Supporting Learner Agency in G3

Last week we started a dance unit in G3.

As soon as I told learners that what was going to be our next UOI, I saw some happy, excited, disappointed, and worried faces.

I heard myself saying, you don’t have to love everything we are learning in PE but you have to give it a try. Then I thought, “how could I engage the disappointed, worried and scared students?”

So together, we looked at the central idea: “Performances with a message can influence thinking”

Then, I asked learners what they thought their performance could look like. What was something they wanted to learn and do?

Right away, everyone was engaged in conversations, sharing ideas and happy to have choices.

The next day, I used this video as a provocation. Looking at student’s faces amazed me. They were really hooked into the performances they were watching. At the end of the video, I asked them if they were able to understand what was the message of the performers and if they could use some of those strategies for their performances. Some could, others needed some support.

In addition, we used a question from a third-grade student to provoke student’s thinking:

                                 “How is Dance Important in Our Lifes”

Together, we started to shape our unit.

These are our lines of inquiry:

  • The choreographic concepts of time, force, flow, levels, and space. (Form)
  • Creating movement sequences in response to a narrative. (Perspective)

Learners are starting to think what kind of performance/dance they want to work on.

Letting Students Lead:

One way of thinking of learner agency is when learners have the ‘power to act’. When learners move from being passive recipients to being much more active in the learning process and actively involved in the decisions about the learning, then they have greater agency.
~ Derek Wenmoth, CORE Education 10 Trends

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