Saturday, February 25, 2012

MD Lab 2

Well, last Tuesday I went to the Dryden Elementary school for the second field experience. I was less apprehensive about it, which is encouraging for me since I tend to be someone who lets my nerves get the best of me. This experience seemed so different from the first. One major difference was that me and my lab group faced the obstacle of only having one child for the first hour and a half. Although one may think that this could only simplify things but on the contrary, it most certainly did not. Most of the activities that we had planned needed more than one participant. This caused a bit of a breakdown in the structure for the day. Additionally, the intent of the lab was to assess catching and jumping abilities. The one child that we had was only five and therefore had little opportunities to develop his jumping skills. He did however do very well with the throwing and catching activities that we had planned. It appeared as though he had previous exposure to throwing. He continually impressed me with throwing and oppositional stepping. Furthermore, he stepped in opposition almost every time and with various different throwing objects. This lab showed me how important it is to give cue to students that are learning new skills. I worked a little bit with this child to teach him basic locomotor movements in preparation for a game of Magician Tag. He was able to get the basics of skipping. We did it side by side while at the same time giving him exact verbal cues. This approach seemed to be pretty effective. I'm not saying that he could repeat a skip but he did successfully execute a few skips in secession at the time. I was please and it was neat to see the look of surprise on his face as he realized he was able to do it also. Essentially as a PE teacher you need to work to bring out the abilities that people don't think or realize that they have.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Today we played Tchoukball. Again the class was taught by our peers as we each are learning to create lesson plans and appropriate task progressions. All of lessons were had some strengths and weakness. Here's something that I keep playing back in my head that my professor says, "If it's not fun to teach, then it's not fun for the student's." That is such a simple concept and makes perfect sense. However, if it challenging to create fun and interesting ways to teach skill development. Two of the lessons were more drills than activities. Although drills are necessary for athletic development that may not be the best approach for a PE class. It goes without say that not all students what to be athletes, but as PE teachers we want to help all children develop physical life-long activities. And although these two ideas might seem the same the approach needs to fit the goal. If we approach physical education with drills non-athletes will be turn off. However if we approach physical education as a fun interactive way to stay healthly PE teachers will be able to appeal to more student and make a bigger impact on student's health and fitness. As I already stated this is not easy to accomplish, but I think it's important to consistently strive for this, because this the ultimate goal.

Monday I will have to teaching a lesson on Omnikin intended for Kindergarten school age children. As  I mentioned in previous post I'm finding assignment to be difficult as I currently have a limited knowledge of the developmental capabilities of this age group and because I'm not sure to make the lesson feel less drill like and more game/activity like. I have my work cut out this weekend and hopefully I'm able to refine my lesson into something that even my peers can enjoy.


Do You Know Handtis? I do now...You can too! It's a great activity to incorporate into your PE program. It will help your students build hand-eye coordination while having loads of ton. Also it is easy to modify to meet the level of students. Furthermore you can adapt it to what every equipment you already have. So, lets recap it cost effective, it allows students to development fundamental skills, doesn't require a lot of space and its FUN!!! What are you waiting for??? I was introduce to this games by three peers who taught the skill and concepts of the game at a 4th grade level, 8th grade level and 10th grade. It is a great activity because those students who are not high energy can be encouraged and be successful in the PE classroom. Its a awesome way to get everyone involved whether they like PE or not.

Also check out this lesson. Note that Mike was able to modify the equipment during the lesson.

