I have been working through implementing the TGfU model in my physical education classes over the last 4 years. I picked up on the model through Twitter. I have been learning and introducing more units every year. I really enjoy using the model in my classes and I have seen many successes in my students over the years. There are so many things to love about the model, but my favorite aspect is how it really helps develop competence and confidence in all my students through more touches in small sided games and lead up activities. This leads to much higher levels of motivation and participation from almost all of my students. Thanks to Dr. Dean Kriellaars for this quote. I could see this early on when I first implemented the model and it made me want to learn more and implement more, and so I did.
The more I learned about the model, the more grew connected to other like minded physical educators using it in their classroom. It also got me connected to current researchers that are focused on the model as well. These connections grew and I was lucky enough to be asked to present at #SHAPEBoston with Dr. Steven Harvey and a crew of practitioners from around the world. It was exciting to hear more about their story and to share the successes of current practitioners with passionate educators at the SHAPE America National Convention. This was my first National presentation and I thought it went pretty well.
I finally arrived back home after the amazing convention. I got back to school and finished up a volleyball unit...couldn't use watches for that...didn't want to break them the first day we put them on. So, I had to wait for the floor hockey unit. During that time I was waiting I had a few "test subjects" that were willing to give the Polar A360s a try. Lets see what they think.
On Day #1 floor hockey started with skill and strategy development in very small groups. My classes did activities like "dribble and chase," where one partner tries to circle around or go past as many cones (scattered around the gym) as they possibly can without getting the ball stolen by their partner. My classes also worked on passing and receiving forehand and backhand passes. We practiced passing and receiving while moving to open space, with no defense. Then we practiced passing, receiving, and moving with the addition of playing 1 vs. 1 anytime I blew the whistle. During the 1 on 1 battle, the students must attempt to score and a color cone that I call out. We finished day one of the unit by playing 2 vs 2 to a cone. The goal was for the offense to work on creating space using the 360° around the cone. The defense was focused on defending playing on and off the ball defense.
Day 2 started with 2 vs 2 as an instant activity for when the class came into the classroom. After the warm up, we then broke down into 3 vs. 1 game of keep away. The focus of this activity was to work on making good passes on offense, to maintain possession, and making quick decisions on defense (guard the ball or a target). After that activity, the classes transitioned right into 3 vs. 1 to a cone. Now the offense of players had to complete 3 to 5 consecutive passes before attempting to score and hit a cone. Class finished with the game of 2 vs. 2, but this time the students where attempting to attack a cone goal on one side of the gym and to defend a cone goal on the other side of the gym. These are all very active small games where students were working on skills and strategies and it led me into a perfect day 3 and a chance to give the Polar A360s a trial run.
As the students were coming into the class, I selected two individuals to wear polar a 360s for the remainder of class. I gave them the option that they could give the watch to someone else in the middle of class. As the other students were arriving, they began passing, moving, passing, and shooting into a different goals around the gym. After the vigorous instant activity, the plan was a small modified game of 4 vs. 4. For this game, we did have goalies, and student's were attempting the score on goals. Students were allowed to play a 7 to 8 minute game. We transitioned to another activity called the Power Play. It was an activity to overloaded the offense and make the defense work a little harder than normal. The offense of attackers had one extra player than the defense, and they had one minute to score as many power-play goals as possible. This encourage passing moving the open space and controlling a dribble while the defensive player had to make a decision to defend the person with the ball or to take the player who is receiving a pass. Players switched every minute to try different positions. The The day finished with a modified game as we had played before and we found new teams to play against.
When the day was over, students brought back there Polar A360s, and we got to take a quick analysis of how many steps they took during their physical education class. We also looked at what their average heart rate, max heart rate, and distance traveled was. Students were amazed at how many steps (average of 5,687) were taken and how many miles traveled (average of 1.952). They thought it was really neat that they got a chance to see their average and maximum heart rate. I was amazed that, on average, throughout the day students averaged 5000 + steps in 1 - 37 minute class period. Most individuals ran close to two miles during that class period. Both Polar A360s ended up having over 40,000 steps in one day, during active time in those eight different classes. It was so cool to see how hard they worked, and it really solidified that the TGfU model is doing great things for physical activity and a strong educational component to my classes.