Assessment with larger groups in PE I found was the hardest way to determine how and what to assess the students on. I struggled with this assessment piece with my group of Grade 9 PE students. I found it to be chaotic even with great classroom management. The grade 9 girls are by far the most immature class because they go from being TOP dogs in elementary in their Grade 8 years and then right to the BOTTOM in high school. I think every teacher has to take into account the different maturity levels in each class. I found that my first period 9 girls (which had 28 girls) was amazing class to work with. People who don’t typically like PE were participating and it was a great time. However, my last period which was a co-taught class of 50+ girls, my pre-intern and I found it difficult to manage them all in the same facility/class. When we first put them all together instead of splitting the two groups, it was difficult to manage the girls from not joining in their friends groups and deciding that, ‘that day’ they would be too cool. With that being said, assessing them was difficult. I knew their potential but they weren’t showing it. How does one assess a few students that a teacher knows what they are capable of, but they are just not pushing through because of their surroundings and friends?
Also, when grouping the 50 students together in the gymnasium, it was hard to decide how to assess the students. My last period, my intern and I struggled with ideas of how to assess students according to participation. There was a lot of formative assessment because we were allowed to bring them together at the beginning of the lesson, tell them the purpose of the lesson, and then at the end bring them together and discuss the transferabilities and what was learnt.
However, our coop-teacher discussed her opinions on how to assess not only big groups but small groups based on the curriculum. She stated her thoughts on how were not supposed to mark on participation in PE… but if we don’t do that, do the students really know how to perform a basic movement pattern? no. Can students really learn from just watching from the bleachers? no. So our teacher had assignments for students who sat out during the times they would so that basically they would want to participate in the end. Also she said, having a unit and basing it around different skills, you can always give the students quizzes and exams or presentations based on what you have been teaching them according to the curriculum.
So with that we had the girls create dances and perform it. I thought this was a great idea because we taught them different movement patterns during the week and then at the end of the week they were to create one. However, we would have liked to go more in depth with our dance unit, but because we only had three weeks… we had to cut it short and make sure we were also getting in other topics that we would like to try teaching before the real internship comes about.