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.