Monday, May 4, 2009

Put on your Teaching Hat!





Today in class all the teaching groups performed a skit on infant development, in order to get us to try and think out side the box when it comes to teaching and presenting material to students. This was a very entertaining class and it was fun to see everyones hard work put together in their skits! 

LYRICS:
One control your head and your neck, yeah 
Two now hold that trunk, push your chest, yeah 
Three sit up with help, then alone, yeah 
Four stand up with help, then alone, yeah (x2)

They say Im a baby and I say no. 
Im growing up strong and learning as I go. 
I go from a scoot way up to a walk. 
So all the babies can learn to talk, yeah. ------------- 
Weve got a brand new dance to learn to use our muscles. 
A brand new dance, its called the baby shuffle. 
It dont matter if you young or you old. 
Here we go) We gonna show you how it go. 

Hold your head, and your neck, yeah your head, and your neck 
Get that trunk, lift that chest, get that trunk, lift that chest 
Now sit with support, and now by yourself 
Now walk it with support, then walk it by yourself 

Now its time to walk but with support 
Keep on walking but hold someones hands 
Now walk by yourself but with a lead 
Keep on walking but all on your own 

First you scoot your butt across the floor 
Then you crawl; just use your arms, yeah 
Now its time to creep, get on all fours 
Now lets bear walk all by yourself. 

Scoot it right, scoot it right, scoot it right, scoot it right 
Crawl it left, crawl it left, crawl it left, crawl it left. 
Now creep, now creep, now creep, now creep 
Bear walk it by yourself, bear walk it by yourself. (x2)

Now you see what Im talking about. 
We represent for the babies lets shout. 
Where we known for crawling about. 
Were gonna show you what were talking about. 

First you reach out your hand out for something 
Second you grab a hold, hold on it tight. 
Then you drop it with good release, yeah. 
Put it all together all by yourself.  (x2)

Reach it right, reach it right, to the right, to the right, to the right. 
Grab it left, grab it left, to the left, to the left, to the left. 
Now release, release, come on baby release. 
Now walk it by yourself, walk it by yourself.  (x2)

And do the baby shuffle. 
Now let me see you do the baby shuffle. 
Its Jumping Jack and the Thriving Five 
Dr. Yang running class got another hit indeed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PED 201 Reflection


  1. Based upon observations and interactions with the St. Mary’s students, describe what you have learned about young children?  Provide examples of activities you felt were appropriate. Why? Were there activities that were not appropriate?  Why?  

During the past 6 labs I have learned a lot about young children. The main thing that I have realized is in the area of instruction and directions. It has been really crucial to keep directions short and sweet, and to give instructions with simple cues, in order to minimize confusion within the class.  With long directions students get really antsy and distracted, and most likely after the first minute or two they are not retaining any information you are saying. Another thing that I have learned in the 201 labs, was the way you present games is so vital to sparking the interest with the children. In the beginning labs, our class would just have a game, teach the rules and have the students play. This works but this is not a way to really get everyone’s attention and get all to participate. What our class has figured out is that you need to present to the students in a way were they are intrigued with the activity and excited to participate. For example I feel as if the best lab that my group did was the Super Hero Training Camp. Our group took a game like endless buckets and twisted it to a way we felt was fun and exciting. Sure enough we had all the kids participating, and performing the locomotor skills on hand, without them even realizing it.

  1. Based upon your interactions with St. Mary’s PRE K program, describe your experience.  How was this different from working with the older age students?  Did you enjoy working with younger age children?  Why or Why not?

