PE teachers are tend to be recognised as the 'cool' teachers as we get to teach students new skills, games etc. But we as PE teachers are more than just teaching new skills and games, we play a pivotal role in student lives and development.
Here are 7 quick ways to continue to enhance student learning and development, also to maintain our 'coolness' as a teacher. Point number 4 pretty much sums it all.
1. ICT in PE
Living in a 21st Century, students are more than capable in using different devices, so why not include these devices and apps into our teaching. Various apps that are very beneficial include, Coach's Eye, Kahoots, Video Delay, Zumba, Explain Everything, Book Creator and Webscorer are just to name a few cool apps and programs. Explore these apps and see how they can fit into your teaching and how they will benefit student learning.
2. Goal Setting
Goal setting I believe is one of the most crucial parts when teaching for all ages. Allow students to set their own goals, students review their goals during and after the focus has been completed.
3. Behaviour Management - make it challenging and fun
As teachers we need to make our PE expectations and behaviour management clear from the start so all students are aware and can get into a good routine. But it also needs to be fun and engaging, for example I set up various behaviour management plans for various year levels. Fit Cash, Star Charts, Class Dojo and Star Cards all these relate to our PE expectations and what each class and individual students need to achieve.
4. A quality PE program
No quality PE program = means students won't achieve their goals, we as educators will get bored and students won't be engaged or have fun. What is a quality PE program? Here are 9 points to quality PE program, thanks to activeforlife.com and I couldn't agree more!
5. Assessment is ready and students are prepared
Assessments is critical, obviously yes, but as educators we need to think of ways to make assessment fun and not a scary thought for the students. I have created some video assessments where students need to watch and guess what movements I am doing (test their locomotor skills), using Coach's Eye for peer and self assessments, Google forms and students suggest their own assessment. For example if we are focusing on tennis, I ask students how do you think we should assess? They know what they need to achieve, but how can we assess. Students in the past have come up with creating movies, interviewing each other and presentations. This has been really successful!
Having support makes your job a whole lot easier when organising programs, extra curricular activities, sport days and Interschool sports. Therefore developing positive relationships with your staff, students, parents, leadership team and school community will make your organisation a lot easier and promotes the teamwork within the community. All you need to do is ask and promote what you are doing to enhance student learning and development.
Networking, the most important advice I would give to any teacher. Making new contacts will only benefit your teaching and learning. One of the best things I have done to improve my learning is join the social network of Twitter. So many ideas, so many passionate teachers and you never stop learning.
Technology has taken over many things in our day to day lives. We rely on using various technology to support us, for example smart phones, iPad and the internet.
When teaching, I try to incorporate technology when I can, as students expect to see technology in their classroom and during their learning. During my Physical Education (PE) classes time is precious as we all know. My main goal in my teaching is to ensure students achieve the learning intention by the end of the lesson. Therefore technology and using various apps are sometimes included in my classes. Michael Ha @Nerdyphyseder mentioned at a PD not to ‘App-Overload’ and use technology when needed and I couldn’t agree with him more. Use the technology and apps when needed
Below are my top 10 apps, well actually 11, I couldn’t quite make the final 10 decision. Do I use them every lesson? No, however when I use them they benefit my teaching and development and most importantly these apps can make a difference in student learning.
1. Coach’s Eye @CoachsEye (ALL YEARS)
This powerful video analysis tool is a remarkable app which students love to use. I use this app with all year levels so students are able to analysis themselves and their peers. This app enables students to compare skills with each other, as it offers a split screen and students record their findings. Once they’ve completed this, they can upload it onto camera roll and other various apps. I am presenting and talking about this app in the up and coming ACHPER Conference at Monash University.
2. Edmodo @edmodo (Grade 4-6)
This app allows teachers and students to professionally communicate when needed. Students have their own access and can create their own small profile. When I use it, I upload learning intentions, results, padlets, and reminders of excursions or sport days and upload various permission forms. This app is a great app for communication, as sometimes you don’t see your students until the next lesson and if important information needs to get through to them, then using Edmodo sure does help.
3. Idoceo @idoceo (ALL YEARS – TEACHER PURPOSE)
Wow wee, this app has got me organised with my assessment, reminders, notices and timetables. When I was introduced to this app by Andy Hair @MrHair I was impressed from the word go. Since beginning with this app, I no longer have hard copy assessments/checklists or class lists, it is all on one program which is very user friendly. I highly recommend this app.
4. Team Shake (ALL YEARS)
Dividing students into teams can be difficult, this app in Team Shake does the work for you. After listening to Carly Randle @CarlyRandle I was sold on this app and it is a brilliant way to make groups within your PE classes. Once you insert your grades into this and after a quick ‘shake’ the app will do all the work for you and put your students into groups. Brilliant!
