Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cooperative Learning in Physical Education

21st Century Skills in Physical Education- The Cooperative Activities Unit

In education today, all curriculum areas in school encourage 21st century skills with students. 

Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity, or the four C’s, are one aspect of 21st century skills we strive to teach our students. Educators also focus on making learning rigorous, relevant, and meaningful for students.

In physical education this quarter, Thorson Elementary students had a chance to develop 21st century skills in the Cooperative Activities unit. Through a variety of cooperative, problem solving challenges, students developed their communication, problem solving, and collaboration skills. Students learned that there are often many creative solutions to problems/challenges, and had multiple opportunities to practice appropriate conflict management skills. Students had a chance to develop and build their leadership and people skills, as well as demonstrate social and personal responsibility.

Through multiple cooperative activities this past quarter, students learned what it takes to work through challenges as a group, and how to manage and learn from situations that arise. It was awesome to see creative problem solving happen before my eyes, as I watched students work together to find solutions to challenges they were given! These activities provided some of the most important teachable moments that I can share with students about how choices and decisions they make and follow through on affect more than just themselves, and how important communication and problem solving skills are for all areas of their life. 

Communication and critical thinking skills are essential tools that helped Thorson students succeed in these cooperative activities in PE, but even more importantly, students have begun to build a foundation of thinking and problem solving skills they will be able to use throughout their lifetime.

To learn more about the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, check out this link.