Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Timing is everything

Time in a classroom should always be spent wisely. This means little time wasted with trivial things, and yet still be engaging so that you aren’t losing the focus and interest of your students. While some subjects are more interesting than others, we as physical educators have a secret weapon. Movement. We are movement based, and while some classes will attempt to use movement as a means to bring students back or to mix up the monotony of sitting, we get to utilize it every day. We see from John Goodlad’s study that time is critical to a students learning, and yet we are focusing in on areas and leaving others out.

As Physical Educators, we know that our main goals are movement and activity as well as learning about why being physically active is important. We want our students to come away from our class with more than just the knowledge of how to kick a soccer ball or how to shoot a basketball. We are more than that, and we need to focus our time on showing the kids more than that as well. When you reflect on a lesson, you will often times look at time management and where time was wasted and how you can improve it. Since we want to maximize participation and activity, it would make sense that we don’t want to sped large amounts of time talking about what we are going to do, and instead just doing it.

I know that I am guilty of being longwinded and giving my students far more information than they actually need. Especially since they are going to instantly forget almost everything you said as soon as they start moving and doing something else anyway. While I feel that this study focused a lot more on the general education classes, we as Physical Educators can still learn from this. The time that we are wasting by talking and explaining extensive details that really won’t play a vital role any way, need to be cut out, or at least brought up during the activity or movement. We need to plan out how we can incorporate the information into the activities rather than stopping action to talk about it.

While we are still the gatekeepers, but instead of directing who is talking and for how long they will talk, we need to be the gatekeepers of movement. We need to make sure that we are keeping a tight grip on keeping the group active and learning the skills and concepts we are trying to teach them. This doesn’t have to be done in an overbearing manner, but instead with proper planning and strategizing, we can work these gatekeeper duties right into an activity where the students feel like they are the ones in control.

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