Working with the PRE K program was something I didn’t really expect going into this class, but I am thankful for the opportunity that we had to work with this group of youngsters. My very first week at St. Mary’s, my teaching group was thrown into the PRE K.  Our main task with in the classroom was getting the students to talk and interact with us as much as possible. I noticed that it was great to be silly, and out going with them. Most likely if you sparked a conversation with them, and were acting silly, they would play and communicate back. I wish we had the chance to work with the PreK more in the gymnasium. It was hard to get a sense of their locomotor skills because their only time in the gymnasium was at the end of the lab, when all the other grade levels were in their, giving them limited space, a noisy, and chaotic environment.  Working with the PRE K students was a difference experience then working with the older students because you really had to work on their fine motor skills, such as coloring, playing with legos, and doing various tasks with hand eye coordination.

  1.  During your field experience, each of you worked with children in the cafeteria setting.  Describe the fine motor activities you observed.  Do you feel that working on fine motor activities is something we should work on in Physical Education.

Working down in the cafeteria we had a lot of different opportunities to observe various ages students work on fine motorskills. Activities we did down there included checkers, mancala, coloring, card games, legos and connect four. Although these activities themselves are not strenuous physical activities, I feel as if the fine motor skills carry over into the physical education setting. These are hand eye coordination activities, and the more control individuals have over this skill, the better they will be at certain tasks. However, I don’t feel as if fine motor skills is something that should be addressed in physical education because of time. I think there are more important things to be working on during the class period. I think fine motor skills are important, but this is something that can be practice with in the classroom.

  1.  Reflecting on your growth as a future teacher, what have you learned from this experience that has given you insight as to your individual “teaching style”.  Has your teaching style emerged based upon your experience and interaction at St. Mary’s.  If yes, in what way.  If not, how else might this occur?

 I definitely think I have grown as a teacher through my experiences at St. Mary’s. In week one I remember feeling timid and afraid to be loud and give instructions to the students. I feel as if I have found better was to thing outside the box when presenting activities to children, and making it an environment where all want to participate. I think that I have definitely have come out of my shell and I am beginning to shape my teaching style, but it is also something I still need to work on. I now know the importance of being enthusiastic and presenting yourself in a professional manner, that way students respect you and in return want to participate in the activities. I feel as if I still am developing my teaching style and everyday here at Cortland I am learning new and better ways to shape my teaching style. The biggest thing about developing a teaching style is through experience like I have had at St. Mary’s and any other teaching opportunity I am going to have in my future. I am going to continue to be positive and enthusiastic, that right now I feel is the main core to my teaching style. 

(jumping Jack and the Thriving 5!)

   

 


Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Festivities!


Today was our last lab at St. Mary's and we were left with the freedom to create our own activities for the students.  My teaching group, Jumping Jack and the Thriving Five, was stationed downstairs in the cafeteria.  My group thought long and hard about how to set up fun activities for the students in the limited space.  The First game we create was Put the Egg in the Basket, which was much like pin the tail on the donkey. We handed out eggs for the children to color, once the finished, they lined up to get blind folded and spun, and then directed to a large easter basket that was pinned on the wall. 
The second activity we set up was an egg on the spoon relay race. We split the group up into 3 groups and one at a time the students had to walk down while balancing a plastic egg on their spoon. The students really seemed to enjoy this activity as is was a fun challenge for them. We then adapted it and had them try to walk backwards, and also holding the spoon in their left hand. 
To conclude the day, everyone was in the gymnasium.  It was a fun day as to many were wearing bunny hears and filled with holiday cheer. I play jump rope with a bunch of students and they all were having a blast. TO end the day we took a group picture, and concluded the spring labs for my 201 class. I felt like it was just yesterday that i had my first lab with these students, and now it was time to saw goodbye. 

                              

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Environment Day: Lab 5

1. Reflecting on your experience so far at St Mary’s, what do you think have been some difficulties or challenges you have faced?  Consider all areas – environment, children, etc.

