Saturday, October 10, 2009

SUNY Cortland PE Mini-Conference 2009


Yesterday was the PE mini-conference at SUNY Cortland and it was awesome! Lots of valuable information being shared between students and professionals in the PE field. Specifically Judy Rink, from the University of South Carolina and the writer of our textbook for Basics of Effective Instruction in PE, was the keynote speaker. I also learned about the NYSED PE Profile which relates to Judy Rinks message that we have to hold students accountable for what they should be learning in a quality PE program. Holding students accountable for physical activity skills and knowledge will be the key to solidifying and improving PE in schools. The PE Profile provides ways to test students on their physical skill and content knowledge which will make PE grades be based on other things besides effort. This is the first time I heard about the PE Profile and I liked what I was hearing. I think it should be incorporated into PE programs even though some students may have some resistance to it. I like the idea of testing students on their physical skill and content knowledge because in the end it will make them more physically educated than students currently are!
The presentation was given by Lisa Hrehor( NYS AHPERD president), Murphee Hayes (director of health, pe and athletics at Whitney Point CSD), Kerri Bullock (president elect Central South Zone NYS AHPERD) , Lisa Quackenbush and Melinda Hankins (Binghamton HS pe techers).
Binghamton HS already uses the PE Profile in their program. They are a good example of how teachers can use the PE Profile in their program and you can check out how they run their program at their website. I love the idea of having a PE website for their program which can be used by students to understand what is expected of them in class and how they will be graded. It also saves them the trouble of having to print out loads of hand outs. Take a look for yourself!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Awesome 256 Field Experience

I finished my field experience for 256 today and it was an amazing experience. I spent a week at Tappan Zee High School and another week and South Orangetown Middle School. I learned so much that I couldn't learn in a classroom at school. I got the experience of working with and teaching real students instead of teaching to my peers who normally are cooperative and good sports about the activities I teach. I noticed the difference between age levels and how they act in class. I had so much fun while learning valuable lessons at my host schools. I want to give a special thank you to the Physical Education Staff at South Orangetown School District who were incredibly welcoming, helpful, insightful and fun to be around. They taught me valuable lessons from dealing with students, co-workers, administration and advice on future schooling and decision making. I hope to work with them again in the future. Being in the schools increased my drive and desire to be a physical education teacher. I spent a day in the life of a P.E. teacher in high school during senior teaching day but it was nothing these past two weeks. The SOCSD P.E. staff made me feel like a co-worker and I got to see how things work and the effect they can have on students' lives. I know I have to continue working hard and try to make myself better than the rest of those trying to be a P.E. teacher if I want to get the job of my dreams. A bulletin board I made on Lacrosse as a gift to my host school

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SciRave: Making Science Physically Fun


SciRave is a game that has the same concept as Dance Dance Revolution, which gets players physical active while playing video games, but it also adds in science. The music to the dances have science themes so players can learn science topics and create a positive interest in science. Not only are the songs sung, but the lyrics are also written at the bottom of the screen to make sure players can understand the lessons.

I think SciRave is an excellent idea, but it could use some work. I definitely enjoyed playing the game, it was just as fun as playing other forms of DDR. However, I question how helpful it is in actually learning the science topics. After playing the songs a few times, it was still very hard to understand the lyrics and pay attention to the lyrics because I was concentrating on hitting the steps correctly. I guess if a player plays the game over and over, they will start to learn the lyrics to the songs and thus the science concepts. I basically had to stop trying to hit the steps and look at the lyrics to see if the songs would actually teach science topics. When I did that, I was then worried about failing the level so I stopped looking at the lyrics. Some songs were better than others. I think the best song was "S.I. Robot" which taught the International System of Units. I didn't even need to look at the lyrics to understand what the song was saying and it was valuable information. Some songs didn't even seem to have that valuable information such as "It's Alive" and "Life Science." The remaining songs, "All the Pieces" and "Back at the Start" had valuable information but it was hard to hear and understand the lyrics while playing.

I think there is a lot of potential for this game, the creators just have to work on better songs that have more information as well as easy to understand and hear. I think playing the game was tons of fun, but I think if its hard for kids to learn, they might just turn to other DDR games which play popular songs they already know and enjoy.

