Say ‘YES’ to PE #FitWork!

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The purpose of #Fitwork is to empower our students to transfer knowledge and understanding beyond school’s environment and to initiate meaningful actions that may enhance their physical activity level and change lifestyle behaviors.

The first monthly PE homework in grade 4 will be aired this weekend. Initiated by @mrobrienman, the activity is planned by the PE educators (@FitnwitPE,@physedsais@BriarJohns) involved with this grade level and supported by their collaboration with Home Room Teachers. Here’s the activity for this month:

#FitWork 1 – Dare or Bear!™ FitnwitPE

What shall I do? Call an animal of your choice (bear, frog, crab, etc). Make sure you can imitate and demonstrate its movements. Animal sounds are allowed too!

How long? For 3 minutes, everyone in your family has to use the moves of the animal you called: going to the kitchen, moving to the pool and back or scratching the back on the door). 

How many times? Each family member can call ‘Dare or Bear’, twice a day. Feel free to use it in key moments: getting up and out of bed,  MRT waiting line, movie time or when playing in the park.  

What else? Add a twist of fun by being as creative as you can when deciding the rules of your ‘Dare or Bear’. If you don’t Dare (animal walks), then choose to Bear (consequences: 5 Burpees, 10 Jumping Jacks or let your imagination loose). 

Remember:

  • Be clear, concise and demand commitment. 
  • You can only be famous for 3 minutes!
  • Have fun and let us know what went good or…what needs            improvement!

Next #FitWork, in a month time! Until then, have fun and keep it simple!

 

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End of the Year Reflection

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In the rush of the last three weeks of school, I couldn’t miss the chance to connect with my students and the learning that happened this year. Technology is ubiquitous now days and I am happy that I have got a glimpse from my favorites partners in this learning journey: the students!

I created a Padlet for each grade that I work with and I have shared it on their grade Seesaw online portfolio. The aim was to enhance the value of all the learning experiences we have been through.

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Then I edited a Google Form document for each grade that contained a set of relevant questions for the PE context. Since the end of the year is busy with events, I have managed to navigate and take from my free time and not their PE time, to apply the form and collect students’ answers.

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The answers were nothing but simple thoughts that learners felt comfortable to talk about: While some “wish to do more swimming and dancing”, others dream to “get to run in the speed of light and getting a six-pack”. The students are “proud of working in a group and they wish they could “get better working independently”. Some they learn best “by making mistakes”, others enjoy “playing games, listening and asking questions”. “We should have chocolate or ice-cream fountains” and they feel very proud and motivated when playing Go Home, Stay Home and everyone is cheering their name.

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Lastly I have worked in Canva to display an overall presentation of this reflection, including the Padlet and the answers.

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I feel that the power of reflection may enable students to better express and acknowledge their achievements or areas of improvement and it constitutes a great opportunity to generate meaningful feedback. I would definitely use this experience in the beginning of the next academic year, when it can prove beneficial in harnessing information related to students’ prior knowledge. With an increased value of the pre- and formative assessments in learning, I am curios and excited about the road that lies ahead. It keeps me engaged and motivated on a path that I am passionate about: Learning.

Let’s connect if you want to exchange similar learning experiences or to find insights about this reflection!

Time For a Conceptual Understanding in Physical Education

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We enjoy educating, we embrace challenges and most of the time we do spread the positive around us. We are looking for inspiration in our quest for making the difference and often we  surpass ourselves.

We enter the students’ world and we explore mistakes in our lives. We allow ourselves to fail, often, and we are comfortable with not knowing what is about to happen.

We are vulnerable but we step outside the comfort zone. We believe we can learn anything starting by questioning everything.

We dream big.

According to Erickson (2014), ‘children need to grapple with the content, knowledge, and skills they are learning in order to reach conceptual understandings’.

Join me in this workshop to explore together how conceptual understanding will help students decode life and adapt their learning to different situations.

Time For a Conceptual Understanding in Physical Education

Reference:

Erickson. H.L. 2014. Transitioning to Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction. How to bring content and process together, p. 55. Corwin.

