Friday, 22 June 2012

SEPEP Basketball No. 3

Our SEPEP Basketball unit is now finished and the students have finished posting their required reports, photos and video to the blog. We did run into some problems with my iPad being hit by a ball and dropped, smashing the screen. So we were unable to video games 11 and 12.

If you would like to visit our Year 7/8 SEPEP Basketball site click here.

I personally think the course ran really well although there are certainly things I would change next time around. The roles students undertook worked out and they undertook these enthusiastically and maturely.

To find out how the students felt about the unit of work I surveyed them using Survey Monkey to get their thoughts about the course. I was keen to find out what they thought of the roles and also the use of the blog. In general the response was fairly positive but not so much towards the blog with 40% saying they disliked this part of the unit. I was not expecting quite this high a percentage but in hindsight taking a PE lesson out to go to the computer suite to post on our blog was never going to be as fun. I want to try using the blog again but will rethink the roles/expectations of students and the time it took for them to post.

Here is the data from the survey:

1. Did you enjoy having the various roles during our basketball unit?

Yes - it was excellent
Yes - it was good

No - I didn't like it
2. Did you enjoy having a blog to keep, score, share and view our basketball competition on?

Yes - it was excellent
Yes - it was good
No - I did not like it

3. What was one thing that you would change about how this unit was run (what could you make better)?

I would make it better by making people not complain as much.

make the captain fair.

I would change not doing reports on the computer just hand writting them.

have more rounds and have no blog to keep track on.

It was all good.

Choosing our own teams

different teams

not as much bloging about the match

It was pretty good

I would make it so that the roles were more suited to the person that had them.

Make it so that there is two games each day so you get more time on court.

less computer work.

I do not no.

Only people who know how to play umpire

We could of not had the blog

The captain being watched so they be unfair.

Having less actual games and having more games for fun.

Nothing, maybe no blog

Get someone who knows how to umpire to umpire.

to someone who knew how to umpire

Clearly there are some students who do not enjoy writing or posting in PE lessons and would rather be playing the sport than posting about it. Maybe they have a point, I am trying to promote physical activity and sitting in a computer suite for half a lesson is not doing this. I still feel there is some value in using the blog as a tool with a SEPEP unit. I have to try and work it so they benefits are visible to students.

Changes next time:
1. I think a more authentic audience is needed. The blog has been shared with the community through a link in the newsletter. This only happened at the end of the unit. Next time I would put the link out weekly to keep an audience engaged in what the students are doing. With the students knowing this was happening they might see more purpose in keeping their audience informed.
2. Next time I will reconsider what goes on the blog and maybe design some proformas that allow students to post their reports easily.
3. Another possibility could be to share the roles so students rotated between two roles rather than only being exposed to one role. This would help ensure students got to have a go at at least one role they were keen on.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

SEPEP Basketball Post No. 2

We are just over half way in our Year 7/8 Sports Education in Physical Education Program (SEPEP). For those that have not read my first post or are not sure of what SEPEP is click here.

My SEPEP course is a basketball unit and involves 4 teams of which students undertake the following roles as well as playing: coach/captain, umpire, reporter, photographer, camera person/commentator and scorer/time keeper. The season involves 12 games and each student has to undertake their role in the games they are not playing in i.e. if team 1 & 2 are playing then the umpires from teams 3 & 4 will umpire the game. All students have to post reports to our SEPEP Basketball blog.

Click here to visit our 7/8 Basketball blog.

The blog provides teams, premiership table, roles and expectations, photos, video and commentary of games, umpire and scorers reports as well as reports from those students undertaking the reporters role. It is the first time I have used a blog as the vehicle for recording all the information relating to a SEPEP unit. I have been very pleased with the way my students have taken on their roles and committed time to put their individual reports, photos and video onto the blog.

Some reflections after the first 7 games:

1. My students are not experienced in basketball and although we spent some time developing skills this could have been done for longer prior to starting the competition. Particularly in the area of using zones in defence.

