Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Haven't seen enough of the Fall 2009 EDU 255 celeb class? Then take a look at Mike Koral's tribute to the class. As you watch, you may begin to notice that something is happening!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Aside from being a lab assistant, I was also a teacher's assistant for PED 288: Rhythms and Dance with Colleen Buchanan. My job was to assist in the teaching of the dances, provide feedback and assistance to the students, and help assess. I was only required to T.A. for one class but due to Ms. Buchanan not having anyone else, I T.A.-ed for two classes and was available for help for her other two. I will detail my experience as a teacher's assistant in a later post. But just as being a lab assistant, the most rewarding experience was seeing students improve because of your help.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
ExerGames are new ways to incorporate physical activity into not only physical education but also daily life. As more and more people are remaining sedentary, it is difficult to get them active and engage in physical activity. Many of these people play video games which add to their sedentary lifestyle. What better way to combat this trend then to incorporate fitness into video games. Here at the expo, we had numerous exergames for everyone to try out.
One of the flashiest exhibits was the street fighter game. Here, there were two motion pads and two sense towers available as controls one for each player. In order to defend one's self in the game, they would move using the pads and punch the tower in order to combat against an enemy. This was very unique and I had never seen such a thing before. The NBA 2k8 video game set-up made its return. The object here is to remain on one's 'mini-eliptical' and keep walking while playing the game. The catch? If you stop walking, the game controller stops working. This is a great way to keep people active as it is crucial to play the game. The exercise bike and video game set up made its return as well. One would use the bike to control a car on the video game set-up. The movable controller acted as the steering wheel and the pedals as the gas. DDR was set up for people to try this classic game as well. But it may be becoming obsolete...
The crown jewel of the exposition was the brand new iDance system, a next generation DDR platform. With 19 dance pads and detailed individual feedback and results, this is the one game that was designed for physical education class. We were excited to use this again as we learned it all week. Seeing the reaction of people new to it was priceless. They were truly amazed by the complexity of it.
The 2nd Annual ExerGame Expo was a success! There was a far larger turn out than last year and everyone had a lot of fun. ExerGames are beginning to make their way out into mainstream society as alternatives to traditional physical activity. As this change continues to happen, we as physical educators must work with this and incorporate it when possible. This truly could be a look at the future of physical education.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Upon arriving at the event center, we parked the car and walked to the registration table. From there, we received our conference materials and were off to explore what there was being offered. We first stopped at the SUNY Cortland booth to say hello to our fellow Physical Education majors and see what other booths were available. We noticed that there was a game with the booths that if you got a stamp from most of them you were eligible to win a prize. So we got all the stamps but needless to say, we didn't win! From here, we were ready to explore the different presentations.
There was a vast amount of variety in the presentations available. Our first stop was 'Enjoyable and Innovative Fitness Routines for All Students' presented by a crew of one instructor and several students from SUNY Brockport. They presented several activities that incorporated fitness activities into the games. Many of them were fun to participate in while others were a bit too complicated. It was fun to spark up a rivalry between us and the Brockport students about whose school is better. This was in good spirits and carried on throughout the conference. Following this session, we attended 'THRILLER... Dance with a Modern Inter City Twist' in the exotic Lava Room. This was a fun session as it was interactive and allowed a lot of participation. Andrew Steinberg, the presenter, was very lively and loved what he was doing. Although he made a few mistakes throughout, it was still a worthwhile presentation. Our last session for the afternoon was 'Professional Growth: What's Your Game Plan?' presented by SUNY Cortland Professor Jeff Walkuski. This was a very interesting lecture as Dr. Walkuski made us aware of the fact that we should have a game plan for our future and set goals to achieve. It was very inspirational and interesting. Following the presentation, an administrator from a school district was in attendance and praised Dr. Walkuski for his information and presentation and told us what to expect when we looked for a job. After all the presentations, it was time to relax and take it easy. We wandered through the casino and socialized with many others. With all the excitement from today, we hoped the next day would be just as good.
On Friday morning, we decided to attend the first general session of the day. This presentation entitled, 'Essential Keys to Wellness: Recreating Life's Vitality' was presented by keynote speaker Brian Luke Seaward. This was truly an inspirational keynote. Mr. Seaward spoke of personal stories and how it related to living life the way you want and how wellness will keep life fresh and interesting. One of the most interesting phrases was "to know and not to do, is not to know." If you do not apply what you know and thus do not use it, then there is no use in having that knowledge and it is truly being wasted. He then spoke of a woman from China and the life she lived. He quoted her as saying, "Humans are like tea bags, you do not know their strength until they are put in hot water." This is one of the most true statements I have ever heard. For if you do not test yourself or fight in difficult situations, you do not know your own strength. This was truly a great seminar and I am glad to have attended. Following this presentation, we went off to attend SUNY Cortland Professor JoEllen Bailey's presentation, 'Affective Assessment: Why and How.' However, unfortunately she was sick and could not attend the conference. We hope that she will present this at the college!We instead went to the 'Future Professionals Section Business Meeting and Luncheon' to see fellow SUNY Cortland student Ryan Ingalls officially be swore in as President of the club. This was a great sight to see and I also won a whistle! We then moved down to 'Great Games and Activities for Elementary Physical Education Classes' presented by the 2009 Elementary Teacher of the Year Laura Petersen-Shaw. This was a great presentation where we played various activities and learned them from a great instructor. All of the games were very elementary approriate and it was fun to act like a little kid while doing so. Cortland students were the only ones participating and it showed the dedication we all had. The final presentation of the day I attended was 'Wii Sports and Fit for Adapted Physical Education' presented by Michelle Sicurella. This was quite interesting as she showed ways to adapt the Wii for adapted students. These methods were very effective and very fun and everyone had a great time. Later that evening, we attended the Jay B. Nash Awards Dinner. This was a great experience as many teachers were recognized for their outstanding performance as well as fellow students for their achievements. The food was great and so was the atmosphere! After this, it was time yet again to relax and take it easy. We once again wandered the casino and attended the social for all conference attendees. This was another great day and we were ready for tomorrow.
