Archive | January, 2013

Developmental Progression

29 Jan

Hey everybody!!

So last class (as everyone who is in my class probably remembers) we spent a good portion of our time inside the gymnasium exploring what certain locomotor, non locomotor and manipulative skills looked like at utilization level according to the Saskatchewan curriculum. Now, I’m not going to lie; at first I thought that this was a little silly. I mean we were hopping around doing movements that we have had mastered for years…or so I thought. When I recognized that there was some movements  I wasn’t  doing at utilization level I realised that this exploration is more important than I originally thought. In order to properly teach our students these skills to help them be active for life, we need to know and be able to perform at a utilization level. What better time to practise and learn about this utilization level than when in a safe environment surrounded by my colleagues?

Then I realised that it will only be a short while longer until I leave this safe environment I call EPE 310 and enter the real, scary world of…THE CLASSROOM! Where will I turn to if I have questions about Phys.Ed. and utilization of skills then? It was then that I discovered a wonderful resource that made me feel a tad bit more comfortable with the scary situation; the NESD website!

My professor Donna Pym showed us this resource in class and I have since found it very handy. It has tons of lesson and assessment ideas for any subject and any grade all based off the Saskatchewan curriculum. I have used it already for a mini unit in my one class and now for finding assessments for EPE so I cannot even imagine how helpful it will be to me once I am actually in the classroom! The on thing I love about it is how it provides a write-up that breaks down the outcome so it is easier to understand. The breakdown shows what level (utilization, control, etc.) the students should be at with each skill. It also shows what each skill looks like in each stage. I also love how it includes essential questions and vocabulary words to clarify language that may be confusing. It is a great resource especially for generalist teachers like me who do not specialize in the phys.ed. area.

Another great thing this website offers are rubrics. On the grade three outcomes I looked at it included two rubrics; one based on one specific outcome and the other that was an outlook for the year. This year-long rubric can guide your planning and assessment for the entire year while the individual rubric allows you to zoom in on one specific skill. It is extremely helpful and, with adjustments made for your class, can be much more useful than trying to make your own.

Please check out this resource and let me know what you think! Also feel free to guide me to some more like it! Thanks 🙂

G.Y.M. (Growing Young Movers)

23 Jan

Hello again everyone!

Tonight I had the wonderful experience of participating in a night of Growing Young Movers and I must say that I had the most wonderful time! I am not even trying to be cheesy; this program is excellent for teaching young children to manipulate their bodies and move towards control. A lot of children in the program are children of educators which goes to show that they believe the program is worthwhile, too. After tonight, I would definitely enroll my own child (if I had any…) in a program like this.

You may ask “OK….what is it that is so good about this program you are bragging up anyway?” The number one thing I loved about the program itself was the way it took actual sports that these children will grow up to learn and modified them into a game that was developmental, age appropriate and most of all fun. For example; one of the games we played involved a gym mat being placed standing up between two students who were between the ages of four and six. These students then were handed a balloon. The aim of the game is to volley the balloon back and forth with one another over the matt as many times as possible. What a great way to introduce and build skills that lead towards the sport of volleyball! These children are learning to use hand-eye coordination with the slow-moving balloon, volleying by passing back and forth and teamwork by working with the person on the other side. This is way better than handing a volleyball and a regulation net to a group of young students and expecting them to have fun or be successful with a game that is way above their level. This game had the children laughing the whole time while still teaching the critical movement skills outlined in the Saskatchewan curriculum. Plus, it was so easy to set up and monitor; any teacher could do it. AMAZING!

G.Y.M. has inspired me. I am hoping I will get to teach phys.ed. in my classroom so I can use not only the things I saw tonight but also the many more at the G.Y.M. website. With fewer children getting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day, we need more programs like Growing Young Movers to not only motivate students but to teach them these critical movement skills so that they can be active for life.

I hope the rest of you have as much of a blast as I did tonight 🙂

Fitness Goals for the Year

18 Jan


In the new year I have decided to get back to the gym and works towards the fitness goals I seem to have forgotten in the past four months. However, as most of you know, starting over again is never easy. Especially when the choice you have is either getting an extra hour of sleep or dying in a pool of sweat…Anyways, my friend and gym buddy Karissa showed me the little quote you see above. It not only motivated me but also put things into perspective: you are never going to see results immediately. Sure, I feel great after I work out, but it can be frustrating when you can’t see dramatic results right away. So when I saw this quote it kicked my butt into gear and so far my fitness goals are standing strong:)

I also thought this quote could work quite well for physical education. When we teach our students a new skill we can’t expect to see results right away. It can take weeks before we might see them improve, but the important thing is that they are learning a skill that will help them in a life time of fitness and being healthy. We as their teachers are responsible for motivating them and one way of doing that is being a role model when it comes to fitness. We ourselves need to demonstrate that we think keeping our bodies healthy is important. If we can show them this positive attitude they might just adopt that positive attitude as their own. It might take time, but we just have to keep pushing through.

So to all of my colleagues out there going through a hard time, whether it be in physical education, your own fitness goals, or anywhere else in life, keep going. One day soon you will see the results you have been working so hard towards. I believe in you!

Outcome Based Curriculum

16 Jan

In this past year I have learned tons about the outcome based curriculum and have also heard lots of opinions on it as well; it’s great, it’s frustrating, it’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard…as I said the opinions are endless. My opinion on it, however, is more at a neutral stance seeing that it is the only curriculum I have known as a pre-service teacher.

I find the outcome based curriculum structured yet free at the same time. It gives you instruction on what you need to be able to teach your students(the outcome) yet it lets you as the teacher decide in what way you are going to do this (the indicators). I love how the indicators give you direction on different ways you can go about teaching the outcome and how you can tell if the student in understanding, yet you can create your own indicators if the ones in the curriculum do not fit with how you want to teach the outcome. It gives us the freedom as educators to put a bit of ourselves and our originality into a lesson.

The one thing I do not like about the outcome based curriculum is the language it uses. A lot of the outcomes seem wordy and a bit cofusing to me at first read before I take a deeper look. Also, the language within the outcomes and indicators mostly look for knowledge and comprehnsion based learning. The language the curriculum uses rarely shows support towards other types of learning such as application, analysis, synthesis or evaluation. So the question I have is what is the otcome based curriculum asking of our children if all it is directing us to do is to teach knoweldge but not how to use it?

Back to Blogging!

16 Jan

Well hello there world!

Yes, the news you’ve been hearing is true…Brenna is back to the blogging world! I know it has been a long time (almost a year…how embarrassing…) but I have finally sat down to wirte another post! Well I guess I should be honest with you…the reason I am back blogging is because of the EPE (Elementary Physical Education) class I am taking. It is a class requirement. However, this does not mean that I am not excited to be back! I am actually super glad that this is a class assignment because the truth is lately I have been wanting somewhere to talk out some thoughts and here on my blog is the perfect place to do it! So let’s hope that this time it lasts longer than a semester!