me, If I can help 1 teacher or 100 teachers, then our students will benefit in the area of Physical Education.
I love what I do, I love seeing students succeed, I love learning, trying new ways to engage my students and I love supporting other educators so their students succeed as well.
It’s up to you to create your own Physed Moment.
Facebook: Miss Physical Education
YouTube: Christina Polatajko
These are my own opinions and experiences. I love to share and reflect.