Saturday morning was the last day of the conference. And this was going to be a special day for me as I was a presenter in the 'Spice Up Your Warm-Up!' presentation. The idea for the workshop is to introduce new warm up ideas for physical education classes that are more creative and more fun than just doing traditional laps. I presented alongside fellow SUNY Cortland Physical Education majors Brandon Herwick, James Thompson, Steven Jacob Colwell, Kate Bartholomew, and Dustin Pritzert. My presentation was the same as it was at the SUNY Cortland Mini-Conference. After PED 288: Rhythms and Dance, I learned to appreicate dance in physical education so much I became a teacher's assistant for the class and felt it would be appropriate to use dance in my warm up. The first part of my warm up include the locomotor skills of gallop, hop, jump, and run around each side of a square to the song, "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel. Following this brief introduction, I opened the signs I made to reveal different tasks such as leap frog, wheelbarrow run, piggy back run, and slidding around the square to "Celebrate" by Kool & the Gang. This was the last component of that warm up and I moved to my next one. It was a circle dance to "Shout!" by the Temptations. We would run and jump to music and strut like cool cats when appropriate! It turned out to be a huge hit and everyone had a great time! Following our presentation, the conference was over and it was time to head back to Cortland. After an exciting weekend, I was ready to go back home.
The 2009 New York State AHPERD Conference was my first time attending a professional conference. And I have to say, it was an unbelievable experience. There was so much to learn and so little time to do it in. I found myself scrambling between workshops and having to decide which ones to go to when I wanted to attend all of them! It is amazing to see how many people from all over the state come to this conference. I happened to run into my former high school health teacher at one point in the weekend. I initially didn't recognize her until it was too late but luckily I got called back up and got to chat for a bit. There are so many people to meet and they all love to strike up a conversation if you have the time. You realize how passionate these people truly are about what they do and the desire they have to better themselves and help others by attending these conferences.
Having been able to present at this conference was an unreal experience. Halfway through my warm-up, I thought to myself, "wow, I'm really presenting at the state conference... this is awesome." It continued to confirm my decision in becoming a physical educator and has made me hungry for more. I have now presented at the SUNY Cortland Mini-Conference and the NYS AHPERD Conference. I will present at these again next year but I now want to go further and hpefully present at the EDA Conference and perhaps the national conference. These events truly help your professional growth but more importantly help you answer why you're doing this in the first place.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
One of the most uninteresting and boring activities to me is aquatics. It can be very boring just doing strokes in class and the students can get very tired of the same old activities day in and day out. I felt just this way when I took aquatics last year. While also not being a strong swimmer, I did not enjoy the class and on many occassions felt unmotivated to perform. For Lab D, I was determined to make aquatics fun. When I sat down to make my lesson plan, I wanted to take a fun component of the class and wrap a story around it in order to keep everyone's attention and also immerse them in it so that they will truly have fun and relate to the content.
For Lab D, I decided to teach the flutter kick. This is a simple movement in which the legs move for many of the strokes. However, in order to make this fun, I added flippers into the lesson in order to speed everyone up and allow them to see how fast they can move as well as increase the splash size! Using flippers had another secret motive; mermaids. In the lesson, the students were preparing to go under the sea and become mermaids to help save Ariel from Ursula. They were immediately hooked!
To begin the lesson, I stood before a bulletin board provided by the Amity Police Department. There have been some strange sightings in the water and they asked me to teach a few strokes to help eveyone stay safe in the water. However, as I am about to begin, the sea siren goes off and King Triton calls me to say Ariel has been kidnapped by Ursula and needs our help to rescue her. At this moment, I inform the students that we will alter our plans and instead go under the sea and to help Ariel. We begin by splashing our feet in the water while holding on to the side to get a feel for the kick. Then, I had them flutter kick across the pool on their backs to see how fast they could move. Seeing that we will need to move faster, I had the students put on flippers to become more like mermaids. We redid the first few activities and added a race into the mix to see how fast they could go. Following these few tasks, I had them practice going to the bottom of the pool and touching the bottom all the while using the flutter kick. After all, we were about to go under the sea so we needed some practice! Next, we performed our recovery misson and retrieve some 'poor unfortunate souls' from the center of the pools with our teams. To wrap up, I received a message from King Triton that Ariel was released and thanking us for our help. And then I informed the students that next class, since Crush the sea turtle was watching, we would take a trip on the East Austrailan Current to keep an eye on Nemo!
