Andy Munn

  • Dana, I completely agree with your post, visual cues are massive in development of language connection… Interestingly enough my latest post is very similar!
    My stick figures definitely need some work 🙂

  • Paula, its interesting you write about creating another post regarding Cambodian P.E. TA’s, as I hope to post happenings beyond the classroom. I was talking to Marcelle about how SPELTAC is supporting me in other walks of life. I’ve recently started coaching the 1st contact rugby woman’s team here in Cambodia. The squad is full of Khmer and…[Read more]

  • Using pictures and/or drawings in my P.E. lessons has created language, intrigue and curiosity. The beauty of teaching Elementary students is my poorly drawn artworks aren’t judge 🙂 The students with their f […]

    • Andy, it’s so true what you wrote about visuals not only being important for ELL, but for all your PE students, which for me, was one of Gini Rojas’ main take-aways during last year’s PD. Your short youtube clip very succinctly illustrated that point, too.

      I think your point about the Cambodian TAs also being able to better understand equipment set-up when they use photos to assist them is very interesting – great that you are also making accommodations to enable them to be successful in the PE domain. Could that be material for another post?

      (And if the kids are spotting are electric eels, you’re drawing can’t be that bad!!)

      • Paula, its interesting you write about creating another post regarding Cambodian P.E. TA’s, as I hope to post happenings beyond the classroom. I was talking to Marcelle about how SPELTAC is supporting me in other walks of life. I’ve recently started coaching the 1st contact rugby woman’s team here in Cambodia. The squad is full of Khmer and French players, with little or no English. Depending on who is at training I might set a drill and its translated English – Khmer and English – French. At times, the English speakers aren’t there, making for an interesting challenge. As you can imagine it takes a while, especially with safety and all the techniques in mind for rugby. Huge learning curves 🙂

    • Andy, I cannot tell you how much I LOVE that you are using visual cues and diagrams to help engage all learners in PE 🙂 I have recently been thinking about how to encourage a stronger “creative confidence” in our students who think they “can’t draw” or complete art related tasks. I’ve been trying to incorporate more growth mindset awareness in my classes to curb this, but it’s also very helpful for the students to see teachers in different roles (and outside of their comfort zone) to know that even as adults, we need to challenge ourselves, take risks and try new things! Maybe a teacher swap would be a nice day to have in the future?! I’d love to have a go teaching PE, music, or classroom for the day 🙂

  • The focus of our inquiry group is try to develop strategies to increase access to our PE curriculum for ELL students.

    Over the years, many ELL students PE lessons are often a release for them. They can leave […]

    • Hi Andy,

      Just judging from the amount of times newbies said they love PE and swimming, I would say you guys are usually doing it right in terms of providing enough structure for even new to English students to access the curriculum.

      Without taking it for granted, I think that a lot of the comprehensible input in P.E. comes from modelling and great instant feedback. Language learners watch you and other children demonstrate moves and concepts that connect to language. They get feedback in so many ways, from peers, from teachers, from whistles, even from their own bodies in terms of how movements feel. When this feedback and motion is connected to language repeatedly, I’m sure the kids will learn. The learning in PE, though undoubtedly structured, takes place in an environment in which children are doing what they are hardwired to want to do: move, “play”, interact with others, communicate to accomplish visual/physical tasks that involve reward like concepts of points, object retrievals, ball catches, high fives, fist pumps, etc. In such an environment, the affective filter can drop very quickly with good teachers like all of the PE staff at ISPP. When that affective filter drops, minds open up, learning pours in. PERFECT LANGUAGE LEARNING SITUATION! Milk it!

      Ok, I know it also has it’s challenges and there is a lot of thought and work that goes into great lessons, wherever the classroom. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you could probably up the level of language in minimal time through using some of the interactive strategies from pages 31 – 38 of the “CALP Go To Strategies” ( from Gini’s visit.

    • Hi Andy,

      Today my class wrote about their week. We do this activity every Friday to reflect on the learning and playing we do at school. You and Ben should be happy to know that almost all my students consider going to the gym for PE to be the highlight of their week. We have been talking a lot in class about being balanced learners so I guess they see PE as the perfect place to learn and play without worrying much about their language ability.

      Thanks for making PE fun!

    • Hi Andy, Like the EY classroom and KG, PE is a great example of how language acquisition works. I wonder what all those boring classroom teachers 🙂 can learn from that. How can they incorporate what you do into their teaching? Mmmm..walk-throughs? Inquiry group?

    • I totally agree Andy. Our challenge is finding a practical way to display this important unit vocabulary. Our well padded gym walls are great for safety but make display board difficult. Outside the gym – maybe not obvious enough? Maybe some plastic banners above the padding are the solution?

  • PE: Week 2 – I’m going to focus on a Grade 2 (7 years old) student, from Finland and track her progress. She has little or no English, and ISPP is her first school. With my limited Swedish, I tried to speak with […]

    • I am really enjoying your posts Andy and the opportunity you provide your audience to understand your thinking and planning for ELL in PE lessons. A picture speaks a thousand words ~ everyone is clearly having fun and the more fun they’re having, I am sure make the newcomers with no English, feel more part of the lesson. That she would have come away feeling stronger both physically and mentally is huge, she really gets to let off steam, and also demonstrate to you her strengths that may or may not yet be evident in other areas of her learning where so much more language is involved.

    • In your previous post and Tweets you mentioned how PE is a natural facilitator to learn new language. As an EAL teacher, I am grateful for having staff work at my school who understand how language is acquired. Your post addresses all the important facets: modelling, cues, understanding student needs, tapping into background knowledge and the acknowledging the silent period. How lucky is our new Finnish student to have her PE teacher be a true language teacher by reflecting on what learning experiences will help her feel comfortable and acquire new language. Thanks Andy- what an inspiration.

    • Hi Mr. Andy,

      As one of this student’s EAL teachers, I would like to say thank you for your support sir!!! We’ll put these prepositions under a bit more of a stress test next week when she has to find and describe locations of classroom things…”in the cubby”, “above the notebooks”, etc…

    • Andy,
      I have been following your recent posts about your PE classes in the ES and could not help but marvel at the manifestation of the learner profile in all you are doing! I love risks and care you have taken in especially this particular case described here and the almost immediate success already being seen. The power of being the other learner’s shoes and identifying with them. They immediately almost invariably develop a trust in you and what change to the learning by just feeling at ease in class!
      Kudos and I look forward to hear the progress in the coming weeks/months, as there is sure going to be plenty to report.each language in PE class!

  • Week 1 at School: Using a physical task naturally creates language connected to the activity. I would go as far as saying, no matter the back ground or age grade. This week students, without any prompting spoke […]

    • I appreciate how you used your role as the teacher as observer in these situations. Recording student comments and actions, then asking them to reflect on the meaning and purpose. It gives the students tools for problem solving in an objective, active way. Like you said, very empowering as well. I already know where I can use this more often in the art studio 🙂

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