My professional practice this year has been shaped by Meaningful PE tenets and reflections which are also underpinned by Dr Kretchmar’s work. I am also using the Tripod 7Cs as part of our school’s focus on professional growth and learning practices.
I have focused on the concept Challenge with my PE classes this last Semester and as our school moves back to synchronous learning through technology – it has been good to continue our theme through different lenses.
PE classes (online) for our students focus on:
- Taking Responsibility – I come to PE class prepared for learning. I am checking my communication channels regularly and taking responsibility to work with my teacher and peers in a timely way.
- Positive attitude to learning – I am trying my best; I accept that I will make mistakes and learn from them. Online learning isn’t always easy, but I am working hard to be involved and participate with positive intent.
- Active Participation – I have participated in movement activities in PE class time today and shared specific evidence and a reflection of my work and/or engaged in a discussion forum.
We use Teamie as our Learning Management System, and share lesson content and assessment exit tickets/discussion threads here all with clear rubrics which require self-assessment to complete and share with a teacher.
Students have been very engaged this week as we have discussed what ‘challenge’ meant to us and as we read and engaged in some course material, what we found interesting about how others view challenge and how that might impact us as movers.
One student wrote: “I realized that challenge isn’t just about the actual “challenge” part where you reach a goal, but also reflecting on it and making it easier for yourself.” Another shared “As long as you keep up something that is somewhat difficult for you at the start, you will overcome this after a duration of time. It is all about self-discipline.” I am excited to see what students take on as part of challenging themselves as movers!
This week we have viewed ‘challenge‘ through different lenses – I shared these categories based on the student reflections so that I was suggesting what students were sharing privately with me (in their 1:1 assessment reflections) so that everyone could see the different ways in which we are seeing/interpreting challenge as it relates to movement/activity.
- a NEW skill or movement (or a revisit of something you could always do better on?) ex. a golf swing/ a lay-up/badminton serve?
- INCREASE your rate of Exertion (see image) – instead of working in the same zone for your whole workout, could you vary it in some way?
- DECREASE your rate of Exertion – can you sustain your workout for a longer period of time?
- connect to NATURE/ENVIRONMENT – could you explore somewhere outside that is new or look with a fresh perspective as you count the number of species of birds or enjoy the fragrant flowers on your walk?
- SOCIALLY connect – could you move with a (new/different) friend/family member? or if you are always with others, could you go it alone today?
- choose something that IS NOT your FAVOURITE because it is hard, or you don’t enjoy it as much but it is something you should focus on? (ex. gardening, fitness focus, flexibility focus, running…)
Based on further feedback, we also added:
- Overcome mental or emotional challenges – sometimes it is just enough to take ourselves outside – if this is you, have a hug too.
- Overcome an injury or health challenge that is limiting the way in which you are able to engage in an activity.
Students have been actively connecting to specific challenge/s and we have reflected personally and through discussion boards (I have moved to discussions once I could see that their personal narratives were meeting the type of writing response we expect!).
In our first lesson this week I asked students to
- Consider what ‘challenge’ means to you when connected to Movement/Activity time.
- WRITE a comment in the discussion about something interesting, insightful, informative or got you thinking about Challenge and movement/activity – this could include an example of a challenge you may have experienced today.
Student responses included:
“For my activity, I decided to try and learn some basic tennis. I searched up the different grips for forehand and backhand, and looked up on youtube the basic swings. I still remembered some tennis back from the tennis net-wall unit, but looked up a video anyways to make sure I was doing it right. I practiced both backhand and forehand swings, and the racket was really heavy for me because I am much more used to a light badminton racket. It was pretty tiring for me to swing heavy racket that I wasn’t used to, but after a while of practicing I became more and more used to it. After my activity, I stretched my arms for a little bit. My motivation today was to learn something new, and I had also wanted to try and play tennis with a friend so it helped motivate me to learn a bit of tennis.“
“Today I jogged around my compound for 20 minutes and finished off with yoga. I ran around my compound and exhausted myself. I challenged myself to run 3 km in 20 minutes while not exhausting myself. I found difficulty running while the weather was too hot. Yet I felt productive and motivated to finish the afternoon strong. Music motivated me throughout my run. After sweating for 20 minutes, my mom and I had a yoga session for 5-10 minutes. We took moments to observe our environment and stretched ourselves. I’ll work on improving my stamina for running by jogging more often everyday.“
“Today i chose to do another core muscle workout (with my dad this time) and it was quite intense. at first it was quite easy as we were all pretty energetic, towards the middle my dad cut the amount to half (it was too much for him) meanwhile i was still trying to convince him to push his best, so afterwards he was doing much better! we helped each other a lot in this process. after the workout, i felt refreshed and built more connections with my dad! so overall it was enjoyable!“
“To me challenge is doing things that I don’t like, but will indeed make me stronger, for example, I sometimes just hate to eat vegetable, but that would make me have stronger body, so eating vegetable is a challenge to me, you done the challenge, you get something from it, like practicing, once you practice long enough, you can achieve better on the thing you practice.“
“Today, I chose to do some sprinting. At first, I felt very energetic. On the other hand, during the middle of the workout, my lungs and heart started to beat faster, and my legs became a bit sore. I was feeling pretty intense. As a result, I slowed down the pace and worked to the end of the workout. I would like to focus more on my durability, since it’s critical to any sports. I hope to sprint around half an hour everyday to enhance my skills.“
I have really enjoyed the process of using student reflection and feedback to grow our concept of challenge. Other students shared with me that they had to overcome feeling worried about being in a new environment or walking on their own (it is super safe here, we are not worried about students on their own, but this was their own feelings on safety in a space). Students also were curious about what others were doing in PE activity time and wanted to connect with each other to share their ideas and workouts too. And some students were able to meet up in a location to play together – as they saw what each other were doing too.