Monday, May 2, 2011

Who Wants to be Strong? Wii Want to be Strong!

Day 21 (56) - Monday May 2, 2011

In 1983, the United States Congress declared the month of May as 'National Physical Education and Sports Month.' As Longwood director of physical education Gina Curiale made note to the district's physical education teachers, the first week in May would be 'National Physical Education and Sport Week'. Together with Ms. Hinton, we developed a simple outline for the week to integrate physical activity into the classroom with the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. This would be known at the Ridge Primary Center Fitness Week. Through this, we hope to have the classroom teachers and the administrators within the building become advocates for physical education during the month of May and beyond. When I earn my own teaching job, I become the unofficial physical activity director of the school building. I need to explore new means in which to excite students about physical education and make it more inviting for all to participate. Today in class I announced my commitment to the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). I decided that if they children will be taking the President's Challenge, then I should join them by taking a fitness challenge as well. By sharing this information with them, I hope to inspire them to work for their goals. After all, I need to practice what I preach.
In athletics, the Longwood Lady Lions track and field team defeated the William Floyd Lady Colonials track and field team. This was a extra special meet is it placed myself and my good friend Patrick Wingler against one another as 'coaches'. While it was fun to see Patrick, it was even better to see the Lady Lions improve to 4-0 on the season!

Day 22 (57) - Tuesday May 3, 2011
As we continued our President's Challenge assessment, I was looking for different ways in which to get the students active while I was assessing. Initially, we tried stations but that did not work out too well. There was too much action going on at one time that I was unable to focus on assessing the student and paying attention to the rest of the class. Our next attempt was to have students simply watch their classmates go one at a time. While this was the best way to observe everyone, it tended to be a little boring for some students. Today, I decided it was time to reintroduce a few stations as well as the Wii Fit! Even though these students are in kindergarten and first grade, they are all very familiar with the Wii Fit system and games (even more than I was!) Needless to say, once they saw the television the students became very excited about their being able to play the game. All was going well until some student became upset that they were unable to hold the remote and did not have a chance to play as long as others. At the end of the day I decided to only reintroduce the Wii Fit at random or different times in order to make it more special. Technology is a driving force in today's society and we as educators need to use it to our advantage when teaching. Students of all ages are very familiar with various forms of technology and are always willing to learn more. In order to create a stimulating and entertaining learning environment, the teacher must evolve with technology.

Day 23 (58) - Wednesday May 4, 2011
After six weeks at Ridge Elementary School learning the ropes and practicing my teaching skills in different classes, Ms. Hinton placed me at the helm of the classes being taught today. While it took some mental preparation to teach eight classes (four in a row, lunch, four in a row), I was very excited to have the day in my hands. Today I would have five first grade classes, one kindergarten, and two adapted physical education classes. The day started off on a great note with the first adapted physical education class and helped set the stage for the rest of the day. I remained calm, confident, and excited out the material within each class. We continued our President's Challenge assessment by completed the curl-up test and by beginning, and completing, the sit-and-reach test. I made sure that my rules were concise and yet direct. I always had a full view of the class and consistently reinforced positive behavior. The students were excellent! They performed very well on the assessment and were very well behaved. In order to keep their attention, I would continue to act silly at appropriate times to keep their attention and strengthen skill acquisition. The second adapted physical education class was a little tough but I was able to rebound during it and finished the day on a positive note with the last class. In the high school, I taught each class everyday. However, here at Ridge, it was quite different. There were eight classes instead of five to teach and time management was a huge factor. I felt very confident today and Ms. Hinton was very impressed. She noted, "Last week sucked but this week is awesome!" This got a pretty hearty laugh out of me! I am very happy with today and look forward to the rest of this adventure at Ridge Elementary School!

Day 24 (59) - Thursday May 5, 2011
As the school year begins to approach the end, it is almost time for the school's field days for the kindergarten and first grade students. Ms. Hinton organizes all of the activities for the day and today was the second day of meeting with the teachers to go over the activities. This would be the first year in which the teachers would be in charge of leading their classes through each station and although some where initially unsure they quickly began to become more comfortable and excited with the upcoming festivities which I unfortunately will be unable to attend. Today Ms. Hinton took the morning classes and I had the afternoon. She told me how it can be good and bad to have a student teacher. It is good because she gets to help them grow professionally and it is bad because she has to take a step back and not teach as much. As we continue to reach the end of my experience, I am teaching more often but Ms. Hinton is still getting her fair share of work! When I someday become a cooperating teacher, I will revisit these words from Ms. Hinton and model the student teaching experience in a similar way. Through that I hope to develop strong teachers in the same manner in which my skills were developed. Today was very successful and I look forward to teaching all day once again tomorrow!

Day 25 (60) - Friday May 6, 2011
To close out the week, Ms. Hinton once again had me teach each class of the day. After a successful week, I was very much looking forward to this. It proved to be an incredibly beautiful day out and we were able to finish testing for the running and curl-ups for each class and many were able to finish the sit-and-reach test. All was going well until we hit the end of the day. There is a notable difference between kindergarten and first grade both developmentally and behavioral wise. Ms. Hinton noticed early on that I sometimes let the kids have a little too much fun and that puts the control of the class into their hands. She noted that I need to be a little more stern and decisive while still allowing the students to have fun. During the class, the students were noisy and did not follow directions very well. I mainly did not pay attention to them in order to get through the assessment. At the end, I let them know how I was upset with their behavior and how we may not continue if they do not listen. This harkened back to the high school hockey lesson where I tried to teach to no success due to constant disruptive behavior until I finally called it quits and lectured the class. For students of any age I need to lay down and enforce the rules at all costs, otherwise, they will be meaningless. Even though this was a tough class to end the week on, Ms. Hinton told me not to be discouraged as I had a great week. I now look forward to my final eight days in which each of them will be fully in my hands.

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