Time for a Conceptual Understanding in Physical Education

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Personalized PE Badges

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I am using Badge Maker to create PE badges that I award when students demonstrate IB attitudes or strive to be one of the IB Learner profiles.

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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!

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.

 

Encouraging Collaboration and Brainstorming

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I have been using Padlet for a while, but this year I am really fortunate to be in a school with a 1:1 iPad ratio. This enables any educator to explore the knowledge and understanding of students in so many useful ways. It takes just a few minutes to record students’ thoughts and to have evidence of their learning!

Padlet in PE can be visualized in this short clip.  Its efficiency is really high, since the discussion is left open on the wall and the students can comment, provide a learning source or consult various viewpoints. In a formative assessment, student can create a wall and brainstorm relating to a certain topic. All of this can happen synchronously, in the classroom, or asynchronously, after the session is over.

 

Solo Taxonomy in PE

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At the beginning of the year I have found this representation and I spent some time reading about the subject.

A few weeks ago I was covering a few lessons for one of my colleagues. I was curious to find out what is the students’ understanding about their presents units. I decided to experiment with SOLO Taxonomy (Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes) in order to find more about these groups. The task took around five minutes to complete.

First graders proved some interesting factual knowledge about the topic. Maybe it wasn’t a good call to try it with such young students, but I have realized that I need to practice more when assigning the task. Choosing the verbs that reflect the level of understanding on each level of competence can make the difference on the next attempts.

With the students from grade 3 and 4 it got better. Some were able to express their knowledge mostly at the multi-structural level. On the other hand I was surprised how easy is to identify the ones that prefer to share their ideas orally. Using the unit’s questions helped a lot in this case. This was an interesting way to give them choices when reflecting. I will definitely use it more often with this age group.

Grade 8 students were able to make connections beyond the subject area. I enjoyed reading various perspectives about the same subject. My only regret here is that I teach in the PYP at the moment. I consider this strategy very appropriate for this group if is well planned ahead.

You can find more about John Biggs’ work right here.

Have you tried SOLO taxonomy? What did you find out and what tips can you share on using it better?