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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Improving Communication With Learners!

As a future physical education teacher one of the most important things to take into consideration is the level of communication I will have with my students, especially in task preparation. 
There are many things a teacher can do to improve communication when presenting their students with a new task and I will be discussing some of them. 
Listed below are key things one can do to improve such communication:
1. Sequence the presentation in logical order
[This will make it easier for students of any age to learn a task from simplest to most complex]
2. Get the attention of the learner 
[One effective way to do this is to personalize the presentation and draw on the personal experiences of the students]
3. Give examples, Improve clarity, and Repeat things that are difficult to understand 
[All of these things will immensely increase the understanding of your lesson]
4. Check for Understanding
[This is key especially for younger children but should be done for all ages]
5. Choose a way to communicate that is effective
[Verbal communication, media tools, demonstrations]
[They must be accurate, brief & critical to the skill, also appropriate to the learners skill level & age to ensure maximum benefits]

Another thing a teacher must do is develop lesson content appropriate for their students. Teachers can use a progression of tasks to develop content that makes it possible for the learners to go from one level or learning to another. There are three different content moves that establish progression & represent the way a teacher develops lesson content. They are as follows:
The first part of the process of developing lesson content is using Extension Tasks.
These are tasks that change the complexity of difficulty of the prior task. 
Next, Refining Tasks which are the qualitative aspect of the extension task.
Lastly, Application Tasks or Assessment Tasks. They are the competitive, self-testing, or performance based tasks. 

When talking about Open versus Closed skills the established progression should differ. I say this because Closed skills can be practiced by reducing the complexity & difficulty while Open skills require gradually increasing difficulty to their practice. Closed skills are also practiced primarily in the conditions in which you use the skill while Open skills are not.

Below are examples of extension tasks for closed & open skills!
An example for an extension column of a closed skill such as a forward roll would be:
1. Perform down a large incline
2. Perform the roll down a small incline
3. Perform the roll on a flat surface
4. Perform the roll up an incline mat

Here is an extension column of an open skill such as a soccer header:
1. Perform the header sitting on your bottom
2. Perform the header on your knees with a forward motion
3. Perform the header on your feet
4. Perform the header walking forward

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