Going into this lesson, I felt that I was very well prepared and ready to teach. I had practiced and felt confident. When the day came to teach, one problem arose; the medicine ball for underwater soccer was not to be found. While this could have been a huge dilemma, I got past it and adapted some other equipment for a different activity to replace that of underwater soccer. Luckily I had plenty of tasks on the activity progression sheet to use instead. And I was able to develop the content rather well. This game proved to be very popular so I am glad the change happened. One of the strongest portions of my lesson was, as always, the introduction/hook. When coming up with the lesson, I wanted to use a Disney reference as we could all relate very fondly to it. We grew up with these Disney movies and it would be a great experience to relive it once again. The cues for the flutter kick were very simple; Look. Arms. Feet. Splash. These four cues were easy to remember and simple to execute allowing a facilitated acqusition of the skills. The activities used in the lesson were very appropriate for the skill being used/assessed and they were progressionally appropriate. I was also very loud and my voice was clear for the students to understand. My verbal transcription shows how I was very detailed with what I was saying. With a good story and simple cues, a lesson can be very successful in allowing students to acquire a skill.
While I did have plenty of positives about my lesson, it wasn't without its share of negatives. Many of these problems are easily noticable on my time coding sheet. One of the biggest problems was instruction time. I spoke for long amounts of time throughout the lesson leading to reduced activity time. I felt that my cues and instructions were simple enough, but some of the directions for the activities may have been a little unclear leading to many questions by the students. I have to limit this instruction and become more clear with what I want to happen. Another error was classroom management. There were numerous occurances where the transitions between activities took way too long. One spot where this could have been avoided was with the flipper distribution. I had ample time to take out and lay out the flippers before I taught and did not do so. This would have sped up the transition and allowed more time for the activity to be played. To fix this, I need to play out transitions more clearly and make equipment readily available. One of the most crucial parts of being a teacher is providing feedback. You need to tell the students how they are doing. In this lesson, I did awful with this. I initially provided zero feedback in the beginning and did not realize this until halfway through and attempted to fix it. As you can see on my feedback analysis sheet, I did not get to alot of students. I also need to check to make sure the students understand the cues and activities more often. This could lead to less confusion and quicker transitions. While these problems may have seemed major in this lesson, they can be easily fixed with better planning.
Teaching in the pool was a very unique experience. I had never done so before and I was excited to attempt to do so for Lab D. I am very pleased with how my lesson went and with how well everyone else did in their lesson as well. Everything is broken down on my Self C-9 Sheet on how I did according to what was expected of me. While my mistakes out-weigh what went right, I learned a lot from this experience and feel I could fix them next time I am able to teach. Like I always say, nothing beats a great story!
In case you could not find them in my analysis, here are the links to my documents!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It's very easy for individuals to criticize the current wars going on in Afghanistan and Iraq. They tend to disagree with the reasons for which they are fought as well as the resources being put into them. However, we cannot forget that the men and women of the United States Military are over there putting their lives on the line fighing for our freedom and our nation. They are in harsh conditions and many do not give them the respect they deserve. These individuals are among the bravest in the world and deserve our support.Take the time to shake the hand of a service man or woman and show them you care.
If you do not stand behind them, please feel free to stand in front of them.
Friday, November 6, 2009
When we were told of the presentation, there was less than a week to prepare a lesson. Our group, composed of myself, Patrick Wingler, Rachel Phillips, Chris Infante, and Adam Campbell were to flag football. Since we were all for the most part in Stephen Yang's EDU 255 class, we dubbed ourselves 'Yang-a-lang and One Ding-Dong.' We each consulted with one another on what activity to present and taking this information, I developed a lesson plan that clearly detailed what we were doing. After a quick briefing with everyone to make sure we were all on the same page, it was time to teach.
We began the lesson with an instant activity; ultimate football. The rules are the same as ultimate frisbee which made instruction and explination very simple and quick. As we had always played frisbee in EDU 255, we felt this was the best instant activity to crossover! And it proved to be a big hit. Everyone worked together and had fun. We then brought everyone in to introduce the lesson. As the rest of the group introduced themselves, I walked around pretending to be on my cell phone. When it came my time to speak, I closed the phone and told everyone how I was speaking to Roger Goodell of the NFL and how he wanted us to run an emergency training camp! This got a lot of laughs and the theme carried through the lesson. We began with passing and catching a football with a partner which would then be altered into the game-like drill of running routes once we saw mastery. After this, we conducted a modified flag football game playing 5v5. Afterward we brought them in and debriefed them closing with a challenge to defeat us, the teachers, next class.
Having only 15 minutes to teach, you realize how little time you have to get in everything you want. And being in a group of 5 people makes it even more difficult. However we were able to manage this by dividing time equally amongst us. The biggest hit was my intro/hook. Everyone genuinely thought I was on the phone and I could tell they were shocked and even a little angry about it. It was a clever way to catch attention and it did such. Having observed everyone else teach in class, we were determined to be the best. There was very little enthusiasum from the other groups and the activities were chaotic. We knew we could do better and set out to do so. Our work paid off as we were congratulated for our efforts. Coach Hoerup even commented on how she never expected that out of me! As long as you strive to do well, it will happen.
