Sunday, May 17, 2009

Volunteering Made Easy

This past semester I have done some serious growing up and maturing. My whole life I have played baseball and have always dreamt of playing at the professional level one day. I have learned that while dreams are great to have, reality is always just around the corner. I have turned my dreams into teaching and coaching the youth of our country and molding minds and bodies into healthy adults. I have instructed in many youth baseball clinics throughout my life however I never had the skills that I learned in 255. In early February I instructed at the SUNY Cortland youth baseball clinic. Though early in the semester, I had already learned many teaching techniques I never previously had in my teaching arsenal. I instructed children and teenagers in the proper techniques in the basic aspect of the game of baseball. I evaluated and gave constructive feedback to the kids and gave them tips and drills they could work on to make themselves better. I also attended two teen nights at the YMCA on Tompkins Street in Cortland. At these teen nights I learned a great deal of technology using the Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution. Over the course of this semester I have done a lot of growing up and used many of the techniques I learned in 255 in my volunteer hours.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Physical Activity and Education

Our country has ran into a huge metaphorical wall called obesity. Everywhere you look there are fast food establishments with dirt cheap prices that take full advantage of our societies fast paced lifestyles. It is hard to drive down a main road without running into some sort of fast food place that has flashy signs and looks so attractive after a long day at the office. The problem we have to face as a society is our inactivity that goes a long with our energy exerting days. Instead of exerting so much energy doing things like working or playing video games people should go for a run or even a walk to burn some of that energy we have left over. When people get home from a long day the last thing they want to do is prepare a nutritious meal or go to a gym or a walk for with the dog. Even our animals are more inactive than in the past. We are so lazy that we don't even exercise our pets. Some things need to change in our society, it has been proven in many scholarly studies that physical activity increases brain activity and academic standings of students. In these articles,, this topic is researched and developed into great detail and brings up many valid points and suggestions to a resolution. Physical education teachers play a key role in the end of this obesity epidemic. Physical Educators single handed develop and mold the minds and bodies of the youth in our country. The video game and Internet generation has developed habits of laziness and passiveness in the aspect of physical activity. Educators need to make PE fun and interesting to kids that would rather be home playing other kids in video games of all kinds. Rather than going out in the yard and playing pick up football kids would rather play Madden for hours on end and eat junk food until their stomachs are about to rupture. This task is not easy for Physical educators, which is why the teaching environment and style needs to be attractive and tempting to students. This year I have learned how to incorporate technology into lessons which will greatly help in coaxing the technology generation to become physically active.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Treadmills In The Classroom Eh??!!

CBC News in Canada recently covered an extremely intriguing story on a group of troubled students who were on basically their last limb of the educational tree. Allison Cameron is an eighth grade teacher in a high needs school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She was having trouble motivating her troubled students to do their work or even to come to school. Cameron decided something had to be done to help her students want to learn and be more involved. Ms. Cameron turned to a book written by John Ratey called Spark. This book contains information and studies on how movement and physical activity stimulates the brain and causes a students performance in the classroom to increase considerably. I feel this incredible article should be made more public to the rest of the world. This segment could easily help us Americans solve this obesity epidemic we have going on right now. Physical activity daily will not only make us healthier but exercising before learning would help us retain what we are learning and be more engaged in what is going on in the lesson. The kids in the story all showed vast improvements in behavior and academic standings and truly showed a want and desire to become better students.

Monday, May 4, 2009


This semester was the beginning of my journey into what i thought was a cake walk major. At my previous school the Phys. Ed was very book related and not so hands on. Here at Cortland I have been introduced into a whole new realm of education that i really never even thought it existed. I have come so far from the beginning of the semester until now. I joined the class late and missed the first class where everyone taught so on my first day I walked into class and Professor Yang came up to me shook my hand and said your teaching. WHAT? I was like a deer in headlights I had no lesson plan no equipment it was horrible. This activity though made me a better teacher right off the bat. From the first day when I showed up to class in jeans and boots until the day I taught my D-lab I feel I have transformed into a brand new educator. Not saying I’m anywhere near perfect but I have come leaps and bounds passed what I was a couple of months ago.
EDU 255 has brought me to a teaching plateau that I am extremely happy with. I feel so much more confident in my teaching abilities and have learned a little piece of my own teaching style. In three out of my four labs I used teaching by invitation at some point in my lesson. I really enjoy being able to have two or three productive activities planned and allowing the kids to choose which activity they would rather play. I feel this technique would engage my students and have them gain somewhat of a liking for my classes and will participate and come more.
Teaching Step Aerobics was a lot of fun to work with and develop a lesson plan for. Though not my first choice on activity I need to be able to teach Step Aerobics at some point in my career and I really feel as though I prepared myself well for what I was in store for. Watching my lesson made me see some really good things and some not so good thing. I still say alright a lot which is bugging me to no end. Its amazing I never, ever, say alright but as soon as I get in front of a class I say it fifty times. My time coding form is still not up to where I would like it to be, there was way too much instruction going on in my Step Aerobics lesson. If I were to teach again I would not have done the stations for the simple fact that I had to explain all of them. The stations were fun and allowed me to move around to give more feedback, but took way too long to get started. I really liked how much feedback I gave, there were only a few students who didn’t receive any feedback from me. Overall I would say that this was a successful lesson and a great example of how far I have came. C-9

