Thursday, 12 September 2019

How important is to feel good and healthy? What happens when you don't feel that way?

Grade 1 learners as part of the transdisciplinary theme, "Who We Are", have been inquiring into a healthy lifestyle. These are the lines of inquiry they used in the classroom and in PE:

• Ways we can keep ourselves healthy. (responsibility)
• Features of a healthy lifestyle. (form) 
• Choices influence our well being. (causation)


 • Become aware of the importance of physical activity in daily life.
 • Recognize basic changes that occur to their bodies when exercising.

The central idea for this unit was: "The choices people make have an impact on their health and well being."

In Physical Education, PE, students have been exploring a range of activities, starting with simple chase and flee games, followed by some mindfulness, yoga, dance and fitness to name a few.

During the different activities and games, learners started to understand the changes that occurred to their body while exercising.

They also noticed that some activities such as yoga or wall climbing do not increase their heart rate as much as others such as dance, play tag games or small-sided football games.

Students shared their understanding of the changes that occur to their bodies while exercising with parents through their digital portfolio in Seesaw.

Here you can see a couple of examples:

We wrapped up our unit with an assessment where students paired up and after playing or doing an activity for 2-3 min, they measured their heartbeat and added a checkmark if they thought the heart rate increased during the activity or an X if they didn't notice anything.

Thanks for supporting your child to have a balanced, healthy life through making choices on food, sleep and activity time. It takes a village.

Monday, 14 January 2019

G1 New UOI: Dance

As part of the transdisciplinary theme, "How We Express Ourselves", G1 learners are starting an inquiry into the movement composition, most specifically, dance.

Last week, first graders shared their wonders about this unit and they chose if they wanted to write them down on the board or if they preferred me to write them down for them.

After addressing the questions together we started our warm-up following some dances from Coach Pirillo and getting really energized for the lesson.

The focus of the lesson was to inquire and learn about one of the elements of dance: Space.

We talked about the big, medium, and small space and the concepts of pathways and directions.
G1 learners drew imaginary straight, curved, and zig-zag lines on the air to show their understanding of pathways. They also thought of the possible directions they could go to, forward, backward, sideways.

After a few minutes picturing their pathway and drawing an imaginary map on the gym, learners started to move their bodies as they listened to the music and used the whole space (big) of the gym.

They understood that space is an important element of dance and the differences of using a small, imaginary square, space and the big, whole gym, space. It was great to see students being curious about how to move and where to go next, exploring the new spaces in a totally different way.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Meet an Athlete Virtually

A couple of weeks ago, a class of G5 learners was very lucky to interview Pablo Sotoca, a Track and Field Athlete, specialized in the high jump.

As we were doing an Individual Pursuits Unit, Athletics, I thought it would be a good idea to learn more from an athlete.

Pablo Sotoca, @pablosotoca, is a Spanish athlete based in Madrid. He has taken part in a number of competitions in Spain and moved to the Canary Islands for a few years to join a team and compete there. Now he is back with his team in Madrid.

During our unit, students had the opportunity to work with a partner, give a go to different track and field events and eventually choose one they wanted to get better at, master it and teach their partner.

I teach PYP PE, inquiry-based learning and at the beginning of the unit, students wrote down their wonders about the unit on a sticky note.

After that, students started to practice different events and shared their wonders and their thoughts on SeeSaw, an online platform that builds a portfolio and where learning can be shared immediately with parents.

During the unit, students had opportunities to investigate and find out more, create new knowledge and discuss with each other. They had access to a series of athletics videos that they could watch to improve their understanding and knowledge about the different events.

As these young athletes practiced high jump some questions and wonders raised so we put them together to build an interview for Pablo.

Below you can see the questions we jotted down for Pablo:

  • What did you do to become an athlete?
  • Why did you want to be an athlete?
  • What inspired you to do the high jump?
  • Did you have a hard time when training?
  • What is your record?
  • How long have you been doing this?
  • How are you able to jump so high?
  • How old were you when you started?
  • How much time did you need to train to become professional?
  • Which athlete do you look up to?
The interview was in Spanish as Pablo preferred to share his knowledge in his mother tongue so I was translating back and forth for students to understand but it worked well. I have to say that we were very thankful for Pablo to meet us at our PE time, 7:30am in Cambodia, 1:30am in Spain on a Tuesday morning.
He told us that he got his inspiration from his PE teacher, who was also a high jump athlete. 
One of the things I really liked from the interview is that he told students that Track and Field is a sport where everyone can find something they like. If you are fast, you might like to compete on sprints, if you are strong, you might choose shot put, if you are agile and have power, you might opt for high jump and so on, there is always space for anyone to join and give it a try, and I think that’s beautiful.

Pablo brought some trophies, and some other items such as his favorite shoes that were signed by popular athletes, his first bib, and a small sculpture showing the Fosbury.
He also told learners that while competing, high jump athletes are a real example of sportsmanship, they always respect and support each other. Here you can watch him jumping 1.90m. 

Click on the link to watch a video of Dick Fosbury surprising the world and revolutionizing the jump with his "Fosbury Flop" at the Olympic Games Mexico City 1968.

After the interview, our students got excited and kept practicing to improve their high jump skills.

Thanks, Pablo for taking the time to talk to our students, share a bit of what you do from the other side of the world and inspire them!

Friday, 26 October 2018

G3 Invasion Games UOI

Next week we will be wrapping up our invasion games in grade 3. There has been so much learning happening during this whole unit.

The central idea for this unit was:
In a game, we must learn how to move into space with or without a ball.

As we played different small-sided games, students asked questions, wondered about the best ways to create space and let their teammates know when they were ready to receive the ball.

We played a variety of invasion games such as "benchball", basketball, or "prairie dog pick off." During those games, students were able to use similar strategies to attack or defend the opposite team. They became more aware of what to do when they had a plan rather than just running towards the ball.

In order to provoke students' thinking, I had different materials for them to use and play with. They could choose between using a foam ball, a rubber bouncy ball, a basketball, a frisbee, and a foam rugby ball. We also had bowling pins and hoops.

The scoring area had also some options for them. This kind of set up led to wonders and fostered curiosity and inquiry.

We had hula hoops hanging from the basketball hoops and small goals underneath. Before playing, learners would decide on how to score. For instance, they played a modified ultimate frisbee where they could score by throwing the frisbee into the goal, 1point, or up into the hula hoop, 5 points.

We talked about the importance of being good winners and good losers and to celebrate others successes as well.

We also co-created an Invasion Games Success Criteria:

  • I can explain what invasion games are and give some examples
  • I can demonstrate the skills to play the game
  • I can create space in attack
  • I can create space in the defense
  • I can send a ball to my teammate
  • I can receive a ball
  • I can help my team to create a plan to play the game
  • I can follow my team’s plan
  • I can positively and respectfully interact with others
  • I can describe what’s going well and not so well

Below you can see some pictures of students in action.