Monday, December 21, 2009

NASPE Beginner Teacher Standards

Standard 1: Scientific and Theoretical Knowledge 
Physical education teacher candidates know and apply discipline-specific scientific and theoretical concepts critical to the development of physically educated individuals.

As a physical educator I was required to complete Anatomy 1 and 2. In these courses I learned different theoretical concepts critical to the development of physically educated individuals. The class tested my knowledge on the bodily functions and how activity correlates with development. I apply these concepts in the classroom by understanding the benefits of activity to my students health.

Standard 2: Skill-Based and Fitness-Based Competence 
Physical education teacher candidates are physically educated individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate competent movement performance and health-enhancing fitness as delineated in NASPE's K-12 Standards

As a student at SUNY Cortland I am undoubtedly acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate competent movement performances and health-enhancing fitness. I have taken a variety of activities ranging from badminton to ice skating to gymnastics, all of which I am able to perform a demonstration of control or proficient level. As I progress through the program I will build m
y skills and range of performance. The photo below is a demonstration of the backwards swizzle:

Standard 3: Planning and Implementation. 
Physical education teacher candidates plan and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences aligned with local, state and national standards to address the diverse needs of all students.

In EDU255 I have been challenged to create lesson plans for teach lesson taught that address local, state and national standards.

Standard 4: Instructional Delivery and Management. Physical education teacher candidates use effective communication and pedagogical skills and strategies to enhance student engagement and learning.

In my lesson teaching table tennis I use effective communication and pedagogical skills and strategies that enhance students engagement and learning

Standard 5: Impact on Student Learning.
Physical education teacher candidates utilize assessments and reflection to foster student learning and to inform instructional decisions.

In my class Statistics and Assessment in Physical Education I was require to create a work sample (coming soon) that assessed students on the overhand serve. After the assessments I created a work sample that reflected and posted my data and observations. My group also had to hold a mock parent teacher conference that informed teachers and students on their performance and grades

Standard 6: Professionalism.
Physical Education teacher candidates demonstrate dispositions essential to becoming effective professionals.

Some key components to being a professional are proper attire and attitude. I always come to class dressed in attire allowing movement and participation. When I am teaching I dress professionally in khakis and a collared shirt. I always attend class with an excited attitude and am ready to learn. I enjoy the transition from being a student to teaching.

All of these Standards are crucial to becoming a physical educator and I look forward to being able to build on these Standards and be the best physical educator I can be!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Watch and prepare to be amazed...

I think Dalton has said it all...


After playing Pyramid Pile up and Munch Crunch (see blog below) I learned of computer games teaching children about their food groups! The problem with this is although children are learning and having fun, they are still SITTING at their computers! I came up with activities and lessons but had to assume students had a computer at home or were able to play the game before class. What if I could teach the lesson in the gymnasium, get the children active AND ensure they're learning?! Of course, that would be too good to be true...right?


A technology called footgaming is right around the corner! Unlike DDR or iDance, footgaming allows you to play any keyboard or mouse game while being ACTIVE! The pad is a specific footPOWR pad which cannot be substituted with just any dance mat. As a future physical educator I was weary of this technology - it just seems too good to be true! But after doing some researching I am a believer! Footgaming IS an option for fun, exercise AND physical activity!

I have just caught wind of this new technology and am still getting more questions answered but from the looks of it, they're onto something good here!

Taking It Back To The Cafeteria!

The games Pyramid Pile up and Lunch Crunch are two computer games that teach the essentials on the 5 food groups: Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Milks, Meats and Oils. The games are a great way for kids to learn their food groups while having fun. I enjoyed both games and even learned something new - Almonds belong in the meats category! The great thing about these games are they can be done in the privacy of your own home or in a classroom! The games have different levels which start easy and get more challenging as you go on to ensure children don't get bored. Even though children are having fun and playing a game on a computer, food groups are actively being taught and children are benefiting from them.

