Thursday, February 16, 2012

TEACHers Hall of Shame

The Hall of Shame in Physical Education show cases games that are outdated, unsafe, and boring today in physical education classes. As a physical educator our job is to teach. What are we teaching students by telling them to go play tag, red rover, or simon says (all are included on the most recent list in the Hall of Shame)? Every single child has played this games hundreds of times before they step foot in our classes and truth be told they are bored of them. If they want to play these games they have time to do that on the play ground. Again, as teachers our job is to teach, so why are we not teaching new games? Sure there are hundreds of modified games of tag but in the end it is still a game where part of the class is being chased and tagged while the rest of doing the chasing and the tagging. No matter what the name of the game is (Temple Tag, Doctor Doctor, Cops and Robbers) it is essentially still a game of tag! 

Some teachers will argue that tag can be used to assess students in locomotor skills. I agree that tag can be used however it is not the only way to assess students. If students are bored of the game they are less likely to play or do skills to their full potential, so while you are assessing them during tag, you are not assessing their full ability. Once students are bored they begin to start trouble and/or want to sit out. The easiest way to sole this solve this problem is to eliminate the games that make students cause trouble. Of course it will not solve all the problems within class, but it will eliminate all of the unnecessary sitting and trouble caused by boredom. The only logical spot for tag in a physical education class is as a warm-up for students. Even then it should be a modified version where no student is ever standing still because once you tire students out a bit, they are in the palm of your hand for the rest of the class. 

Physical education is a place to get students moving actively. Statistics have proved that 50% of students will fully participate during a game of tag.  Statistics have also shown that 90% of those students who are fully participating are the students who need it the least. 10% of those fully participating are those students who need the activity the most. This shows that something needs to change. No classroom should only have 50% of students fully participating! That is ridiculous. I believe that statistic is a full representation on what the teacher is doing in their classroom. Tag is not a game for physical education anymore. It has seen its better days. By introducing new games students will overall participate much more and that includes students who need the activity along with student who do not need it as much. 

Tag can be described as a game that enhances a child's motor skills, locomotor skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Again, yes I agree tag will do this, but only for the five students left playing the game by the end of class. Students are sitting around in class all day; why do we not give them a place to run around and have fun without boring them with these Hall of Shame games. 

According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, their are six standards that physical education should be following explaining how a physically educated student should act and what they should know. Click here to view these standards. Not one of these six standards are demonstrated in a classroom that is involved in playing tag. 

Standard 1: 
Students cannot demonstrate their efforts during tag if they are bored of it. They are most likely not going to play to their full ability, and as a teacher you will never know if that is their full ability. 

Standard 2:
Again how are we to know if students understand concepts, strategies, or principles if they are not fully participating?

Standard 3:
Students are bored therefore not participating in regular physical activity.

Standard 4:
Without participation students are not achieving or maintaining any level of physical fitness.

Standard 5:
By being bored and not participating, students are going cause trouble and start problems therefore not demonstrating responsibility or respect for others in this setting. 

Standard 6:
If a student is bored, and not enjoying the classroom, then they are most likely not going to value physical activity in any way at all. 

Again all of these standards come down to the participation and interest of the students. Without their interest, even though they are physically educated, they are not showing it through the six standards outlined by the NASPE.

Our main goal is to make sure students are 
having fun while staying physically active.

See what other games are included in the Hall of Shame for physical education.

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