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!