What core underlying standards are you teaching?

What?

This week, Aaron Beighle vlogged out over twitter to ask about standards based grading but focused specifically on asking PE people what they teach through PE.  You can see his vlog here (3m09s):

So What?

This has been a constant thinking for me – what is it that I believe in?  What are my core values and do they align up with what I teach?  Are these values that are worth investing in for my students (so they align with the school values and core expectations and life goals) and are they culturally sensitive to the needs of our students in Beijing China?

I have been working to try and produce a document that we can use in PE that is clear and meaningful for our students and covers the various documentations and policy documents without being overwhelming.  I want this document to be children friendly and be useful in PE and perhaps as a template in other subjects as the standards I would like to really address are not PE specific.

This is a draft of the document as it currently stands for our department.  It has not gone to our PE department meeting yet, and is open for critique and conversation.  Our MS has published a document for Student as a Learner but we wanted to see if we could write something more PE specific and make it into very child-friendly language.  We currently feel that this is too much and we are discussing choosing from the different statements, for each of our units or  possibly trimester’s.

What next?

There will not be a perfect document.  I can see that already.  But I do want to try and go over it with consideration on the following points (in random order):

  • Progression (could we look at trimester progression?  could we look vertically across year groups?)
  • Core values – are they represented?  Do they need to be in this document?
  • Units – are the behaviours and values that we are looking for addressed by this document?  Do they work in each unit we teach or do we need to amend/edit/add?
  • Student feedback – could we solicit student feedback on the friendliness of the document – look for students in G6/ G7/ G8 and of different language abilities
  • We need to assess over three grades – Needs Impr/ Satisfac/ Exemplary for one area of our reporting system BUT we need to assess over 4 grades for another – so we need to decide how to re-write this table into four columns for Ontario Curriculum reporting.
  • Decide on the core values for each grade level and begin with those.  This should be a part of a bigger conversation with our Grade team level people to be more consistent with what we expect (this is an area that I am very passionate about and will blog more on later).
  • Is this realistic?
  • How could we ensure that it is culturally relevant across our major cultural stakeholders?  Is this important for the document?
  • Trial of the document for a unit of work (each PE teacher) for feedback or making meaningful changes

I am hopeful that with time and effort that we can create an effective document that each PE teacher can use for Student as a Learner in our program.  I am hopeful that this will moderate how we grade students and that we can now engage further in meaningful conversation about HOW we will explicitly teach these to students so that we can assess them knowing we have been teaching these concepts and strategies in class.  Jo Bailey is another active resource for sharing Affective learning, of which two of these strands clearly are!

I look forward to hearing from others about their journey’s and documents and feedback too.