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

St. Mary's Lab 5

The kids absolutely love tag games. It is amazing how no matter how long you play it for they love it all you have to do is tweak up the rules a little and you can play tag with these age groups for hours. Some of our games I feel were a little over their heads or maybe they just didn’t want to play our games they just wanted to play what they wanted after a whole day of being told what to do. Some of the kids will not focus on the movements but rather the game and how the game is going. For example if you are observing the dribbling of a soccer ball through an obstacle course the kids may kick the ball once and just run and follow the ball rather than dribble it.

St. Mary's Lab 4

The most difficult part about the labs is trying to calm the kids down so we can play the games and explain the rules. The kids have just sat through a whole day of school and the last thing they want to do is listen to more instructions so I can’t really blame them for being so crazy. The environment is fine I think it’s the perfect size for us to perform our games and keep an eye on everyone. Well the kids obviously can’t miss school so the only suggestion I have is to have like a huge instant activity where the kids can run around all over the place and basically do what they want and after like 15-20 minutes stop the activity and separate the kids and begin the planned activities.

St. Mary's Lab 3

Today we observed two 6 year old Kindergarteners Rowan and Anthony. We observed their leaping, horizontal jump, and sliding. Rowan and Anthony were very similar in their movements and made similar mistakes and corrections. Though similar in movements Anthony was slightly more developmentally coordinated than Rowan. I scored Anthony higher in all of the movements but not by much. My group worked with the pre-K group for the first time today and it truly was a different experience. I played with some of the kids using the toy dinosaurs and coloring books. I also read children’s picture books to the kids who were a little less wired. While reading it was very hard to keep the kids off of my lap or touching my arms and stuff. Though harmless the kids don’t realize how that can be a very bad thing and could get a teacher in trouble so I tried to get them to do the Criss-cross apple sauce thing but it didn’t work too well. I still feel getting down on their level is by far the most effective understanding way to get the kids attention.

St. Mary's Lab 2

Today we all observed 5 year old Casey, 6 year old Shamis. Shamis was a very energetic outgoing little guy who seemed to love the attention we were giving him. Shamis did very well with the running and galloping but had a hard time with the hopping. Casey struggled with her running but did well in her hopping and galloping. Both students were actually pretty good at each of the tasks we gave them, even though they are little kids and did get excited sometimes and forget what movements they were doing. For the most part they listened very well and demonstrated exactly what we needed to see. There are many little strategies that I’m beginning to pick on some of them I like and some of them I’m not a fan of. Having a whistle is a very good signal for attention because all the kids are hyper and very loud so you need something loud to get their attention. I’m not a fan of the whistle however I’m not sure why I just don’t like it. A whistle is very affective but I will never use one the method I will use will being getting down on the kids level. It’s amazing how much better the kids are when you aren’t standing over them as soon as you get down to their level it’s like your some TV star and they want to eat out of the palm of your hand.

St. Mary's Lab 1

I observed that there were both distinct similarities and differences between the age levels of the children at St. Mary’s. The older kids somewhat looked down upon the younger kids and in one case I distinctly remember a female older student was on the younger side of rock paper scissors and immediately became upset that she was with the younger kids. The age difference was only two years but this little girl acted like her younger peers were almost diseased or something. The physical ability between the age groups was pretty substantial in some areas. Some of the younger kids still ran with the egg beater motion of running while other older students were doing the proper running mechanics. I feel that the age of the student does have a direct impact on the child’s motor behavior. I feel this way because there is a clear difference in physical ability between the age groups therefore there is something that goes on over the difference in age that allows the older children to move more efficiently. When we played tag there was certainly a difference in ability between the age groups and genders. The boys for the most part were much faster and exerted much more energy. The younger boys were more passive than the older boys and basically each age group of girls was relatively passive. The older males ran around all over the place as fast as they could and usually with proper running form. The younger males were still very active but almost seemed submissive to the older boys and followed their lead. The younger girls were more stuck on our female college students then on the game. At one point I looked over during temple tag and there were five female St. Mary’s students swarmed around one of our college students. So there was a definite differences in the students in age and gender.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lab C 2

This lab was my best so far. Though my Time Coding Form shows differently, I feel that I have really come a long way from the beginning of the semester. I'm much more confident in my teaching skills and my ability to have control of a group of people. I feel that when I'm dealing with kids and not my peers things are going to be much different but given my progress I'm sure I will adjust smoothly.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lab C Part 1

I absolutely loved teaching this game of tug of war! I wasn't anywhere near as nervous in this lab as I was in the other ones. I sounded much more confident and clearer with my directions. I still said alright ALOT but I would rather have to work on that than other things that I'm doing well with. I feel that our class is rising to the occasion very nicely and I'm looking forward to teaching Lab C part two!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ultimate Frisbee