5. Explain Everything @explainevrythng (ALL YEARS)
I must admit, this is one of my favourite apps. I was exposed to this app by Sam Irwin @samjirwin. This app you can insert photos, videos, web browsers, record, create a presentation etc. Students use this a lot especially when they create their own games. Students present using this app using their creative ideas and they certainly turn out looking great. It is very easy to use.
6. Coach Note (Grade 3-6)
This app is a very simple app to use when coaching or training your interschool team. Recently with our very successful school basketball team, using this app allowed students to visually see positions, game plans and understand the concept of playing good basketball. This app is also very good for when I teach basketball to my grades, as it also gives them a visual understanding on how a basketball court looks like and begin to build a small understand on how to play the game. You can incorporate other sports into the app as well.
7. Webscorer @Webscorer
I discovered this app through Ashlea Mills @ashleamills and I can’t wait to use this race timer more in the future. This app is very helpful during your schools cross country meets, athletics and other sporting events to get accurate times and finish results for all students involved.
8. Google Drive @googledrive
How good is Google? Especially Google Drive. This back up device is amazing and is able to store your files once you have uploaded them. You’re able to create presentations, forms and documents and share with a certain group. One of the best things about it is once you have shared your forms or documents with your group, you have the power to allow the group to either edit or read only. Google Drive allows your work to save instantly onto your drive.
9. QR Codes @QRCodes
I’ve always been intrigued in using QR codes and I have finally been using them, thanks to Renee Debono @iPadRenee who quickly showed me how to use this brilliant tool. From this I managed to create an Amazing Fitness Race around our school, using QR codes. I plan to do a lot more with QR codes, such a simple, engaging and easy activity to prepare.
10. Video delay
Video delay allows students to watch their own replays of their skill performances. An app to give you instant visual feedback of what you are doing, hands free. It also continuously shows what just happened for quick visual feedback. I used this a lot during our athletics program for my 5/6 students when they were performing high jump. That gave them that quick feedback and therefore the student was able to fix what needed to be fixed on their next attempt.
11. 7 minute workouts
If you ever get stuck for a warm up activity or even just need to fill in time, this is a great app to use. This really gets the students huffing and puffing, where they complete various exercises including core, legs and arms. The app also has designated rest time.
Special mentions to Kahoot, Dungeon Run, Zumba and plenty more! Keep your eye out on various apps of the week in the ICT in PE page for more details.
As mentioned before, it is important not to use technology of various apps ‘just because’ use them when you need to, this is when they work the best and students get the most out of it.
Goal settings needs to be relevant and SMART. We implemented goals into student learning this year to improve performance. How does this work? Did the students benefit from this? Will we use SMART goals again? All relevant questions and my responses and views are below.
SMART goals are:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant, Realistic, and Results Focused
T = Timely and Trackable
Learning how to frame goals as SMART goals is an important skill that would help every student get off to a better start and have a better school year.
How does this work?
As mentioned above we tried this for the first time with our grade 3/4 students. At the beginning of each unit, students filled out their SMART goal setting sheet (see below) and we encouraged students to set a realistic goal for themselves. As teachers we gave them options on what goals they could achieve. We also reminded them not to choose a goal just because their friends chose that goal.
Once students have set their goals it's time to get to work. All students are different and have different needs and abilities. The goal setting chart allowed us to build small focus groups which enabled those students to focus more so on the goal they set for themselves. However this did not mean the students just focused on one learning outcome per unit, they still required to achieve the learning intention. This was something that was reinforced constantly.
Student goals are based on our unit's learning intention, so every week the students would identify the learning intention and if that was their goal that focus group would work that extra bit to ensure they could achieve their goal. Did they achieve their goal in one lesson (60mins)? No, but that was something students needed to achieve and also taken on responsibility to ensure that they could complete this at the end of the unit.
As teachers, we were given some simple yet effective advice to ensure students met their outcome. This was to hang the students goal onto the gym walls so they could visually see and remember their own goal (see below).
At the end of the program the students would re visit their goal sheet and complete a reflection and assessment on their goal. (See below)
The most important part of this was to see if students could achieve their goal, if not, why? This would then get them to think outside the square on what they needed to do better next time and also was the goal realistic?
Did the students benefit from this?
Absolutely! Anyone who sets themselves goals benefits and gains more valuable knowledge and experience.
Some students may of not achieved their goal, but as teachers we then need to work closely with those students to break down what happened and how can I achieve this next time? It was also critical to see whether students understood the importance of setting goals. For those students who achieved their goals and did not achieve it was evident that they knew how important it was to set SMART goals.
How do we know this?
1. Students asking questions
2. Students asking for assistance
3. Students more determined
4. Students constantly reviewing their goals which are hung up on the wall
5. Students supporting each other
Will we use SMART goals again?