The first game, Pyramid Pile Up is especially helpful because it starts off with the basics of food and what groups they belong in. The first level you simply have to drag the food into the pyramid, the second level there are no color hints or words and the third level there are Chompies which can eat your healthy food. Not only are there different challenges in the levels, but different foods. You have to differentiate between light fruit syrup and heavy fruit syrup, pizza crust is included and even almonds are expected to be in the meat category! This is great because children get to know what common foods are healthier or what group they may fall in!

Lunch Crunch is similar to Pyramid Pile Up and teaches about food groups, but if an extremely different way. Lunch trays go by and you must fill the tray with healthy choices. You can throw away unhealthy food if you run out of healthy. This game also has different levels with different foods and variety. This game is also great because it is in a classroom setting where children do have the choice to pick their foods. With the congruent visual they will know what to pick next time they are faced with a choice in the lunch line- hopefully they will chose the healthier one!

Both games are helpful in their own ways and truly do teach children about food groups and what foods belong in which group. After playing both of these games I thought to myself how I could incorporate the game into my physical education curriculum and really expand on the unit with my students. I came up with a lesson plan and activity sheet that I could implement into my classroom. I would try to team up with another teacher (possibly health) and try to incorporate this game into the classroom so the students could play at school and if at home if they wanted. This way I could build a lesson off of them already had played the game on their own.To work off the game and in the topic of food groups I came up with an activity (see lesson plan) that would challenge the students to make their own pyramid with given foods. Depending on how knowledgeable or new the students were to the topic, I have task progressions so everyone is learning! The activity would involve students getting a blank pyramid and having to run around the gym to find different foods that they would place where they belonged (different obstacles could be placed in their way to ensure physical activity). After the students completed their pyramids they would then have to match their foods with characteristics as to why they are in a certain group.
As a final activity (see activity sheet) and to check that the students understand the importance linked to a healthy diet and physical activity, I came up with for the students to identify typical meals and what consists of each food in the meal. For this they will create a mock 3 course meal and be asked to identify each food within the meal. Each category should not exceed the proper amount (they will be able to refer to their pyramid for this). The students will then be asked to come up with a proper exercise for their diets. Depending on their meal their exercise must be congruent: the healthier a meal the easier their exercise. This way students understand why it is so important and how to stay healthy and fit. Everyone is entitled to have an unhealthy meal at some point in time and this gives them the knowledge of how to cancel out that meal. The activity will be followed by 4 questions and an answer key will be provided for corrections.

Eating healthy and staying healthy is something society is battling more than ever. Children may not have the knowledge of how to do this, or could simply not have the motivation to learn. Through Pile Up Pyramid and Lunch Crunch, children are able to learn while having fun. It is also important to connect it with the classroom because even though they are learning, they are still sitting at a computer. Some options to fix this could involve more activity engagement. Technology could come into play and the options would be endless. I have experienced excergaming (see previous blogs) and it would be the perfect option to get children off the computer and engaging in activity. A game may require the student on a treadmill running from Chompies (see pyramid pile up). Healthy foods could be bonus points while unhealthy foods may speed up or slow down the tempo. The options are limitless but unless we take initiative to get students informed and exercising nothing will get changed! Pyramid Pile Up and Munch Crunch are amazing games to teach food groups, but they are also just the beginning to something great!

To see more pictures of the games and me playing click here!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

From iDance to the ARC

For EDU255 this semester we had to do 10 hours outside of class where we applied theoretical teaching and communication principles in real world settings. To complete these hours I taught dance class at the Madison ARC Center through my Dancing with Individuals with Disabilities class. I have worked summer camps in the summer working with individuals with disabilities and this experience was perfect for me - I had a blast!!