2. I have needed to provide more time for students to write their 'role' reports in lesson time. To start with I was trying to get through two games per lesson leaving no time for students to record notes etc so when it came time to post their report at the end of the week they had limited notes and this impacted on the quality of their work. Games 1-7 were like this (the blog currently only has information relating to games 1-7). Games 8-12 will be only one game per lesson allowing plenty of time for students to write down notes about the game hopefully improving the quality of their posts.

3. To start with I was only going to have commentators record audio of the game. This quickly changed after game 1 and we used the iPad to record the game through iMovie while the commentators added their comments during the video recording.

4. We haven't had time to deeply analyse how students roles would look if done to a high level and is something I would spend more time focusing on next time. Having done it once I now have the blog as a basis for providing examples and discussion amongst the next group I do a SEPEP unit with.

5. The new roles of reporter, commentator, camera person, photographer have been more welcomed than the traditional roles of association president, secretary etc.

6. Next time I would increased the length of time allocated to running this unit.

Once the unit is finished I will do a final post that no doubt will have some more reflection in it. I intend to use Survey Monkey to find out how the students felt about the types of roles they undertook, the use of a blog as a way of sharing their work/roles and having their work viewed by the wider community (link placed in the newsletter), Twitter, peers and other teachers within their school. Overall I have been very pleased with how the unit has gone so far.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

SEPEP Basketball

The Sport Education in Physical Education Program (SEPEP) is a program that allows students to participate in a sporting unit that is centred around a social structure. Traditionally this has been asking students to undertake roles such as captain, coach, umpire, association president, secretary and so on. This structure allows for a sporting competition to take place and provides the opportunity for students to experience a role they will/may encounter if they are a member of a sporting organisation. These roles provide opportunities to develop communication and leadership skills.

Having done this in the past, and by my own admission not very well, I have decided to try a different take on the process keeping some of the more traditional roles while including some roles that allowed for more creativity. Part of the changes I have made involve using a blog and the iPad. Unfortunately only limited use of the iPad at the moment. If I had a class set I would be utilising them for each role undertaken by the students. However I only have one which will be used by students undertaking the commentater role.

The sport that I am basing this program around is basketball.

Change number 1 - Use a blog as the central place for all required information, resources and student tasks. Each student has a role and each role requires the posting of weekly information. Access to a computer suite on the last lesson of every week will allow us to complete tasks based on the games played that week.

Change number 2 - Provide a central site (blog) with resources and videos linked to the sport (basketball). This will assist the students undertaking this role as they will be running sessions with their teams.

Change number 3 - Moving away from the 'traditional' roles for students to undertake. There are 6 students per team in three teams and 5 in one team. The traditional roles I have kept are role 1 Captain/Coach, role 2 Scorer/Timekeepr and role 3 Umpire. The new roles which I have never had before and hopefully offer a point of difference from past models I have used are role 4 News Reporter, role 5 Photographer and role 6 Commentator. Each of these roles is explained on the Student Roles and Responsibilities page on the site. If I had access to another iPad I would have like to have added 'Film Crew' to this list (film with iPad and use iMovie to edit) but unfortunately only have one iPad which will be used to record the commentary of each game.

For a basic structure to the term you can go to the page titled 7 Week Time line and Assessment on the site.

I have already considered changes I would make the next time to the type of tech I would get students to use and the actual roles undertaken by students. But thats for next time........

If you would like to visit our 7/8 Basketball SEPEP site click here.

