School Name: Nakusp Secondary School
School District: SD#10 Arrow Lakes
Inquiry Team Members:Jarrett Bass: firstname.lastname@example.org
Luke Stace: email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOII (focus on core competencies, OECD learning principles, etc.)
Grade Levels: Secondary (8-12)
Curricular Area(s): Physical & Health Education
Focus Addressed: Differentiated instruction, Experiential learning
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? What happens when you use P.E. games to teach basic physical literacy skills such as jumping, throwing, hand-eye-coordination, and moving efficiently.
Scanning: Traditionally in a Physical Education class the perception is that conventional sports such as (soccer, basketball, hockey, etc.) are best learnt by doing conventional drills, and scrimmages. We have found in our experiences that students often are not engaged in these activities, and do not actually experience very much physical activity. Instead we have found that the students are far more engaged and physically active when participating in a variety of P.E. Games such as (tag, relays etc.) Along with these benefits P.E. Games often include important physical movement skills such as jumping, throwing, and moving efficiently, so that the students are learning these important skills that we conventionally think are taught exclusively through sports. We think that the students were engaged in the P.E. games because on the surface it appears as though the only goal is to have fun (this is often an overused cliche, but these games are often thought of as fun and goofy) because this is accessible to almost any student that has an open mind regardless of ability or proficiency it was accessible to all learners.
Focus: We selected this area because a number of our learners have gone through P.E. classes that are heavy on drills and focusing primarily on sports. As a result when they were asked at the start of the year what their favourite activities to do in P.E. were very few of them responded with sports. They either said activities like capture the flag, or nothing. Once i received these responses i decided it did not make very much sense to just focus on physical literacy skills and risk the students not wanting to participate. For the first few classes we really cultivated this fun environment. Then we started adding in the deeper layers of meaning. We did that by not really changing our activities or approach, but instead we just voiced what we were actually doing and the strategy or strategies behind it that we were using in each game.
Hunch: It appears as though the way P.E. was taught at the Elementary school was based on a large amount of drills and that is how sports skills were developed. The fun and creativity of physical activity did not appear to be a top priority.
New Professional Learning: Creativity has been a huge aspect of this project. We have not really created games from scratch, but we have received ideas either from books, or word of mouth, or the internet. Then we have done one of two things we have either used the game as is, or more often we take the game and suit it it to the sport that we are doing. So an example would be a game that we play “Secret Agent Line Tag” then we were doing Basketball as a unit so we added in dribbling the basketballs to the game so that they were working on their dribbling (switching hands, staying controlled when you go faster, turning quickly etc.)
Taking Action: When we look at a game we look at the following things. 1. Is it safe (this is the most important question we ask, if we do not think it is safe we either find a way to adapt it so that it is safe, or we move on and look at another game). 2. We ensure that it is engaging. 3. We try to choose games that are different than the ones we have already found, as it is very easy for the students to get tired of a style of game if you over play it (there are many forms of dodgeball but playing 5 different types of dodgeball 5 straight days is not going to be well received by most of your class).4 We decide whether we are going to leave it as a general P.E. game which still works on physical literacy skills, or whether we take the game and make it sports specific which applies these physical literacy skills to a specific sport.
Checking: In terms of engagement, participation and physical exertion we say immediate and continued benefits, as the students were usually excited for these games, and were willing to participate and try a variety of different games. In terms of developing physical literacy skills, it has been a little bit harder to tell as it is in some respects a bit early to tell. It does appear that the students are learning the skills that we want them to, like being able to create space, and have their head on a swivel to see as much of the playing surface as possible. But their ability to apply these physical literacy skills to specific instances in a given sport has been slower to develop.
Reflections/Advice: We have learnt that there is definitely a benefit to using P.E. games to teach different skills. But it is important to continue using a variety of games to see if the physical literacy skills that the students develop while playing these P.E. games can be directly applied to specific situations in any given sport.