Continued - Lessons 7 to 12
Goal setting, a positive belief in our skills and perseverance allows us to improve
Explain how the body's capacity for movement develops as it grows
Express hopes, goals and aspirations
Demonstrate a positive belief in their abilities and believe they can reach their goals by persevering
Unfortunately, there are days where the elements are against you and for this lesson, it was one of those days. Fortunately, we do plan for this so we worked on our Thinking skills – specifically, analysis. This is not one of our ATL’s (Approaches to Learning) but being a Thinker is one of the Learner Profiles for this unit.
Using this slow-motion video of Usain Bolt’s sprint, we looked at the running style of the fastest man over 100m in the world. You can see the video I used here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fjC1Oim0UQ
Alternatively, I just found another one that breaks down his actual race where he made the world record of 9.58s (this would have been great to show them – definitely will next year): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MHBxiOQLoo
I did want to put into context how ridiculously fast these sprinters are. Looking through their 50m results so far, we worked out who the fastest kid in the class was: 7.89s over 50m. We worked out that “Tom” – a pseudonym, would do 100m in about 15s. Usain Bolt would have done 100m by the time Tom finished 70m. The kids were dumbstruck. They were then keen to find out how he can be so fast.
I uploaded this video onto their Seesaw accounts and using this worksheet, the students observed the different elements of his gait and discovered ways they could incorporate his style into their own training. Quietly, I did allow one pair at a time use the school hallways to try it out – ssshh.
The students worked out that he lands on his toes, his head is straight and his foot almost touches his bottom, among other observations.
With about 10 minutes left of the lesson, the kids chose a workout from their Athletes Notes, I pumped the music and we got training.
Afterwards, they recorded their training in their logs, we reviewed the lesson and I gave them their formative assessment:
“Using any means (BookCreator, iMovie, a poster, etc.) tell me everything you have learned in this unit so far.”
Again, no word count, or requirements, just a blanket statement to allow them to freely and creatively show their learning.
Most of the students uploaded their assessments onto Seesaw, which makes things extraordinarily easy to view and mark. Sitting on my couch, I was able to look at assessments on my phone and mark away. Others handed in their assignments by hand or airdropped to me.
When marking these open assessments, I’m looking for several things:
Creativity: Is it unique and engaging?
Application of knowledge: Are there elements of the lessons being presented?
Organization/logical presentation of ideas: Is it presented in a way that is logical and easy to read/view?
Key terms: Are our big ideas being presented?
After going through the assessments, I discovered that some of our EAL (English as an Additional Language) students were struggling with the key terms. I needed to have a Hot Lesson with them and find a way to pass these big ideas to them, since they are the most important part of the unit.
While the others were training, I got the EAL students around and worked through the big ideas. One video that shows all three elements, is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9FSZJu448
This video is one I use for my Body Systems/Fitness unit but it is confronting and inspirational. These kids were moved and we found elements of each of the big ideas in this video and could relate it to our Athletics unit.
We continued our training. I announced that they have 2 formal practices left before the competition. Of course, the morning before school practices are still available for those that choose.
The students continued to train, record their results and upload some videos of themselves doing their workouts at home on Seesaw.
The final practice. We reviewed the big ideas from the unit and how they can be applied into our unit. We also looked at the key steps for each event. The students then had the lesson uninterrupted to do final preparations.
The big day. The PE team and also the homeroom teachers have been pumping the kids up throughout the unit.
The grade 3s and 4s had most of the school day for the competition, from 11:00 – 3:40.
Organizing it has also been quite a headache but this is the second year that I have done this unit and it has been much easier to organize this year than previously.
You can see how I organized the carnival here:
First thing I had to do was collate all the student event choices. You can see it here.
Once the events were all confirmed, I randomly allocated each student to a division: Division A, B or C. Each division starts at a different event.
Afterwards, I organized the draw. Since our track only has 6 lanes, that is the maximum number of students I put in each heat. The format is a knockout draw with the top 1 or 2 athletes going into the next round. You can see it here.
With the draw completed, I could get started on the scoresheets. You can find it here, along with the rest of the Athletics handbook I gave the volunteers on the day. For each heat, semi-final and final, the scoring is as follows:
1st place: 4 points
2nd place: 3 points
3rd place: 2 points
4th and the remainder of the heat: 1 point
To help with the scoring I used SportsTracker, a great piece of web-based software created by Jarrod Robinson, the PE Geek. I uploaded all of the student information onto it, created the event order and then populated the event choices.
After each rotation, the volunteers hand me their scoresheets and I enter them into SportsTracker. This automatically updates the individual scores and the team scores, which are projected onto a big screen the students can check out easily.
To help with the track timing, we used SprintTimer. It is quite battery heavy, so make sure you bring an external power source or multiple iPads, we went through a couple on the day.
I made a short video outlining the unit, you can see it here. Please note that this is mainly footage from my grade 5s and 6s, so the central idea is different.
Overall, it was a very successful day with awesome support from everyone in the school community. Stacks of teachers, younger students and parents came to witness the spectacle.
I also used this Athletics Carnival format for an inter-school competition my school hosted where 6 schools took part with 96 students.
To wrap up the unit, we reviewed the day they had during the carnival, shared some success stories and anything else that was on their mind. I felt that the students really grew from this unit, since the big ideas were explicit and applicable.
I then gave them their summative assessment, which consisted of 3 sections, but they could present it in any format they wish:
Being as creative as possible, explain everything you have learned in this unit.
Tell me about your experience in the Athletics Carnival. Again, please be creative, a storyline, a comic book, anything to make it engaging and informative.
Perseverance is a very powerful trait, what does it mean to you? How can you use it in your everyday life? Give examples.
There we have it, my favorite unit of the year. It has big ideas, a big finish and is largely student-led. Any questions or comments, please drop me a line here.