Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The PE Hall of Shame Games!!!

After reading through Chapters 3, 18, and 19 and reviewing the articles regarding the PE Hall of Shame, I am ready to start formulating creative and innovative ways to modify PE to benefit the whole and not the parts - meaning: designing and executing games that involve everyone at most all times and eliminating or modifying those games that don't or those games that favor the gym class all-stars. Our main goal is to help these kids succeed at a lifetime of physical fitness and ENJOY doing so. We don't have room for failure here. Health and even happiness are dependant on a physically fit body and a sound mind - both of which we can help students work towards if we instill in them a love for lifetime physical activity.

I have to admit that I was taken back by some of the games in the hall of shame. SPUD and elimination tag games were some of my favorite activities in phys ed. class! Now that I am able to step outside the box and look at PE from different perspectives, I can see why some games don't necessarily favor all students, how they don't foster a period of constant physical activity, and how they can lead to a feeling of embarassment or failure. That is something that we, as PE teachers, should strive to avoid. If our goal is to create lifetime movers, we will have to adapt our lessons to benefit the whole.

I am not necessarily sure that I support the PE Hall of Shame. The articles discussing it and its inclusions seem a bit cynical. I believe, as instructors, it is our job to modify or adapt the game to support our goals. It is easy to spot the characteristics that will offer a game up to the Hall of Shame Monster and therefore, it is our duty to create a better, safer, more positively influential variation of these games. We don't want to totally phase out the old classics!!! Eliminating the element of human targets (or using feet as targets, for example, instead of bodies), increasing the play (or physical activity) time of the whole, allowing more time for the development, practice, and refinement of the essential motor skills, and decreasing the potential for harm, injury, or embarassment are ways that we can keep games from the hall of shame. If we employ these methods of improvement to games such as elimination tag or spud, for example, we can still include them in the PE curriculum. We can play tag games that call for movement at most times (with any locomotor skill) and allow a method of re-entrance to the game after being tagged. One can even become a tagger after being tagged to ensure continual movement (so we don't get a collection of kids just standing/sitting around). This will keep kids active for a longer period of time and hopefully ensure that they won't ever feel singled-out or like a failure (because they are always part of the activity). This allows for a mentally and physically safe environment.
This is the perfect example of future PE Rockstars trying their best to modify and adapt games to be more acceptable and friendly to the whole of the class :) The week before their time with the kids, they get up in the gyms at Cortland and play out their activities. Here, they are given the chance to receive constructive feedback from their peers. This helps assure the games and activities they take to St. Mary's are fun, safe, and positive.

After practicing and adapting the games for their kids, the Cortland Rockstars get out there and help the students of St. Mary's see just how fun physical activity can be :)

One of their most important adaptations to many of the old classics is the necessity for constant movement and total student inclusion. They do their very best to keep kids moving, laughing, and loving what their doing!

I believe as we develop as teachers we will continually learn new methods and improve on the old to ensure the happiness and safety of our students. We will have to be insightful, clever, and critical in our thinking and modifications of games and activities so that we help to foster lifetime movers.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent insight and writing Bree! Could you add a couple of images that further your message of "Our main goal is to help these kids succeed at a lifetime of physical fitness and ENJOY doing so"