Monday, March 26, 2012

MD Lab 3

Last Tuesday I had another practical experience at Dryden Elementary School. I was really impressed with how well things went. Pervious labs proved that if you set up your equipment in a fashion that looks interest children are more likely to come and check it out. During prior labs my group had trouble recruiting children to come a play with us. Therefore I made a point last week to create some inviting looking activities seem ever were up against the reins of the Playground. Right away two children came over to play. That was a good start. We began with a kicking to an open space and then to goal. There was not much variation in performance levels within the different task. We ran these simple tasks/activities for a bit. As more kids joined we created different challenges for them by changing the distance and with a few that were more advance we asked them to try to kick with their non-dominate foot. This allowed us to give cues to all the students. Plant your foot, make contact with the inside of your other foot and follow through. It was great because as a group I felt that we were able to give useful informative cues that all the students could use to help them perform better. After a while and it seemed as though they understood the correct way to kick we played Red Light, Green Light Kicking activity. The girls loved this and couldn’t get enough of it. They played for about 15 minutes. However the boys became less interested and few went back to the playground. It’s challenging to keep the interest of such a diverse groups of students (K-5, boy/girl). None the less we started up a game of Kickball and it was a huge success. By the end our game there were some 20 students engaged in Kickball with a wide range of skill levels. They all really seemed to be having fun and enjoyed playing. There was a piece of me that went to my childhood and could remember the neighbor kids getting together in the cul-de-sac to play kickball. I did however wonder if by playing kickball we neglected the teaching of fundamental skills. I rationed that we began with instructing the fundamentals of kicking and provided an appropriate progression. It’s not just about skill acquisition but rather a combination of learning skills and being excited to learn the skills.  It was a lot of fun and it was great to be a part of it. Thank you Dryden Students!

This experience gave me some really experience with managing a larger number of children. I was grateful that my group really shared the responsibilities as there were numerous things that came up. For example there were a few children that said that their foot hurt or that fell.  One child even took a ball right to the chest and it threw him back and knocked the wind out of him. As a group we managed to effectively handle these situations by bring them to the side and giving each child the time and attention to make sure that they were ok. However I’m not sure how we would have done this without my group; trying to manage the other students while tending to a single child. Definitely would appreciate some input.

One last thing that I thing is worth mentioning is this game of Kickball didn’t just bring in the “jocks” but a wide range of abilities. Therefore something that this lab helped me realize that if the activity is truly FUN kids want to be a part of it. As I’m preparing for my next lab at Dryden Elementary School this reflective lesson needs to be a crucial part of my planning. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish with the children. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Technology in PE

Friday’s class we talked about our final teaching lab for this class. This teaching lab has a yet a few more components that we need to incorporate. On top of the lesson plan, and task progression and bulletin board we need to design a task assessment form which should be adapted from the New York State Physical Education Profile. Although I’m not sure how I’m going to go about this as of yet I appreciate the importance/significance of utilizing resources.  This is a skill that is necessary of great teachers. As a teacher you become a tool for learning for thousands of students and it is your responsibility to give your students new, current and pertinent information. By being able to modify and incorporate up-and-coming ideas and concepts you’re providing your students the real opportunities to develop. I think that this is going to be a good experience for me as I’m not as computer/technologically savvy as I’d like to think  I am. On that note, this final teaching lab has a focus based on technology in the classroom (PE class).  Although I don’t think I need to say this, it is evident that technology is the movement that’s driving our lives. Therefore it’s even more important than ever that we provide students with relevant uses of technology that will enhance their learning experiences. 

NYS PE Report Card

Wednesday in class we began to discuss our final teaching lab. There more elements to consider when we do our teaching Lab D. We are including technology in this lab. Besides that we also need to design a bulletin board as this is skill that we need while teaching in schools. If designed correctly they should be aesthetically pleasing, eye-catching and informative. A bulletin board can be a great tool for teachers to spread important information to their students. I’m up for the challenge. I enjoy these sorts of assignments as they allow my creative side to come out. Additionally these boards will be left up for a little while and although I’m a bit nervous I’m hopeful I that I’ll present some new and useful information to others who stop to read it. During our class we also stressed the importance gearing our PE classes toward reaching commencement level goals. In the past PE lacked true criteria. It is more important than ever that PE raise the bar and create more concrete standards. As a teachers candidate it will one day be my responsibility to help reach and exceed the standards of the New Your State PE Profile. It will be my duty to develop health-related fitness within as many many categories of activities as possible.  

Coaching vs PE

Monday we started class with a friendly game of Ultimate. Personally I think that this was a great idea. We could have easily had a lecture style learning experience, but instead we played Frisbee, moved around and activating our bodies. We did however spend sometime in the classroom. I feel that this is a great approach to allow the body, spiritual and mind to develop and flourish.  One thing that I can say for sure is that splitting the class time up like this encourages a “real” sense of teamwork in and out of the classroom and effectively aids development in all the domains of learning.  When we did go to room we were all excited, enthusiastic: talking and sharing with each other.  Basically this type of instruction permits natural development as opposed to traditional classroom setting where there is often a limited time to transmit the require learning information and the focus is solely on the cognitive domain.
Once we were sitting down in our classroom we spent the rest of the time talking about the NYSAHPERD conference that my professor and some of the TA’s and students attended. We watched a recorded discussion between my professor and life-long PE teacher that also attended the conference. It was this exchanged that gave me a bit inspiration. Basically he talked about the transformation and self-awareness he gained over his years as a coach and PE teacher.  He offered that although it’s important to help athlete’s success the true goal as a PE teacher should be to encourage all students to gain and maintain a level of health related fitness. To help them achieve what they never thought possible and guide all students toward a path of achievement. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lab C: Omnikin Ball Lesson

Omnikin Ball
On Feb 27th I taught a lesson in Omnikin Ball for Kindergarten level students to my classmates. The experience proved to be challenging yet worthwhile. There a lot of great moments as well as though-provoking ones.

