School Name: School District 19 (this was a whole district inquiry)
School District: SD#19 Revelstoke
Inquiry Team Members:Kendra VonBremen: email@example.com
Ariel McDowell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Gadbois: email@example.com
Graham Mackenzie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Dubuc: email@example.com
Lori Snider: firstname.lastname@example.org
Colleen Wall: email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOIIE
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7), Secondary (8-12)
Curricular Area(s): Physical & Health Education
Focus Addressed: Other: Physical Literacy
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Our focus was to see if by increasing awareness and skill development of Physical Literacy throughout our District, would it increase all students’ physical activity levels?
Scanning: Our scanning process started with information from a regional survey of student’s physical activity done by the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT). We also used results from our district’s Middle Years Development Index (MDI) results. What we saw in these results was supported by years of teacher observations. First, from our intermediate teachers, who were noticing that students were either not wanting to be involved in active sports in physical education classes and/or in our district’s elementary extra-curricular sports program or dropping out of the extra-curricular program. Second, from our secondary school physical education (P.E.) teachers were seeing that many students were struggling in their secondary P.E. classes.
Focus: In general, we now know that many Canadian children are not meeting the sedentary behaviour and physical activity recommendations and that these behaviours have an effect on their health. Specifically, in our community, we were seeing that although many children are very physically active from an early age, there are also a considerable amount of our children who are not taking part in school and community opportunities, often because of a lack of adult support (time and/or money) and we were concerned about the effects of this on their health as well as the divide it was creating amongst our children. We are hoping that more children will become more physically active.
Hunch: We had several hunches:
• We were aware that many primary physical education classes were based in co-operative games and that many intermediate classes were based in traditional games such as volleyball, basketball, badminton, track and field. We wondered if the limited amount of Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) being taught was due to a lack of training for teachers in how to teach FMS.
• This lead us to wonder:
o If children were not developing and becoming confident using their FMS’s in the primary grades was this having an effect on their participation in active sports in P.E classes and/or in the extra-curricular elementary and secondary school sports programs? “If you can’t throw a ball overhand, you can’t hit a volleyball, throw a javelin, hit and overhead smash in badminton…”
o Were children not wanting to participate because of the competitive element often associated with organized sport and the public nature of the games and tournaments that are a part of our extra-curricular programs?
New Professional Learning: • As a group we attended a Physical Literacy and FMS workshop.
• With support of the CBT we are part of a wider group in our region inquiring into Physical Literacy and representatives from our group attend twice yearly meetings to learn together with this group.
• Representatives from our group have attended additional FMS workshop’s and brought their learning back to our group.
• We learned from each other!
o Our inquiry group was made up of a variety of staff, including elementary and secondary school physical education teachers, primary and intermediate classroom teachers and our healthy schools co-ordinator. Having individuals with this breadth of knowledge and experience enriched our learning in many ways and in particular it allowed us to hear the stories of our student’s progress and participation with Physical Literacy over their years in our schools. Many of these educators are also involved in our community sports programs and their perspectives further informed our learning and the ideas for taking action.
Taking Action: • Co-teaching between a secondary physical education teacher and an elementary preparation teacher (who primarily teaches physical education). These sessions were videoed and will be available for other teachers to view. This was made possible by a combination of volunteer time and providing some district release time for the secondary school teacher.
• The newly trained elementary teacher then co-taught with other elementary classroom teachers. This again was made possible by release time being provided by our district.
• Offering a new addition to the district extra-curricular sports program which we called “All Star Gym” for students in grades 3-7 at one of our elementary schools and in another elementary school “All Star Games” for students in grades 4-7. The format for this time was that students were asked what they would like to do in the gym and we would then divide up the gym in as many ways as we could, trying to accommodate as many of the activities as possible.
• Creation of a non-competitive high school P.E. class. This allowed for many learners to learn the FMS in a safe environment and then in turn use these in skill-based games at a slower pace to allow them to find success.
• In progress – Creation of a teacher online resource for teachers about FMS. This will include the videos of the co-teaching sessions. We hope to share this resource at our first 2019-2020 PD day.
Checking: • The response by the teacher learners in the co-teaching program was “Thank-you, when can we do this again?”
• All Star Gym
WOW! For the two teachers that sponsored All Star Gym this is where a lot of inquiry wonder and learning happened! In allowing the students to be the directors and choose their activities, we learned a lot. First to say, for some reason (and we’re not really sure why) All Star Gym attracted many of the students who often struggle in their school gym classes. We think it is safe to say that many of those students would be described as the kids who don’t like gym and in extension don’t like to move – but this is not what we saw at All Star Gym because those kids love to move! We also saw the magical power of music to get us all moving and the magical power of play to provide opportunities to collaborate together as creative and critical thinkers. The children that came to All Star Gym showed us that they love to move yet we know that many of them do not demonstrate this in the context of their physical education classes and are not involved in the extra-curricular sports programs. So, we are going back to the scanning and hunch phase wondering:
• Do the children’s executive function skills have a role to play?
• Is it a lack of experience with organized sport and therefore a lack of confidence/growth mindset to try something new?
• Is it a lack of opportunity/encouragement to be physically active and learn FMS?
We’re not sure…yet! And that is why we are going back into the spiral…
• All Star Games
The element of choice allowed experimentation and thus the children increased their confidence in movement. This resulted in them being more willing to try the games and more willing to be active…hopefully for life.
Reflections/Advice: -Co-teaching and modeling are key.
-Teachers need to use it or lose it; have the teachers use the model right away again in their class so they don’t forget it and use it while it’s fresh and they feel confident.
-Get students and teachers to assess FMS and communicate these assessments to parents.
-Continue our inquiry with All Star Gym while also investigating possibilities to expand All Star Gym hopefully with the support of secondary school students and/or community mentors.