EDSS 555 Blog Post #5

This semester, I have been surprised by the literacy levels of my students.  They are able to create goals for their personal fitness and write descriptive personal biographies.  They are mostly not able to create descriptive writing based on PE content.

Journal:  Sept 30, 2013

My literacy rich classroom has students creating written goals for daily physical activity.  Students are engaged in writing different ways to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity outside of PE every day of the week.  They are reading an article from Health Magazine on how daily physical activity contributes to healthy living.

Journal:  Dec 15, 2013

My literacy rich classroom has students analyzing their original physical activity plans and reflecting on how they have performed regarding that plan this semester.  My students are engaged in writing their reflection and how they will continue or adjust their plan for the following semester.  Students are reading physical activity plans created by peers to collect ideas for their own plans.  Students are discussing different types of physical activity with their peers and writing a final physical activity plan for their next semester.

Journal:  May 30, 2014

My literacy rich classroom has pictures of student games posted around the room.  Students are engaged in reading and discussing the rules to student’s created sport or game.  They are capable of creating and reading instructions for understanding.  Students will have practiced by creating a unique game with a set of rules.  Students will then read a peer’s game rules and explain how the game is played to the class.

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EDSS 521 Blog Post #4

“Defining the Emerging Role of Social Learning Tools to Connect Students, Parents and Educators”

It appears that there is a growing interest in utilizing social learning tools from students, parents, and educators in schools.  All parties seem to agree that social learning tools can enhance students’ learning experience, but they do not all agree on the tools that will be most effective.  Students want things such as chat room access where they can collaborate with their peers where parents and educators seem to favor more of an online forum where they can post what students are learning in class and project instructions.  I tend to side more with the benefits of the online forums where teachers and parents have more opportunity to communicate, but I also fear that there may be some abuse of this open line of communication where some parents may require excessive amounts of questions about assignments and students’ learning.

“Speak Up in Learning to Change, Changing to Learn”

I was surprised that Education ranked 55th out of 55 industries in technology use, even behind coal mining.  I’d be interested to see how that is measured exactly because I still feel like technology is used on basically a daily basis in schools today.  However, I certainly agree that it is under-utilized and we should be making a stronger effort to use these tools that we have available to us.  The key to it all is for us to find the tools that are most effective in correlation to student learning and keep students safe at the same time.

“Youth Teach 2 Learn”

I really like the model of this program, although I honestly have no idea where I’d be able to start implementing it at my own school site.  I am curious as to when these high school students teach the elementary students.  Do they take time out of their high school courses or is this an after school program for elementary students.  I like them getting young students excited about difficult subject areas at a young age though.  It is definitely a program that is mutually beneficial for the high school and elementary school students.

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EDSS 511 Blog Post #4

Ross Johnson

EDSS 511


Unit Plan

Unit Context:

                My class is a Ninth Grade PE class taking High School Course Two.  The academic calendar for PE at my school site is a little different from other schools, so this unit plan will be a one-week sample of our PE schedule.

                At my school site, we work on a vertical unit calendar rather than a horizontal one.  This means that rather than focusing on one content area for a week or two, we have a different focus for each day of the week.  In this Unit Plan, Mondays are for our teambuilding unit, Tuesdays are gymnastics, Wednesdays are cardio days, Thursday is a fitness day, and Fridays are for our football unit.  Teambuilding, gymnastics, and football run for five weeks while the cardio and fitness days remain the same for the entire semester.  Each class period varies from 1 hour and 11 minutes to 1 hour and 29 minutes depending on the day of the week.

Student Facts:

                The entire class consists of Ninth Grade students.  The large majority of the school and class population is White and Asian with a few other minority populations also represented.  The school is one of the higher achieving schools academically in San Diego County.  The class population represents this well and the students are academically prepared for this course.   The majority of students in the class play at least one sport and they seem to have a general interest in physical education and sports.

