This guest post was written by Rachel Campbell @PEenthusiast1.
Below are some ideas that I have been using to engage learners in my A-Level PE Class:
Students aren’t always aware of the scientific challenges and amount of knowledge required to pass the A Level PE exam. PE students tend to be kinaesthetic learners, so I have tried to teach as many practical lessons as possible. My A Level PE top tips are:
1. Teach ATP resynthesis using play dough
This has engaged the students with their work. Students have a mat, plastic knife and some dough and are asked to make the basic structure of adenosine triphosphate (3 shapes which are all the same size, colour etc. and one which is different). I then ask them to create an enzyme (often depicted as scissors in textbooks), sticky labels and arrows and then take photos of the final product using their phones so they can refer back to it for revision. Their homework is then to print the photo and put it on their bedroom wall.
2. Ask the students to buy address books at the start of the academic year
Small ones from WHSmith that fit in their handbag/folder seem to work best. I expect them to bring this to every lesson and write down a range of key words and definitions into it when prompted. At the end of the course this can then be used for revision. Alternatively, if students are struggling to answer an exam question I encourage them to refer to it. It puts ownership on the students to take responsibility for their own learning.
3. Transform your classroom environment
If you are lucky enough to have your own PE classroom, try transforming it every week with new engaging objects and materials that create a new experience each time students arrive. These could be things such as:
A. A washing line with key dates for a history lesson,
B. Ergogenic aids such as creatine supplements (whey protein), sport’s drinks (Powerade), protein bars, a Vicks inhaler, a swimming costume or a cycling helmet.
Encourage the students to come in and talk about the objects. How might they relate to elite sports performers? Who would benefit from using them? Are there any side effects of using them?
4. Make sports drinks.
Bring in measuring jugs, salt, sugary cordials, electrolytes and bottles of water and set up tables with instructions on how to make each drink. Bring in plastic cups encourage students to try a bit of each drink. Engage the students in the subject’s content, ask them why is one more palatable than the other? Are hypertonic drinks beneficial to novice performers? If not, why not? Set an exam question at the end of every lesson students are under pressure to absorb as much knowledge as possible and are ready apply to it.