Upon arriving we pulled the residents away from Wii bowling (which they could all beat me with their eyes closed) and got them into a light warm up. The warm up typically consisted of dynamic stretching and was our ploy to gain the interest in the residents. After we were all stretched and loosened up we dove into the lesson. At every class we tried to incorporate and teach one traditional dance (ie- macarena, chicken dance, electric slide...). The residents especially enjoyed this because they were able to learn and dance independently to well known songs! We also had a request hour which may have been my favorite :) the residents are huge country fans so we got along great! The most popular song was easily Shania Twain's: Any Man of Mine!

Unfortunately, due to legal issues I am unable to post pictures of these dance classes so you will have to take my word about the fun we had! Before every class I showed up prepared with a lesson plan and after class wrote reflections on how the lessons went. On my last visit the residents were sad to see us go and we have made tentative plans to return for a few encores!

This winter I plan on getting into an Adaptive Ski class at Greek Peak Mountain Resort where I will have the opportunity to assist individuals with skiing (or snowboarding in my situation). I'll keep you updated if I'm able to (hopefully) commit to the course, but first we gotta wait for the infamous Cortland snow :D!

iDance meets Cortland

The past week SUNY Cortland has been lucky enough to experience excergames fitness. Excergames fitness is a technology based excersising program that combines video games with physical activity. In class we were able to experience the iDance (see youtube video below) and on Friday were able to experiment with other systems. Some systems included riding a bike that makes a car drive, running on a stepmaster to move your players on a basketball game and a boxing bag that generates a fighting video game. The technology was unreal and something I have never experienced before! Unfortuantely I was unable to attend a workshop held on Monday and Wednesday night because of prior obligations but I talked to others who attended and had a blast working with the system.

My personal favorite was the game where you rode a bike that generated your car and you were able to control the steering. If you stopped pedalling, then your car stopped moving. By the end of the game my legs were cramped, I was covered in sweat and completly motivated to try again and beat my previous score (I was unable to find pictures, but will hopefully be back with some soon!). It was also fun to play with the iDance but more importantly, interesting to learn how the system worked and it's capabilities!

If you would like to follow the men of Excergames they are on twitter and can follow them - I just joined and am already addicted! It was exciting to have the opportunity to experiencing such technology and learning a new outlet to exercising!

Fighting for the Neubig Pass

On December 2, 2009 Xavier Waddles took us back out on the ice to welcome the glorious winters we endure at SUNY Cortland! Little did we know we were not only skating for the chance at the Olympics, but a shot at obtaining an unlimited life time pass to the one and only Neubig Hall! We started out our lesson with the amazing Mike Koral who began our training for Vancouver! Mike taught us the tricky cookie cutter along with the push and glide! After that, Mike turned the lesson over to ice skating extraordinaire, Franklin Padolecchia! With all the challenges and obstables that lay ahead Frank gave us a strong lesson on the proper way to fall and get up, turn correctly on the ice and stop!

Now that we knew how to skate forward, stop, turn and fall it was time to take it to the next step: Backward Swizzles! This was where I stepped in and although it wasn't specifically my area of expertise I was ready for the challenge! We started off the lesson with pushing off the wall to get a feeling of going backwards, it was a direction we had yet to work on! After everyone became comfortable with that we progressed to skating across the rink backwards. Quite a few people struggled at first while others excelled quickly so we had to switch it up a bit! The students who excelled worked on pushing and gliding backwards while the students who did not did more of a walking backwards on the ice. The next step was a challenge by choice, cones were scattered throughout the ice and if up to the challenge, students were encouraged to skate around them.

By this time everyone seemed itching to start working on their new moves so we had an activity where the students were able to skate on their own. When a number was called out they had specific movements to abide to. In this activity we were really working on controlling our movements and sticking to the cues: Head Up, Knees Over Toes and Speed. This allowed students to explore the ice, work on their movements and get comfortable on the ice. In just the short amount of time we were on the ice the students really showed a tremendous improvement. It was easy to tell students were skating faster with more confidence and were excited to be out there!

