I want to talk today about how I used a physical activity log and reflection form to help students reflect upon what it is they’re doing outside of the physical education classroom and also reflect upon how they value a physically active lifestyle.
When it comes to trying to assess students meaningfully in standards four and five and being able to have them connect what they’re doing in school, in physical education to outside the classroom, in their personal lives. It’s, it’s a big challenge and something I take seriously. I want things to be meaningful for students. I want them to be able to take what they’ve learned in my classroom and engage in physical activity outside of the school day, outside of the physical education setting. So how can I assess that, how it’s in the grade level outcomes from SHAPE America? It’s in my state standards and so I’ve always struggled with what’s the best way to do this and I’ve tried a lot of different methods and I think you’re always trying new things. You know, I’m always growing as a teacher.
I’m always finding ways to improve my practice and one thing I’m happy with right now is my weekly activity log and reflection form and I’m able to fit three weeks of physical activity and then the fourth section of that paper that’s a two-sided paper is the ultimate reflection form. And so what I like about this is the routine I’ve developed with my students where they come in on a Monday, they get a log, they write their name on it, and they put the theme of the week and then they put down what they did over the weekend. So what, what Physical Activity they engaged in? Were they engaged in this at? What intensity level did they engage in it? How long? And then they put it away and that’s it. And those little things also help, you know, reinforce the FITT principle, no frequency, intensity, time and type and then on the last day of class, that week, they get their log again and I just set out my pencil holder, can pencils and I set the logs on the ground and they come out of the locker room, they find their log and they fill it in for what they’ve done during the week outside of PE. And again, what did they do, how long, where, what intensity level and then they put it away in the hanging file folder.
It makes for a really simple routine and I know the papers that are still lying there, those are the students who are likely absent or who are forgotten to complete their form. As students turn them in, then I’m able to take a quick peek at them if I have time. And then they’re walking and talking around the gym, waiting for the music and the warmup time to begin. So it’s a really simple process and they do that for three weeks and then the last section of that handout is their reflection form. And this is where everything is tied together. If my focus for the last three weeks has been on, you know, training for muscular strength and endurance, I might have them, you know, explain what is the difference between training for muscular strength versus muscular endurance. What activity have you enjoyed the most out of the last three weeks and where can you access that activity in your community? Or how can you incorporate this activity into your daily life? Or it might be reflection questions on their social emotional with like conflict resolution. You know, what’s a conflict that comes up in class and how can you, you know, what are two solutions that you can utilize in solving this conflict? So it’s a great way for me to have them reflect further upon what it is we’re doing in class, connecting it to outside of the classroom and then also seeing what they’re doing.
I love that connection that it also creates with my students. And I’m able to say, Hey, I see that you’re doing a lot of karate or a lot of dance, or how’s practice going, um, for this sport? I see that you’re recording it on your log or when’s your next match or competition, how’s that going? Or I see you’re mowing lawns, you know in these chores that you’re doing or your baby sitting a lot and you’re running around after these kids and I’m able to create meaningful conversations, I’m able to really see more of what it is that my students are doing and then they also have a self reflection upon their levels of effort in their different grade level categories. They self-assessed themselves and I’m able to see where they think they are and then they can compare that to you know, the grade that they’ve earned in class.
It’s really a neat, simple system and I’ll be sharing the template with you here through the show notes and on my website and you can also check that out on Twitter.