ELL Students:

Kamila—She is a Ninth Grade English Learner at the Early Advanced level.  Kamila has shown that she is able to handle nearly all work in this class without much difficulty with language issues.  Kamila is Russian and Russian is also the first language of her and her parents.  Kamila’s academic goal is to progress from the Early Advanced to the Advanced level.  Her major interests are physical activity, especially soccer, and hanging out with friends.

Mary—She is a Ninth Grade English Learner at the Early Advanced level.  Mary has had little difficulty with the language aspects of this course.  Mary has a many family members living in Mexico and her parents’ native language is Spanish.  Mary speaks Spanish mostly at home, but English at school and with friends.  Mary is working to progress from the Early Advanced to the Advanced level.  Her interests include hanging out with friends and swimming.

Special Needs:

Guarav—He is a Ninth Grade student with an IEP for social issues.  Guarav has trouble conversationally relating to his peers and adults.  Guarav’s family is Indian and his parents’ first language is Hindi.  Guarav is a native English speaker who speaks English at home and in school.  He only knows limited Hindi.  Guarav is very interested in technology and spends a lot of his free time on his computer.  Guarav’s main educational goal for the semester is to work effectively in group settings.

Steven—He is a Ninth Grade student with an IEP due to his muscular weakness.  His IEP states that his muscle weakness has adverse effects on his learning.  Steven is an active student who prefers working alone.  Steven enjoys sports and playing video games in his spare time.  Steven has shown a tendency to pick on group members and become frustrated during group activities.  Steven’s main educational goals are to work on being on task during activities and to work cooperatively in group settings.

Josh—He is a Ninth Grade student with an IEP for attention issues.  Josh is a quiet kid who does better with active work than sitting and listening to extended lectures.   Josh likes playing video games at home.  Josh’s goals for the semester are to utilize active listening strategies during class and to ask the teacher for clarification when he is unclear on instructions.


Kamila—Lessons will be differentiated for Kamila in a couple of ways.  First, we will use instructional cards with written instructions and diagrams of lifts for our fitness lessons.  Second, we utilize as much group work as possible to allow Kamila to have a student to use as a resource to clarify instruction if she needs it.  Physical activity is also present in each PE lesson, so that is another added benefit for Kamila’s learning. (Process)

Mary—The learning profiles for Kamila and Mary are nearly the same with the main difference being that Kamila’s language background is Russian while Mary’s is Spanish.  There are a couple other Spanish speaking students in the class which can help Mary if she needs clarification on the meaning of a particular word during instruction.  The other differentiation strategies are the same as those provided for Kamila.  We use the instructional cards for fitness lessons and group work on a daily basis to allow students to collaborate and clarify instruction if needed. (Process)

Guarav—Guarav’s main learning goal is to work effectively in group settings.  This is used on a daily basis in this PE class.  I carefully select Guarav’s group that he will work with by selecting some students who I know are friendlier and are nice to Guarav.  This makes him more comfortable in group settings and comfortable communicating when he knows that he won’t be picked on because he can have difficulties socially.  We also utilize technology in the class and allow students to use their cell phones to take pictures or record certain aspects of class when appropriate. (Process)

Steven—Steven’s situation is similar to Guarav’s when it comes to differentiation.  I make sure that he is partnered with certain students who will be more patient with him.  Steven can be difficult to work with at times because he likes to have things his way.  I do not pair Steven with other students with special needs usually because the students have butted heads in the past.  Aside from selecting his group members, I personally check in with Steven every 5 to 10 minutes during activities to ensure that he is working appropriately on the task. (Process)

Josh—Josh has difficulty listening to extended verbal instruction.  I manage this by introducing techniques and tactics at the beginning of class and having students write the notes down in their notebooks at the end of class.   By having students write down the notes, Josh can refer back to his notes if he did not understand the critical elements of a technique during verbal instruction.  Also, we use the instructional cards in the weightroom and fitness lab for students to refer back to for techniques with specific lifts and exercises. (Process)

Unit Rationale:

                For each individual unit, students should achieve enduring understanding of one or two key concepts.  In teambuilding, they should know by the end of the unit how to work appropriately in a team or group environment.  This includes creating a positive environment and completing your individual role within the team.  Students will learn how to arrange a sequence of movement patterns in the gymnastics unit.  The cardio lessons are designed for improving fitness, but students should also be able to explain how to reach a desired heart rate to improve their fitness.  Fitness days introduce students to a weightroom and students will understand how to perform a variety of lifts and operate various exercise machines that would be seen in a typical gym.  Finally, the football lesson is designed to teach students basic offensive movement tactics and man-to-man defense that can be applied in a variety of sports.