This lesson was my last one of the semester and although I ended it slightly disappointed, I am happy I stepped outside of my comfort zone on the ice and gave it my best shot! I was happy with the overall enthusiasm of the class and with the atmosphere on the ice. I think my hook was a great start and extremely effective in creating this atmosphere! Frank also did some DJing for me which always adds some character to the lesson! I struggled a little with my intratask variation and although I had my activity progressions, I did not use them effectively. Some students even became so overwhelmed they sat out. My time coding form also showed that I did not maximize my lessons time management and only scored two out of five points. I spent too much time talking and not enough time engaging the students in activity which with practice can easily be fixed! The students were of all different skills and I felt slightly overwhelmed giving feedback to everyone. I was very focused on the struggling students and gave little feedback to the students who excelled. Although, my feedback analysis form has improved and my feedback has been much more congruent which is always nice to see!

Overall, I am pleased with what I got out of Lab D as a physical educator. Like I said, I was slightly dissapointed in my performance, but it is a learning process and a good lesson. The feedback I received from the TA's and Professor Yang were the most useful and helpful I have received all semester. I learned how to approach a student who is sitting out, how to lead a class with such skill differences and I learned how to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. It is important to do a run through of your lesson on the ice and I did not spend enough time doing this and I think it showed in my lesson. During Lab A I didn't think I would be able to teach a 20 minute lesson at the end and I now feel the most comfortable I have felt teaching in from of a class at SUNY Cortland!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Did you know the longest table tennis game was 101 hours long?!

It's been a busy couple weeks in 255 class learning games from across the world! So far we have visited England and learned the dance of clogging, then traveled forward in time to explore technology with Dance, Dance Revolution (DDR). Then time it was time to head to Poland for some kielbasa and handball! Dr. Xavier Waddles then took us on to the artic to learn a little bit about Kubb and broomball. By this time, it was time for Jed and I to take the class to England for some wiff-waff!

We started the lesson out by getting the class warmed up and ready to play wiff-waff like a regular upper class Victorian after dinner with some task cards! These cards included everything from jumping jacks to wiff-waff juggling to introducing themselves to a TA with an English accent (although some students seemed to have traveled and picked up an Australian accent)! After we were warmed up we switched gears to a quick history lesson on the game that is more commonly known as table tennis. Table tennis began by a stack of books serving as the next and a book serving as the paddle. For the lesson, a table was set up like it would be in this era that was available for students to play on. The game then advanced to being played with a rubber ball to increase the speed of the game which was substituted as a racquetball during the lesson!

To start the lesson off, we worked on the most basic hit in wiff-waff : the forehand. Students were taught the cues and Frank helped me out with a top notch demonstration! Students practiced their forehand hit through a few progressions to work them up to game play, starting with hitting the ball out of their hand, progressing to hitting the ball from a throw from their partner and ending on volleying back and forth. After the students successfully mastered the skill of the forehand, it was time to move on to the backhand. Students worked on progressions much like the backhand and finished with a little game play with their two newly mastered skills!

The lesson was then handed over to Jed to teach the chop and smash to the students! This means it was time for me to reflect and analyze my own teaching! I can already feel myself getting more confident within the class and with much preparation the nerves were slim to none this time around! Although I did not score a perfect five on my time coding sheet, I greatly improved and missed that last point by a tiny percentage which may have been made up without the history lesson! Due to the high activity and lack of space, it was difficult to fill out my feedback form as effectively as before. Although, with out without the feedback analysis form I was much more aware during my lesson of ensuring my feedback was congruent and appropriate. I am confident in saying my feedback has improved tremendously.

Growing more and more confident within each teaching lesson has me looking forward to Lab-D which I will be taking it to the ice and hopefully getting in contact with Dr. Xavier Waddles for some new ideas and games!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Driving The Crowd Wild!

Autistic water boy Jason McElwain in his first game sinking 6 3-pointers in a row!! Watch the crowd go insane when he sinks the buzzer beater!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Annoying Sibling!

