I am now 3 lessons into my unit of Athletics with my grade 6 class and I have been amazed with the learning that goes on and the effort the students put in. At the same time I realize how much more I can get out of it by adding a few things.
The main areas of learning in this unit for the students are:
- Independent learning/ inquiry based learning
- use of ICT in PE
- Video feedback
- Knowledge of events and skill improvement
What have I done?
I have prepared my students over 2 lessons with the basics of the start from the blocks, shot put and long jump. Throughout the year we have worked on pacing.
In lesson 3 I have given the students the freedom to make a group of 2 and each group was given an iPod Touch. Instructions were:
1. You have between 4 and 6 lessons
2. You need to measure/time and or video yourself and your partner in each event
3. At the end of the unit you will be tested on knowledge of the events and use of the track (aiming to use socrative)
4. After each lesson you need to record your results on a sticky note, choose and save the best video per student, per event.
5. When you video, make sure you stand still and do not move the iPod to get the best result.
- 100 m sprint (time)
- Long jump (measure and video)
- High jump (measure and video)
- Shot put (measure and video)
- 800 or 2000 meter (time)
- Block or standing start (video)
I used iPods before in class during a gymnastics unit where we used QR-codes a lot and I told them that, like in Gymnastics, this form of working requires a lot of concentration, responsibility and teamwork from their end. If there are students who feel they struggle with the freedom, I am happy to teach them parts of the events/ skills. I offer a "workshop" on 1 event, each lesson for the first 20 minutes, depending on what has the biggest demand.
How did it work:
First lesson was brilliant and all students were very active and totally engaged in the activities. I did not instruct them on everything because I wanted to see how they would handle the situation. I used reflection time to address issues like track info, warm-up exercises. This is info they have received but obviously students will forget as well. I wanted them to use resources available (each other and me!) and above all I wanted them to face challenges without anyone there to provide an easy answer. I believe this pushes them to look for answers, be creative and above all .... ask!
Second lesson concentration was less and I realized they needed a bit more guidance. During feedback as a group we discussed this and I offered to teach those who felt there was too much freedom. I encouraged students to come and see me if they had difficulty to focus on their task within lessons. Some groups used these options. I also offered a "workshop" in the first 15/20 minutes depending on requests from the class.
Lesson three was superb and students really got a lot of work done and worked completely independent. By this time I had created some instructional video's that I shared with the students. It would be even better in future if we would have wireless outside so students could see these the videos through the use of QR codes (for more info see ICT page on our website) At the end of this lesson, most students had independently organized themselves, measured and timed each other, learned a lot about the use of the track and filmed each other in each of the events.
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At the end of each lesson I asked the students to note down their measurements and times on a sticky note on the iPod and delete all but their best video per student, per event.
Students worked at their own pace and ability.
Students were fully engaged and recorded distances, heights and times for several events
This system promotes independent learning and as the teacher I have more overview. I have a lot of time to assist students that need extra help.
My more able students had the possibilities to work at their pace and did not need to wait, they could really push themselves
I would use the flipped classroom (see ICT page) approach more by offering the video's before the unit. I still want to finish this unit with a rules test and evaluation through the use of socrative (need to set this up still)
At the end, I want all students to import their selected videos in Imovie (already on the iPods) and then upload it to our bbis youtube account.
This was a great first Athletics unit like this and i hope you enjoyed reading about it. I would love to get feedback, any feedback. Comment please! - Joost-