                There are a variety of essential questions for the different units.  In teambuilding, the essential questions is, “What are the four aspects of teamwork and how are they applied?” (Roles, Objectives, Affirmations, Respect).  With gymnastics, an essential question is, “How can a variety of techniques be applied to create a well-rounded floor routine?”  One essential question can encompass the cardio and fitness days:  “How do you improve your personal fitness and what types of exercise can you use to do so?”  Finally, the essential question of the football unit is, “What types of movements are used on offense and when can man-to-man defense be used effectively?”

Standards and Objectives, Assessment, Into (Warm-up), Through, Beyond (Closure/Debrief Questions):

Unit Calendar: ENS 3-4 (PE Course 2)


Day 1:


Day 2:


Day 3:


Day 4:


Day 5:


Content   Standards

3.9 Recognize and evaluate the role of cooperation   and positive interactions with others when participating in physical   activity.

3.10 Identify and utilize the potential strengths of   each individual in physical activity.

1.1 Combine and apply movement   patterns, from simple to complex, in combative, gymnastic/tumbling, and team   activities.

1.2 Demonstrate proficient movement   skills in combative, gymnastic/ tumbling, and team activities.

2.1 Participate in moderate to vigorous physical   activity at least four days each week.

2.2 Participate in challenging physical fitness   activities using the principles of exercise to meet individual needs and   interests.

1.5  Explain   the use of the principles of biomechanics (leverage, force, inertia, rotary   motion, opposition, and buoyancy); apply the principles to achieve advanced   performance in aquatic, rhythms/dance, and individual and dual activities;   and evaluate the performance based on the use of the principles.

1.8  Analyze   and explain which training and conditioning practices have the greatest   impact on skill acquisition and performance in aquatic, rhythms/ dance, and   individual and dual activities.

3.1  Accept   personal responsibility to create and maintain a physically and emotionally   safe and nonthreatening environment for physical activity.

1.1 Combine and apply movement patterns, from simple   to complex, in combative, gymnastic/tumbling, and team activities.

1.2 Demonstrate proficient movement skills in   combative, gymnastic/ tumbling, and team activities.

Learning   Objectives


-Students will be able to explain why   roles are necessary and important within teams.


-Students will be able to demonstrate a   small role (vehicle) and a large role (driver) in the Traffic activity.


-Students will enjoy the class   (measured by students using 1-5 scale at end of class debrief).


-Students will understand appropriate   technique for ten gymnastics stunts and progressions.


-Students will be able to demonstrate   ten gymnastics techniques and progressions with appropriate technique.



-Students will participate in moderate   to vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes


-Understand what  the eight basic lifts are (four upper body,   four legs) and perform them with appropriate technique


-Perform eight lifts with appropriate   technique

Language   Development

-Learn the names of the 8 lifts   introduced


-Students will understand offensive and   defensive tactics.


-Students will be able to apply   offensive and defensive tactics in game-like situations.

Student   Activity

-Warm-up activity—Evolution

-Traffic game

-Street hockey

-Class closure

-Warm-up:  Students run one lap around track

-Gymnastics technique practice on mats

-student self-assessment

-Warm-up:  Sharks and Minos

-Decoder Sprint Game

-Class debrief

-Rock-paper-scissors Tag

-Practice four upper body and four   lower body lifts

-class closure

-Warm-up Pass and Catch Activity

-4-cone Offensive Movement Drill

-Cops and Robbers

-5 Player Post Game

-Class Closure


Diagnostic/Entry   Level:

-Teacher observation

Formative-Progress   Monitoring:

-Student debrief with discussion   questions


Diagnostic/Entry   Level:

-Teacher observation

Formative-Progress   Monitoring:

-Students report their own score on   5-point rubric based on students’ participation and positive attitude toward   the activity

Diagnostic/Entry   Level:

-Teacher observation

Formative-Progress   Monitoring:

-Students turn in worksheet to teacher   at end of each of the 5 rounds of Decoder Game for teacher to check accuracy

Diagnostic/Entry   Level:

-Teachers will observe students   performing the lifts and check their technique to gauge understanding


Diagnostic/Entry   Level:

-Teacher observation

Formative-Progress   Monitoring:

-Have students discuss what they   learned and have them answer recall offensive and defensive tactics   introduced


Lesson Plan:

Single Subject Lesson Design – Box Format


1. Football, Day 3

2. ENS 3-4 (PE Grade 9)


3A. STUDENT INFORMATION: English Language Learners


Readiness—capable of understanding football skills

Learning   Profile—Early Advanced

Interest—soccer and hanging out with friends


Readiness—capable of understanding football skills

Learning   Profile—Early Advanced

Interest—hanging out with friends and swimming


3B. STUDENT INFORMATION: Students w/ Special Needs


Readiness—fully capable of performing all skills

Learning Profile—needs practice working with small groups

Interest—highly interested in computers and technology


Readiness—fully capable of performing all skills

Learning Profile—needs practice working with small groups

Interest—enjoys sports and video games


Readiness—capable of performing all skills

Learning Profile—has issues with attention during instruction

Interest—video games



     A. Enduring   Understanding

-Students   will know proper throwing and catching techniques as well as offensive and   defensive tactics

     B. Essential   Questions

-Why are the   critical elements of throwing and catching important? Where else can   offensive and defensive tactics be applied?

     C. Reason for   Instructional Strategies and Student Activities

-Students are   able to write down what they need to know, see a visual demonstration of what   techniques and tactics look like, and practice the skills themselves in   drills.  This provides a variety of   ways to learn the techniques and tactics for various student learning styles.


1.1 Combine and apply movement patterns, from simple to   complex, in combative, gymnastic/tumbling, and team activities.

1.2 Demonstrate proficient movement skills in   combative, gymnastic/ tumbling, and team activities.



Listening   & Speaking Standard 3—Advanced:

Speak clearly and comprehensibly   by using standard English grammatical forms, sounds, intonation, pitch, and   modulation.


     A. Cognitive

-Students   will understand offensive and defensive tactics

     C. Psychomotor

-Students   will be able to apply offensive and defensive tactics in game-like situations



     A.   Diagnostic/Entry Level

-Teacher   observation

     B.   Formative-Progress Monitoring

-Have   students discuss what they learned and have them answer recall offensive and   defensive tactics introduced




-White board   used with notes on the lesson for students to record in case they did not   understand or did not hear the verbal instruction.



1.)            Process/Based   on Readiness, Learning Profile or Interest

-Students   work in small groups to learn tactics.

-Students   take notes, see visual demonstration, and practice tactics themselves.



(Describe what the teacher does.   Include differentiation strategies.)

  1. A.       Anticipatory Set/Into (10 min)

Students begin with an instant   activity with a passer, receiver, and defender in groups of three.  The activity is written on the whiteboard   and students are to go to the field and practice their throwing, catching, and   offensive and defensive tactics.  Students   should rotate roles as instructed on the whiteboard.

       B. Instruction/Through (5 min)

Students gather around teacher and   take a seat for instruction.  Students   review throwing and catching techniques and offensive and defensive tactics   with a partner by asking 3 quiz questions each.  After this, I review the offensive and   defensive strategies with the class.

  1. C.       Guided Practice/Through (20 min)

Teacher introduces two-progression   offensive movement drill.  The four   cones make a rectangular grid for students.    The teacher explains there should be one student at each cone with one   open cone.  One ball is used per   grid.  Have a group demonstrate how the   student with the ball will pass to another student and move to the open   cone.  This continues until students   move fluently through the offensive motion.    Explain the 3 progressions for groups: 1) Students will eventually   progress to moving faster.  2) Then,   throwing while the receiver is still moving.    3) Finally, adding a passive defender.

