With an infinite number of learning styles coming into our classes, we use a multitude of teaching styles and techniques to get students excited about physical education. Strategies are selected based upon the nature of the activity. This helps our students to find success in our classes and reach to higher levels of critical thinking. A few examples of the different techniques used are listed below.
As in any physical education program there is some need for teacher initiated instruction. Teacher directed learning exists in our program to facilitate the learning of basic skills, introduction of new concepts or ideas, and guide appropriate large group instruction.
It is our philosophy that students will get the most out of our program when they gain an intrinsic value for the activities and concepts being presented. We have found that these intrinsic values are easiest gained when the students are responsible for their own learning. Our exercise science lab is set up so that students become responsible for taking their own measurements, completing computer assignments, monitoring their cardiovascular improvement and writing reflective responses about how their bodies work and develop.
Through the use of peer instruction we are able to give immediate feedback to all of our students. Our "Body Shop" and "Power Plant" are set up so that students rotate through fitness stations in pairs. As they rotate, while one student is busy at the station, the other is responsible to give feedback and encouragement. As well, often in sports and basic skills units partners are used to help facilitate the introduction of new skills and give immediate feedback to each student.
We are very fortunate to be able to use eighth grade students as "Teacher Assistants" (TA's). Students who have continuously proven themselves to be outstanding students and citizens in physical education classes are selected to help facilitate the learning process in our physical education classes. This group of eighth grade students work to be role models to younger students, motivate students to find success in our classes and offer a helping hand to students who need it.
Throughout our program you will find the use of cooperative activities. While they are stressed in the "Adventure Academy" in the seventh and eighth grades, similar strategies are used at every level of our program. Whether being presented with a problem that is to be solved collectively or using a "jig-saw" activity to have each student teach a component of a concept to their peers, students are often asked to work together to develop critical thinking skills.
One of the best ways we have found to motivate our students is to join them in activity. Each day a number of teachers run and power walk our cross-country course with the students to help keep them motivated, give them encouragement and to help teach the strategies for being successful. As well, when it is appropriate, teachers do their best to become part of the game or activity being offered. Students are much more likely to want to join in when they see that their teachers will be participating too.