No uniform? Learning doesn’t stop.

One of the perennial questions that often get asked, whether it’s in Twitter chats or in staff-rooms, is what do you do with students that don’t get changed? Personally, I reckon the whole point of a PE lesson is movement and participation of some sort. Writing lines, detention or even reporting (on paper) about what the class did during the lesson don’t really honour the movement ethos. I’ve tried them all, and been unhappy with the effect, and I want to share something that I’ve found to be the most effective.

I always carry a collection of laminated stimulus cards with me to each practical lesson – warms ups, minor games or skill practices that suit the activity we are learning. At the moment it’s for a Handball unit. Kids that don’t get changed are given (or choose, depending on my mood) a card, and they deliver an activity to their classmates in small groups.

Source: Teaching Handball at School

In the time that I’ve run this approach with my classes, I’ve noticed some things happening – the rates of students without uniform have dropped (you can interpret that any way you want), and generally the confidence of students in interpersonal situations has become much more convivial.

And what happens when everyone brings their uniform? I still pick kids to do the intro anyway. It’s part of teh skill set I want the kids to develop. The confidence of their leadership in small groups and the communication of what is required to their classmates has improved (anecdotally) noticeably.

So, even if kids don’t come with uniform, why does the learning have to stop?

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