Today’s lab we observe students overhand throw and catch.  One difficulty we had faced in creating the games was making sure the students were using a full overhand throw.  Many students through out the game would tens to get caught up in the game can just try and throw the objects underhand, or rushed their overhand throw

, having minimal follow-through and windup. Another challenge came up during the first group’s game, and I thought they made a nice adjustment. Their game was making the pizza, having chiefs throw the ingredients to the cooks, but students weren’t able to cross the middle ground of the gymnasium, which was the oven.  At first the oven was too large, and the students had great difficulty reaching their partners.  This teaching group quickly adapted by moving in the cones, making the students more successful, with out having to stop the game. This adaptation accommodated the environment in which they were working with and the children’s skill level.

 2. What ideas/suggestions do you have to resolve the difficulties or challenges that you wrote about in #1?

            To help resolve difficulties and challenges I think it is important to plan ahead and practice!  It is important to brainstorm about the activity that you are going to present and think about all possibly problems that may arise.  Also proper planning can also help you have multiple varieties of the same game that will keep the game fun and fresh for the students, which will minimize boredom, and lack of interest. It is also important to always be one your toes, while teaching. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned, so it is essential to be watching the activity and thinking how you can tweak it to fix problems the students maybe having and keep interest level up for students. 

See full size imageSee full size image


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Food Mania


1. Reflecting on your experience so far at St Mary’s, what do you think have been some difficulties or challenges you have faced?  Consider all areas – environment, children, etc.

Today’s lab we observe students overhand throw and catch.  One difficulty we had faced in creating the games was making sure the students were using a full overhand throw.  Many students through out the game would tens to get caught up in the game can just try and throw the objects underhand, or rushed their overhand throw, having minimal follow-through and windup. Another challenge came up during the first group’s game, and I thought they made a nice adjustment. Their game was making the pizza, having chiefs throw the ingredients to the cooks, but students weren’t able to cross the middle ground of the gymnasium, which was the oven.  At first the oven was too large, and the students had great difficulty reaching their partners.  This teaching group quickly adapted by moving in the cones, making the students more successful, with out having to stop the game. This adaptation accommodated the environment in which they were working with and the children’s skill level.

 2. What ideas/suggestions do you have to resolve the difficulties or challenges that you wrote about in #1?


            To help resolve difficulties and challenges I think it is important to plan ahead and practice!  It is important to brainstorm about the activity that you are going to present and think about all possibly problems that may arise.  Also proper planning can also help you have multiple varieties of the same game that will keep the game fun and fresh for the students, which will minimize boredom, and lack of interest. It is also important to always be one your toes, while teaching. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned, so it is essential to be watching the activity and thinking how you can tweak it to fix problems the students maybe having and keep interest level up for students.

 

Friday, March 6, 2009

St. Mary's SuperHeroes


St. Mary's Lab#3: Super-Hero Theme

My teaching group, Jumping Jack and the Thriving Five, were once again the first group up to teach our game to the excited students.  This time however, we were equally excited because we had well planned out our activity and brought in multiple props to help set the theme.  Our group was given the game Endless Buckets, which was a game where students would pick out task cards, and then perform the activity on the card.  Our group brainstormed on how we could make this activity fun and relate it to the theme of the day.  We came up with a great idea of taking the students through Super-Hero Training camp.  We told the students that next week all the superheroes  were taking a vacation and they had asked for our help to help train them to take over!  Our whole group game in with superhero logos on our shirts along with capes on our backs, and right away we won over the attention of the students.  We set up stations that went along with the task cards that we wrote that focused on the locomotor skill of the day. We set up a City slide, Bat cave crawl, subway chase, and a villain toss.  I thought our activity went great! We had all the students up and participating. Our props enhanced our activity so much and it helped spark interest immediately, during the activity we also played superhero theme songs in the background. 

