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Cultural Awareness in Physical Education

Last week, Brian shared a link on twitter to the Sasksport website about it’s Child in Sport resource manual. While looking through the manual categories, the “Cultural Awareness” section caught my eye http://www.sasksport.sk.ca/cis/cis_modules.html.  Right then, I realized I had very little knowledge on how to successfully include multicultural content in my Phys Ed class.

The document itself is interesting because it includes the challenges, the responsibilities and the opportunities for educators to support cultural awareness in PhysEd. Though these offer good advice, I really appreciated the actual game ideas located under “Games of the World”. There are 10 games from around the world (Argentina, Italy, Cuba, Israel etc) that have a brief explanation on the rules and goals of each game. If I was to use these games with my students, I would play them 2 or 3 times each. First, I would play the game in it’s original state and give the history and location of where the game was from. Then, I would make adaptations or changes to the game to ensure it worked with all of my students. I think that these games would be lots of fun, but some could be adapted or expanded.


http://jimspremiseblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/multicultural-education.html

Another relevant section of the document is titled ” First Nations/ Aboriginal People”. Again, I liked this section because it offered real game ideas. I think that the Frog Race could be a fun game to play with students. Although it is originally an individual race, I think that students could work together in pairs. Both students would squat, hands holding their ankles (one student in front, and one student behind in a vertical line) but the only way for them to move forward is for the 2nd partner to hop in front of the first, and then the 1st student hop in front of the 2nd and so forth until they reach the finish line. In this adaptation, students would work together while enjoying friendly competition. Depending on the game, slight adaptations might increase the success and link to curricular outcomes.

If you have a chance to check out this document, I would definitely recommend you do. I believe that incorporating these diverse games in your PhysEd classroom will really benefit all students. It is great to learn about different cultures and this offers a simple way of promoting an inclusive and welcoming environment.

Thanks!

Grading with Technology: Assessment App

Today I stumbled upon an interesting blog that talked about an assessment app for an iphone/ipod http://thepegeek.com/2011/12/18/easy-assessment-app/. You should definitely check out the short video clip to see how this app actually works, and what it can do. Although not specifically intended for Phys Ed, this app could be used for every subject area and grade. Basically, teachers can create their own rubrics and record individual student progress on a variety of topics/concepts. The rubrics contain as many concepts as you want and follow a number scale (1-5 or 1-10) template. Below each rubric, there is space for additional notes and anecdotal observations ( see video for detailed explanation)

At first, I thought an assessment tool like this would be complicated to use and possibly unrealistic. I felt that relying on you iphone/ipod to mark students was somehow unprofessional. Although I am not completely sold on this kind of assessment, I do see several positive benefits. Teachers using this assessment app are able to record and upload pictures under each student assessment. In Phys Ed, students could demonstrate a skill, routine or game and the teacher could record and save that demonstration for future reference. These videos/pictures could be used to assess later, show parents and have students reflect on their progress from the beginning of the year. I think this aspect of the app is really neat and could benefit both students and teachers.

Although this is a unique style of assessment, I think it presents both positive and negative aspects. Personally, I can’t see myself using an app for assessment because I like to write things down to have tangible evidence of student learning. I thought this was a really interesting spin on assessment, and would love to hear your thoughts. Do you think that an app is a sufficient and beneficial tool for assessment?

Thanks for reading!

Canadian Heroes

Today, many students had the pleasure of hearing Canada’s own Rick Hansen speak at the University of Regina. Although I did not see his presentation, a friend of mine told me that he was speaking about the 25th anniversary of his Man in Motion World Tour. In the hopes of raising money for spinal cord injury research and raising awareness for people with disabilities, Hansen wheeled through 34 countries in 26 months http://www.rickhansen.com/en-ca/home.aspx. It was an incredible journey that has and will continue to inspire and motivate people around the world.

In celebration of the success and inspiration of Rick Hansen’s journey, there is a 25th anniversary relay taking place from August 24th 2011 until May 22nd 2012 http://www.rickhansenrelay.com/en/about-the-relay.aspx. This relay started in Cape Spear Newfoundland and Labrador and will move across Canada concluding in Vancouver! It is such an exciting endeavor happening in our own backyards. Whats even more exciting is the participation among Canadians; over 7,000 participants are involved!

So, how does this all fit into the curriculum you ask? According the the grade 5 outcome 5.11 Culture and History, students are expected to ” examine, evaluate and communicate the influence of Canadians, both historically and currently, on the development of the numerous options for participation in movement activities in this country” https://www.edonline.sk.ca/webapps/moe-curriculum-BBLEARN/index.jsp?lang=en&XML=physical_education_5.xml.  I believe that using Rick Hansen’s story in the classroom would be an awesome way of achieving this outcome. Students could watch some videos or research him online to discover the history and underlying purpose of his tour. If possible, students could participate in a relay of some sort, or even donate money to the Rick Hansen foundation. Whatever type of connection you choose, it would be a great topic to discuss with your students. Before today, I had never known much about Rick Hansen, but I was so proud and excited for the accomplishments he has made in Canada and the world.

Thanks!

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