Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Inquiry in PE

Since I have been teaching PYP PE one question that seems to come up between PE teachers is "How can you do Inquiry in PE?"
For some the answer seems to be you can't. In my experience this answer is followed with lots of passionately delivered reasons why that person does not want to do inquiry - reasons that I'm not sure I agree with.

Having decided to organise a PD evening for PE teachers in Phnom Penh, I decided I would bite the bullet and present my experience of delivering PE through an Inquiry Based approach.

A copy of this presentation, and a mini presentation which I also presented to at a school PD event on inquiry, which looked at knowing what happens in your classroom are included below.



Bikes in PE

For the past 7 years I have organised a school trip to Siem Reap, where students in Grade 4
and 5 are given the opportunity to participate in the Angkor Wat 3km Fun Run and the Angkor Wat Bike Race. While this trip has proven to be very popular, student numbers have doubled since the first trip I organised, at the back of my mind has been the thought that were we restricting the number of students who benefitted from going on the trip, by the fact that we only took students who had a bike and could ride. In August 2017 I bought three bikes for school and organised after school bike riding lessons for interested students. This proved to be a popular activity, and so we brought a few more bikes and then some more. We now have 25 bike for Elementary students to use.

While we do not have a dedicated cycling unit in the PE curriculum,
students have a range of opportunities to use the bikes. During our
Individual Pursuits athletics units, many students chose bike riding
as a way to develop their cardiovascular endurance, while some
students set themselves the goal of learning to ride a bike during
the lessons. Just over 25 students have learnt to cycle during the
Friday Fitness morning sessions.The bikes are available for students
everyday to use on the field and many have come out at morning
recess and lunch times to learn, often being taught by their friends.
The bikes were taken on the Grade 4 overnight trip, where students
enjoyed cycling on the dirt tracks and through the rice fields at
Ang Ta Som, while on the Grade 2 and 3 Camp Out on the school field,
students enjoyed cycling in their pyjamas!

When I surveyed the students in Grade 2 to Grade 5, I found that in some of the classes
almost two thirds of them could not ride a bike at the start of this school year (August 2018).
We are now at the stage (May 2019), that while not everyone has chosen to learn to ride,
89% of students in Grades 2 to Grade 5 can now ride.

As the students have become more proficient at cycling, I have designed a small bike
track at the back of the field with jumps, ramps, tabletops and berms. This has become
a popular activity and some students have taken the skills learnt here and used them in
Cambodian Mountain Bike Series races. Hopefully a few more students will be able to
join us on future Angkor Wat Trips as well.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Big numbers in PE

As part of the focus on big numbers in Book Week, students in G2 have been using pedometers to record the number of steps taken during PE class. KG have looked at different ways to measure how far they can throw objects.

Green Screens and Authentic Assessment in PE

Authentic assessment is summed up by Mueller as "A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills" (1) In PE I have been using a green screen and ipad app Green Screen by DoInk to help create some authentic real world activities for the students to complete in several units.

In Kindergarten PE one unit was integrated with the homeroom teachers unit of imagination, where in PE the students created yoga stories. We started the unit by learning different yoga poses by participating in yoga stories from Cosmic Kids Yoga, before creating our own story videos. Students used their imagination and create a story of their own, using a storyboard to record the story.

Then they had to think of yoga poses to illustrate the story, using poses that they new and from adapting poses on display - we know have an excellent range of unicorn poses! Once the stories were complete the students recorded their story in front of a green screen, before they choose a background that matched their story.

Our culminating activity was a lesson of yoga, lead by our new yoga experts, as we watch and participated in the students yoga stories, just like the stories we had seen on Cosmic Kids.

In Grade 1 dance unit our authentic assessment activity was to create a music video - just like the songs have on MTV. Again this was an integrated unit, where the the students were inquiring into how light and sound could be used to express their emotions.

Students worked in groups of fours to create a dance that represented four different emotions. After listening to different pieces of music, four pieces were chosen to represent four different emotions. The music was combined to make one track to which the students danced to, changing their choreography as the emotions changed. Each student was in charge of one emotion and had to lead the others in this segment. The final dance was then recorded in front of a green screen, before the students choose a background to add to their dance - creating their own music video.


(1) URLhttp://jfmueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/whatisit.htm Website TitleStep 3: Identify the Criteria (Authentic Assessment Toolbox) Date AccessedFebruary 20, 2019

Friday, 16 November 2018

Student built obstacle courses in PE

One of my favorite lesson activities, and also the students, is when they go up to the gymnastic room and create their own obstacle course.

They get to move all the equipment around the room, creating challenges for themselves and others, and try it out.

Not only does the lesson provide lots of opportunities for the students to develop many movement skills - running, jumping, leaping, balancing, climbing, lifting, twisting and landing, they are also involved in lots of situations where they have to negotiate with their peers and think about safety.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Growth Mindsets in PE

Grade 2 students have been looking at Growth Mindsets and Mindfulness as their Homeroom unit of inquiry. In PE we have integrated our activities, so that we have looked at Mindfulness from a PE perspective. Students have participated in a range of activities and recorded how it makes them feel as we have looked at how exercise effects our brain.  It has been a little tricky to separate physical feelings such as hot and sweaty from feelings in our brain such as calm or energised, but we have tried!

We have also tried activities that are hard to complete, to see how that makes us feel and try to put into place strategies to overcome these problems. 'Stop, have a drink then try again' was a popular strategy that we will be utilising in our future units. We have also looked at how exercise can help us if we are frustrated or angry and students have thought about what activity might help them in this situation.

At the end of the unit students had to choose and participate in activities that they feel would get their brain ready to learn for the rest of the day. Students choose to participate in a range of activities including dance, using the climbing wall, yoga, creating a fitness routine on the ipads, basketball and football


G2 Invasion Games

Grade 2 students have just started an invasion games unit in PE. To start with we played some beanbag slide. The lessons focused on more than just playing the game.

Students came up with team plans to be successful, and some used the coachnote app to explain to others basic strategies.

We also had a look at the concepts of  teamwork, fair play (being a good winner and a good looser) and dealing with conflict that can arise in these types of games.

Over the next few weeks, we will be applying these concepts to a variety of different invasion games, as well at practicing the motor skills needed to be successful in these games.

Inquiry in PE

Since I have been teaching PYP PE one question that seems to come up between PE teachers is "How can you do Inquiry in PE?" For s...