Thursday, 23 February 2017

Managing The Overload in Our Lives

As previously posted, in 11PE we are learning about self management, and strategies we can employ to increase our self management skills. One of the strategies has been stress management. Many people know what stress management is, but often don't take the time to consider what actually stresses them out, or how to recognise stress.




I feel stress management is something we all need to take the time to think about in our crazy busy lives. I know right now I am feeling very overwhelmed with everything, like my to do list is getting longer rather than shorter. I'm even writing this blogpost in procrastination of ticking off things on the to do list! But reflecting and sharing like this calms and focuses me a little - a resolution or management of my stress.

The students today needed to create their own stressor trees to identify the things in their lives which stress them out, how they recognise they are stressed and what they can do to manage stress. This reflection time enable students to analyse how they can manage their stress levels to ensure a balanced wellbeing. I recommend anyone complete this simple activity because I think it helps to reduce and control stress levels. 

Other strategies for self management we have discussed have been SMART goals, self control, motivation, resiliency, and feedback & feedforward.


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Moderating a Twitter Chat

About six months ago I blogged about joining Twitter. Until a few people encouraged me to join, and then it was part of an MDTA Friday, I had no desire to join up as I thought it was just another social media. However, I was incredibly wrong. Twitter is a great place for networking, sharing resources, and finding interesting readings/articles, so I have learnt so much since I joint Twitter.

Twitter chats are incredibly insightful and thought-provoking, and there are soooo many out there! Some PE related, others around digital technology and some purely about education and learning. If you would like to join Twitter, or engage in chats please flick through these slides.

Although the chats are interesting and I take a lot away from them, I started to feel the presence of BTs was low. I suspected this may be due to the feeling of inexperience, thus thinking one cannot share thoughts and ideas. I know I feel that way! So, my friend and I decided to develop a Twitter chat for New Zealand BTs - #NZBTchat.

Tonight we (Mallory Bish and I) have completed moderating our fourth chat. Our topics so far have been BT support, a 2016 reflection, classroom culture and behaviour management, all things we know we like to talk about, as we are both BTs. The aim of the chat is to bring BTs across NZ together to share their ideas and resources, as well as network with other people in a similar boat, going through similar challenges - which I think we are starting to achieve!

By moderating I feel I am learning so much by interacting with others and providing challenges questions in response to those engaging in the chat, so my critical thinking skills are increasing. I also feel proud that we are giving back to the community, and attempting to start a place where like-minded people can chat!

Hopefully the chat picks up a little more as the year progresses! Check out some of the things we have talked about by reading through the chat here.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Managing Oneself for Successful Futures

The first unit of the year for Year 11PE is Self Management (SM). Students are learning about what self management is and why it is important, and we have now started to discuss some strategies students can use to increase their self management. Although I have not taught this unit before, so I am struggling a little to create engaging lessons, I think we are off to a good start!

Last week we began the intro to SM by students brainstorming on this Lino-it what they think SM looks like, feels like and sounds like. This started conversations which helped me to formatively assess student understanding as well as a reflection for students about what they know. I want to refer to this throughout the unit, to see if students can build on their brainstorm.

After this, we watched the below video and then discussed the marshmallow test and the ideas discussed throughout, and the relevance to their lives. I really enjoyed seeing the students nodding, watching the lightbulbs go off and hearing the 'hmmms' and 'ahhhs' as we discussed the importance of SM for their lives and careers.



To conclude our intro week, students put themselves into groups and I gave each student a scenario which may happen at school, then asked them to create a skit, acting out their response to that situation (e.g. an assignment is due tomorrow and it's a family birthday, working in a group of people you don't get along with). This also started interesting conversations about what positive self management looks like at school.

To review the ideas from last week, and start to begin thinking about strategies for SM, below was our lesson on Monday morning. Their major task was to pick one of the latter slides as a small group and define/explain one of the strategies, to share with the rest of the class. This helped to provide students with an intro to the strategies, which I have started to build on this week.


We have explored SMART goals and self control so far. Students have begun to identify the goals they would like to work towards, with the knowledge of SMART goals. Soon I will be introducing the students to their assessment, which is based around creating goals to improve their self management in physical activity.



After the introduction to and discussions around self control, see below, we then went and played netball. Aside from four students, the rest of the class thought we were simply playing netball for the fun of it, but there were key messages within the game. Before starting to play, I gave four students a card with a task to fulfils throughout the game, but they couldn't tell anyone else what their task was. The cards were; mutter under your breath, cheat, contact as often as you can, and disagree with the ref. 

I was careful to choose students who I knew would act out their tasks well, without other students getting suspicious. This worked so well. I was able to see how people responded to the situations where we had blatant cheating, when someone was going out of their way to push their opponent, and someone told the referee his call was incorrect for example. Holistically, I was incredibly impressed by the self control the students showed, and their self management overall! This has made me so excited for the next few weeks in 11PE!


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Struggles Are Real in 10PE

One of my challenges this year is teaching multiple classes the same topic(s). I have 4 Year9 Health classes, 6 Year10 Health classes, 3 Year10 PE classes and 1 Year11PE class. So, lots of names to learn!

A massive positive is because I have so many classes the same, I can repeat the same class, therefore planning is not as heavy as last year. But, as we know, each class is considerably different.

I have been having difficulties altering my 10PE lessons for each of the three classes. Even though I taught them for a few weeks at the end of last year as part of our jumpstart program, I still cannot work out how to differentiate my planning between classes. I really hope that I can nail this quickly!

On Fridays I have the three 10PE classes back to back, so I teach the same lesson three times in a row. Last Friday was incredibly interesting how the classes responded to the same activity. With my Junior classes, I have a deal that if we get through the 1-3 tasks I have for them each period (we are completing an ABL unit), whatever time is left at the end is theirs to play. I am hoping that this provides students with an incentive to be on task for longer, and reduce off task behaviour such as gaming. This 'deal' also provides students the opportunity to see what fun they actually can have, and what they can learn, if they give 110% in their class tasks.

Today the students just had one activity, with two challenges. I gave the students a piece of rope and asked them to all hold the piece of rope in a line. From there I gave each student a blindfold. Their challenge was to create a given shape with the piece of rope, while blindfolded (and to complete this twice). Although this sounds easy, it is actually difficult - I tried it last year! If any of the students peeked, the class had to restart their shape.

As aspected, some students became infuriated with others in the class for peeking, talking over one another and not listening. Others were relaxed and did not speak at all. However, the frustration exploded very quickly in one class, the middle of the three.

Some students threw their toys out the cot and left the classroom, swearing under their breath. About 5 students left, and 4 returned after 5-10 minutes of cooling down and having a wander. I had very little desire to try and keep the students in class, when there were still about 10 students persevering with the challenge. These 10 students completed the first shape, and then the wanderers came back and completed the second shape together.

I hoped by keeping true to my word and expectations, and not giving into free time by giving up on the challenge, then this would pay off in the long run... Today I had that same class again with the students who left. Their challenge today was for the entire class to run through the skipping rope, without missing a skip. Again, an incredibly easy task, which can become difficult if people aren't listening to one another or participating to the best of their ability. The kids were so different today - they worked together and listened to each other's ideas, which meant they completed their task in only half a period - a considerable contrast to last Friday's antics!! They had half a period free to play whatever they like. 

Fingers crossed this is a little breakthrough which might change the class around..? Something to think about and reflect on throughout the year.

The video below is class number 3... which is also my tutor class, therefore is the most enjoyable and often the most successful. I don't think that is a coincidence..