Co Lab My learning diary


I teach Physical Education (PE) to students of the 1st Experimental Senior High School of Thessaloniki "Manolis Andronikos"(Greece).

The High School Physical Education program in Greece is standards-based and designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain physical fitness, participate in physical activity and maintain personal health. Generally students will be provided with a structured program designed to enhance fitness through participation in individual and team sports and to utilize skills learned and developed in previous grades. All courses focus on obtain¬ing improved lifetime fitness skills and knowledge while performing particular skills and activities. By the end of high school, students should be able to participate at an adult recreational level of the physical activity, suitable for maintaining a health-enhancing level of fitness.

My class size ranges from 24-28 students ages 15-17 years. The academic year is divided in 2 semesters, where particular sports activities are offered as choices. This is what I chose to do: At the beginning of each semester, the students have to choose 2 sports they would like to engage in during that semester. During the semester students engage in the sports of their choice, they themselves set the criteria for assessment at the end of the semester, and they evaluate their performance and assess themselves (self-assesment) at the end of each semester. My role is to act as a witness and confirm their grade. They are usually very harsh on themselves, so their grade is usually lower than the one I would give them! Their participation is highly appreciated and this is the case where I would increase their grade, or decrease it, in case they did not participate in the course during the semester.

My emphasis is not only on them learning a particular skill. It is mainly in helping the students develop their personalities, in helping them understand the value of cooperation and the importance of decision making. You would wonder how cooperation fits in that thing. Well, it does. Group sports (e.g. volleyball, football, even badminton) take…more than two to tango.

My goal is on helping them develop their creativity, transversal and collaboration skills, through physical education, accordings to 21 Century learning skills. This is where I would like to try and use the PBL (project-based learning) approach. By giving them the initiative to plan the course themselves, I try to help them increase their creativity. To increase their creative learning, I would like to help them experiment, try new things. Since physical education is practice-practice-practice, it already engages them in a process of learning by doing. Physical education in itself is a multi-disciplinary area, thus giving a teacher the opportunity to try cross-circular projects, adding knowledge of other areas (such as physics, mathematics, biology, history, et.c) to the curriculum.

Beginning with the end in mind, I would like to be, as staff member of our experimental school, reflect on a new vision for our schools, along with strategies to convert an obsolete system into a dynamic model of teaching and learning. That’s why the Collaborative Teaching and Learning skills as a part of Competency Based Learning Approach for me now has all the keys to driven me and the students to this vision.

PE Class as an experimental subject for Physics lesson!

The topis will involve the combination of physical education with physics. I would like to use the course of physical education as a safe environment where they can practice with the principles of Mechanics.

The learning goals I would like them to achieve, working on this question, would be: a) to understand the relationship between physical activity and other scientific fields, b) to broaden their knowledge in general, c) to understand the role of practice/exercise in improving vertical jump, d) to understand the role of a particular anthropometric profile in having a high or a short vertical jump, e) to understand whether and to what extent increased exercise could interact with this particular anthropometric profile.

For a semester, twice a week for a period of 15min of PE lesson we experi-ment in groups of students, and we discuss the procedure and the results for 15min in every physics lesson.Using the TeamUp tool students will be divided in 8 groups of 2 students each. In each group one will perform the jump, the other will observe. The observer will have to keep notes on the performance, noticing the contribution of hands in the movement, the foot-leg approach (one or two feet) and all factors that contribute in an effective jump. The PE teacher manage the experiment and 2 physicists of school discuss their problems and data analysis at the lesson of physics.

Students try to visualize with diagrams the data colection and discuss the results. Based on rubric "experiment" students evaluate their peers.

The project includes processes for students to give and receive feedback on their work , in order to revise their ideas and products or conduct furtherinquiry. Every group every week the expose-present their work to the physicist in class from the experiment that they have done at the lesson of PE. They discuss any problem that they have with professor every second week to find a solution.

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