Friday, September 18, 2009

Mini-Skill Lesson Take 2!!

On Friday September 18, 2009, we had the opportunity to reteach our initial mini-skill lesson from the first day of EDU 255 class! For the last few class sessions, Professor Yang and our lab instructors indroduced us to the components that make up a proper lesson plan. Each day, we practiced with each individual component to become more familiar with the format. And finally, this past Friday we were able to teach a skill in a 3-5 minute lesson and try to hit each component. Once again, we were split into two groups and taught a 3-5 minute lesson on a skill using a soccer ball, a basketball, a volleyball, or a football. After a few presentations by my classmates, it was my turn to teach...

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

One Last Dance

On Monday September 14, 2009, Patrick Swayze lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away. Known for his many film and television roles, Swayze was an icon in the industry. His most notable role being the 1987 film, 'Dirty Dancing.' His influence lasts to this day...

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.

Patrick Swayze was an excellent man and stellar role model. He fought he disease to the end and never showed any reason or desire to give in. His legacy will continue to endure for years to come.

Click right here to view the iconic dance scene from the film.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Passion and Devotion to One's Craft

In PED 201 and EDU 255, Professor Yang stresses the importance of having a passion for your work and career as well as being able to communicate your enthusiasm and knowledge to your students. You have to show to the students that you enjoy the material and never show signs of being bored or unwilling to go above and beyond. To demonstrate this, we were show to videos that epitomized this philosophy...

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

A Formal Yet Informal Teaching Experience

On Wednesday September 2, 2009, myself and fellow Physical Education student Pat Wingler began our lab assistant responsibilities for PED 201: Motor Development. The lab was not at St. Mary's School but rather in the rock climbing gym in Park Center. It would be the 201 students, us lab assistants, and Dr. Yang. Earlier in the day, we were told by Dr. Yang that would could decide what activities to do with the students in the lab on our own giving us freedom to test our skills...

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!

Ambush Teaching Kicks Off the Semester!!

On Monday August 31, 2009, my Physical Education journey began once again with the commencement of a new semester! To kick off EDU 255: Basics of Effective Instruction in Physical Education, Professor Stephen Yang told us what better way to see our skills at work than to begin teaching right away. We were split into two groups and taught a 3-5 minute lesson on a skill using a soccer ball, a basketball, a volleyball, or a football. And after putting everyone on the spot, I was first to teach in my group...

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!