  1. D.       Independent Practice/Through (22 min)

Students will play a cops and   robbers-type game.  Explain that In   groups of three, one student passes the ball from outside of a rectangular   grid to the robber (offensive player) in the grid being guarded by the cop (defensive   player).  All passers will stand on the   perimeter of the grid while all cops and robbers are inside the grid.  Students rotate roles after two   minutes.  Have one group demonstrate   the game.

After cops and robbers, teacher   explains 5 player post game.  Start by reviewing   Ultimate Frisbee rules because rules are same for this game.  Explain how post player will remain at   middle of field and is always on offense.    Have one group demonstrate this 3v2 game.  Students will switch roles every few   minutes so all players play post position.

       E. Closure (3 min)

Have students tell teacher what   they learned from the four-cone drill.    Write in notes:  1) Throw and   move to an open corner.  2) Keep some distance   from teammates.  3) Throw to spots.

       F. Beyond (2 min)

Have students copy rubric from   whiteboard so they know what they will be tested on in two weeks.


(Describe what the students does.   Include differentiation activities.)

       A. Anticipatory Set/Into (10 min)

Students read whiteboard and go   straight to field in groups of three to practice skills learned from previous   lessons.  One students is passer, one   is receiver, and one is defender.    Students should rotate roles on their own.

       B. Instruction/Through (5 min)

Students gather around teacher and   take a seat.  They review offensive and   defensive tactics by quizzing a partner with 3 questions.  Once they review with a partner, teacher   will review the three strategies for offense and defense.

       C. Guided Practice/Through (20 min)

One group of students will   demonstrate the four-cone drill while teacher is instructing.  After instruction, students will arrange in   groups of 3 and practice the offensive movement drill.  Students will advance through the three   progressions as they become more comfortable with the drill.

       D. Independent Practice/Through (22   min)

A group of students will   demonstrate the cops and robbers game while the teacher gives instruction to   the class.  After instruction, students   will play the game and rotate roles every couple of minutes.

After cops and robbers, students   will gather once again to listen to instruction for 5 player post game.  One group will demonstrate again as the   teacher explains how the game works.    After the explanation, students will get into groups of 5 to play the   game.  Students will rotate teams every   3 minutes so each player has a chance to play the post position.

       E. Closure (3 min)

Students gather for closure and   explain what they learned from the four-cone offensive movement drill.  Students will copy in notes:  1) Throw and move to an open corner.  2) Keep some distance from teammates.  3) Throw to spots.

F. Beyond   (2 min)

Students copy down rubric from the whiteboard that states   the tactics they will be tested on in two weeks.


Cones, footballs, whiteboards




Materials and Resources:

Teambuilding Unit:  Street hockey sticks, pucks, outdoor blacktop area, student notebooks

Gymnastics Unit:  Mats, performance assessment rubric, gymnasium, student notebooks

Cardio:  Decoder sheets, student worksheets, pencils

Fitness:  Weightroom, fitness lab, weights, exercise machines, spin bikes, fitness cards, instructional cards

Football:  Football field, footballs, cones, whiteboard


                I cannot give a full reflection on these units since several of them are still in progress with the way that our unit calendar works.  However, I believe that they have gone very well so far this semester.  Students seem to enjoy the variety of activities and content areas that we cover in one week.  I think that this calendar keeps students from becoming too bored with one content area for several days in a row.  Students seem to be performing well overall within the units and their understanding of key concepts is pretty good.  I have seen positive progress with Steven and Guarav in their group work as well.  I have learned that new and engaging activities seem to be one of the best ways to get students involved in class and actively learning.



UNIT RUBRIC                                       20 points      

Design Component

& Criteria



(Including the criteria for   Approaching & Meets)


(Including the criteria for   Approaching, Meets & Exceeds)

Unit Context

1 point

Describes   the subject/content area, curse, grade level & …

&   describes the length of unit, number of class periods and lengths of periods.

