One of the most uninteresting and boring activities to me is aquatics. It can be very boring just doing strokes in class and the students can get very tired of the same old activities day in and day out. I felt just this way when I took aquatics last year. While also not being a strong swimmer, I did not enjoy the class and on many occassions felt unmotivated to perform. For Lab D, I was determined to make aquatics fun. When I sat down to make my lesson plan, I wanted to take a fun component of the class and wrap a story around it in order to keep everyone's attention and also immerse them in it so that they will truly have fun and relate to the content.
For Lab D, I decided to teach the flutter kick. This is a simple movement in which the legs move for many of the strokes. However, in order to make this fun, I added flippers into the lesson in order to speed everyone up and allow them to see how fast they can move as well as increase the splash size! Using flippers had another secret motive; mermaids. In the lesson, the students were preparing to go under the sea and become mermaids to help save Ariel from Ursula. They were immediately hooked!
To begin the lesson, I stood before a bulletin board provided by the Amity Police Department. There have been some strange sightings in the water and they asked me to teach a few strokes to help eveyone stay safe in the water. However, as I am about to begin, the sea siren goes off and King Triton calls me to say Ariel has been kidnapped by Ursula and needs our help to rescue her. At this moment, I inform the students that we will alter our plans and instead go under the sea and to help Ariel. We begin by splashing our feet in the water while holding on to the side to get a feel for the kick. Then, I had them flutter kick across the pool on their backs to see how fast they could move. Seeing that we will need to move faster, I had the students put on flippers to become more like mermaids. We redid the first few activities and added a race into the mix to see how fast they could go. Following these few tasks, I had them practice going to the bottom of the pool and touching the bottom all the while using the flutter kick. After all, we were about to go under the sea so we needed some practice! Next, we performed our recovery misson and retrieve some 'poor unfortunate souls' from the center of the pools with our teams. To wrap up, I received a message from King Triton that Ariel was released and thanking us for our help. And then I informed the students that next class, since Crush the sea turtle was watching, we would take a trip on the East Austrailan Current to keep an eye on Nemo!
Going into this lesson, I felt that I was very well prepared and ready to teach. I had practiced and felt confident. When the day came to teach, one problem arose; the medicine ball for underwater soccer was not to be found. While this could have been a huge dilemma, I got past it and adapted some other equipment for a different activity to replace that of underwater soccer. Luckily I had plenty of tasks on the activity progression sheet to use instead. And I was able to develop the content rather well. This game proved to be very popular so I am glad the change happened. One of the strongest portions of my lesson was, as always, the introduction/hook. When coming up with the lesson, I wanted to use a Disney reference as we could all relate very fondly to it. We grew up with these Disney movies and it would be a great experience to relive it once again. The cues for the flutter kick were very simple; Look. Arms. Feet. Splash. These four cues were easy to remember and simple to execute allowing a facilitated acqusition of the skills. The activities used in the lesson were very appropriate for the skill being used/assessed and they were progressionally appropriate. I was also very loud and my voice was clear for the students to understand. My verbal transcription shows how I was very detailed with what I was saying. With a good story and simple cues, a lesson can be very successful in allowing students to acquire a skill.
While I did have plenty of positives about my lesson, it wasn't without its share of negatives. Many of these problems are easily noticable on my time coding sheet. One of the biggest problems was instruction time. I spoke for long amounts of time throughout the lesson leading to reduced activity time. I felt that my cues and instructions were simple enough, but some of the directions for the activities may have been a little unclear leading to many questions by the students. I have to limit this instruction and become more clear with what I want to happen. Another error was classroom management. There were numerous occurances where the transitions between activities took way too long. One spot where this could have been avoided was with the flipper distribution. I had ample time to take out and lay out the flippers before I taught and did not do so. This would have sped up the transition and allowed more time for the activity to be played. To fix this, I need to play out transitions more clearly and make equipment readily available. One of the most crucial parts of being a teacher is providing feedback. You need to tell the students how they are doing. In this lesson, I did awful with this. I initially provided zero feedback in the beginning and did not realize this until halfway through and attempted to fix it. As you can see on my feedback analysis sheet, I did not get to alot of students. I also need to check to make sure the students understand the cues and activities more often. This could lead to less confusion and quicker transitions. While these problems may have seemed major in this lesson, they can be easily fixed with better planning.
Teaching in the pool was a very unique experience. I had never done so before and I was excited to attempt to do so for Lab D. I am very pleased with how my lesson went and with how well everyone else did in their lesson as well. Everything is broken down on my Self C-9 Sheet on how I did according to what was expected of me. While my mistakes out-weigh what went right, I learned a lot from this experience and feel I could fix them next time I am able to teach. Like I always say, nothing beats a great story!
In case you could not find them in my analysis, here are the links to my documents!