SPEA Conference – Jamie Harknett

May 9th 2019 10:00-11:00 Judo Curriculum for Non Judo PE Teachers: This workshop was a really interesting one since we learned that judo was a sport derived from jiu-jitsu (without the striking and painful holds) that was initially created for the classroom in Japan due to a lack of gymnasium space. In this workshop we learned how to move our feet in the correct manner for judo, how to put on the gi, and how to safely throw our partners. One of the core tenets of judo is safety and, in this light, whenever someone throws another person, they must hold onto the other person’s elbow so that their head and shoulder do not slam against the mat. The instructor went over how we could teach the essential skills and basic throws in judo to every grade from Grade 1 up to Grade 12. This would be a workshop that NATA could put on during convention since the instructor works at Northlands College in La Ronge.
11:00-12:00 Using movement to explore math: This was one of the coolest and most involving workshops that I have ever attended. The instructor had us use our imaginations to move in different ways hopping, skipping and jumping along to different music to show us different ways to teach rhythm and patterns for basic math. The instructor also went over different ways to use our bodies to create 3 dimensional geometric shapes, expanding them and contracting them. Lastly, we got into partners and did some strength-based activities in partners that taught different numerical concepts. One of the activities was where both partners had to get into a plank position on the floor and then using fractions we had to show that fraction using our hands and our feet. For example, if the instructor said 6/8 both myself and my partner had to have one of our hands or feet off of the floor and hold it.
12:45-1:45 Supporting a whole school approach to mental health: I decided to take this workshop since my older brother suffered from borderline personality disorder and bi-polar depression. Personally, earlier on in my career I didn’t have a good work/life balance and thus my mood and physical being suffered immensely. We learned about different issues that are faced by different ethnic and gender minorities and how we could cultivate a better school environment for these people. Along with this, we were given lots of information about different online resources that we could use in our workplaces. Finally, we could voice a lot of different concerns that we had as teachers about our own mental health and what resources are available to us in order to keep us on a good path. This would be a worthwhile workshop for NATA to put on during convention since quite a number of our students suffer with these issues and our teachers need help too.
1:45-2:45 VoxxLife Neurological Technology: This was one of the not so great workshops that I attended. I thought before I attended it that it was about different technology meant for students that are handicapped. Instead, it was a promotional event for shoe insoles that was meant to sell a product to us.
3:00-4:00 The Gamblification of Video Games: From Grand Theft Auto to Candy Crush, youth have more access and exposure to different forms of gambling than ever before. Do video games and gambling have a connection? The number one question was where does mental health fit into this equation? Bringing awareness, educating students, and building protective factors are important in helping our students make positive choices around gaming and gambling. In this session, you will learn more about how technology continues to change the face of modern gambling, as well as how GAP can support teachers and schools with educating students on the connections between problem gambling, overplaying video games, and mental health. GAP provides FREE in-school sessions for grades 6-12.
May 10th 2019 10:30-11:30 Mickey Jutras: Mickey Jutras is one of Saskatchewan’s best Physical Education teachers. In this session we learned different ways of how to integrate different students from different backgrounds into our physical education lessons and how to be culturally sensitive. He advocated for us to incorporate the different cultural backgrounds of our students into our instruction. During this session he pointed us towards different online resources that could aid us in the preparation of such lessons.
11:30-12:30 First Nation Traditional Games: During this session we learned about a number of different First Nation Traditional Games including the game of keep away and shinny. Keep away was kind of like lacrosse however we used sticks and had a weighted sack that we would toss to our teammates. The object was to throw the sack into the other teams goal to get a point. Shinny was a lot of fun because you had a small lacrosse-like stick and then a stick to hold the ball in that little basket. The object of the game was for your team to make it all the way around the other teams goal post without having the ball knocked out of your basket. In this way you would score a point. These type of games would be used to adjudicate disputes between different members of the Plains Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Lakota, Sioux and Dakota tribes.