Pretty Cool!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MD-Lab 1

Tuesday Feb the 14th  I went to my first lab experience at Dryden Elementary School for my Motor Development course. Needless to say I was extremely anxious. I anticipated that I would be a nervous wreck the whole time and this wasn't the case. After about 5 minutes things seemed to fall into place and I was able to focus and give my full attention the students. The lab was informal and was basically geared towards building a rapport with the children and have a good time. However there was a underlying  objective which was to asses throwing and catching skills of elementary school students. While instructing numerous activities I began to fully appreciate the importance of establishing playing boundaries and safety statements. Without these managerial tools students easily get off course. My group, The Minions, started with "Everybodys It Tag" which I feel was fitting. This was a instant activity that required little instruction and got all the children engaged and running around. Also it was a fun way to break the ice. We followed up with  Toss-A-Name Game as it was appropriate for the theme and was a good way to learn students names. We then did  a "Group Juggle"; however given the age/developmental variations there were some difficulties. One of the children was 5 years old and was still in the initial stage within Gallahue's Theoretical Model of Motor Development. In my opinion, mistakes and all, the activity was beneficial in that it allowed students the opportunity to practice throwing and catching. Our next activity was the throwing and catching lab assessment. It was during this activity that motivating the younger students was necessary as this activity was a bit challenging for them. Also the younger child needed more specific instructional feedback to help them be more successful. However, it was more effective to give them instructions through demonstrations rather than words alone. Not only are they able to gather some information from the verbal instructions but through the visual instructions. This is crucial as children are maturating within the cognitive, affective, and pyschomotor domains. After the lab assessment were continued with different throwing and catching activities giving student time to practice in fun ways. The experience way great and I have a fun time working with the children at Dryden Elementary School and would to thanks for having me and I'm looking forward to visits to come!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rugby/Kindergarten Appropriate Activities

Well lets see, today's class began with Cassie teaching an activity in Rugby. First we were introduces to the English origins of Ruby in relation to Football, which was interesting to learn about. We then practiced throwing the Rugby ball with the designated cues that she provided: Thumbs up, turn the knob, rotate shoulders and finally step in opposition. These cue were well thought out as they help define and execute the proper throwing technique. Next we did a quick drill, throwing the ball behind us, which was supported a vital game concept. Finally we played a modified 4 v 4 game-like activity that really solidified the game concepts as well as throwing skills. I feel that the progression of her Rugby lesson helped establish a foundation for the game while keeping it interesting and interactive. Thanks for the lesson! Following that activity we meet back up with our groups to continue to work on Lab C (Omnikin Ball) lessons. I very much appreciate the input that I got from Dan and Steve as they were extremely helpful. They gave me some good ideas about teaching Kindergarten aged children. Although I still have to organize my activities for Lab C  I will center my lesson around the concept of on keeping the ball of the ground as the game calls for.  My teaching activities will include using their hands (in groups of 2, in groups of 4, against the wall etc. ) as well as using their feet to keep the ball off the ground (sitting on they bum). Through using both their hands and feet I feel that I will provide children the opportunity to develop fundamental movements. Again, I would like to thank you guys. Not only did you guys help me with this assignment but you helped me gain a better understanding of how to approach teaching younger children.

Task Progression for K

Fridays class was spent brainstorming some ideas about out next Teaching Lab. For this Lab we will be working in groups to develop a learning experience for student in kindergarten, 8th grade and 10th grade. I'm a bit nervous about this as I'm responsible for kindergarten age students and I don't feel that I have enough experience with this age group to develop an appropriate lesson plan. On the other hand I think the experience will be beneficial for my professional development and will aid in my flexibility as PE Teacher. My groups activity is Omnikin. This seems like a really fun activity however I'm not sure how to create a developmentally appropriate lesson for kindergarten children. Any input would be great appreciated. I know that I will have to use smaller balls However, I'm not sure how I can teach the aspects or skills of this game to this age level. I do know that I need to establish a goal for the lesson and construct a lesson plan and various task extensions that will aid in accomplishing the goal. For this Lab my group will have to create a technology aid to supplement the teaching. This should be a good experience as well, as technology is being assimilated in PE classes. Well it looks like I have my work cut out for me. Hoping to make some head room by Wednesday so I can get some much needed feedback.

Chapter 4 & 5 Questions

Chapter 4 Questions 2,8, and 17
Had to improvise on the question as I could not find the questions that were assigned. There was no number 8 or 17. Therefore I decided to answer numbers 1 and 7 instead.

1. What are some major cause of student inattention? How can the teacher best prevent inattention?
Some of the primary causes of student inattention are environmental distractions, inability to hear or see, as well as inefficient use of time. Environmental distraction include other people and object (equipment) within the environment. Teachers can prevent this sort of inattention through establishing a procedure when equipment is out; having students put it down and step away for it. Also, if students are working in groups have them separate themselves so they would distract one another. If a student is unable to hear or see the teacher they are more likely to zone out. Therefore, as a teacher you need to determine whether or not it is best to huddle in give instructions or not. Also the teacher needs to consider where they are positioned in respect to their students. If a teacher has their back to half the class is it likely that those students will not be able to see or hear the teacher. Additionally, when outdoors it is important to consider the glare from the sun and teachers such position students so they are not looking into the sun. Furthermore, if time is used inefficiently students will become "bored" and zone out. It is important to keep instructions short and concise. 

