As a wrap of the Adventure Challenge, Cooperative Games, UOI, I had students designing their own games and sharing them with the class.
I have done this before but I guess this year it really hit me starting a lesson where I had no idea of how things were going to end up.
Last week I posted an activity for learners to complete using their digital portfolios, Seesaw.
I told them to find a moment in class or after school to think about a game and gave them clear expectations. As I said, this was a wrap of our unit, so that means that these G5 learners have been inquiring, learning and playing a variety of cooperative games.
Below you can see what I shared with students:
Design a Cooperative Game
1. Think of the goal of the game. What do you want people to achieve?
2. Explain how to play. Rules.
3. Organize the game. Students will be playing in teams of ____ students.
4. Think of what materials you need. You can use PE equipment but be sure to ask if we have it.
5. Name your game
I also added an example for students to better understand what to do.
To my disappointing out of three classes, only one student had completed the activity before our lesson. I learned, later that students do not have any home learning anymore and they didn’t really get much school time to work on this kind of stuff.
At the same time, I had told the G5 learners that if they didn’t do the activity outside of the PE lesson, we would have to use 20 minutes of our lesson to complete it.
I gave them the choice to work by themselves, with a partner, or in groups of three.
Students had an iPad and they used their seesaw accounts to design the games. Some preferred to type, other to video themselves while explaining their games, and I also had a few learners who drew some pictures and typed a few extra explanations on their game.
And so we have had two days of pure “not knowing” what will happen in class, which have been quite different, stressful somehow and filled with student voice choice and agency, and teacher inquiry.
Since last year I have been using a site called Flippity to create groups quickly and randomly. There is an option of a wheel, and so I had used it this week to choose the students who would be running the games for others. I had 4 groups of students getting their equipment ready with the TA while the rest of the class started to do a warm up.
What I found out by doing this activity, it’s that many learners still don’t understand what’s a cooperative game and when they have to design one, they just come up with anything that really interests them or seems fun.
Some students, though, were quite creative, explain their games well to the class and were really on task.
I guess, what I found more stressful about doing this kind of activity, was to have so many students at the same time going to get equipment, not being really sure about their games and managing two courts and two completely different games at the same time, trying to support everyone, the ones who were in charge, and the ones who had a hard time understanding the rules, because, as I mentioned earlier, several times those games made little sense and it was challenging to find the cooperative part of them.
It really made learners think about their games and how they didn’t meet the expectations. At the same time, other students were wondering about each other’s games and learning in a completely different way.
I ended up my session using plickers, plagnets, and having learners assessing themselves. This is the question I asked them, which is one of the benchmarks for interactions, one of the big strands for PSPE in the IBPYP.
Have you demonstrated the ability to perform and function as an effective member of a team?