Region Challenge Unit
Recently our team came together to discuss eLearning in the run up to the end of the year. With Week 15 or 16 starting this week, and with a changed school calendar to accomodate changes with breaks, holidays and assessment, we had to revamp our current plans with something different. We have noticed students dropping off in engagement and we wanted to try and bring them back in and not overwhelm them or their families. We also have a very small number of students returning to school, and wanted to think about how to grow their communities and give them things they could do together within the new rules/social distancing etc that our school must strictly follow.
What is the unit?
This unit is designed for us to focus on Student Engagement and Activity by offering them a different activity or activities under week-long themes and then hosting ‘live’ Zoom Region Challenges each Thurs and Fri to earn Region points. Students who are not available for Zoom time can upload FlipGrid videos of them doing the challenges.
We will split students up into the 8 regions we use at school and then have G6 and G7-8 competitions for Region Champions for 2020. If we were in school at this time, we would be working towards our Track and Field Day and Olympic Unit which involves both individual pursuit and team game days and lots of practice and peer coaching and leadership, we wanted to try and include some of that in our end of year celebrations too.
We had a Virtual Olympic Week w/ my G5 last week at @ssischool. Classes competed vs & Parents/Teachers were encouraged to do so as well! Results were superb! Using @Flipgrid made it so easy! 369 videos, 6097 interactions, 57 hrs of engagement. #SSISphysed https://t.co/wOnhh4kW8v pic.twitter.com/3da7P75jI2— Carlos Galvez (@clos_gm) April 22, 2020
Carlos Galvez shared this Tweet about a Virtual Olympics he did at SISS for G5 students, this offered us some ideas of what we might do over a 4 x 1 week and how we might leverage participation and peer support and endorsement and community (possibly including parents or other family members too).
Lee Mayes at NIS shared this Torch Relay that he put out for his community in Nanjing and we decided to take this idea to make a Launch Video for our Unit with lots of MS, ES and HS teachers in it for our students to see us and celebrate with us. My colleague did a super job with editing the film full of last year’s Athletics day and images from our MS students. It got a lot of views from our students!
The discussion we had suggested that we don’t have time to do a Passion Project unit in an authentic way that we had hoped with the new calendar and the focus must be on building community and having less pressure and more movement.
This unit is designed for students to try different skills, activities and to build community by sharing both FlipGrid and live on Zoom.
So, how does the unit run?
Each week we will have a specific focus – ex. Week 1 we have decided on a Disney theme. Week 2 is TikTok Challenges. We want to try and do as many different and variety of things to allow us to challenge students in different ways and using different spaces. Each week is to be a combination of fitness and skill-related focus points – to mix things up.
Every Monday, we will post the full week’s activities and expectations so that everyone has equal access. Mon/Tues/Wed each week for the practice of the chosen activities/ skills that relate to the ‘themes or focuses of the week’ (Ex. Week 1 includes some fitness movements and then some target and agility activities)
Thurs/Fri will include a LIVE Zoom at 12noon Beijing Time. Students would be asked to complete the Weekly Region Challenge that incorporates those Week skills (Ex. Week 1 might be a circuit where they do 1 minute of juggling/1 min of jumping jacks/ 1 min of ball toss/ 1 min of mountain climbers OR 20 juggles/ then jumping jacks x 3 and then 30 throw/catch ball toss and 20mountain climbers x 3 – we need to decide what works) and they would need to share their Name and Region to get points. Students who cannot participate will be offered the FlipGrid URL to share theirs by video. We will count up the points and tally up the winners for each week.
Bonus points may be awarded depending on the two teachers running the Week’s challenges. Ex. Week 1 may include bonus points for Disney outfits or puns included in the FlipGrid. We may have bonus points for having another family member in your video or Zoom – these are yet to be decided.
I am very grateful to those in this #physed community who give time to critique, reflect and offer advice and creativity with me – I am always asking people for their time to chat, email, Zoom, WeChat, Tweet, DM, Vox or whatever works for the situation and almost always, they are very happy to. Shout-out to @imsporticus for his patience and questions and to Carlos Galvez and Jace Ferguson for their Zoom calls this week to talk through these ideas and more.
I will be back to update on how it goes!