Sunday 9 April 2017

HPEC/GEOC Membership Grant Recipient Profile: Mitch Wainman

Hi Everyone!
My name is Mitch Wainman and I am the very lucky recipient of the HPEC/GEOEC membership grant for the 2017 conference.  I teach PE 9, PE 10, Outdoor Ed 9 and Wildlife 10 at J.A. Williams High School (JAWS) in Lac la Biche, Alberta. The majority of you do not know me however, many of you would have saw JAWS through various media outlets when the Fort McMurray wildfire evacuation was happening. JAWS gym was the spot for all of the evacuees to gather up donated items that came in from across Alberta!
                  This is my third full-time year of teaching; all years, including my practicum were at JAWS, and I have been teaching Physical Education throughout my career. I have found that high school students can be at the best of times, nearly impossible to motivate. I am sure I am not the only one who has figured this out. My response to this is to making sure my students have an appropriate warm up, before we go into our lesson for the class. One of my favourite games to play (and now the students look forward to it) is called Squirrel Tag.
                  Squirrel Tag is a game that I learned while going to the University of Maine that we would use for elementary age students, however I find it works really well with my grade 9 students. You only need a few sets of pinnies (jerseys) and each student needs two. I typically use half a basketball court or I mark out an area with pylons if we are outside, the area should be big enough so your students can move around, but not so large they can go and stand in a corner to avoid playing. They take each pinny and tuck it into their pockets or waistbands so they hang down like a tail.  Once everyone has two pinnies hanging out of their pockets, it is time to start. My main rule is you cannot run out of pinnies, so if you lose both, someone who has more than two has to give you one so you can continue playing, I find this forces our “non-participators” to make sure they always at least have one.

                  This game is great as it is an invasive game; you can also switch it up into teams, after the allotted time period, the team that has the most wins. Generally, I run it three times, at five minutes each, this is long enough to warm the students up and short enough that they do not become bored of the game.