2. What are some things teachers can do to improve communication with learners in task presentation?
When presenting students with a task to break it down  into content (what is to be performed) and management (organizational arrangements) and give student time to process both. Basically if students will be working in groups you don't  not mention the organizational arrangements until the content has been clearly established or give them time to get into groups or get equipment and then instruct them of content. The latter will probably suite more situations.  Now that you have create a environment that will help students be able to best learn your delivery of information is also important. As a teacher you want to present material in a logical sequence. Additionally examples of task as well as non-examples help student understand the task for what it is as well as that it is not. Furthermore when the material is complex or elaborate it is important to repeat the information and check or understand.

7. What are organizational signals? where are they most necessary in a physical education class?
 Organization signals include a number of different aspects of effectively managing students and the class environment. Initial it is important to establish signals for attention procedures in order to be able to gain and maintaining attention in various environments. This signal is especially important for in outdoor settings and shared spaced. Also, organizational signals include the arrangement of an activity. Not only is it important to be able to get your students attention is it necessary to clear instructions on how the activity will be carried out. Again this is important when learning new skills and when outdoors. Finally organizational signals also includes the task cues as these verbal words or phrases are what create an understanding of the activity and who go about correctly performing the task. If these verbal cues are not fully development they will of little benefit to the learners and their development of the skill.

Chapter 5 questions 1,3, and 5
1. Identify and describe the three different content moves that establish progression and represent the way the teacher develops lesson content.
Extension, refinement and application are the three teacher content moves that establish the progression and development of lesson plan. Extension refers to gradual introduction of more complexity and more difficulty of the task. Refinement is content move that promotes a level of quality of student performance within the task. The application move steers the focus away from who to do the task to how to use the task when appropriate.

3. How should the progression establish for an open skill differ from that of a closed skill?
The progression for a open skill should help develop the perform to adapt the skills to the changing environment. Therefore the progression should provide opportunities to practice the execution of the skill as well as the practice appropriate skill selection. Moreover it is important not to teach open skills in closed environments as this hinders the learner. The progression of development for closed skills should be focused on producing consistent high-accuracy skill performance in predictable environments. In this case the progression should establish the prerequisites at the beginning stages of learning if necessary. This skills can be taught in whole-part, allow students to see the whole skill and then breaking it down into simpler components. A tool that is often used in the progression for closed skills in manipulating the environment in which the skill taught to easy the progression for learners.
5. Develop the extension column for a closed skill and open skill, attending to the unique aspect of progression established in the chapter.

Open Skill: Racquetball: Hitting the Back Wall Shot
-Provide verbal cues: Teach the upward swing
-Each person set the their own ball up by throwing it to the back wall to their dominate side
-Each person set the their own ball up by throwing it to the back wall to their non-dominate side (focus on footwork)
-Have another player set the ball up throwing it to the back wall to students dominate side
-Have another player set the ball up throwing it to the back wall to students dominate side (focus on foot work)
-Have another player set the ball by hitting first against the front wall (changing direction)
-Have students work on hitting the back wall after the serve and first hit occurs (in motion)

Closed Skill: Handstand
-Provide verbal cues: Teach proper arm positioning
-Only one leg leaves the ground
-Both legs leave the ground
-Tap the leg together while in the air 
-Get leg up further
-Hit balance point
-Maintain balance point
-Begin to work on critical elements of performance (plantar extension, body shape, legs together)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lab B: The Grapevine

On Friday February 10th I taught a lesson in Jump Roping to me peers. The activity was the grapevine. I sure most of us have heard or seen the Electric Slide dance. Well this dance has the vine footwork similar to that which is in the Grapevine activity that I taught. The footwork alone can be difficult but incorporating a jump rope is even more challenging. So, it seemed that my best bet in teaching the skill was to stress the importance of the footwork. Therefore my lesson plan and delivery was structured around this thought. This lesson was video taped, so let's take a peek at how it went. But before we do that there are few things that I want to bring up. However they are not critical elements of teaching rather more related to public speaking. I did find that this lesson was a bit easier to teach in the respect that I was more able to think on my feet and let the nerves subside. Also I felt that my "students" walk away with something even if it was small.

Once I completed my lesson I'm immediately began to reflect on the lesson and there were several things that I failed to do or should have done differently. I didn't give my "students" a signal for attention. This is an important element in teacher children as it provides structure for the class and students alike. On two out of the four demonstration I made mistakes with the footwork. Also I should given them a more specific safety statement because the the nature of this activity required them to move a substantial distance in space, increasing the likelihood that someone would get hit with a jump rope. Additionally I didn't feel that they had an adequate amount of time to practice and achieve the full activity. Basically, all that we accomplished was learning the footwork involved.

I'm finding that the video and the verbal transcript are helpful tools to get a good look at my strengths and weakness. While watching the video I'm was able to see a certain amount of confidence that I had. Conversely you can at times I was not as confident. Most of the time my voice was clear and loud enough for everyone to hear. The transcript brought a few different things to my attention. In the beginning of my lesson I was calling everyone in and it almost had a negative undertone, although I'm not sure that it wasn't just my spiking nerves. I said, "obviously" a few times which I think was a poor choose in words. Things might be obviously to me (because I'm the teacher) however I should never assume that it's obvious to someone else. I should have been more specific about the task as I asked for volunteers. On a number of occasions I said okay, alright, um and uh. I need to work on omitting these fillers and focus on what it is that I'm trying to say.

There is a checklist of all the critical teaching elements that should have been included in the my teaching.  Mostly I fulfilled the check list but every with the exception of signal for attention, a statement about the expectations, demonstration with common faults, all areas are still in need of vast improvements. As part of our self assessment we had to complete a time coding form in order to see how structured and spent our/students time. After doing the breakdown of time it seems that I really missed the bus. I spent way too much give instructions and students had little time being actively engaged. This is something that I will have to considered as I'm preparing my next lesson. I need to manage time so that students can get the most from the class.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Task Variations

During Wednesdays class we reviewed some teaching techniques and tools. We first did some Rebus puzzles to get the ball rolling. The puzzles were fun and and where an interesting way to start off. This little activity really help shape the tone of lecture and the way it was received.  Needless to say, physical education is just about teaching physical active but developing the whole person. This activity will be something that I store in my bag of trick for later use in the classroom. 
We also took a look at what intratask variation is and how it can be used. If a single student is able to perform the task it would be appropriate to increase the difficulty of the task for them. For example, in jump roping activities if one student gets the activity you might ask them to see if they can perform a more complex activity. Conversely if the task is too challenging you might want to simplify the task at first to create successful experience that they can build upon. There are numerous ways to alter task difficulty that are relativity easy to accomplish. Changing the environment (space or equipment, open or closed skill), or changing the number of players, time requirements or skill movements. It is important to keep all students fully engaged within their individual levels of development.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Benefits of Scaffolding and Pinpointing

On Monday's class we completed Lab B. There were some good things that came out of this class. The activities that we did today where more complex, however they were taught with in a way that made they ease to accomplish. It is really important to simplify thing where you can, especially at the beginning stages of learning. Also there was a common theme between lesson to pinpoint students and have them show off they 'stuff". This is good for a number of reasons. It reestablishes the correct form and and develops individual self-accomplishment/self efficacy. Additional an opportunity presented itself were scaffolding was extremely helping in teaching the task, as in the case of Stephanie lesson where she scaffold on Dan's lesson. This teaching technique really help understand the task. On another note I really liked the progression of Dave's lesson. Everything (cues, demonstration, lead up progression) was well thought-out and this came across effectively.  Some of the hooks were motivational which help create an certain climate. Pretty much up to this point student have been cooperative. However there was a handful is students who acting out. This was done intentionally to help teacher not only improve their  ability to manage and monitor their class. Basically more really to life. It is important to be able to keep everyone on task while simultaneously keeping your eye on everyone and everything that is happening in your class.
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Learning from Students Teaching Their Jump Rope Activity