I would like to thank pegeek Jared Robinson for a post he wrote about SEPEP  which helped motivate me to try something different.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Shadow Obstacle Game

I first saw this great idea at the end of 2011. It is an idea created by Joe Matulis which I have used with my junior PE classes once at the end of last year and with my Receptions just recently at the end of term 1 this year. It is a great idea and one the students really enjoy. The game involves projecting Power Point slides onto the gym wall (as large as possible). These slides contain objects following movement paths. When the students move across the slide their shadow becomes a part of the slide. The students have to make their shadow dodge the objects moving around on the slide. The game really makes the students think about how they need to move to successfully get through a slide. It is also a great collaborative activity as it provides many opportunities for students to share what works and what doesn't.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

My March 30 Day Challenge

I'm working with my pastoral care class to complete one 30 day callenge each month beginning March this year. This means our first challenge is underway. I have decided to do a 30 Day Challenge each month as well and record how |I have gone with this. My March challenge has been to not swear. Now it's not that I go around swearing in class or at school but outside of school |I would like to reduce the amount of times I swear. So 13 days into my challenge how am |I going? $%#*@ average. There are a couple of reasons for this:
1. I did not set myself each day to achieve this. From now on I will remind myself of what it is |I want to achieve.
2. It was easy to not focus on my challenge as there are many other things that are going on making it difficult to remember something like this.

Although I have not completely stopped swearing I have reduced my swearing which I think is a positive. It will be interesting to see if i can eliminate swearing further from my daily life.

The initial concept came from Matt Cutts and a TED talk he presented.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I can now view video in my gym on a permanent large screen!

I have always, were possible, tried to use video to assist with student learning and understanding of skill development in sport. However this is not easy when I don't have any sort of permanent viewing screen or data projector in our school gym. To remedy this I have borrowed out a data projector and am now storing it in my office in the gym and have asked the groundsman to assist me putting up a large screen.

Our gym has a mezene floor which is where I now set up the data projector and iPad to project onto a screen made of two white wood panels screwed to the wall. These wood panels are high above the gym floor making it easy for students to view a skill being played through my iPad.

Currently my Year 11/12 students are doing badminton and today our focus was on the smash. I was able to use a clip showing a badminton smash (40 seconds of video) which I had looping on my iPad. As I moved around to each group I was able to direct their attention to the video and talk them through the video, pointing out key aspects of the smash. I then ran them through a simple drill that had me feeding shuttles to the students to smash. It was great to be able direct students attention back to the video during the drill when required. The students watching the drill (2 students) also got to compare aspects of their peers performance to the video. By getting the spectators to verbalise to the person undertaking the drill assisted everyones learning.

Below is a couple of photos showing the largescreen in the school gym. There is only a blue screen up as I had to disconnect my iPad to take the photo. Once properly mounted the screen will be another 80cm higher. The screen is viewable from everywhere on the gym floor and the video can be clearly seen from the furtherest point in the gym.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Athletics - focusing on technique not measurement

At the start of every year I take my students through a unit on athletics, this year it is years 7, 8 and 9. Each year I teach the different events and associated skills and by the end students have recorded times, distances and heights for all events. Along with other observational data I have used those times, distances and heights to generate a grade. This year I have not been getting the students to measure any results. We started last week with their focus purely on developing technique.

Friday, 3 February 2012

If it can't be measured it doesn't count

In the school system, and I would suggest in many other institutions and businesses, we are constantly told that if we can't measure it we shouldn't put it in our long term plans for improvement. We often do the same thing in our classrooms. If we struggle to work out how we can attach a percentage or grade to a students learning we often discount that learning by not reporting on it. My personal opinion is that we have gone too far this way. I agree to be able to measure something and see growth/improvement is very useful. But if we only ever base success around the things that provide numerical data we are missing some very important things. The following quote sums this up nicely. 

"Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts". Albert Einstein

Schools need to be careful that they do not discount things like student well being, mentoring, student motivation, camps, the Arts, recess (in the U.S.A. some schools cut recess), physical activity etc..... in favour of putting more time into the things that are more easily measured and seen as more traditional measures of student success.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Performance Pay and Fostering Competition to Improve Education?