Gamification with an empirical approach

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PYP Connect. Collaborative Learning. Presentation. Singapore. February 2017.

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Willpower

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Delayed gratification is defined as the ability to resist the temptation of an immediate reward and wait for a later  reward ( Wikipedia).

As children strengten their willpower, they need to learn when not to rely on it. In the Marshmallow experiment, many children tried to resist the temptation by staring at the marshmallow and willing to be strong. Staring at it weakened the willpower, they gave in and ate it. The ones that resisted for fifteen minutes tipically made it by finding something distracting. They turned around, covered their eyes, played with their clothes or sang a song. A few videos like this will reveal adorable children facing temptation.

Controlling attention is important. But the most important is that you need willpower to control attention ( Baumeister and Tierney, 2012)

Mihaela’s challenge: wait 15 minutes to get a second marshmallow if you don’t eat the one you have on the plate. Alex’s challenge: wait 15 minutes without eating the chocolate bar. If you resist temptation, you get 3 bars. In a week time.

Refining the basics of self-control involves setting clear and realistic goals, providing quick feedback, and offering encouragement to keep practicing and improving. Succes is within your reach if you build on the discipline to try, try, try again. (Baumeister and Tierney, 2012).

As intelligence is not a sure predictor of success, we can exercise self-control and resilience with rewards at the end of the day, breaking big projects into chunks, writing goals down and making them visible or even cross-country events that may increase the appreciation of long term rewards.

“Willpower is to the mind like a strong blind man who carries on his shoulders a lame man who can see.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

References:

Baumeister, F. and Tierney, J. 2012. Willpower: Why Self-Control is the Secret of Success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building Communication and Trust Towards a Powerful School Culture

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Under the 4 Generations 4 Education generous agenda of events I have presented a workshop that focused on communication and trust as successful elements to construct a powerful school culture.

Hosted by the the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai, this event was an excellent opportunity to identify, explore and broaden the perspective over the settings we are activating as educators and to share strategies that give results.

We have inquired over various concepts such as constructionism, trustworthiness, listening, Activity Theory, assessment, Zone of Proximal Development and scaffolding, school culture, vision and mission, learning environments and most of all we had fun in a group of dedicated educators.

We examined the characteristics of elevated communication and we have identified challenges of how communication is shaping relationships. Investigating conceptual understandings for constructing a positive learning environment and reviewing the purposes of assessment were areas that often positioned us out of our comfort zone.

The time will prove the success of this event, as when returning inspired to our schools we will empower students and colleagues towards continuing this learning adventure that started on the 28th and 29th of October.

As educators, I believe  we are seeking more for learning in adventure  than adventure in learning! This workshop has been an adventure where learning happened at a high level and I’ve felt inspired by the professionals I worked with!  Thank you!

When looking for valuable opportunitie to develop professionally, 4 Generations 4 Education takes this mission beyond expectations and sets a high standard in international educational services.

 

Leadership Understanding in Grade 3

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We were impressed about the homework that connected with Alex’s unit of inquiry in grade 3. The central idea is: “Leadership can be exhibited in different settings and scopes”.

Through the key concepts of form, perspective and responsibility, students inquire about the characteristics of leaders, circumstances that shape them, and various opportunities for leadership that they can explore in the community.

Using his thinking skills, researching and communication, Alex shortlisted his grand mother, Khaled Abdul Malak, his mother, Sue, a Stamford educator, and he decided to illustrate  Marcus Smith and his leadership skills in the homework. Marcus is the founder of InnerFight, and he is a highly qualified performance coach and an international athlete. Although they have met only a few times in Marcus’ Dubai based gym (once at 5.00 am), Alex is definitely inspired and has a strong understanding of the powerful messages sent through living this lifestyle. His perspective on leadership is exemplified in the homework.

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Thanks to Mandala Barab, Alex’s class teacher  and the group of educators collaborating on the unit’s strategies, grade 3 students are starting the year equiped with meaningful experiences that empower them to make connections and transfer them into real life.