As a teacher, we have to adapt to time limits as well as number of people we are teaching with as well as number of students being taught. This was a unique experience and very fun at the same time. I cannot wait to tackle another challenge like this in the future!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
For International Lab C, I was partnered with Patrick Wingler. Together, we chose to teach broomball a sport that had originated in Canada. When doing research on the sport and developing our lesson plan, we uncovered that there was very little knowledge of how the sport began and that Canada is attributed as it's origin due to it's similarity and likeness to the sport of hockey which is also a Canadian trademark. Due to this, we were left without a histroical approach to broomball's creation. With this in mind, we decided to create an elaborate backstory to the creation of broomball and attributed its creation to a penguin, Xavier Waddles, Ph.D. As legend has it, Dr. Waddles' cleaning company, 'March of the Ice Sweepers', was cleaning an ice rink before the Canadian winter Olympics. When a ball was hit onto the ice by accident, he swept it over to one of his employees who shot it into the net. Right here he saw an idea that would become an international phenomenon; hockey without the skates. Dr. Waddles ran over to get small kickballs and had his employees shoot them around the ice all the while running around and slipping wearing their sneakers. Broomball was invented on this day and was immediately beloved by those who came into contact with it. Xavier Waddles has gone into the history books as a not only a fine cleaner, but an extraordinary innovator.
To begin the lesson, I had the students grab a broomball stick and stand around the center circle. From here, I had them start walking around in the circle and sweep the ice clean to get a feel for it. I tossed a ball into the circle and had them sweep it amongst each other to get a feel for what the game entailed. Then, I had them move a bit faster so they could see what they needed to do to maintain balance while moving quickly. It was at this point I introduced a safety statement about how slippery the ice was. And at that moment... I slipped and fell:
I told the class it was a demonstration of what not to do when moving quickly and wrapped up the activity. I brought them in and used my visual aides to tell the history of broomball I noted earlier. I told everyone they were now employed by Dr. Waddles and we were all working together and using broomball to get the ice clean. We emphasized the cues of 'step, look, and sweep' to clean up. Following this introduction, I explained and demonstrated the first task, the 'four into three' passing drill. In groups of three, students stand on a square and pass to the open spot and one of the others follows it. This was a fun passing drill and worked on passing and moving to the ball all the while still emphasizing the cleaning theme of the lesson. Following this, we moved into the explanation and demonstration of a shooting drill. In groups of three, one person would stand in the middle and pass to the next person standing twenty feet ahead. They would then pass to the other student standing on the post who would shoot the ball into the goal or 'sweep the trash into the garbage'. This drill allowed them to work on shooting skill as well as passing learned earlier. As always we continued our cleaning theme here. Following this drill, I brought all the students back together and handed the next half of the lesson over to Pat. At this point I was done instructing but continued to assist Pat and observe his half of the lesson as he did with mine.
Going into this lesson, I was very stressed and anxious. Prior to class, there were no broomballs to use and I had to fun around looking for something to use and finally got kickballs from the equipment room. I was also late getting to the ice rink due to retesting in volleyball. Luckily Bradley and Richard went first allowing us to compose ourselves a little more. I feel the best part of my lesson was when I slipped and fell on the ice. Being able to laugh after doing something dumb got me to relax alot more and got all the stress out. As usual, the strongest part of my lesson was the introduction/hook. My Xavier Waddles story was a success and framed the entire lesson not just the beginning of it. The students enjoyed it and thats what matters most. We also used very simple cues for everyone to remember. Step. Look. Sweep. These three are so simple but are crucial to the task completion. They were easy to remember and applied to the whole lesson which helped unite both mine and Patrick's lesson segments. The demonstrations were also very simple following the outline of the cues as well as following the story of the lesson and there were plenty of activity progressions available. With simple cues and a story, it's easy to keep the students' attention.
While I did have plenty of positives in my lesson, it wasn't without its lowpoints. This was my first time teaching in the ice rink which was a learning experience not only for me but for all the students as well. I need to provide a clear safety statement and equipment to ensure their safety and constantly reinforce it. It can be rather difficult to teach in the ice rink. With all the equipment running, it can be rather difficult to hear the instructor. As my transcription shows, it was difficult to hear what I was saying to the class. One of the major issues was too much instruction time. I spoke a lot between the introduction and demonstrations which left a smaller amount of time alloted for activity. This can be seen in my time coding sheet, but there was a decent amount of playtime. Moving around on the ice can be challenging. Therefore I didn't get around enough to see everyone playing. I need to provide more feedback to everyone as best as I can so I can see how everyone is doing.
Teaching broomball was an outstanding experience! It was really fun to teach in an environment other than a gymnasium. The challenge that comes with figuring out a new venue is something I love trying to tackle. Patrick did a great job with his half of the lesson and the students left with a new understanding of the concepts of a sport they may have never heard of. In the big picture, nothing beats a strong story!
In case you could not find them in the analysis, here are the links to my documents!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
In order to have a successful pre-assessment, one needs a proper assessment for which to follow and assess the students. For lab, we needed to focus on the cognitive and psychomotor domains of an assessment. Therefore, we had to develop a lesson plan, a checklist/rubric, a cognitive assessment, as well as a teacher's assessment. Myself and Jennifer 'The Doc' Thorpe brought our initial drafts to Dr. Columna for our first meeting for which he provided suggestions and alterations for feedback. As we kept making more meetings and adjusting what we had, we saw the quality of our work go up and thus had a better assessment. On that Friday, with our equipment and visual aides in hand, we were ready to see if this assessment would work.
