One of our Physical Educadtion teachers (Tammy Berry) is delivering a presentation this weekend at the Annual Conference for the Health and Physical Education Council of Alberta.
Tammy is delivering a one-hour session on her grade 4-6 football unit, in which she strives to incorporate both inquiry-based learning and technology.
In the past, when Tammy taught this unit, she was often frustrated because playing traditional games of football with this age group (grades 4-6) often left out a sizable chunk of students, due to either athletic ability or interest in the sport. Tammy was looking for a way to teach the foundational skills of football in a way that would invite participation from all students, as well as allow for creativity and technology.
The unit she designed is built around ‘football routines.’ Over the course of a few weeks, students are introduced to a number of foundational skills (throwing a spiral, kicking, catching, running plays, etc) and are asked to build a one-minute routine that incorporates all the skills. Tammy introduces a rubric of the skills at the beginning of the unit, and throughout, students have the opportunity to self-assess their own skills, as well as performing their routines for their peers to receive feedback on how to improve the skills and routine.
Throughout the unit, Tammy finds that all students are now fully engaged in the sport. Students have the opportunity to build the skills in an environment that is both safe and creative for all students. As students are building and practice the routines, they are constantly receiving advice from teacher and peers.
At the end of the unit, after receiving feedback and improving their ideas, students perform and record their final routines. Students then upload their final routine to their digital portfolios, and are asked to self-assess their improvement over the course of the unit. Students can capture this self-assessment either in written form, or by creating a voice-over on top of their video file.
In this way, Tammy is attempting to bring technology into the P.E. class by mirroring the use of video recording in professional sports. Students are able to watch themselves performing the skills, and can point out areas for improvement. Through the entire unit, the self-identification and improvement of skills is the goal.
Here’s one of the grade 6 student written self-reflections:
This year I learned a lot of things in football. What I learned was some techniques like run moves when my teammates yelled hut. In this video I did the buttonhook . I have improved on my punting the ball. I can punt the footballs farther and more accurate and can sort of get a spiral on it, but in this video the punt at the end did not have a spiral. I was a good teammate because I gave out suggestions for what to do in this video and told the rest on my teammates what they could improve on. My favourite part of the football was making a routine with a group and watching my video. I know that next year I need to improve on remembering to throw with my left foot forward.
Below are some of the materials used by Tammy during her presentation:
This is the presentation given by Tammy:
This is the video of students working on their routines. You can see the involvement by all students in the class:
This is the video of one group performing their routine to receive feedback from their peers:
This is one of the final videos, with student voice-over:
Finally, here is Tammy’s football unit plan, complete with the rubric for the football routines: