Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Barnyard Frenzy!!

On Monday February 23, 2009, we had our second motor development lab at St. Mary's School Cortland. Unlike in our first lab where we simply played the games the kids wanted to, this time, each group had the opportunity to teach a lesson to the students. While we had prepared our lesson and organized what we wanted to do, we did not anticipate the energy and reaction of the kids...

Our group, 'Jumpin' Jack and the Core Four Plus 1,' taught an activity called "Barnyard Frenzy." For this activity, we used the big parachute as the central part of the game. The story is that there are baby animals underneathe the parachute and the goal is to save them and bring them to their parents who are outside the circle. The game began with a 'farmer' who would travel around the circle performing skills such as walking, galloping, skipping, and hopping. When the music stopped, they would go between two students on the parachute. These kids would be the 'farm hands' and go under to get the animal picture and bring it to the cone on the outside. The last one back was the new farmer and the game continued.

These rules seemed simple enough. But we weren't ready for the kids reaction. As soon as they saw the parachute, they went nuts! They started rolling in it, pulling it, and running underneathe. It took a while to start the game because we had to wait for some kids to get out! When the game was played, there was little confusion but due to the low number of kids participating at a time, many became distracted and bored. We eventually adapted to this and changed the game by having everyone hold up the parachute and travel in a circle performing the locomotor skills. And at the end, we concluded by having everyone go underneathe and sit and share a laugh!

This was the first actual teaching experience for all of us in a school setting. We definately were not ready for all that was thrown out before us. The kids were excited and wanted to play and we were the ones who had to keep up. But all in all it went very well and is a valuable experience to learn from. Next week, we're going to try and make our lesson better and keep the kids excited!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lights. Cameras. Physical Education!!

And it's showtime!!

On Monday February 9, 2009, we had our first motor development lab at St. Mary's School Cortland. This was the first time I had interacted with young children in a school setting so I was excited to get there and begin the path to my teaching career. And it was much different than I had expected!

Our group, 'Jumpin' Jack and the Jive Five' were placed with the pre-kindergarden children for the first lab. And it was nonstop activities and games the whole time! For such little kids, they all had plenty of energy and desire to particpate. From the moment we entered the classroom, we were drawing, coloring, reading stories, and playing with toy cars and dinosaurs! While each child would love the activity they were doing, they would also quickly grow tired of it and want to play or do something different. While in the classroom, they were still quiet and reserved but that wouldn't last long as we were next to enter the gym...

It was like releasing the flood gates!! As soon as they got into the gymnasium, they started running around and finding things to play with. And even though I'm in good physical shape, it was hard to keep up with them! We played tag games, hula hoop, rolling/throwing/shooting a ball and racing eachother to see who was faster. Each child interacted well with one another and all seemed to be up to the same basic skill level. The energy and excitement was quite a lot to keep up with but everyone did and had a great time!

After this experience, I can say that I had a great time at St. Mary's School. It's fun to work with the kids as well as my fellow classmates. Through this, we will grow together and travel the same path for our teaching career with great experiences like this. I cannot wait until next lab to work with slightly older children to compare with my previous experience and have a great time all over again!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dodgeball Dilemma

One of the most highly debated topics in the world of Physical Education is the use of the game of dodgeball in the curriculum. Many people have their opinions based on their personal experiences with game. Some see it as a rite of passage for students, while others see it as a barbaric sport that needs to be removed from schools. Here is my No Spin opinion:

When I was in junior high school, I was first introduced not to dodgeball but a variation called "angle ball." Dodgeball itself was removed from our schools and the Physical Education teachers implemented this variation so us students could experience it. The rules were pretty much the same; elimination when you get hit by the ball but to ultimately win the game, your team needed to knock a basketball off of the cone on the other teams side of the court. Needless to say everyone enjoyed this.

As a Physical Education teacher, however, I have to decide whether dodgeball would be appropriate to use in my class. I feel that the game helps to develop and strengthen important physcial skills including running, throwing, and catching, while it also includes teamwork and strategy. It is a fun game and should be experienced by all. However, it does have its share of negatives. Many students are not as physically able as others and prefer to sit to the side or not participate at all. Plus, it allows certain students to target and bully others all the while promoting the use of violence. The game has plenty of positives and negatives.

My decision would be to use dodgeball, or a variation of the game, in my Physical Education class. However, I would offer an alternative game or activity for those students who choose not to participate in the game. This allows students who want to experience the game the ability to play it and gives the other students to experience another activity they are more comfortable with that also shares the same skill development.

There are many people who claim that dodgeball is a dangerous sport and needs to be removed from the school. However, sports like football and hockey share the same heightened risk but continue to be played without opposition from concerned parents. If one sport is to be penalized, then all who share the same risk should be subjected as well.

While it will always be a contested subject, there should be a compromise that will give students a choice to participate in dodgeball whether in Physical Education class or as an after school activity. It could be a decision for the best.

No Spin PE Zone

Welcome to the No Spin PE Zone!!

Many people are quick to judge physical education as a joke and not take the class and its instructors seriously. What they don't realize is all the hard work and dedication that goes into developing oneself as a Physical Education teacher.

As a Physical Education major, me and my classmates take many classes at Cortland that lead to our degree. While there are a lot of activity classes, there are also an equal amount rough and difficult classes we take to prepare ourselves to become educators. Anatomy & Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, and Educational Psychology are just a few of the classes we take to learn how the body works and how to use it (classes like Adventure Activities, Self Defense, Rhythms and Dance, and Basketball are just a few perks!).

On here, we look at Physical Education without any bias and without the spin. We see it for the science that it is here in the No Spin Zone!