The Power of Connected Learning
Creating Authentic Connections to Classroom Student Learning Outcomes in PE
Creating authentic links to student learning outcomes from the classroom in my PE classes is something that I take seriously and spend a lot of time developing in the units that I teach. I would like to share how I map out my PE units in respect to making authentic links to student learning outcomes from the classroom and connecting these outcomes to the learning that takes place in PE.
The example that I am showing in this blog post comes from my grade 4 Adventure Challenge unit and the current unit of inquiry happening in the grade 4 classroom dealing with 'the nature of self, what it means to be human'. My teaching journey with this unit began with getting my hands on a copy of the 'Nature of Self' unit outline that you see below.
The first thing that I do is to have a good read through the outline of the unit and consider where the strongest and most authentic connections can be made. Using different colored highlighters I mark off these connections. As you can see above there are a number of relevant connections that can be made that will hopefully help to enhance the learning of the students.
Throughout this unit, I will be making essential connections to the central idea and lines of inquiry. Although I have my own distinct student learning outcomes for the Adventure Challenge unit in PE, I believe there to be great pedagogical value in creating authentic links to the classroom unit of inquiry learning outcomes whenever possible. It just so happens that in the 'Nature of Self' unit has a number of learning outcomes that fit very nicely with my Adventure Challenge unit.
In an attempt to make these outcomes explicit to the students, I will create as many visuals as possible to help in connecting their learning in Adventure Challenge to several key outcomes and concepts from their 'Nature of Self' unit. Let's have a look at some of the connections I intend on making throughout the 7-week unit.
The central idea for their unit of inquiry in the classroom is 'We all have distinct interests, attitudes and skills which can be strengthened'. The predominant focus will be directed toward 3 areas; Developing a growth mindset, Effective goal setting, and Building habits. The main concepts being worked on in their 'Nature of Self' unit are Responsibility, Change, and Reflection. As you can see when looking through the lens of PE, many of these areas can be addressed in an Adventure Challenge unit.
Highlighted in pink are what I believe to be essential areas that can be developed through a wide range of adventure challenge type activities in PE. Without question I believe 100% that I can help the classroom teachers in better developing these areas in each of the students and it is my main goal to do so during this unit. Can you see the endless possibilities that exist in an Adventure Challenge unit to address the areas highlighted in pink?
The text highlighted in blue is what we want the students to understand by the end of the unit. Once again, I believe that there are a plethora of ways to address these areas. I plan on addressing these areas through the creation of visuals and through class discussions during break times between the adventure challenge tasks that they take part in. I will endeavor to record their ideas, thoughts, concerns, and AHA moments on the visuals that we create together in class. I believe the act of recording and creating visuals help to make learning outcomes explicit which is an important part of the learning process.
In the students will be able to.... section, I have highlighted in pink what I consider to be of massive importance in adventure challenge. Addressing the keys to success in Adventure Challenge will require me to have important discussions about their attitudes, opinions, personal qualities, strengths and limitations throughout the unit. To me the above highlighted areas captures the real essence of what it means to work effectively on a team and a critical part of cooperative learning.
I will be blogging about this unit as it unfolds, sharing the learning that will be taking place. I will also be in close contact with the classroom teachers to see how things are going from their end. Would love to hear strategies that you put into practice in your Adventure Challenge units as I am always on the lookout for new ideas. Thanks for reading!
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KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.