Sunday, November 1, 2009

March of the Ice Sweepers Company!!

On Wednesday October 28, 2009, we continued our 'team-teaching' lessons for the International Lab C! For this lab, we were to select a nation and choose a game/sport that had originated in it. Through this, not only were we to learn about the sport itself, but also the history and culture behind it and how the sport began. This was the third day of teaching and all of the groups had done very well up until now. And after the first presentation, it was our turn to introduce our lesson...

For International Lab C, I was partnered with Patrick Wingler. Together, we chose to teach broomball a sport that had originated in Canada. When doing research on the sport and developing our lesson plan, we uncovered that there was very little knowledge of how the sport began and that Canada is attributed as it's origin due to it's similarity and likeness to the sport of hockey which is also a Canadian trademark. Due to this, we were left without a histroical approach to broomball's creation. With this in mind, we decided to create an elaborate backstory to the creation of broomball and attributed its creation to a penguin, Xavier Waddles, Ph.D. As legend has it, Dr. Waddles' cleaning company, 'March of the Ice Sweepers', was cleaning an ice rink before the Canadian winter Olympics. When a ball was hit onto the ice by accident, he swept it over to one of his employees who shot it into the net. Right here he saw an idea that would become an international phenomenon; hockey without the skates. Dr. Waddles ran over to get small kickballs and had his employees shoot them around the ice all the while running around and slipping wearing their sneakers. Broomball was invented on this day and was immediately beloved by those who came into contact with it. Xavier Waddles has gone into the history books as a not only a fine cleaner, but an extraordinary innovator.

To begin the lesson, I had the students grab a broomball stick and stand around the center circle. From here, I had them start walking around in the circle and sweep the ice clean to get a feel for it. I tossed a ball into the circle and had them sweep it amongst each other to get a feel for what the game entailed. Then, I had them move a bit faster so they could see what they needed to do to maintain balance while moving quickly. It was at this point I introduced a safety statement about how slippery the ice was. And at that moment... I slipped and fell:

I told the class it was a demonstration of what not to do when moving quickly and wrapped up the activity. I brought them in and used my visual aides to tell the history of broomball I noted earlier. I told everyone they were now employed by Dr. Waddles and we were all working together and using broomball to get the ice clean. We emphasized the cues of 'step, look, and sweep' to clean up. Following this introduction, I explained and demonstrated the first task, the 'four into three' passing drill. In groups of three, students stand on a square and pass to the open spot and one of the others follows it. This was a fun passing drill and worked on passing and moving to the ball all the while still emphasizing the cleaning theme of the lesson. Following this, we moved into the explanation and demonstration of a shooting drill. In groups of three, one person would stand in the middle and pass to the next person standing twenty feet ahead. They would then pass to the other student standing on the post who would shoot the ball into the goal or 'sweep the trash into the garbage'. This drill allowed them to work on shooting skill as well as passing learned earlier. As always we continued our cleaning theme here. Following this drill, I brought all the students back together and handed the next half of the lesson over to Pat. At this point I was done instructing but continued to assist Pat and observe his half of the lesson as he did with mine.

Going into this lesson, I was very stressed and anxious. Prior to class, there were no broomballs to use and I had to fun around looking for something to use and finally got kickballs from the equipment room. I was also late getting to the ice rink due to retesting in volleyball. Luckily Bradley and Richard went first allowing us to compose ourselves a little more. I feel the best part of my lesson was when I slipped and fell on the ice. Being able to laugh after doing something dumb got me to relax alot more and got all the stress out. As usual, the strongest part of my lesson was the introduction/hook. My Xavier Waddles story was a success and framed the entire lesson not just the beginning of it. The students enjoyed it and thats what matters most. We also used very simple cues for everyone to remember. Step. Look. Sweep. These three are so simple but are crucial to the task completion. They were easy to remember and applied to the whole lesson which helped unite both mine and Patrick's lesson segments. The demonstrations were also very simple following the outline of the cues as well as following the story of the lesson and there were plenty of activity progressions available. With simple cues and a story, it's easy to keep the students' attention.

While I did have plenty of positives in my lesson, it wasn't without its lowpoints. This was my first time teaching in the ice rink which was a learning experience not only for me but for all the students as well. I need to provide a clear safety statement and equipment to ensure their safety and constantly reinforce it. It can be rather difficult to teach in the ice rink. With all the equipment running, it can be rather difficult to hear the instructor. As my transcription shows, it was difficult to hear what I was saying to the class. One of the major issues was too much instruction time. I spoke a lot between the introduction and demonstrations which left a smaller amount of time alloted for activity. This can be seen in my time coding sheet, but there was a decent amount of playtime. Moving around on the ice can be challenging. Therefore I didn't get around enough to see everyone playing. I need to provide more feedback to everyone as best as I can so I can see how everyone is doing.

Teaching broomball was an outstanding experience! It was really fun to teach in an environment other than a gymnasium. The challenge that comes with figuring out a new venue is something I love trying to tackle. Patrick did a great job with his half of the lesson and the students left with a new understanding of the concepts of a sport they may have never heard of. In the big picture, nothing beats a strong story!

In case you could not find them in the analysis, here are the links to my documents!


  1. Jack,
    Your reflection on your teaching lesson is outstanding in its depth and breadth. Congratulations and keep up the great work.