Friday, 30 May 2014

Laser-beam guided swimming

I was reading an article the other day, and liked the idea of getting the swimmers to point with their middle finger to help them stop crossing the centre line and reduce the scissors effect on their kick, when swimming Front Crawl. This is something that quite a few of our younger swimmers do. 

 So I tried this idea with Grade 2&3 swimmers, with a small change. Out the end of their middle finger shone a laser beam, with the on/off switch being their belly button. Just in case you were wondering, you need to press it three times to get the red light. Most of the students, after turning it on, could see the laser beam, though some pressed it four times, which meant it went purple! 

 Next they partnered up in order to watch each others strokes and provide feedback. We do quite a lot of reciprocal teaching in swimming, and this is something they are good at. Person A stood in the shallow end, while person B swam directly towards them, aiming their laser beam at the centre of person A. Person A’s job was count the number of ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ and explain to person B why they were missing, i.e. reaching over the centre line, hands entering the water outside their shoulders or not stretching far enough to get to the centre line. 

 I was pleasantly surprised how popular this activity was. The students were fully engaged and activity went on for longer than I planned, as there was a great deal of motivation to score as few misses as possible.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Net Games with Goldilocks

We are just coming to the end of a Net Games unit. Our Central Idea for the unit was “While different cultures might have different variations of Net/Wall Games, the skills and strategies required to play successful are often very similar.” Our lines of inquiry were: The different forms of Net Games The Skills required to play net games successfully The different strategies that we can use in a net game

We looked at variety of different net games and tried them out at the start of the unit. While the students initially came up with the global games such as tennis, they later tried some more local net games found in here in SE Asia such as  Sai and Sepak Takraw.

As we moved onto developing the skills the students undertook a variety of activities, but we borrowed the  ‘Goldilocks -  just right approach’ from  where students experimented with different rackets and different balls and shuttlecocks to keep bouncing the ball in the air, onto the ground and with a partner over a net in cooperative rallies. If it was too hard or too easy they changed the racket, the ball or played over a different net, as several were set up in the gym of different heights, until they found the combination that was just right for them.
Our development of strategies mainly consisted on trying to control the centre of the court, while making the opponent move around, through different games. Again, students were free to choose the equipment that was ‘just right for them’, which not only lead to success, but also reinforced the concept of similar strategies can be applied in different games. We used the CoachNote app quite often in this section of the unit as it allowed students to share their ideas regarding strategies quite easily.  The use of Airserver on the laptop, also made life much easier, as students could look at the laptop screen while someone else was moving people and balls around on the ipad screen - hopefully next year there will be a projector connected up as well!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Reflection recorded with a photograph.

There are many ways for Students to reflect and record their learning. However, in PE, down on the field, I often find it results in crumbled bits of paper with a big footprint, that we then end up sticking photos of the students on to so they can use in portfolios.

For our Striking and Fielding unit this year, I produced rubrics, with each level on a different peice of card and asked the students to stand behind the ones that describes their performance and undestanding of the concepts the best. Next up, a quick photo of each group taken on my ipad, which was then annotated using skitch on the bus ride back from the field, before emailing the photos to the students for them to upload onto their blogs. Much quicker on the administration side and no footprints in sight!