Project based learning in PE

In PE this term we have developed a new Movement Unit. This has included some of the existing content such as rakau, gymnastics and dance but with additional topics such as parkour. This had a focus on safety and the students were responsible for looking after themselves.We made QR codes which we printed as posted and placed around the gym and which sent the students to a Youtube channel on Parkour. The students scanned the QR code, watched a stunt and then, attempted  them. This way, students could work at their own pace and personalise their own learning. The focus and emphasis was strongly on responsibility, safety and working within your limits.

We did a number of lessons  on each movement category and then, the students could select a movement category or a combination to create a 1 minute performance for the final assessment.This is an example of student-centered, project-based learning. The groups within the classes did a number of different styles based on their strengths and what interested them. Each student could make decisions about their final performance, including how they worked and what they created. The group below did a combination of bollywood and gymnastics.


Formal Observation 15/9


Above is the feedback I received from my formal HOD observation lesson. Something that I could have improved on is how to deal with students who are coming in late from assemblies. I somewhat rectified this by adding more detail to the overview of the lesson on the board alongside the learning intention.

I showed an interesting clip on contraception but it would have been more effective if I had found out the prior learning of the students first and then, explained the purpose of the video more and asked students for responses.

A positive was that my instructions were brief but clear and I also had them up on the screen for the students to refer to. I also moved around the room very well, asking the students questions to check their progress but also to make them think further. By doing this I was able to keep the students accountable for their work and check on work completion. Another thing which was a positive was that on the board I had a visual countdown of how much time they had remaining. I started at “15” and wrote all the way down to 1. This meant that the students were more focused with their research and there was a stronger sense of urgency.

Ako Level

Reflection on Teaching

For this term I have been focusing on a few areas to improve my teaching, including feed-forward, catering to different learning styles and balancing individual and group work.

An area that I have been focusing on improving with my teaching is on giving feedforward to my students while they are doing this. I have done this in both my Senior Classes. For Level 1 Health, the students were completing a goal-setting unit. I created the task as a Google Doc and I accessed them frequently to give feed-forward. I commented on their work asking questions and suggesting things to improve. The student would then view these comments and clicked ‘resolved’ when they fixed their work. This was helpful for me to be able to checkpoint students and keep them accountable for their work but also, it helps to raise student achievement. Likewise, for my Level 1 PE, I have been putting comments on their summarise for performance improvement. I have found that using Google docs allows me to keep students more accountable for their work as  I can see what edits they have made and when they last modified their docs. The feed-forward is also valuable so students understand how to improve their quality of work.

Another thing that I have been modifying in my teaching is how I use devices and if I make students complete work on them. I know that using ipads can be difficult if changing between windows or applications. With this in mind, I have created a compromise with my classes. I create a google doc for each individual student but, I give them an option of how they want to complete their work; they can either type straight into the doc or they can write their answers using felt-tip pens and paper. They then have to take a photo and insert it into the answer space. I have found this to be quite successful. A lot of students choose to type straight onto the doc however, a large number choose to use pens and paper. I have found that this choice has improved the work completion of the students because of the choice and ease of using pen and paper.

I have also been considering the balance between group and individual work within my classes and, how my students learn best. With this in mind, I usually use some youtube clips for visual or auditory learners and a group-task and an individual task. I am becoming increasingly considerate of who completes the work in group-task and who relaxes and rides on the diligence of others. To fix this I make sure that groups are only ever 3-4 or sometimes pairs to make sure that students are engaging with the material. I also move around and monitor work by asking “what are you contributing to the group” to make sure students are helping. I have found this to have increased the productivity of all group members. Alongside some groupwork I have also focused on doing individual work for students so they don’t have to be interacting all the time. For example, in today’s lesson I started with a expert group task in which students had to find out about a different method of contraception. They then had to present it to the class. The students then completed an individual task (or as a small group if they did it quietly). The reason for this is so that the students were able to process the information for themselves.

Something that I have done with my classes is to get them to ‘unpack the standard.’ For this I give students the Achievement Standards and they have to find the key words and differences between each levels. I find that this is more meaningful for the students to understand what they need to do to achieve. We then discuss it and clarify any confusion. I could expand on this by giving students levels of the work and getting them to mark or guess what grade they think it deserves, using the information from the AS. In small tasks or activities I am trying to work on having different levels within the tasks so students can work on what they are working at.

Something that I would like to try more of is differentiated seating plans. This might mean seating the students in ares of the room that they are at the same stage at. For example, students that have completed an introduction, another group that haven’t started or a group that is up to the conclusions. As a teacher this will allow me to focus my attention on the needs of those small groups.


Orewa College Wearable Arts

Today, at lunchtime I attended the Orewa College Wearable Arts Competition in the Arts & Events Centre. I was very impressed by the effort and design that the students had put into each garment. It was very student-centered with the student MC’s, designers, models and back-stage help.

I feel like it was important to attend this event and support my students who were involved in this. I can have conversations with these students that I teach about their involvement in WOW.

The full Orewa College Wearable Arts 2016 video can be seen here.


Department Meeting 7/9

Today’s PD  we  begun with a discussion about what we have learned in PE and Sports Team which lead into a discussion and a review of of our Year 9 & 10 PE programmes. The answers from the members of the Department can be seen below.

Following from this we looked at ‘different modes of assessment’ which can be seen to the right of the image below. We then identified modes of assessment which we wanted to know more about as indicated by the ticks. This is helpful for my teaching as it was useful to consider different forms of assessment and how evidence of learning can look different to traditional or current ways of doing things. I then tried an example for myself; I decided to draw pictures such as like the “7-days” activity called “This is my picture” where kids explain the picture that they have drawn. Similarly, I commentated what the images and drawings that I included meant using a voiceover. I found this to be meaningful and engaging because, in the process of translating the buzz words to images and thinking how to draw them it made me think more deeply about the topic. This style of assessment would suit a visual or verbal type learned.

Following from this we had a small quiz on the purpose of the Junior PE units that we currently teach. This related to the revamp of Ako Orewa around the questions of the learning process, environment and tools & skills that enhance learning. For teachers it was useful to reflect on our own knowledge of the purpose and intent of each Unit. In this activity, I found that I was easily able to explain the purpose of each unit. The challenge now and furthering from this is whether or not I have communicated this with my students and if they could answer what they are learning and why.

Once we had done this we looked at the current Units we do in PE and how we could create themes for the Term. It was mentioned that we need the input and voice of the students to inform us in this planning so, I volunteered to create a Google Form which we can use to hear the point of view of students eg what they enjoy, how they learn best, what they have found difficult and so forth. I will create this form and share it with the other teachers so that any tweeking we make is based on the needs and feedback from students.