Creating More Authentic Cross-Curricular Connections in PE
When constructing learning experiences for my students (and for me!!) in PE I continually strive to create authentic links to important content, skills, techniques, and concepts that are focused upon in the classroom. However, I only do this when I see genuine connections that an be applied within my PE classes in order to truly enhance student learning and to reinforce the importance of authentic connections across the curriculum.
Doing so requires me to consistently think outside the box and to be creative, but to me I love these challenges and feel as though I am continually improving upon my teaching practice when I do this. My brain has to switch gears away from my specialty area of physical education and to think more specifically about the whole child and what is best for them in regards to their cognitive development. So, a question for you to reflect on is how can we, as PE teachers, create authentic connections to language arts?
I want to share with you a strategy that I will be putting into use in my PE classes this year. The curricular connection as mentioned above is language arts and the strategy as it is known by classroom teachers and students alike is called the 'Fab 4'. I believe that there are a multitude of ways that language arts can be integrated with regularity in PE, but the 'Fab 4" strategies are perfect in my opinion. The picture that you see at the top of this blog is the Fab 4 bookmark. The Fab 4 bookmark is used by all students when reading and essentially gives them cues to follow as they read (alone, in small groups or in large groups). The teachers consistently uses the terminology on the bookmark to initiate class discussions during whole group reading time as well. The 4 strategies that are being worked on are:
As the students read, they are constantly encouraged to predict what will happen next, to formulate questions about the text, to clarify meaning in the text, and to summarize the text. The teacher models these strategies for their students and allows them opportunities to work on them with one another and on their own.
As an extension in PE classes, I believe that there is great value in getting our students to predict, question, clarify, and summarize. These strategies are not only applicable to reading, but can easily be applied in daily life both in and out of school. By showing my students that there are multiple purposes for predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing, I believe that I am helping them to better understand the nature of transdisciplinary learning and the importance of having an arsenal of little strategies to draw from when in need.
Using the Fab 4 as one of my teaching strategies will help to enhance the quality of the group discussions that we have in PE class (hopefully). I will be creating some visuals as we progress through the year that will highlight the Fab 4 strategies and will share them on my blog. Do you have any other ways of integrating language arts in PE. If so, please
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KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.