Today in class I taught a quick, exciting Ultimate Frisbee lesson on throwing to a defended catcher. Peers before me had taught other skills leading up to my lesson and on Friday, October 2nd it was my turn! We started out with an introduction to the activity that was similar to a familiar monkey in the middle. Although, we played as if we were all little, annoying siblings! The students focused on the opponent without the Frisbee and were forced to complete passes to defended catchers. In order to successfully complete passes, students had to cut to the Frisbee, use a variety of passes and find their open teammate. Mid way through this activity, I noticed defenders were getting tired and the offense had caught on to quick throws. The rules were then switched to only using their non-dominant hand. This made it more difficult for the passers and the defense's success rate improved.

After reviewing my lesson and receiving feedback from the lab assistants I recognized things I did well along with things I still have to work on. Unlike my previous teaching experiences my voice projection was lacking and I was unable to understand myself. This time around, my audio proved that I had improved in these areas. My voice was easy to understand, full of excitement and engaged my students much more effectively. My transcript was much easier to do and I was able to evaluate myself much better. During the students lesson, I walked around and gave feedback to the students and evaluated their performance. I feared that if I had not restricted the students from using only their dominant hand the defense would have became exhausted and overwhelmed.

I also noticed things I need to work on such as my time management. Although I did score well on the management, waiting and activity time, I had used 44% of my time to instruction. This time could have been used for more activity or even time for a new activity. Another major thing was I had my back to parts of the class a majority of the time while giving feedback. I learned this the hard way when students started joking around and rough housing with each other. I need to remember to keep my back to the wall rather than to the students. While listening to my audio I also noticed I talked extremely fast while giving the initial instructions. I even notived I sounded slightly out of breath and my sentences began running together.

Every teaching experience gives me an opportunity to learn and grow as a teacher. I plan to keep using self, peer and teacher feedback to better myself and make my teaching as effective as possible. This experience helped me gain confidence, knowledge and gain an idea of how to be the best teacher I can be!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spirals all around

I think I did a decent job in my short lesson on throwing a football. After reviewing my transcript I thought I explained the task clearly and there wasn't any misunderstanding by the students. Another positive was I noticed that my cues were easy to remember, short and to the point. Although, I strained to hear myself throughout the video and the camera was not very far away. If the camera can not hear me from a close distance, students in the back cannot hear or understand what is being said. After my lesson I thought I gave good feedback to students but was disappointed when I filled out my feedback analysis chart. The chart showed I only got around to four students and my feedback was not entirely congruent to my cues. However, I did use intratask variation with students who excelled immediately with throwing a football to challenge their skill more. I think I did use many of the tools effectively, such as intratask variation, which is extremely important to maintaining order and safety in the classroom. One of my main concerns was my time management. My time coding sheet revealed only 1/3 of my lesson was spent with students engaged in activity while the other 2/3 was management. I also did not maximize on my full four minutes and ended almost an entire minute early. I hope to use this knowledge to better my teaching in the future and provide an efficient, fun classroom for my students.

Welcome Back - Day one of 255!


Danyl Johnson auditioned on X-Factor and essentially took over the audience. Personally, I was so memorized by it, I watched it three times. It was clear Danyl was passionate, relaxed and excited to be performing. Watching my initial micro teaching episode, I was dissapointed to see my lack of all three of these elements. I saw little enjoyment and even less excitement in my teaching. I plan on conveying my interests in helping my students learn by showing students my love for sports or games and skills being taught. I need to put more excitement in my voice and body language, and demonstrate more hands on teaching. To make my students want to come back to my class I will make the class fun and exciting to come to. If I am not fun and exciting myself, then the class will not be. I plan on using the "floor" better, much like Danyl who was all over the stage and using all of the space he was given. Danyl's performance was everything teaching should be, interesting, exciting and wonder he's a teacher!