We began the class with a simple tag game that mixed the pop fly and ground ball into it. If someone were tagged, the only way to be untagged would be to get a grounder or a pop up tossed to you. This proved successful and we moved to our next portion of the lesson. In order to quickly divide the class, we had 20 hats; 10 red and 10 white each with one of five different teams on the brim. For one part of the activity, we could split them in half easily and for the next make an easy transition into groups. This was great for transition and everyone got a nice hat to keep! For the groundball assessment, we had the students follow a zig zag pattern and a similar pattern was used for the fly ball assessment. This was the portion where were would do the teacher assessment using a spreadsheet. Following this activity, we had them in groups of three-four doing a peer assessment using a rubric we developed. Two would perform the skills while the other would assess one of both of them. We then moved to the cognitive assessment; a quiz based on what we had learned today. We then closed the activity and debriefed with Dr. Columna, the lab assistants, and our classmates.
This pre-assessment was difficult! It was nothing like we had expected. Our teacher assessment was very difficult because it was hard to not only provide feedback to the students but also assess all the components we were looking for. The activity we used was a fast moving one and that made it hard to assess. Our rubric for the peer assessment was a little difficult for everyone to understand and the peer assessment was a disaster in itself with everyone not knowing who was supposed to do what. Other than the assessments, I myself had some problems to work on. At times I spoke too fast which could have made the directions unclear. And also I didn't look as if I was enjoying myself nor was I enthusiastic about the lesson. On the brightside, my hook was a hit and the hats were a great idea for transitions and made the class fun!
Being that this was the first time I used an assessment, there were naturally going to be problems. But it could have been a lot worse. Many of the problems are small fixable ones. In the future, the whole lesson can be fixed by wearing a smile!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Early last week, Dr. Luis Columna mentioned that if anyone were staying in Cortland over the upcoming 'October Break' weekend, there was a workshop Saturday morning that they could participate in if they chose to. Thinking I was going to go home that weekend, I brushed it off. At the end of the week, the person I was going to go home with decided to leave early. I couldn't go any earlier than we had stated so I was stuck in Cortland that weekend. I approached Dr. Columna and offered my help for the workshop. He explained what it was all about and I agreed and would meet him bright and early Saturday morning.
When Saturday morning arrived, I walked down to Park Center ready to start the day. I met Dr. Columna and the two others who were helping out. It was nice to see that Dr. Stephen Yang was also running the program as well. Here I found out that we were using 'exergames' in the workshop. Once we loaded up Columna's Jeep with dance dance revolution pads and other equipment, we were ready to head up to Van Hoesen.
Once up the hill, we unloaded all the equipment and set up in two classrooms. It was here I found out that many of these children did not speak English and only Spanish. This would be interesting as I can only speak English and nothing else! Then 10am rolled around and the children arrived. The first to come were very small; about ages 2 to 5. I began with a game that uses an electronic giraffe to help find other animals 'lost' around the hallway. When I began to explain the directions and activity, I had to have Dr. Columna there to translate so the children would understand what was going on. It was a relatively simple game so not much language was needed. The giraffe made other animal sounds and said the animal names and most children understood this rather easy. But they sure did love it! We played this game for almost half an hour moving the anmals around and having them 'run' from being captured. It was quite an experience!
Next, some older children came in a were semi-reluctant to participate. But once we demonstrated how fun it all was, they were quick to join! DDR was very popular as well as the Jackie Chan running game. But nothing was more popular than the 'eyetoy' for Playstation 2. In this interactive game, the kids could see themselves on tv and moving around interacting with the digital environment. Once these kids left, the workshop was completed and ready to be broken down.
This was quite a unique learning experience for me. Not having ever worked with children who do not speak English or who are underprivileged, I did not know what to expect. But these kids are just like any other kids out there. They love to play and get involved in activities assuming you are there to help them and make sure they have a good time. The language barrier never really seemed to be an issue. There are many universal words and body language that are readable in any language making this just a little bit less difficult. I learned that all the kids you encounter in schools will not be the same. It's not like you're going to get the great kids at St. Mary's all the time. There are children whose families are poor and struggling to get new clothes and keep food on the table all the while making sure their children get a quality education. But underneathe this surface, they're just like any other child. It takes a dedicated teacher and a patient individual to work with them and ensure they receive attention equal to all the other children out there. "Give them the skills, and they will be active."
As a professional, I anticipate the challenges I will meet in the classroom. I do not truly know what to expect but can gather a general idea. Workshops like these are crucial to the development of an individual as a teacher. You cannot learn this through courses taught at the college. It has to be experienced for one to truly learn. I thank Dr. Columna and Dr. Yang for allowing me to help and hope to participate in another workshop soon!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
As class began, our speaker stood patiently waiting to speak to us. Once our professor was finished with introductions, he took centerstage and began to speak. I won't say his name as it would be morally insensitive to do so. He started out by saying he has been HIV positive for 22 years. He then proceeded to tell us the troubles with his family he had as a child causing him to run away and engage in high risk behavior. This in turn led him to be infected with the virus at age 15. The worst part about it was that the person he was with knew they had HIV and did not disclose it. Following this, he had problems in school and was even kicked out due to his infection and sued to get back in. This became high profile at the time and he gained national exposure meeting people like President Bill Clinton, Ryan White, and even Michael Jackson. He eventually forgave the person who infected him while they were on their deathbed and told us never to hold grudges no matter how angry you get. He also emphasized that he does not let the disease take over him. He lives his life just like anyone else and blames no one but himself for what he has. Through this, he tries to make the world a better place for him to live in and for others by educating them on the subject.
