Monday, March 8, 2010

Cooperative Learning

Implement a cooperative learning strategy. Explain whatyou did and reflect on its impact on your case study student as well as your other students.

Cooperative learning is a great concept and used everyday at Highlands. It is implemented in every class and kids understand it extremely well. Cooperative learnings is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it.

I used a cooperative learning strategy last week that included a survival game. I had the class split into teams where they had to work together. Each team had to successfully go from one end of the gym to the other end of the gym without touching the gym floor. They had some obastalces to go over, through, under etc. During the game they had a certain amount of equipment that included scooters, mats, ropes etc. to help them all succesfully make it across the gym floor. The whole team was not safe until everyone made it across the gym floor succesfully. They had to work as a team to figure out strategies and concepts that would work to accomplish the task.
Questions about cooperative learning. Who invented cooperative learning? Does every elementary school in Edina use cooperative learning or concepts of cooperative learning?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lesson Reflection & Questions on Differentiation!

I decided to do my differentiation lesson on my basketball unit. The lesson objectives that I covered were dribbling and passing within the basketball context. I pre-assessed for this lesson based on observation and a small checklist that I used to look at the student's skills. I used different balls for this lesson which included regular sized balls, playground balls, and smaller basketballs. Using the different types of balls was to ensure success regarding the different abilities within the class. During the lesson I had the students partner with another person in class. Each partner group had one ball, a hula hoop and a rope that went under the hula hoop on the ground. The objective was for one partner to stand outside the hoop and dribble the ball in the hoop while the other person moved very slowly pulling the rope that the hoop is connected to. The students were trying to stay in control of the ball while dribbling the ball in the hula hoop. The product was dribbling within the hoop. For some of the students I had the partner not move the hoop and they just had to keep the ball dribbling within the hoop not moving which worked for the different ability levels. The assessment consisted of observation during the activity and having the students complete a self-assessment. Can you dribble with one hand or both? This lesson helps in future instruction to differentiate and keep thinking of new ideas. It also showed me that observation is extremely important and that skills are intra-connected. This did not affect my case study student since I see him 1:1 and this was a group lesson for one of my classes. What I learned about this topic was that teachers should adapt instruction to meet the individual needs of all the learners in the classroom. Differentiation is also when all students participate in a respectful work.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Parent-Teacher Conferences & Thinking Maps

Reflect on parent-teacher conferences using the LINKS Reflection form and post a question you still have about conferences.

Were you will prepared for conferences?
I felt like I was prepared for conferences and ready for questions/concerns and comments from parents. I had all my data prepared from my Fitness scores. I also felt like I had a good understanding of each of my kids and how they were performing in Physical Education class or in Developmental Adapted Physical Education.

What would you do differently?
I don't think that I would have changed very much. The one thing I might do differently is put a welcoming sign outside our door to tell parents where our office is located and that they were free to stop in to visit or if they had any questions. I also think it might have been helpful to speak with the teachers before conferences so they know to tell the parents that we are available in our office. These two ideas might have made it more welcoming for parents to stop in and talk.

What needs did you identify through conferences?
The needs I identified through conferences is the need for good communication with the parents. It is so vital to have that foundation set before a good or bad conference is to be had.

Question about conferences.......Why don't parents often come talk to their Physical Education teachers about their kids in class?

Case Study Student
What did you learn about the student though this conference?
I learned a lot about my child's interactions with his parents at home. I learned more interests and favorite subjects in school that my guy likes to do. I also learned about strengths and weaknesses that he thinks he has.
What goals did you set with the family?
We set a blurting goal, that when blurting happens in school or when he is with me that he would learn to write that down in his notebook instead of saying it out loud. We also set a turn taking goal that he would learn to wait his turn and learn to be more patient.
What impact did the conference have on the student's performance?
I think it made the student realize that there are a lot of people that care about his performance and success at school. I think it is helping him have more vision in school and goals to work toward.

Reflect on a lesson where you used a Thinking map.
I used a thinking map, double bubble map to compare and contrast soccer to floor hockey. We talked about the similarities and differences between the two and put it on our white board. It helped him see what was similar and different between the two sports. He learned that many of the rules were the same but some of the skills in each game made them different and unique from one another. I learned that thinking maps can be used for any subject and can even be done on the sidewalk with chalk-what a GREAT idea. Now if there wasn't all that snow....

Question about thinking maps....What units in Physical Education do you think would be the most beneficial to thinking maps and which maps go along with those units?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Marzano Nonlinguistic Representations

How have you used-or would you use-nonlinguistic representations in your instruction?