&   describe where it fits within the year plan.

Student Facts

2 points

Provide   information the whole class (demographics, readiness, interests, learning   profile) …

&   describe 5 individual students (2 ELL, 2 Special Ed and another student of   your choice). Include the student’s name, label,   grade level, culture, language, SES, family, affect, individual ed goals,   readiness (reading, writing and subject area level), interests, &   learning profile …

&   include information about students’ affects and needs for their learning   environment.


3 points

Describe   the differentiation strategy(ies) for the 5 individual students…

&   label the strategy (content, process or   product) and the way it addresses the students identity and developmental   needs (readiness, interest or learning   profile)…

&   provide how the strategy will be assessed for effectiveness and altered if   needed.

Unit Rationale

1 point

Explain   the importance of unit in the student’s big picture of learning &   describes the enduring understandings   – what student’s will know and be able to do at the end of the unit …

&   articulate what essential questions   you will use to frame the unit  and an   explanation of how the instruction and activities are appropriate for   students developmental needs (readiness, interests & learning profile)…

&   label the questions based on the Six   Facets of Understanding from Wiggins & McTighe’s Understanding By Design.

Standards and   Objectives

1 point

Both   CA Content and ELD Standards are identified and each is addressed in an   objective that contains a condition, verb, and criteria …

&   each objective is labeled by the type (cognitive,   affective, psychomotor or language) and number of the standard it   addresses… 

&   identify which of the Six Facets of Understanding it is designed to address.


2 points

Provide   an assessment for each objective and articulate type, formality, purpose,   & implementation …

&   provides a rubric … 

&   provide description of how you will communicate expectations i.e. a   self-assessment  process or a sample of   student work.


1 point

Provide   an into, activity for unit …

&   describe in detail the steps the teacher will take to implement the into   lesson and any need materials (i.e. graphic organizer, ppt, model, rubric)…

&   provide script for teacher and times for each activity.


2 points

Provide   a unit calendar outlining what is addressed each day (objectives, standards,   student activity and assessment) …

&   each activity is student centered with multiple opportunities for the   instructor to check for understanding…

&   provide ELD Standard(s) and objective(s) specific to the language   development.


1 point

Provide   a beyond activity for unit …

&   describe in detail the steps the teacher will take to implement the beyond   activities and any need materials (i.e. graphic organizer, ppt, model,   rubric)…

&   provide script for teacher and times for each activity.

Lesson Plans

4 points

Lesson   plan(s) and materials provided …

&   1 lesson meets all the components for the Single Subject Lesson Design Format   including all the instructional materials …

&   a full scripted lesson is provided for each day of the week.

Materials &   Resources

1 point

Describe   all the materials needed to implement the lesson/unit…

Provide   all the materials and resources needed to teach the unit…

&   provide assignment samples to model expectations.


1 point

Address   all the reflection prompts about differentiation, strengths and limits of the   lesson, & effectiveness of lesson …

&   describe what you learned about yourself and your students…

& identify what you would keep in mind for the next lesson.



1 point will be deducted if not   included

Provide   a copy of the rubric with the unit plan…

&   highlight the criteria for each component…

&   provide hand written evidence for each criteria marked and identify what page   for each item.


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EDSS 521 Blog Post #3

Creativity occurs in my PE classes on a daily basis for the most part.  The most creative assignment that students have is probably their bio boards in which they are able to design their own poster boards that tells the class all about themselves.  There are certain requirements that each board must have but the design is completely up to them.

Students are also able to exercise creativity during our daily activities.  Students are able to choose different strategies within games to be as successful as possible.  We also recently finished a gymnastics unit in which students were able to create their own floor routines based on the techniques that we had taught them throughout the unit.

Critical thinking is something that is lacking a little bit in my PE classes.  We try to do some critical thinking during closure at the end of each class session, but it is not possible for us to have all students share with the class and we cannot really gauge if all students think critically about the questions and respond to their partners appropriately on a daily basis.

