By Anthony Furman and Mark Heintz

This is part of a blog series intended to document and define learning at Elk Grove High School throughout the 2018-2019 school year in order to increase student learning, give professionals autonomy, increase trust in our learning community, and foster a sense of personal-intellectual collegiality within the building across departments. You can read all of the previous posts here. I am going into each teacher’s class four times and then they are reflecting along their students on the learning that took place and what they hope for.

Going into a physical education class conjures up a lot of memories.  I personally always had great experiences but from movies, tv, and friends it seems that p.e. was great for everyone.  The class has been under fire across our country and most recently our state.  But going into Anthony Furman’s 844 class highlights what p.e. should be.  Students owned the class.  They created the expectations and they did the work.  I’m in awe of what he was able to do in the first few weeks of school.

What did learning look like in the lesson? 

Furman: In this lesson, the “learning” focus was two-fold.  First, we completed our class culture expectations to work by.  This taught the students to genuinely think about what kind of environment they want to create and work within on a daily basis.  It is the beginning of understanding how to create a “culture” that will aim at improving the internal and external vision of what we expect from ourselves, our class and then throughout our school.  Students were given the opportunity to share expectations that were felt as important to have in class.  The list of I WILL, WE WILL and WE WILL NOT statements all came from the four sections of 844 students.

The exercises learned on this day were box jumps and variations of step-ups.  We have a template of exercises that we want our students to learn during their freshman year that will not only prepare themselves for future P.E. classes but also building a basic foundation of exercises for students to understand and build upon.  They learned the basic technique and purpose of each exercise and then were given time to practice each within small groups.  These exercises will be combined with other learned strength, core, and auxiliary exercises as we continue to learn our intro to a strength program.


What do you hope to do for the next time? 

Furman: I will be looking to see that we are practicing our “Building a Culture to be Proud Of” statements. That will come from teacher to student as well as student to student.  Exercises learned will be practiced and then given was to be made more challenging.  Ideally, we begin to build an atmosphere where class expectations are maintained by all students and we continue to build on the program focuses set each week.

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