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Teacher: Tom Winiecki who teaches at Mott Road Elementary School in in Fayetteville, NY. Tom Winiecki can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Internet Research in Physical Education

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To allow the students to take an active role for their own learning. Hopefully, this will give the students the tools that will enable them to find information about a specific topic on their own.

Suggested Grade Level: 4-8

Materials Needed: Access to the Internet.

Internet Research in Physical Education

During every unit that we involve our students in during the year, we set aside a time to go to our school's library to do some research on the Internet about that unit. The children volunteer to research the topic of their choice over the course of the year. The students choose from the different units that we are studying at the time: football, soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, bowling, basketball, hockey, tennis, lacrosse, etc. For example, I will ask the class "who wants to go to the Internet with me and look up information about gymnastics?..." The topic they are given is the same one that we are studying in physical education class at the time. For example, when we are studying lacrosse, the "Internet research" will be about lacrosse. This is all done during the child's recess period. It does not interfere with my or the student's physical education class schedule.

Over the course of the school year, all of my students in that class will have had the opportunity to go onto the Internet once to "research" one of our units. Once they do this once, they cannot go again until all members of their class do this.

They come with me to the Internet (on computers in our school's library) as a group of 3-4. They do the "research" on their own. There is a bank of four computers in the library. They each sit at one of them. They then make their short presentation to their class on their own. These last for about a minute and they are given at the beginning of their next physical education class. Each child presents their own information. The written copy of their report is then posted on a bulletin board outside the gym for the duration of the unit.

I do not grade them for content. I am with them when they take their notes, so I know that their information is accurately recorded. Rather, I am using this as a way to allow them to be an active participant in bringing information to class. The teacher is no longer the sole provider of information. This gives them a sense of "ownership" in regards to their own education.

I am trying to expose them to safe sources on the Internet. If I had a child who's parents did not allow them on the Internet, I would make other resources available to them (books, magazines, handouts, etc.)

All of the web sites that are used are checked by me ahead of time and are bookmarked. I am also with the students when they are on the web. I make sure that they don't go anywhere that is inappropriate.

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Posted on PEC: 10/6/2001 and has received 58 votes.

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