I’ve blogged previously about my journey towards incorporating more movement into my #healthed classroom and 18 months on I find myself in a position in which this has become my natural teaching style. From walk and talks to kinesthetic word webs to altering the state of the room (different desk layout or use of music) I think my students will attest to the fact that I’m increasing student focus and making the classroom more social, more memorable and more interactive.
This week I tried something new as I gave my students the opportunity to practice applying the DECIDE decision making model. We had already spent a lesson introducing the model and applying it to some health scenarios, firstly as a whole class, and then in smaller groups. Fortunately we had a visiting speaker come in the next day and in her session she looked at communication and decision making when it comes to sexual behavior. The timing was perfect for me to launch my kinesthetic DECIDE model lesson.
(I created the gif above using an advanced feature in Canva)
I also wrote out the steps of the DECIDE model on poly spots, which enabled me to create a pathway of movement in the hallway for students to follow.
Also using Canva, I typed out 20 scenarios for my students to apply the DECIDE model to. Some of these scenarios were written by me, some submitted by my PLN and some were created in health class last year by students (a great example of what I mean when I say that we should teach with legacy in mind). I’ve laminated these scenarios, punched a hole in the corner and have them attached to a key-ring. You can download the scenarios here.
And so here was my set up for today’s lesson. I put students into small groups of 4/5 and explained that there were different opportunities for them to move while discussing the scenarios in hand. Students could walk the stairs – stepping up, each time they moved on to the next stage on the model. They could walk the poly spot route, traveling and discussing, or they could sit on our ‘gathering stairs’, sitting on a different bench for each stage. When I had larger classes I had a static station at a table, or by lockers just to provide a comparative setting.
I placed myself in a central location (that’s me in green in the picture above). Groups checked in with me and I was able to ask them questions about the scenario and then redirect them to a new location with a new scenario.
We convened at the end to discuss the lesson. Feedback on this style of teaching was positive, it always in. They enjoy the novelty and the freedom to move. We also discussed the scenarios and students were encouraged to write their own and submit them to me.
The next time I see this group of students they will apply the DECIDE model to a situation that they are facing or have recently faced. This extended writing is often illuminating and serves as proof that the students are able to demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health (NHES 5).
If you liked this blog post you should also check out the following #slowchathealth posts:
The Kinesthetic Movement – In which I shared my top 5 tips for incorporating movement into your teaching space.
Canva in the Classroom – In which I share some of the more creative ways in which I have used Canva to add style to my substance.
Being Physically Active in Content Review – In which the outstanding Mike Kuczala shares his balanced approach to using movement to engage the brain’s higher order thinking skills and, importantly, to make an emotional or sensory connection to the content.