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Physical Education Meets Science

Last semester I had the opportunity to pre-intern in a grade 4/5 classroom. So while searching for something to do on a cold winters day, I took a little look at the grade 5 physed curriculum. To my delight, I noticed some cross-curricular connections between grade 5 science and physed.

On page 27 of the physical education curriculum guide it states, “ It is in this grade that students begin to create and implement a plan for improving their own level of cardiovascular health-related fitness. Specifically, Grade 5 students focus attention on using the F.I.T.T principle  (Frequency Intensity, Type of activity and Time) as a guide in creating plans for improving their cardiovascular fitness”.

As part of the physical education outcome 5.1, students are required to create health- related fitness plans and focus upon cardiovascular endurance. In the science outcome HB5.2 students are required to investigate the function of body systems such as the circulatory system. Basically, I realized that while teaching the circulatory in your science class, you could be teaching students about cardiovascular endurance and heart rate in physical education.

As exciting as this was for me, I was also disappointed in myself. I had already taught a lesson on the circulatory system in the classroom. Instead of taking the students to the gym and having them take their heart rate there, I did some activities in the classroom. In the future, I would definitely teach the circulatory system as a cross-curricular subject with physed. There would be endless types of games/activities you could play and incorporate to muscular endurance and heart rate.

I thought I would share my findings with you so that you might incorporate these kinds of connections in your own science and physed classes!



Asthma and Physical Education

This week I want to talk about asthma in physical education. As mentioned in the video, 88% of people wouldn’t know how to properly help a child having an asthma attack. Although this statistic may vary from city to city, it is obvious that people feel uncomfortable when dealing with asthma. Over the past few years, asthma rates have been increasing with children. This is a serious issue to recognized as educators teaching phys ed.

For as long as I can remember, I have had asthma. I have had asthma attacks, lots of scares, and lots of medication. Although I can control my asthma daily, I cannot guarantee that I won’t react to an allergen, or loose my breath when playing a game of soccer. Since I have lived with asthma for so long, I am able to recognize when I am loosing my breath to stop what I am doing. However, the students in our classrooms may not yet recognize these symptoms and over exert themselves playing a game in physed for example. How would we handle that situation? What steps do we as educators need to take? I believe it is extremely important to know how to recognize and handle an asthma attack.

It is important to know where the students keep their inhalers, who you should contact and how severe their asthma is. Although you can’t physically do much for an individual having an asthma attack, you can calm them down and support them.

I hope to learn more about asthma in physical education as we continue our class his semester.

Inquiry Learning in Phys Ed

Inquiry based learning. I have heard that phrase many times throughout the last few years in education. In Saskatchewan’s revamped/revised curriculum, inquiry based learning has played a large role in changing the pedagogical approach of teaching. As part of inquiry learning, students are encouraged to question, explore and examine the curriculum. Instead of drilling students with facts and information, they are given opportunities to inquire and problem solve.

As I was going through my physical education curriculum tonight, I came across a section titled, ” Creating Questions for Inquiry in Physical Education”. The first thing that came to my mind was, how would you do that? For some reason, I didn’t see how physical education and inquiry based learning fit together. As I continued to read the text, I saw the following, ” In physical education, effective questions are the key to fostering students’ critical thinking and problem solving”. Below that were some key inquiry questions that could be used in a physical education class. After reading that section, I started to wonder why I didn’t view phys ed as a subject with inquiry based learning. I believe that inquiry learning is crucial in every subject, but why did it sound so strange in terms of physical education? After some careful consideration, I realized that my hesitation stemmed from my own education in phys ed. Like many others, my physical education experience was limited. I don’t ever recall having a teacher use inquiry learning, or problem solving, or even teach the three goals of education ( active living, skilful movement and relationships).

When reflecting on my university phys ed class, I realized that my professor Brian had used a type of inquiry learning with us. While giving instructions on an activity, Brian presented enough information for our class to understand, but the instructions were somewhat ambiguous. It was up to us students to become problem solvers and make decisions on how we interpreted this information. Each student reacted differently depending on their understanding of  the instruction, and that was O.K. Brian didn’t need to tell us what to do because we were fully capable of making those inquires, and solving problems ourselves.

I believe that the combination of reading and participating in inquiry learning were very important for me. Physical education can and should include meaningful inquiry questions. Students are fully capable of exploring and questioning their surroundings. It is crucial that as educators we understand inquiry learning in each and every subject. I look forward to learning how to effectively incorporate  inquiry based learning in my own phys ed classes.

Chapter 1

Before I begin, I would like to welcome you to my very first professional blog. As part of my physical education class at the University of Regina ( EPE 310), I will be writing, reflecting and updating you on my journey throughout the semester.  Unfortunately, I can provide little explanation to what my blogs will contain, but I will do whatever possible to ensure that you receive an engaging and meaningful read… if of course you have even read thus far. That being said, sit back, relax and enjoy!

January 5th 2012:

Yesterday evening I attended my first EPE 310 class. Although I mostly enjoyed Phys Ed in school, I must admit I dreaded a four hour night class after already being at the university all day. As we waited for class to begin, I couldn’t help but wonder how this class would go, what we would be learning, would we be forced to run laps? and would I last four hours without supper?… Despite my hunger pains, I survived the class and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I enjoyed the atmosphere of our class, and the emphasis placed on classroom community. Our instructor Brian allotted enough time for all 36 (give or take a few) students to share 1 minute of information on themselves. Though slightly intimidating, this time allowed our class to get to know each other in a personal way.

After the class introductions were finished, we played several cooperation games in the gymnasium. Not only did I have tons of fun, but I now have ideas for future Phys Ed games. I also enjoyed the reflections that followed our games. Brian presented the opportunity for feedback and questions on the games we had participated in. I was interested in the feedback and questions that my classmates presented. I always learn more from my peers and enjoy hearing their perspectives.

I could go on and on about my very first class, but I think I will call it a day. I look forward to next weeks class, and the types of games/sports/activities we will focus on… and I look forward to having pita pit delivered!!

– Jenny



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