Wednesday’s class marked the start of Lab B. A few students taught their jump rope activity and already the learning can be witness, as there were many positive teaching components were present in their lessons. A few things that stood out such as having a really appropriate hook, as Trisha did: "Don’t step on the crack or you’ll break your mothers back". It was fitting and highly supported teaching the movements involved in her activity. Also, Justin used a student to help demonstrate which just transformed the classroom environment. It was impressive to see the transition and the benefits of this student involved. My professor did mention that in this situation you would be best have both a boy and girl demonstrate, as to not exclude, but to have both genders represented. Eric did a great job in his ability to push on when he experienced an equipment malfunction. Unfortunately, these sorts of mishaps will occur and as an instructor you need to also be prepared to improvise your lesson accordingly. Everyone one gave feedback that was congruent with their teaching cues to both reinforce what they taught and help students understand exactly what is except of them; this sort of feedback is necessary to solidify the learning process. Also, another thing that I think was especially important was simplify the task. The simpler the task is presented, the easier it is for student to grasp and respectively will have a higher success rate of task performance. All in all there were some very good teaching/learning experiences in the class.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shot Gun

During Monday's class we played Shot Gun!. It an interesting way to teach the key components of being an effective teacher while keeping us activity. Basically we paired up and each group was responsible for a critical element of teaching ie. introduction, task and cues, demonstration, feedback, safety, closure. It was a good experience, as it solidification teach elements. Although I have a better understanding of the important of each components  I find that my public speaking skills are still very weak. I'm worried that this program will get the best of me because I can speak well in front of others. As the anxiety spikes and my mind seemly goes blank. I need to find way to overcome of my nervous. If you have any suggest please let me know.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Learning to Jump Rope

Yes, we all know how to jump rope but as I've mentioned in previous blogs our class has been experimenting with different jump rope activities. Our next teaching Lab will require each of us to teach the entire class a new jump roping skill. In class on Friday we had some time to practice the skill that we will be teaching in the next week or so. More importantly we got the opportunity to talk to and get feedback from the TA's, which I found to be very helpful. Got some good tips from Danielle and the rest of the crew. Thanks much guys! Got some ideas on how to get student to line up in a way that I'll be able to see them all, as well as keep them all safe. It was also pointed out that if during my lesson I'm going to ask students to start with their right foot it would probably be best if I started with my left, so they'll have an easier time understanding the movements. Furthermore since the activity that I have to teach is a bit complex if might be best to have students perform the footwork before using the jump rope to make sure they first understand the movements. Also, I want to try and give students positive reinforcement followed up instructional feedback and than encouragement. All in all I think I gained some useful tools to that I'll be able to use it this teaching lab and in my PE career.

Jump Roping Day 2

We had another fun class: jumping rope. We worked in groups to make a new routine. We were encouraged to be as creative as possible and try to include some skills that we saw in this You Tube video from last class. Check out these kiddos, they’re quite impressive:

Although none of the groups in class looked this good, we ALL IMPROVED. It was fun to see just how creative the class was. I also felt like I was able to contribute to my group. Jump Rope is great for children of all ages. Through this experience I've developed more of an appreciation for what jump roping can offer students. It certainly is a cardiovascular workout. If you don't believe me give it a try. You'll break a sweat in under a minute. Awesome right!. Furthermore jump rope reinforces one of the basic locomotor movements: jumping. In addition reinforcing jumping it promotes integrated coordination and can be adapted to meet the needs and skill levels of students.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Jump Roping ("Fun"damental)

We had a class dedicated to jumping roping, pretty spectacular! At the start of class our instructor gave us some unstructured time to jump rope to get back in the "swing" of things. This was followed up with various instructional variations such as: finding a new way to jump rope, jump rope while traveling distance, keeping your body as low to the ground while jump roping. It's was impressive to see how creative the class was (typical of children). These activities all lead up to the Jump Roping Extravaganza, in which we were give time to work in groups to create a jump roping routine that we would perform in succession with music. As each team completed  their routine they joined the TA's as they lead a dance in the corner to keep everyone active while in waiting.  It was simple yet great theme for a class and I had a lot of fun. At the end of the activity we re-grouped back in the classroom and talked a bit about developing lesson plans that meet specific goals. That being said these jump roping activities supported a number of health-related fitness goals and skill-related fitness goals. Clearly cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and coordination are high on the list. As a teacher it is important to be able to determine what your goal is for your students and how best to achieve that goal. PE can't just be "playtime" as we are trying to teach and promote the physical benefits of life-long activities and longevity.