This lecture was an eye opening experience. Never before had I met someone who was HIV positive. Hearing him speak made me think about all the things in my life and my future both personally and professionally. Personally, I have to make sure that I keep myself safe from unsafe environments and negative people. It is the best way to maintain my own safety. Professionally, it is my responsibility to inform my students of all the dangers in the world and help them find ways to avoid them. This goes beyond the normal scope of being a teacher and connects to the community on a personal level. The only way to prevent bad things from happening is through proper education.
People tend to think they know so much on a topic that they never have experienced or have had shown to them. We take for granted many things in our lives and do not think how other's problems may be worse then our own. We must work together to ensure not only the safety and well-being of ourselves, but also those around us.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
After weeks of preparation with the SUNY Cortland Physical Education Majors Club (APEM) and meeting on a weekly basis with Dr. Eric Malmberg, we were ready to begin the conference after setting up the previous night. Our keynote speaker, Judy Rink, addressed the full capacity crowd with her speech, 'Windows of Opportunity Don't Come Often." Being a SUNY Cortland graduate, as well as a world renowned and respected individual in the field, it was especially exciting to have her here to give a speech. She stressed the importance of what a teacher should do and the means to which acquire it for the benefit of the students. A few quotes especially stood out to me, "give them the skills, and they will be active" as well as using the line, "if you build it, they will come." These lines left me in awe as I listened to every word she had to say. Following her speech, Dr. Rink was given a hearty round of applause and warm thank you.
Now it was time for me to begin my duties for the afternoon. I was now to preside for Dr. Diane Craft in her presentation, 'Active Play! Fun Physical Activities for Young Children Pre-K & K.' This was an exceptionally good presentation as Dr. Craft detailed many different activities and games would could have younger children participate in. These games inspired me to recommend some to my motor development group for games to use at St. Mary's School Cortland. I look forward to taking her for EDU 355 in the spring! Following Dr. Craft's presentation, it was time for me to preside over the next workshop. This presentation, entitled 'Tag Games Unlimited,' was presented by Chris Wert, a Cortland graduate and current Elementary/Middle School Physical Education President of NYS APHERD. Mr. Wert was a great man to meet. His tag activities were very creative and very unique. Everyone who participated, throughly enjoyed the tag games and Chris offered the games to anyone who wanted them. This was a great session and I'm glad I was able to experience it!
As the 12:20 session came upon us, it was time for me to go and prepare to give my presentation. Started last year, "Spice Up Your Warm Ups" was created by the Cortland Majors Club APEM to provide new and creative ways to warm up your class rather than doing traditional laps. Our President, Brandon Herwick, stated a week ago that they were looking for an additional person to present a warm up at the Mini Conference. I felt that this would be an excellent experience and decided to volunteer. I decided that I wanted my warm up to include elements of dance and music in it. After PED 288: Rhythms and Dance, I learned to appreicate dance in physical education so much I became a teacher's assistant for the class and felt it would be appropriate to use dance in my warm up. The first part of my warm up include the locomotor skills of gallop, hop, jump, and run around each side of a square to the song, "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel. Following this brief introduction, I opened the signs I made to reveal different tasks such as leap frog, wheelbarrow run, piggy back run, and slidding around the square to "Celebrate" by Kool & the Gang. This was the last component of that warm up and I moved to my next one. I was a circle dance to "Shout!" by the Temptations. We would run and jump to music and strut like cool cats when appropriate! It turned out to be a huge hit and everyone had a great time! Congratulations to Brandon, Kate, James, and Dustin on great presentations as well!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Upon entering the building, the great memories from last semester came back into focus. I remember the super hero day as well as the Easter day. I was especially happy to see the picture of our old group, 'Jumping Jack and the Thriving Five' on the wall! But even with all the old memories, I was ready to make new ones to go on top of those. My group, Lauren, Chelsea, Phil, and Mallory were going to be with the Pre-K today. We had been to St. Mary's before with this group so they kind of knew what to expect but you can never anticipate what the Pre-K will be like.
As we entered the classrooms, I was overjoyed with how many of the children remembered me from last semester and immediately came over to say hello. It was great to see them again and even after a few months, how much they have already grown! We had plenty of fun in there playing with Legos and cars as well as drawing and reading stories. Before we went into the classrooms, I didn't tell my group what to expect. I wanted them to experience it all at once without preconditions like we did last semester, I felt it was the best learning experience. When the time came to switch between classrooms, I took this opportunity to talk to them about it and asked how they were handling it offering my feedback as well as advice on what to do and what not to do. From there, we went back in and played once again!Following the time in the classroom, the Pre-K were now allowed to go and play in the gymnasium. And as always, it's like opening the floodgates. The kids love running around in the gym. Lauren and Chelsea set up an activity for the children to play and they loved it. After asking about hula hoops, I suggested the 'spaceship race' from last semester so the hula hoops were spaceships and the kids raced the others across the gym. And just as I expected, it was a success.
As we were ready to wrap up, Professor Yang asked me to do the closing activity. We agreed on a circle dance to "Shake My Sillies Out" by the Wiggles. When we had everyone in the circle, the dance started and everyone was really into it! The students, lab assistants, and children were really enjoying it and having a great time. We then all came together and called it a day. This was once again another great experience at St. Mary's. I can't wait to go back again and help where I can!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Would you like to hear my lesson? Then have a listen right here!