At the start of this teaching experience, I had to first acquire some general knowledge of the game an it's origins. While developing a lesson for this age group, it was difficult to create activities that were developmentally appropriate. My lesson was constructed around the idea of keeping the off the ground and in the air as children of this age are still developing fundamental catching and throwing skills. While establishing a task progression I was able to create activities that I felt supported the concepts of Omnikin Ball. Furthermore, I wrote a block plan for a Kindergarten program. To expand the our potential we had all to a create developmental-age appropriate scope of tasks that students would be able to execute through each grade level.

started of the lesson with an instant activity that I thought encompassed this idea and students would enjoy: Limbo. However, as I am still just learning, I failed to consider the possibility that they wouldn't have played Limbo before. This threw me for a loop. I hadn't considered how to explain/teach this activity. However, this taught me a good lesson. You can never assume the developmental level of students rather you need to constantly assess and reassess your students. Additionally, if you're planning to incorprate an activity in your class you best be prepared to explain and teach it. There were also several instances in which

  problems arose that I didn't foresee. Specifically, during one activity I had students in groups of four. I was trying to create a basic understanding that everyone needs to touch the ball before serving but students didn't quite grab the idea of spreading out during it. It seemed good in my mind, but unfortunately, if these college student couldn't do it then it's was clearly to advanced to Kindergarten students.  Looking back on the difficulties I had during this activity, I probably would have stressed staying in a square formation. This might have helped them visualize the activity better.That being said as I completed my verbal transcript of the lesson, it became painful obviously that I have a tendency to start a thought and change it mid-sentence. Although  these students were able to follow instructions and feedback I don't feel that younger students would be able to adapt as well. Therefore, I must make a valid attempt to structure my words to create clear concise meaning and direction. Also, in respect to public speaking there are were a few other areas of concern. I killed the word, "alright".  I use this word as a sort of method to segment things in my mind. This is fine, however I can't continue to verbalize it. I need to work on internally creating the division. Also, another phrased that I used in excess was, "You guys". This is inappropriate and needs to limited if not complete removed from my speaking, given the rightful so, sensitivity times. Something else that came to my attention was my lack of congruent feedback. I didn't give feedback that was specific to the instructional cues that I provided them with. In giving congruent feedback you are basically helping students see the progress that they were making while encouraging further growth. In part I contribute my lack of congruent feedback to the knowledge that my classmates skills far supersede the skills I was teaching. Nevertheless, I need to develop my ability to hone on students' skill execution to be better able to provide them with necessary feedback.
As a teacher candidate I felt that I was able to do a better job managing the class and the activities. There were times that everything fell into sync and it felt natural. Of course this was not the entire time but for now I cherish those moments and learn from them. For example, after we started the limbo activity if was a lot of fun and without a doubt even some of my peers enjoyed it. On the flip side there were times that I felt that my lesson lack clear objects. Looking back at the video helps me see the growth even if at the moment I felt overwhelmed. One thing that I did that impressed my (thanks for the lesson plan I created) was my use of creating challenges for my students. I appreciate the importance of this as I reflect back to my elementary school days. I tried to create opportunities for students to challenge themselves and be more successful. Conversely I should have check-in with them more. Even though I provide the challenges I should have let them showcase their accomplishments.

One thing that all of my teaching experiences to-date including this one reveal is that I need to continually check for understanding. There was a few times during this lab experience where I asked students if they understand but I never tested their level of comprehension. It's not enough to just say, "Do you all understand?" Students are less likely to come right out and say no therefore by asking them questions you can help clarify confusion.
After all was said and done I did a breakdown of the effectiveness in creating opportunities for my students to increase their physical health. The time distribution showed that are areas for improvement. Although students were activity engaged for more than half of the time I believe that  since the time spent in PE classes is limited as teacher we must constantly strive to create more time effective lessons for students. Additionally because of my lack of foresight, I lost valuable time in the beginning of  my lesson. Hence, I stress the importance of lesson construction.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Wednesday class was inspiring with the final teaching experience on Scotland's Shinty. The group that taught really brought some great elements to their teaching and it was overall a great opportunity to learn from other students. First,Trisha created a fun instant activity using index cards with Scotland related pictures (Loch Ness Monster, flag, map) and corresponding fitness stations. It was a fun and different approach to promote activity and learning at the sametime. She taught kindergarten level and took the game Builders and Bulldozers and modified it to teach striking the ball when it's on the ground. One thing that I struggled with was whether the activity actually taught a skill that would be used in game of Shinty. However I had the same concerns as I was preparing my Kindergarten lesson. None the less the lesson was well planned out and was fun to be a part of. Stephanie also used an interesting instant activity in which she broke up the Scottish flag and put math problems on the back which were to be solved. I wonder it this activity could have been expand upon but the idea was awesome. A possibly suggestion might be put facts about the origin of the game, as this activity would be supporingt learning by discovery. Dave did a great job teaching as he seems to demand the right amount of attention in a fun and natural way. He incorporated a video from YouTube to development the cognitive learning. However, I did feel that perhaps he could have shorted up the instructional and safety statements. I liked the modified side-game that we played. Furthermore he actually gave us a task that was new for most of us and therefore was challenging and fun to work on. Collectively this group did an awesome job!