Students usually utilize communication, discussion, and collaboration throughout each class.  Nearly all activities are done with a partner or in small groups, which allows for this communication to strategize or evaluate techniques as discussed earlier.  Students are also able to discuss with each other during the class closure when we ask students those essential questions to the lesson.

We teach information literacy mostly in the weightroom and fitness lab.  The different lifts and exercise machines in the rooms have instructional cards on how to perform the lifts.  These are important instructions that students can refer to if they need a refresher on how a lift is performed.  One aspect of literacy that we are lacking in my PE classes is media literacy.

The most common source of technology that we have students use in class in their cell phones.  The biggest reason for this is because it is a useful piece of technology that is easily accessible since most students have them.  We have had students take pictures next to landmarks at the school on a scavenger hunt run for a cardio day and show us the pictures as their assessment.  We have also had students record their performances with cell phone cameras to watch themselves and self-evaluate their techniques.

A could of the ways that we have students self-direct their learning have already been mentioned.  We have had students create their own gymnastics routines and video tape their techniques to independently create and analyze their performances.  Another way that we have them self-direct their learning is by allowing them to choose their workout in the weightroom.  Students can focus different areas that they want to improve upon.  Examples include upper body strength, lower body strength, or cardiovascular endurance.

Fortunately in PE, many of the skills that students must learn require partners or small groups to learn them effectively.  This includes small team games and technique practice with partners.  Often times, we will have students play in a 2v2 game against another pair of students and then rotate teammates within each court so students work with three different partners in their 2v2 game.  We have used this strategy in football, volleyball, and will use it in basketball in future lessons.

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EDSS 555: Sociocultural Aspects of Schooling for ELs

One of the social issues that students can face in high school is teasing and/or bullying.  English Learners can be targets for this kind of behavior from their peers simply because there language deficit makes them a little different from most other students.  To prevent this type of behavior in my class, I plan to implement a teambuilding unit that I learned from my cooperating teacher this semester.  In the first two weeks of school, we taught our students about the principles of R.O.A.R. (Roles, Objectives, Affirmations, Respect).  The most important aspects of this unit will be the use of affirmations and respect on a daily basis.  Teaching these concepts to students at the beginning of the school year allows us to refer back to them to ensure that students are behaving appropriately.  While my hope is that students apply these principles throughout their lives, at the very least I can use this teambuilding unit to ensure that there is social justice and equality in my class.

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EDSS 521 Blog Post #2

We’ve learned that the teenage brain will benefit from being engaged and getting the maximum number of synapses firing.  To get students engaged in the learning, we try to have them be actively involved as much as possible.  This comes naturally in a physical education class.  We are able to introduce a technique or tactic for students to learn and have them immediately apply that technique or tactic by performing it.  This gets them engaged in their learning and helps them to remember the information.  We also use music occasionally to motivate students to work hard on days when they are running or working on their fitness in the weightroom.  When they are motivated to work hard on these personal fitness days, they are more likely to see the benefits of improved cardio endurance, muscular strength, and muscular endurance.  This makes the physiology lessons more relevant to them as well.

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EDSS 555 Accurate Assessment

This is an example directly from one of my lesson designs that uses diagnostic assessment for a lesson on weightlifting:


1) Readiness Level:

-Rachel’s readiness for this lesson is appropriate.  I do not anticipate her having difficulty with the instructional language and partners and instructional sheets can help if there is any confusion.

2) Learning Profile:

-Rachel is an Early Advanced level English Learner, so the ELD Standard will be at the Advanced level.

3) Interests:

-Rachel enjoys socializing with friends and running


Listening & Speaking:

Advanced—Negotiate and initiate social conversations by questioning, restating, soliciting information, and paraphrasing the communication of others.


     A. Diagnostic/Entry Level

-Teachers will observe students performing the   lifts and check their technique to gauge understanding

Since this was the first day that students were introduced to these weightlifting exercises, the assessment was informal.  However, I was able to make my way around the class and observe students performing the exercises and ask them how to perform the exercises.  Through these conversations and observation, I was able to gauge students’ understanding of the exercises and the appropriate technique.

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