Most definitely, if it helps student learning and students are in a good routine expecting to receive their goal sheets, absolutely yes.
And yes this could be done for all year levels.
Here is a new game I created. Incorporating two favourite games of Golden Child and the famous board game Monopoly. Try this with your students, the games can always be adjusted to your student needs.
How to play:
1. Students are divided into two teams
2. One team are fielding and the other team are kicking
3. The kicking team need to decide who is the 'Golden Kicker' they kick last. Their job is to save all of their team mates who didn't make it home.
4. There are 11 obstacles (cones with numbers on them, including CC and Jail around the Monopoly Court. Each of them has a task to complete if a student lands on them.
5. First student kicks the ball into the area, they then run around the Monopoly Court as quick as they can back to 'Go'.
The fielding team must field the ball and try to throw the ball into the basketball ring.
6. If the fielders get the ball in they yell out stop.
7. The runner then stops and completes the tasks that they landed on. They stay there until the golden kicker saves them (runs past them and collects them back to GO).
8. If the runner makes it all the way home, then they score a run for their team, this means the fielding team couldn't score a goal in the basketball ring.
9. If a student lands on JAIL they directly go back and do not score a run for their team.
10. If a student lands on lands on CC - Community Chest, they can chose to complete any exercise they wish to complete.
11. The Golden Kicker is the last person to kick, whoever did not make it back to GO, he/she must run past these students and collect them back to GO without the fielding team stopping them.
12. If the fielding team get the ball in during Golden Kicker, then no runs are scored, only if the students made it safely previously.
Teams swap over.
OUTS: A fielding team catches the ball, the student runs to jail and goes straight back to GO and no run is scored. If the fielding team scores a goal.
Suitable area with a basketball/netball ring.
5 star jumps
5 sit ups
5 push ups
10 secs of plank
10 secs run on the spot
Go back to JAIL
Go straight to GO
10 star jumps
This blog is all about sharing some of the ideas I do in the gym and how my lessons and programs are different to yours. There is no right or wrong answers here, but more so giving other passionate PE teachers ideas on successful lessons and programs.
1. PE Word Wall
For those who follow my blog, Twitter or Facebook page you would know I'm a big fan of the PE word wall. Not only does it look good, it benefits student learning by understanding what the word means and if students see that word in the outside world, they'll be able to connect that word to their learning. I focus this a lot with my lower levels, where my Foundation grades have a word of the week on their learning topic. At times I see my students looking at the word wall and asking what certain words mean.
2. Junior Experts
This is something I introduced this year. I have students who compete on the weekends and I though got it would be a good idea to acknowledge those students as 'junior experts'. These students are responsible for assisting students when needed and assisting the teacher during during demonstrations and group activities.
3. Safety Hat
This safety hat is for the grade's to follow the safety instructions for their lesson. Both students and the teacher come up with the instructions and throughout the lesson students are reminded about being safe.
4. Ride to School/Walk to School
This program is conducted once a month for the whole school. This is aimed for our students ride or walk safely to and from school. Each class are in contention to win either the 'golden shoe' or the 'golden bike' award. The is awarded to class with the most participants on the day. No this program is not a PE specific lesson, however it encourages students to get active.
5. Warm up activities
The warm up activity I believe is one of if not the most important component in a lesson. This is where we begin to engage the students, set the tone, learning intention is displayed visually and students. For my warm up activities I tend to write the activity/challenge on the board so when the students come into the gym they read the instructions and get straight into it. This saves time, as students just want to get into playing games and activities. I focus this teaching strategy with my grade 3-6 students.
6. Goal setting
Once again, for everyone who reads my blog would've seen the goal setting program. This program is so successful. Students set their own learning goals and work towards their goal throughout weeks.
7. Star chart
I use this reward system with my grade 1/2 students. The way it works
- Students must demonstrate our school values
- Students to show encouragement
- Students to demonstrate resilience
- Students to try their personal best
At the end of each lesson, as a class we reflect on our team performance and rate on how we went. If the class receives 3 stars two weeks in a row they'll be rewarded with a game of their choice. There is a 'thumbs up' and an 'okay' face this demonstrates on how the students worked as a team.
This reward system can be used for any upper year levels. Fitcash is designed for students to work hard to be rewarded. Teams can earn fitcash by working hard, providing feedback to their peers, demonstrating good skills and knowledge. Once teams earn $500 or more they can begin to buy games. For example;
- Tiggy games $20
- Kickball $100
- Dodgeball $300
- New game $500
Teams must communicate properly to ensure decisions are made fairly when purchasing games. Once games have been purchased, teams start again on earning fitcash.
I love trying new ideas and I thoroughly enjoying sharing these ideas.
These are my own opinions and experiences. I love to share and reflect.