I could do a graphic organizer for specific units that I am going to cover. The kids would be combining the linguistic mode by using words and phrases, and the nonlinguistic mode using symbols and arrows to represent relationships. I can also engage my students in the creation of lonlinguistic representations to increase activity in the brain. One of these ways is engaging in kinesthetic activity which is what physical education is all about. I think also generating mental pictures of the games and activities would be easy to incorporate. I could have students mentally think about what the game or rules are in their heads and then tell a friend.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What I learned about the topic during LINKS:

I learned a lot about rubrics during our last LINKS class. Rubrics can provide specific feedback. The specific feedback described during class were the various levels of quality defined, student friendly language, important targets and is it usable and practical enough for students to self-assess. Another thing that I learned during class was that without clear and precise targets, you can’t build a good rubric. Planning a unit backwards was discussed and this was seen to help clarify the main targets. Rubrics are also best used for assignments that require students to self-evaluate their progress and improve performance. Rubrics can also be formative or summative assessments.

What I implemented/tried in my classroom:

I used a rubric on dribbling with feet during a kicking unit. I assessed each criterion according to specific levels of performance (advanced, proficient, and partially proficient). The 4 categories I assessed were: 1. Taps ball so that it stays within 3 or 4 feet of self. 2. Uses inside and outside of feet. 3. Looks forward more than down. 4. Identifies the three skill cues.

The impact on my Case Study student:

The impact on my case study student showed that there were specific things that Billy was suppose to do and accomplish. I told him what I was assessing and how I was assessing each different part. It seemed to help Billy focus on each skill and know what I was looking for in each skill.

The impact on other students: I used this rubric during a Developmental Adapted Physical Educaiton 1:1 session so it did not have any affect on other students.

Questions on rubrics or conferences:

I do not really have any questions on rubrics. I was wondering if my fellow Physical Education teacher was planning on having fitness testing scores available for students/parents to see and use for discussion purposes. Do you think this would be a useful terms of conversation for conferences?

Rubric on Dribbling with feet:

Dribbling with Feet

Assess each criterion according to the specific levels of performance (advanced, proficient, and partially proficient). Record on class list.

Criteria and Levels of Performance

1. Taps ball so that it stays within three or four feet of self.

· Advanced Performance: Always taps ball so that it stays within three or four feet of self (tap-tap).

· Proficient Performance: Sometimes taps ball so that it stays within three or four feet of self (tap-tap).

· Partially Proficient Performance: Does not tap ball so that it stays within three or four feet of self (tap-tap).

2. Uses inside and outside of feet.

· Advanced Performance: Always uses the inside and outside of the feet --- left and right --- to tap the ball (inside/outside).

· Proficient Performance: Sometimes uses the inside and outside of the feet --- left and right --- to tap the ball (inside/outside).

· Partially Proficient Performance: Does not use the inside and outside of the feet --- left and right --- to tap the ball (inside/outside).

3. Looks forward more than down.

· Advanced Performance: Always has eyes looking forward (eyes-up).

· Proficient Performance: Sometimes has eyes looking forward (eyes-up).

· Partially Proficient Performance: Does not have eyes looking forward (eyes-up).

4. Identifies the three skill cues.

· Advanced Performance: Able to verbally identify all three skill cues correctly.

· Proficient Performance: Able to verbally identify two of the three skill cues correctly.

Partially Proficient Performance: Able to verbally identify less than two of the three skill cues correctly.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

First Links Post

October 7th LINKS Post

What are your learning targets for an upcoming unit/lesson?
My learning targets for my upcoming unit, fitness testing would be that student's understand the concept of effort and trying their hardest. My second unit of kicking would be that students understand the concept of kicking and using different kicking skills in various sports/skills. They will understand the correct form of kicking and be able to execute these skills during the unit.

How will you communicate your targets to students?
I will effectively communicate my targets with each student through talking about expectations, and the concept of effort and working hard to improve their fitness testing scores by the end of the school year when they will be assessed again. Another way I will effectively communicate the targets to my students is through visual demonstration (modeling). Helping students see what is expected of them through a visual.

What learning skills will student's demonstrate?
We will be working hard to encourage one another in class during the fitness testing and student's should be demonstrating positive words of encouragement and showing respect. I will be able to see them demonstrate proper kicking skills through a variety of activities.

Case Study

I have choose to do my case study on a student who I have for Developmental Adapted Physical Education. His name is Bobby and he is in the 4th grade. Bobby is on the autism spectrum.

Strengthes of this student: Bobby enjoys participating with his friends in class and enjoys different activities. He is a fun boy to be around and has a great sense of humor.

Weaknesses: Bobby has a hard time waiting to take his turn and needs to be re-directed during activities. He has a short attention span on activities and can get overwhelmed/silly very easily. Social aspects of his day are often difficult for Bobby.

Needs of this student: This student needs to know what is expected of him and to understand the concept of taking turns. He needs to learn how to properly play with friends and understand when friends do not want to play with him. He is also extremely weak when it comes to his gross motor skills and participating with his class.

What I would like to try: I would like to try writing down what is expected of him and make sure they are talked through before the activity/lesson. I would also like to try working with other friends in class to work on the social piece of how to play and waiting to take turns.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Hello! My name is Amy Aunan and I teach Elementary Physical Education at Highlands Elementary, Kindergarten through 2nd grade. I also teach some Developmental Adapted Physical Education classes. Welcome!