After practicing the skill and rehearsing what I wanted to say and touch upon, I was ready to teach my lesson. This was a simple monkey in the middle-like activity. Two players were on offense with one other player on defense. When the Frisbee was passed, the thrower followed it and became the new defender while the former defender moved to offense and the other offensive player not had the Frisbee. I started the lesson with a hook that caught the attention of my classmates and got them interested in what I was going to teach. I proceeded to introduce the skill and provide cues and a simple demonstration. The students then broke into groups of three and began executing the task. As they worked, I walked arounf to the various groups and provided feedback to as many students as I could. When I saw that each student was proficent at the task and were performing it with ease, I altered the task as to challenge the students. Afterward, I brought them in and reviewed the cues and objectives of the lesson and provided a closure to get them excited about next class.
Upon listening to the audio from my lesson and the feedback provided from my lab assistants, I noticed several things that went well as well as several things that need to be worked on. One of the most positive parts of my lesson were my attitude, excitement, and enthusiasm. I displayed a positive environment which showed the students I was happy to be there and excited about the lesson which brought them in as well. My voice was loud and clear and all words audible for my transcription. I caught their attention with my hook which is personally my favorite part of the whole lesson plan. By relating the task to monkeys playing keep away with a banana, it gave them a vivid picture for their imaginations to refer. By providing a short and simple demonstration, I made the task look simple and easy for anyone to do. When the class broke into groups and began the activity, I walked around providing feedback to students to reinforce positive behavior and help adjust problems they may be having. When I saw proficiency, I altered the task by removing the backhand pass and dominant hand usage to make it more challenging giving them something to work for. Again, I walked around providing feedback at this time. Following the activity, I restated the objectives and checked for understanding then proceeded to hang the carrot for next class promising them a fun activity in the mud! Upon filling out my time coding sheet, I scored a 5/5. I provided the class with ample activity time and limited instruction time and eliminated waiting time. This gave everyone plenty of time to play!
While I had plenty of positive components of my lesson, there were still small details and areas of which I can improve upon. When I was walking around giving feedback during the activity, I turned my back to the rest of the class/gym to speak to other students. This is an issue as students may be acting out or horsing around behind you. Also, students may get up and leave at any point and as a teacher, you have to be aware that all students are in the room and participating. I also should have provided a bit more specific feedback to the students pertaining to the activity. While I did give congruent feedback, there were still a lot of 'good throws' and 'nice jobs.' Although small, these issues could become larger if not addressed in the future.
Overall, I would rate this experience as a success! I feel as if it is getting easier and easier to get in front of the class and teach. I am much more comfortable up there compared to the beginning of the semester and greatly improved over the beginning of PED 201. I can't wait to get back up in front of the class and teach once again!
In case you could not find them in the analysis, here are the links to my documents!
Friday, September 18, 2009
This time around, I felt more comfortable and prepared to go in front of the class and teach a quick lesson. I decided to teach how to head a soccer ball as I felt that it would be better suited for a quick skill lesson. I began with a simple hook that caught my classmates' attention and caused them to listen into what I was going to teach. I proceeded to introduced the skill and provide cues and a simple demonstration. The students broke into pairs and practiced heading the ball to one another. After provided feedback to as many students as I could, I altered the task as to challenge the students. Afterward, I brought them in and reviewed the cues and objectives of the lesson and provided a closure to get them excited about next class.
Upon watching my video and listening to the feedback provided from my lab assistants, I noticed several things that went well as well as several things that need to be worked on. One of the most apparent positives of my lesson is my body language and voice. I look very comfortable to be up there and excited to get my students involved in the activity. My voice was loud and clear and easily understandable from a distance away, making it easy to write the transcription of the segment. I provided clear rules and cues as well as a demonstration and got all students involved at the same time. When there was proficiency in the skill, I introduced a variation to challenge the students to work harder and improve their performance and tried to provide feedback to as many students as i could. Following the lecutre, I restated the objectives and checked for understanding then proceeded to hang the carrot with the activity for next class.
As much as I improved from my first teaching attempt, there were a number of things that needed to be worked on. When i completed my time coding of this lab, I noticed I spent too much time giving instruction than allowing the students to play. During the activity, I generally stayed central and observed the class rather than walking from station to station providing each student with personal feedback. Another problem was that I didn't notice one of my students leave when I turned my back! Dan walked away and I didn't even notice it. I should be more aware of who is in my class and the number I have in the beginning is the same i have throughout. These mistakes can be fixed quite easily.
Overall, I would rate this experience as a success! I improved greatly over my first attempt and can see the places in which i need improvement. I can't wait to teach once again and see if I can top this performance!