Our education system is proposing a rewards system for teachers (bonus pay in 2014) as a way of improving teacher performance. A survey by the Herald Sun has shown the large majority of the teachers they surveyed did not agree with performance pay, 80% in fact.  Read Bonus pay sore point for teachers. People like career analyst Dan Pink quote study after study that suggests money is a poor motivator for tasks requiring creativity and divergent thinking. To me (and it is only my opinion) bonus pay, particularly if it is capped will lead to competition and not collaboration between teachers.  It will divide staff not bring them together, comments like, "how did they get the bonus when I did not?" might be the type of comment that eats away at a staff's morale.

Educational systems like Finland's (No. 1 in the world) promote cooperation and not competition while educational systems like the U.S. promote competition over cooperation (No. 26 in the world). Competition is fuelled in our system through initiatives like the MySchool website, which uses a very narrow piece of data to portray schools to parents and the general public. The public see our education system performing well (or not) based on one measuring tool! No consideration (publicly) is given to the many and varied facets that go into making up a quality school. Add to this the QLD Government is currently in the spotlight for comparing schools across their state based on Government audits of schools, again a contradiction to international best practise. For more information about league tables read League tables what they won't tell you.

I am not opposed to processes that require schools to reflect deeply on teaching performance and student learning. I also agree with creating an educational system that is accountable, but do it by training high quality teachers, paying teachers what they are worth, providing an education system that supports (financely) ongoing training, creating a system that does not discriminate and is equitable and accessible to all. Do it by focusing on international best practise not the opposite.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Why Write in Exams?

A great article by Christopher Bantick in The Weekend Australian 14th - 15th Jan. made some excellent points about handwriting being an outdated mode of communication, particularly for senior students in an exam setting. The article sites keyboarding as a strong determinant for developing literacy, although you could probably find studies that show the same for handwriting.

The statement that I found ringing true in the article was, "A student who researches and types their essays over the course of the year and then is expected to hand write cogent, fluent, legible essays by longhand in three hours is being subjected to unfair and inconsistent expectations." It is a conversation I hear from at least one teacher around exam time each year. A teacher will say, "The kids are complaining about having sore wrists from writing in their exams!" They generally say this in a way that infers the students should write more during the year and then they wouldn't have so much trouble, when actually we should be thinking the other way and setting exams in a way that reflects how students write during the year.

As senior teachers we never ask our students to submit handwritten assignments anymore and if there are teachers who still do require handwritten assignments well I think they are getting their students to use their time very poorly.

There are a few logistical issues in a system that is not geared to do exams on a computer but they could be overcome quite easily. Unfortunately I don't see our system changing in the immediate future.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

21 Ways I Will Use My IPad2 in 2012 @ School

I have had my iPad2 for two months now and after spending a considerable amount of time on it and downloading apps I thought I would try and clarify in my own mind how I was going to use all this new technology in 2012.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Apple TV Frustrating Me

I got an Apple TV for Christmas and was very excited, one because it gave me access to movies and TV shows direct to my TV, gave me some Internet on my TV like Youtube and podcasts and allowed me to Airplay my iPad2 on my TV. I was however more excited by what it could do for me at school - mirror the Ipad2 wirelessly to my IWB. One problem.........


Thank you to the Sage on the Stage for writing how he uses his Ipad to present to a class. After reading this I immediately downloaded Splashtop Streamer for PC and got the Splashtop app, which cost $5.49 evidently on special down from $19.99. My intention is to use Apple TV and Splashtop to use my Ipad2 as the sole presentation device in my classroom, with my laptop connected to the IWB.
If I can get Apple TV to work in my classroom (which is yet to happen) I will be able to wirelessly connect my Ipad2 to the IWB allowing me to walk around the class with the Ipad2 focusing on students rather than being tied to the IWB when I want to present something. The only thing with this is that the Ipad2 doesn't do everything! I still need my laptop to bring up Office docs, flash video, Active inspire for IWB etc.... Well now I can do this with Splashtop, I can control my laptop directly from my Ipad2 and switch between Ipad2 and Splashtop (laptop) with reletive ease. This is one of the best apps I have downloaded so far and can't wait to use it in my class.

Now to get Apple TV working at school!