“The term in loco parentis, Latin for “in the place of a parent” refers to the legal responsibility of a person or organization to take on some of the functions and responsibilities of a parent.” (link) Using that line of thought, do we have a moral and ethical responsibility similar to the legal responsibilities to those same students? I believe we do and that our job is to teach the whole child. This means that I have to address their emotional, social, and spiritual well-being as well as their physical wellness.
To be honest this has pushed me further out of my comfort zone than I had anticipated. I am not explicitly teaching in the psychomotor domain but instead focusing on the affective domain. It is counter-intuitive for me. Shouldn’t I be focused on how they are moving not why? If I was looking for the short term I would say yes. I care more about the long game though. How can I set my students up to realize that movement is beneficial to them for now and the future? How can I create an atmosphere and culture that invites ALL the students in? That’s what I care more about. As the month comes to a clear I will move along into a more Game Sense/TGFU lesson with the help of Seth Martin’s yearly plan.
My 4th, 5th, and 6th graders have all been playing their own games or physical activities and reflecting on why they chose and enjoyed that activity. My 4th graders have moved from partners to small groups. They will finish with large group games next week. We will then compare and contrast those activities.
I taught one lesson to my 6th grade that had only 6 minutes of mvpa time. This particular class needed to discuss racism, race, and discrimination. I spoke with Andy Milne and he gave me the idea to jigsaw four stories that Students of Color had told during a radio interview. Each group read one story, wrote their thoughts down on a whiteboard, and then presented their story and thoughts to the class. Each group also had a second whiteboard to write down any thoughts they had about another groups story. We were able to speak about the n-word, discrimination, prejudice, race, and how they will be in a much more diverse school next year.
The lack of movement in the class was a necessary trade for the knowledge and discussion that was engaged in. I am not advocating that this should be the norm or that any other Phys Ed classes I teach will have such low mvpa (moderate to vigorous physical activity). The point is that I teach the entirety of children. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed I will do what is necessary to address it in the best way I know how. If this means that I have to deviate from the norm than that is what I will do.
My pre-k to 3rd graders have been working on locomotor movements and spacing. I have used this game to teach spacing and defense from Brian Lewis. It is an awesome way to incorporate underhand toss, defense, and spacing. I also snuck pivoting in as well. The basic idea is for two students to pass the ball to each other using the underhand toss. You can not take any steps with the ball you can only pivot and turn. Once you reach the other side of the gym the goal is to knock down a bowling pin. As the game progresses you can add defenders and move the approach line back. The kids loved it.
I also used this game created by Joey Feith and posted on his website. The beauty of this is that I brought up the video in the gym and we did each build together. The students loved the game, especially the booty box! As you can tell I am using the resources I come across to bring a better experience for my students. That is the importance of being connected. It is not look at what I am doing. It is look at how I am becoming a better teacher for my students by using the resources that I have come across.
Speaking of another really cool resource Mike Ginicola posted this really cool resource utilizing cartoon characters and locomotor movements. The students did different movements in order to get from one character to the next. I switched it up a bit and had the pdf projected and had them do the movement while saying the alphabet or counting to 10. This was a very easy and effective lesson because I didn’t have to create the resource. Again that is the beauty of being a connected educator. I want to work smarter not harder.
Hopefully, this will help someone else with either the resources I have linked or the idea that teaching to the affective may be more important than teaching explicitly to the psychomotor for Physical Education teachers. Crazy humanism approach to teaching. I know.