In case you could not find them in the analysis, here are the links to my documents!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Last spring semester, I took PED 288: Rhythms and Dance. This classes was loads of fun and I had a great time. One day, a few of us got together and decided to watch 'Dirty Dancing' as we were in a dance class and figured it would be funny. Not expecting it to be very good, I went in with low expectations. And when it was over, I loved it. The dancing was such a crucial element and it looked so much fun. Patrick's knowledge of dance from when he was a child through his life is captured perfectly and you can see his devotion and enjoyment. Seeing dance as a fun recreation tool, I valued the class even more and wound up being a teacher's assistant for it this year. While very different from the 'dark horse dancing' in the movie, the content of the class is just as fun as ever. And the movie still inspires me to this day.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
In this video from the Live Aid Concert from 1985, Queen performs in front of an endless sea of fans and concert goers. When the song "Radio Ga-Ga" begins, Freddie Mercury rises and begins his 'lesson.' Immediatley from the start, you see his passion for his work. He moves about the stage dancing and all the time smiling enjoying what he is doing. As Dr. Yang pointed out, this song was performed by Queen thousands of times before Live Aid and from this video, you couldn't tell that as Mercury was as enthusiastic as he was when he first performed the song. As the act progresses, the audience takes cues from Mercury in the form of singing and clapping in sync with the music when he tells them to. He has the full control and attention of a stadium packed with tens of thousands of people. The audience sees his passion and responds with equal passion and enjoyment to his music. As a teacher, I hope to attain the same outcome. I want my students to see my passion for my work and show the same desire to learn. However, it's quite doubtful I'll be teaching in front of a sold out stadium!
In this video from a show called 'The X-Factor', a school teacher auditions by singing a song in front of a panel of judges and a live audience in the studio as well as a television audience seen by thousands. From the beginning of his audition, you could see his passion and desire for the task he was performing. He was very animated and clear with his performance of this Beatles classic. You could tell he was having a blast singing and the audience was immediately captivated by his performance and give him their full and undivided attention. As a future teacher, I hope to be as animated and happy to be performing my tasks in front of my students and having them by captivated by my performance and respond positively and to their best abilities.
In any field, you can see that passion and communication to your audience will provide excellent feedback and solidify your reputation in your field!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Before the lab, we sat down with our Adventure Activities notebook and searched for activities. When we found a handful of activities we agreed on, we were ready for the lab. Upon arriving, we were introduced and got into an instant activity; Buffalo Bill Tag. The students were very enthusiatic and were having plenty of fun playing the game all the while listening to Queen music. We then transitioned to Triangle Tag as well as another tag game. Following these games, we introduced Chuck the Chicken. This activity had the students working in groups to quickly attain their goals before the others did. Everyone was very active and had great attitudes toward us and eachother. We then moved onto a name game where we would go in a circle saying our name and something we liked to do and the next person would repeat the people's before their's and themselves. This turned out great as the students all go to know each other's names and more about eachother. After a quick debrief and a photo, we completed our first 201 lab assistant duties.
This experience was truly important as it put us on the other side of the mirror. We were the one's running the activities and ensuring that everyone was participating and having a good time. Although we had some flubs here and there, Pat and I had done an excellent job and we look forward to working with these students again in the future!
Since I was first to teach, I had to quickly decide which sport skill to teach to my classmates. With my soccer experience, I decided that I would teach a simple lesson on how to properly pass the ball to one another. After my classmates practiced a few times with this skill, I moved to the next step in the progression which was passing to one another on while jogging in a straight line and then back. This turned out quite well as the students all respectfully listened and worked together to complete their task. However, there are plenty of good and bad components of my mini-lesson...
Being that these mini-lessons were a part of ambush teaching, it is understandable to see the mistakes and flaws in the delivery of the performance. Upon viewing my video, I noticed several things about myself. I looked rather 'stiff' and uncomfortable on camera as if I were nervous (even though I was!). However, I was quite confident in myself and knew the material and the skill well enough to give a proper lesson. There were moments where I was smiling and enjoying teaching while there were others where I stumbled. My voice was clear and the delivery of speech was concise. I may have, however, went through the material a little too quickly which could possibly lead to student confusion. There were moments in the lesson where stray soccer balls were lying around and could have potentially been a safety risk. These mistakes and highlights will surely change as I grow as an instructor.
In order to make my class exciting and fun for the students, I need to be more animated and moving around keeping their attention and making them want to be active. I also could use props to visual improve the lesson and relate what I'm teaching to a story or moment they can relate to. Also, not having such a teacher centered model would be more efficient and stimulating. Having the students get more involved and learn not only from me but also each other would increase their enjoyment of the class.
After this experience, I've been getting more and more excited to teach yet again and improve my skills to become a better teacher. As the saying goes... practice makes perfect!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Our group, 'Jumping Jack and the Thriving Five,' performed a skit based on chapter 8 of our textbook which deals with rudimentary skills of a developing infant including crawling, creeping, and walking. After meeting many times outside of class for long periods of time, we had gotten our performance down pat. We would be performing the new hot hit single, "The Baby Shuffle." While we were pretty nervous going into it, we felt we did a great job and I am proud of all the hard work we put into it and how we came together as a group. Below is the offical music video of "The Baby Shuffle" courtesy of DJ Yang:
Our class had a great time doing these performances. Each group had a great skit prepared to perform and you could see all the hard work put into it by everyone. I throughly enjoyed everyone's skits. Most of the time, I was laughing because they were so funny and presented the material in an effective way. Everyone did an excellent job and had a lot of fun doing it!! Please take the time to visit Dr. Yang's blog, Learning to Teach PE Like a Rockstar and view each group's skit. While you're there, take a look around at the other features and functions on Dr. Yang's blog. There's plenty to read and I'm sure you'll find something interesting! You will see how we can take information in Physical Education and make it so much fun!