During this lab we were observing Anthony and Rowan performing leaping, horizontal jumping, and sliding. For the leap we encountered a problem with assessing, the students often performed the leap so fast that it looked like a run. We had to set up a way to get them to do it slow, such as saying lets leap in slow motion. Both Anthony and Rowan performed the leap great, taking off on one foot and landing on the other with both feet off the ground. Anthony had a little trouble reaching forward with arm opposite the lead foot. The horizontal jump Anthony had trouble with preparation for the jump by not flexing arms and knees with arms extended behind. He would just jump forward not creating any momentum for himself.  Also during the landing he lacked bringing his arms downward.  Rowan had good preparation but didn’t forcefully use arms in full extension over her head. Rowan also had a good landing landing with both feet simultaneously and bringing arms downward. Lastly, we observed the slide. Both Anthony and Rowan, performed the slide well. The only thing they didn’t have was a period of having both feet off the ground, they tended to drag their trail foot on the ground.

To end the day, Pam and I led the group activity. We did the Cha Cha Slide. This was a great activity because it is a song they are all familiar with and it is also filled with locomotor skills such as hopping and sliding!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hi-ho! The Dairy-o! The Farmer and the Dell

St. Mary's Lab #2: Farm Animal Theme

For lab two, my teaching group, Jumping Jack and the Thriving five, were the first group to set up the planned activities for the students at St. Mary's.  With our activity we planned a game called Barnyard, which was a game that used a large parachute.  We got to give this activity a run through in class before using it with the children, and we had it set up to what we thought would be the perfect game.  However, not everything went exactly as planned.  With this being our first organized teaching experience at St. Mary’s we didn’t know what to expect, we made a few mistakes, but in the end we were able to adjust and move on with the activity. One thing I think our group needed to work on was designating one person to be the teacher. We ran into a problem of having to many of us putting in input and shouting out directions to the class, leaving the students confused as to who was in charge. In stead I feel as if we need to just have one leader and the rest of us just work on keeping the students organized and on task.  Another thing we need to work on is presenting the activity and also directions.  We gave little instructions and had the students sit around the parachute, which turned out to not be such a great idea.  As soon as the students were sitting around the parachute, they had their hands on it, shaking it, crawling under it, making it hard for us to give instructions with the noise and the distraction of the parachute right in front of them.  Perhaps for this lab giving a overview of the whole game instructions, check for understanding, then have the students sit by the parachute would have been a better way to keep control of the class. One we regained control, we were finally able to get the game underway. We played music in the background which helped add to the theme playing songs from the Lion King, and other animal songs. This added to the activity and I feel as if it made it a better environment for the students.

Next up, it was time to pass the students along to another group, and we finally go the chance to observe. The second group did a game which was called Zany Zoo.  I thought this activity was great! The students were set up into a relay race and performed locomotor skills while getting to act, walk, and crawl like silly animals.  This teaching group did a great job explaining the game and they also utilized playing music in the background.  During this game, we were focusing in on watching the locmotor skills of runnig, galloping, and hopping, in particularly watching Casey and Shamus.  For the run, both Shamus and Casey did a great job with having arms move opposite legs, having a bent nonsupport leg, and having a period where both feet were off the ground. However, I did notice that Casey tended to run flat footed. With the gallop, both students were able to have a brief elevation with both feet off the ground, leading with both feet, and able to step forward with the lead foot followed by a step with trailing foot. One area I think both students could work on is keeping arms bent and lifted, they tended to have their arms straight at their sides. Lastly, we got to observe the hop. Casey is a nice job with the hop, the only thing that I would help her with would be her nonsupport leg, she tended to no use this leg to swing in a pendulum to produce force.  Shamus also had this problem, along with not keeping his arms bent and elbows and swinging them forward on take off. Shamus’ hops were really short distance because he didn’t use the rest of his body to give him force.

The end of the day we concluded with a group activity of the Chicken Dance. It was a lot of fun to see everyone up and clucking! I think the students really enjoy the group activity at the end because even the college students participate and interact with them during this activity. 

