Sunday, October 11, 2009

2009 SUNY Cortland Physical Education Mini-Conference!!

On Friday October 9, 2009, SUNY Cortland hosted its annual Physical Education Mini-Conference. This is a very special occassion as it similar in many aspects to the New York State APHERD Conference as well as the National AAPHERD Conference. Throughout the day, there were various presentations all centered around physical education, health, recreation, and dance. We were very honored to have Dr. Judy Rink, a Cortland alumna, come and give the keynote address to open the conference. Not only would this be a special conference for all involved, but for me it was a busy one as I presided over a couple of presentations and made a presentation of my own during a session. This looked to be an exciting day...

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!

The SUNY Cortland Physical Education Mini-Conference was an amazing learning experience. I had such a great time attending the various workshops and meeting new people. I had a blast making my presentation and while I may have been nervous going into it, I'm glad that I volunteered to do it. I cannot wait until next year to present once again and to attend the NYS APHERD Conference in November!

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