An Interesting Lesson

I am constantly looking for ways to teach pupils in an interesting and engaging manner. I look for ways for pupils to take responsibility and I suppose you could say to ensure I don’t just simply dictate to the pupils. It is important that pupils take in as much as possible during a lesson and it is widely known that by simply listening less than half of the information given is taken in. It is also widely recognised that practical experiential learning, cooperative learning and activities which involve the pupils doing all the work are some of the best ways to take in information. Well, at least thats what us PE teachers think.

I have a lot to thank Ben Leonard (@PEEducator) for. His work has inspired me in my own teaching and a lot of what I did within the lesson I am referring to came from what I have seen on his blog, his twitter feed and the amazing work he did at Westfield Sports College.

This week I taught my pupils about the principles of training as they are to design a training programme (in groups) in order them to improve on an identified weakness. We have spent the past few months and weeks teaching pupils about all the factors that impact on performance (there are still so many of them still to go). We have also been looking at how we test them and how we are going to improve them. Each pupils has identified an area needed to improve within their own chosen activity. So it was a good time to teach the Principles of Training.

For this lesson I wanted to check what knowledge each pupil had so I created the attached assessment for learning sheet. It is from the SOLO Taxonomy and i created it for the pupils to identify what they know. During the lesson I asked them to check every 15 minutes if their knowledge had changed. Pretty much all pupils moved at least one box up on the taxonomy. 

I also used a website called http://www.polleverywhere.com to check where pupils were in terms of their learning. Poll Everywhere is a website that is used to create quizzes and polls that allow it users to text in their answers. My pupils texted in answers to the question ‘What do you know about the Principles of Training?’. The texts the pupils send in appear on the board. All pupils can now test themselves against what others know. As the lesson progressed I asked pupils to text in what they found out as they researched the Principles of Training.

The task was simple, in groups pupils were to make a presentation (using prezi or PowerPoint) outlining what they found out about the Principles of Training. The work they produced is to be uploaded to the edmodo group for them all to share in their learning (so far only 2 of 6 has appeared, but the deadline has 3 days to go).

The pupils were asked to form their own groups and the groups they went into were close to the groups i would have assigned, this impressed me. Pupils were then given a sheet of what they were allowed to use, this included;

1 text message to another group

1 phone call to another group

1 tweet to @rosshighPE

1 listen to an audioboo recording on ROSSHIGHPE

Unlimited access to the internet

The class embraced this fully and stuck closely to the rules. It was clear who the pupils thought had the answer as one pupil was inundated with text messages and phone calls. Pupils added to the Poll Everywhere question, rechecked where they were in the A4l sheet and sent in tweets to the twitter feed, I can say that the questions they asked were pertinent and displayed a good level of understanding of what they wanted to know.

The pupils who have handed in their work have created very useful documents which I have shared with the whole class through edmodo. The lesson had a lot in it and was managed well throughout. I believe each pupil (33 boys) learned at least one thing about the principles of training during the lesson and I am hoping that they apply this in the coming weeks as they design a training programme for themselves.The lesson was chaotic in nature but learning intentions were met and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the responsibility for their own learning and I thoroughly enjoyed my facilitating role. A good lesson which I thoroughly enjoyed preparing for and delivering.

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