    

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Coaching is Teaching"

    On Thursday evening, I was able to attend the guest speaker presentation given by Paul Alexander. Paul Alexander is a Physical Education Cortland Alum, who has become a very successful coach. It was neat get the chance to hear an alumni who not too long ago long ago was sitting in the same classes as I am now, and has worked his way up to a very respectable coaching position in the NFL. Alexander has been offensive line coach for the Cincinnati Bengals for the past 14 seasons, and in the past three years he made franchise history for fewest sacks allowed by an offensive line.
The presentation given was based around, “Coaching is Teaching”. Throughout the presentation he touched upon a variety of things such as teaching, coaching, attitudes, philosophies, biomechanics, and composure. One of the things I agreed with was the importance of coaching and biomechanics. In order to be an affective coach, you must be knowledgeable in the way the body moves. He proved this with a simple demonstration. He asked two people to come up to the front, one of them standing there with arms straight out and palms facing down. He asked the other person to push down on the first persons arm while that first person tried to resist his movements and try and keep his hands up. He struggled to keep his arms up and the second person was able to push his arms down with a lot of ease. Then he asked them to perform the same task, but instead have thumb facing up. The person was able to keep his arms up a lot better than the previous try. This is simple due to biomechanics, if the thumb is face up then more muscles are activated to support the arm such as the shoulder and back muscles instead of just the arm muscles. Understanding little things like this will help you become a better coach because you will be able to help correct little things your athletes due and make them stronger and more efficient. Another important part of his speech was one of the last things he touched on and it was about composure. One example he used was Lindsey Jacobellis’s performance in the 2006 Winter Olympics. She was in a snowboard race, and she had a clear cut lead, and it was almost a sure cut lead that would guarantee her a gold medal. However on the second to last jump, it looks like she looked back as she was doing a show boat trick, causing her to wipe out. Instead of getting the gold, she got a silver medal, which she is lucky to get, because she could have walked away with nothing after a stunt like that. It is important to keep your composure at all times because you never know what will happen in sports. There are never any guaranteed or easy victories. You must always go out and give it your best effort and always be working to improve your game.
   I really enjoyed this presentation and I hope to bring some of his philosophies to my own coaching techniques someday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

First Day at St. Mary's

            On Monday afternoon, we were off to our first lab at St. Mary’s.  My group was assigned to the pre-K and worked with kids ranging from 2-5 years old.  When we first got to the school we split up our group and went into one of the two pre-K classrooms.  While in the classrooms with the kids, we basically had time to interact with them and introduce ourselves to them as well as get to know them. We were encouraged to get the kids to talk. At this age it is really important to get kids to start expanding on their vocabulary.  I was trying really hard to ask them questions where they couldn’t use yes or no answers.  I was pretty amazed at what they knew.  When talking to one group about colors, I found out they knew their colors in Spanish, and they taught me a little song they had learned that works with the colors in both English and Spanish.  Also while in the classroom we colored, played with legos and various other toys, had snack time and read stories to the kids.  The last half hour it was finally time to bring them into the gymnasium. At fist the kids ran wild, they had so much energy from being in the classroom all day.  We didn’t have any set games for the kids, but my group kind of split up and tried creating some different games and the kid’s choice what they wanted to do.  One game we set up with hula-hoops on the floor and played a sort of hopscotch game. We tried incorporating colors and also motor skills by calling out commands such as, “hop on one foot in a green hoop”.  Another game that we tried all the instructors in our group were holding a hula-hoop and one or two kids would be inside the hoop holding on. The kids would walk and we would steer them around by turning the hoop and they would follow our steering. This was a quick fun activity that the kids really seemed to enjoy.  One thing I noticed was that not all the kids wanted to be involved in the group activity.  One boy kept sitting out, and I would keep going over and asking him why, he would say he wanted to play a different game and then I would try and create something that he could like. The time in the gymnasium flew by and before we knew it, it was already 5 o’clock, the day ended with one group activity and then a group cheer.