The Ultimate Frisbee section on my journey to becoming the best teacher I can be was yet another huge bump in the road. Listening to myself teach was truly a wake up call to myself. I'm very good in front of people but for some reason as of late I have been crashing under pressure. Though it is not an excuse, I was not prepared to teach on this day and tried to give it a shot anyway. I frequently used the word alright, easily over twenty times! I have many things I need to work on before my next lesson with Matt. The one thing I feel I need to work on other than saying alright a lot is having something to do for all the students. For some reason I always have kids not doing any activities.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Don't Smile Til' Thanksgiving

On Thursday night February 12, 2009 Paul Alexander gave a presentation in the Corey Union. Alexander is the assistant coach of the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals and a graduate of Cortland's PE program. This presentation focused on Phys Ed majors that also want to coach and touched on some issues and fun that is along the way. Mr. Alexander, though a professional football coach, made his presentation relevant to anyone who is looking to coach any sports. Alexander touched upon topics such as his own philosophies, philosophies handed down to him, and the advantages coaches with PE degrees have over those that don't. I feel the most important aspect of Alexanders presentation was when he recalled a phrase his mom (a teacher) once told him," Don't Smile Til' Thanksgiving!" Mrs. Alexander was saying the the line between student and teacher must not be crossed. Sometimes it may be easy to let your guard down with kids that you trust and you might kid around with them and say the wrong thing. Students should view you as a teacher not as a friend.

Lab A2

The second time around felt much better while I was teaching, however after watching my lesson I found it was even worse. Though my teaching was better I had kids standing around doing NOTHING!! The activity time was basically not present at all and all in all it was another disaster. I need to work on my class managment skills and learn to maximize class participation. The evidence of my massacre can be found here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

1st Teaching Video

First and foremost I have ALOT of work to do. I'm usually pretty good infront of people but the whole idea of being surprised like that really threw me off. I didn't do any pinpointing and certainly didn't check for understanding. Over all this first attempt at teaching was a disaster, it was actually humiliating how horrible of a job I did. I need to bounce back from this and really do a better job next time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No Dodgeball In Gym Is Like Peanut Butter Without Jelly!

I have been waiting to be able to write or debate about the topic of dodgeball in PE classes for a very long time. Within the past couple of years most schools across the country have banned the game of dodgeball in their PE classes. Granted this is a very heated debate and I do indeed have a very strong opinion of my own. I have been a very good athlete my entire life I have played in so many different sports it would be hard to list. I guess you could say I'm your "A" typical jock or gym class hero. I like to look at myself as a competitor that strives for the best at all times. Some people can take that either way and think that I'm thick headed and just another dumb jock, but that isn't the case at all. I can very easily see the argument people have with not wanting dodgeball in PE classes. There are obvious hazards and risks involved in the game just as there are in any other athletic activity. The whole point of the game may seem barbaric but there truly are some great benefits from the game. The game of dodgeball is extremely exerting and quick speed bursts are crucial. Hand eye coordination is key when knocking the ball away with another ball. I feel the most crucial aspect of the sport is it builds character and both physical and mental toughness.
Our society has taken to this attitude of being "soft" just turning the cheek and not taking resposibility for our actions. Now you may say what does dodgeball have to do with anything I just said, but quite honestly how doesn't it? Our society is in shambles right now because people are afraid of their shadows, maybe dodgeball should be made madatory for classes. This is a sport that builds toughness and teaches people how to handle failure and if you do get hurt you bounce back up and play the next round, just like in life; or how our lives used to be. I'm not focusing on the physical aspect of the sport because to me it is a no brainer that it is physically exerting and requires a ton of movement and agility. Maybe this is why one in every three children in the Uinted States are obese. I'm not being ignorant here I really do see how some people don't want dodgeball for fear of head injury and other possible injuries. A well taught PE class will not have these injuries occur with the watchful eye of a good teacher. I feel in general our society needs to stop worrying about their little Johnny or Mary getting hit with a dodgeball and learn to let their kids grow up and toughen up and get ready for the ups and downs life is going to be thrown their way. You have to get up when you get knocked down in dodgeball, you also have to get up when you get knocked down in life.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Surprise Lesson

After joining the class late I was surprised with teaching a lesson without any preparation or equipment. I have not yet seen the video of my lesson as I'm sure I was terrible and was embarrased that I wasn't dressed properly and pretty much lost my cool while I was teaching. Lesson learned. I felt that being surprised with this lesson has really opened my eyes to situations that may present themselves once I get into the teaching world. My nervous habits are saying UM and ALRIGHT, I'm sure I'll hear a ton of that on my dvd along with other habits. I really need to learn to calm my nerves when I'm in tight situations, I was worried how my classmates would think about me and I need to learn to get passed that and understand that all of us are in the same boat and going through the same emotions and nerves. I really liked the idea of catching us of guard it showed all of my weaknesses and brought out my nervous habits that I need to work on in order to be the best teacher I can be.

Saturday, January 24, 2009