Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hall of Shame Games

It's suprising to see classic games that we used to play in gym class on a hall of shame list. Dodgeball, tag, kickball, red rover - who would hate on these awesome games?!?

Well, after being in some of the Physical Education here at Cortland I've learned about important aspects of physical education (like teaching about the physical, cognitive, and affective aspects of development). Looking back at these games I now see that they weren't very appropriate for physical education class. Games like Dodgeball, Red Rover, SPUD, and Messy Back Yard don't have any educational value in the cognitive department; they have limited value in the physical department; and they aren't good for the affective learning. These "shameful" games embarrass students in front of the whole class, they don't focus on lifetime fitness skills, and are potentially dangerous. The main focus of the Hall of Shame Games is having "fun", which isn't a bad thing, but the focus in class as physical educators is having our students be able to be successful physically (with fundamental skills), cognitively, and affectively - all in which are used throughout a lifetime.

Games like Red Rover and Messy Back Yard I wont use in my class. There is no educational value to those games and they don't help teach fundamental physical skills.

Games like Dodgeball, Tag, Kickball, and SPUD I would consider using in class, but they would be used limitedly. In Dodgeball, kids work on throwing and running and dodging skills while also working cognitive skills by using tactics in variations of Dodgeball (like Doctor Dodgeball). In SPUD kids are working on the same physical skills, but don't really work on the other two aspect of learning. Tag and Kickball use mainly physical learning. Although kids are being used as human targets, I don't think that this is that big of a deal if the right equipment is used. I think that kids should have a break sometimes from learning fundamental skills and just have fun throwing a ball around and doing something silly, just as long as they're safe!

If I were to use one of these games I would modify it so that it met the NASPE standards and the NYS Learning Standards. For example if I were to have my student's play Dodgeball in class, I would have them do 10 jumping jacks or hops across the side of the gym (something that would improve their physical skills) when they got "out" so that they get back in and can play as soon as they are done without singling out anyone or embarrassment. This way kids aren't sitting in a line waiting 10 minutes for all but the winner to get out. This way there are no winners and (hopefully) everyone has fun. And to work on fundamental skills you can have the kids skip or hop (any fundamental skill) when they move around to help improve their skills.

The games we used in class at St. Mary's focus mainly on using fundamental physical skills. But we also like for most of our games to work on cognitive skills and affective skills. We stay away from these "shamed" games, but we do use them sometimes. We've played some tag games, but we have made changes so that kids don't get out, don't get embarrassed, and are getting maximum activity.

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