            Overall I had a great first experience at St. Mary’s and I am really looking forward to the upcoming labs.  I am really excited to work with the different age levels and try and incorporate more activities into their after school program.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

SPARK Workshop

On Thursday morning during class and on Saturday morning I was able to attend parts of the SPARK workshop. SPARK stands for Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids. During these workshops I learned a ton about ways to become a better physical educator and how to make physical fitness in schools fun. Some main objectives of the SPARK program were to help teachers use effective organization, proper class management techniques, effective instructional methods, alternative teaching styles, and strategies to responding to “real world” challenges that arise in schools today.  If physical educators tackle these objectives and master them the benefits to school physical education will sky rocket.  The truth is that today many physical education classes are on the chopping blocks due to budget cuts and what not.  Studies show that in most physical education classes, students are only moving around and participating in about 30% of the class time. This needs to change, and SPARK shows many ways of doing this.  In this workshop we learned the benefits of splitting up the class into small groups, and also cutting down instruction time.  Most of the time Physical Education teachers may dwell on explanations when they often don’t have to, which can lead to students sitting around and becoming bored.  In the workshop we worked on giving brief explanation followed by a quick visual, which will keep students on the same page and active throughout the class.

One important thing I got out of the workshop was disguising physical fitness exercises.  Such as the usual warm-ups of physical education classes usually consist of taking a few laps and doing push-ups and sit-ups, which after a while gets repetitive and boring.  Why not add a short dance routine in for a warm-up that will serve the same purpose as running laps but it can be put to music, along with working on students rhythm, balance, coordination, along with cardiovascular endurance. Instead of doing push-ups for upper-body strength, we did some different fun activities. We split up into partners, while facing are partners about a yard a part we got into a push up position with a bean bag on the floor in between us. We alternated clapping hands while music was playing, as the music stopped both partners tried to grab the beanbag. Another variation was to be in push-up position about 5-8 feet away from each other and use the bean bag like a hockey puck and try and score it between your partners arms. These activities were a lot more exciting then push-ups and kids will be getting the benefits of push-ups while having fun.

Overall I had a great experience at the workshop and I hope to one day incorporate some of the games into my own physical education classes. 

-Here is a video I found that help explains the objectives of SPARK 

video

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Great Dodgeball Debate

Can you remember back to the good ‘ol dodgeball days in elementary physical education class?  For some people they recall it as the glory days, making the last catch to win the game. However, not everyone’s memories were as fond of the game. Dodgeball can bring back some painful grade school memories for some people, being labeled as the team target. This wide range of reactions to the game is where the great debate starts. Over recent years, many have been debating on whether or not dodgeball should be banned in K-12 physical education curriculums.

             The benefits of dodgball are that it is a game that incorporates agility, balance, jumping, ducking, throwing and catching. Although I agree that dodgeball has many benefits, I don’t think traditional dodgeball has a place in K-12 physical education curriculums. Traditional dodgeball is where students take a ball, and chuck it across the gym at students at the other team. The problems that arise is that the students are aiming at human targets.  Using human targets can be a problem because it feeds into bullying, the strong picking on the weak, thus keeping the weaker uncoordinated sitting out on the side the longest, and having the kids more coordinating students in the game the longest.  Students that always find themselves out and sitting on the side are going be bored in class thus creating negative attitudes towards physical education class. I think there are a lot more games out there that work on the same physical skills as dodgeball and are more inclusive to students of all skill levels.

            Even though I believe dodgeball does not have its place in the classroom, I don’t feel as if it should be banned in schools totally. I think it is a great game to be played at after or before school intramural programs.  I think intramural programs is a more appropriate setting for this game because it is where participants can play it with people who are more or less at the same skill and interest level as they are.  The game should also be highly monitored to be sure that students are following the rules of the game such as not pegging at the head. Dodgeball can be a great game if it is played properly and there are a number of different variations that can be really fun.

-I found this website that has great variations for dodgeball: http://www.funandgames.org/games_dodgeball.htm