Above I made a video using http://www.xtranormal.com/ to simulate what one student telling another what he learned while playing the game. Take a look! (sorry for the characters mispronunciation of SciRave)

Monday, May 11, 2009

PED 255 Final Project Part 1: "Brain Gains"

Section A) watch video and read articles (see links below)

Section B) Respond to questions
Where is the web-site from? Where in the world? Which country? Do you know where it is on a map? Describe it.
The website that broad casted the video, "Brain Gains", is CBC News which is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Therefore, the story is based in City Park Collegiate High School in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada which is in North America. On the map Saskatoon is relatively in the Center of Canada, slightly towards the southern border and is above Montana in the United States.

What do you think about this news piece....interesting...why or why not?
I found this news piece incredibly interesting. The turn around students at City Park made was phenomenal to hear about. The piece also opened up my eyes to new concepts I never realized before. I had always known physical activity increases fitness and energy levels, relieves stress, makes people feel good, but I never thought it could improve academic performance. However, it makes sense, physical activity can allow people to be better focused and therefore better situated to learn. My entire life I have been extremely active and it is probably a big factor that allows me to succeed in school. I like this piece because it can reinforce the need for physical education as long as physical education is done right.

Why wasn’t the PE teacher involved with City Park Collegiate experiment?
I don't think the PE teacher was involved because this was a study being done mainly on aerobic activity being conducted in a classroom setting and how it affects academic performance. There wasn't really a need to educate the students in sport skills, they were either running or biking to keep their heart rate elevated. I'd say most students were familiar with those skills already and Ms. Cameron was able to handle the situation. Also in some PE classes, teachers are not able to get full participation all the time and this study needed the students to be constantly active so their heart rates were between 65 - 75% of their max heart rate for 20 minutes.
What are the outcomes of the program?
The outcomes of the program were tremendous. As Ms. Cameron said herself, "Wildly Successful!" On average, her students gained a full grade level when using physical activity. The 2 students featured in the piece made vast improvements in academic performance, behavior, and a better outlook on life. Her students' fitness levels improved, push ups by 227%, sit ups by 224%, and the sit and reach by 21%. Body mass index also decrease by 5%. In the class room, their fluency and comprehension increased, they scored over 27% higher on 3 different language arts tests and math improved as well.

Are these outcomes similar to our New York State PE Standards? Explain your answer by giving details and examples, while comparing and contrasting.
I think the outcomes are fairly similar to the NY state PE standards. The study stressed physical activity, however I couldn't tell from the piece if students were tested on their knowledge and skills to maintain physical fitness. Also I do not know for sure if Ms. Cameron instructed her students on how to manage their resources to continue their quest for physical fitness outside of her classroom. However, I'm sure those students are always welcome to use the equipment at school. As for standard 1, "
Students will have the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain physical fitness, participate in physical activity, and maintain personal health" I think the students did learn how aerobic activity can help them improve their fitness and health levels. However, the students were only limited to running on treadmills and bike machines. As for standard 2, "Students will acquire the knowledge and ability necessary to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment" I think a healthy environment is always the goal at City Park Collegiate and those students wee participating in the safe and healthy environment. I think its safe to assume they learned what is safe and healthy and what is not. Just look at Barnie' s future outlook at the end of the news piece. The last standard, "Students will understand and be able to manage their personal and community resources" is where I think things could have gotten shaky. I assume the students are always welcome at City Park Collegiate but I could not tell if they were being educated on activities they could pursue on their own time.

Web Site Links:
http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/special_feature/brain_gains/

http://www.cbc.ca/video/popup.html?http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/news/features/leishman-brain090422.wmv

http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/special_feature/brain_gains/city_park_school_results.html

http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/special_feature/brain_gains/recess_on_behaviour.html

http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/special_feature/brain_gains/deskercise.html

*lesson plans and activity progression sheets are in blog post about Lab D

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Helping the Communty and Helping Myself





Through out the course of the spring semester, Dr. Yang had asked us to complete 10 hours of community service in which we had to apply teaching and communication principles to real world settings. The community service requirement was designed to help us practice and further develop the skills we will need as teachers. As a member of SUNY Cortland's Alliance of Physical Education Majors, I had several opportunities to volunteer. I participated in two "Teen Nights" at the YMCA and also the "Hoops for Heart" basketball tournament. I also helped Dr. Yang set up and explain various Exergames on campus as well as at the National AAHPERD conference in Tampa Bay Florida. I went above the 10 hour requirement because I was actually benefiting myself as well as helping others. Working at Teen Night was just like teaching P.E. to students. We were in charge of the safety of the children as well as teaching them various games and activities. Teen Night was tons of fun, I taught kids DDR, basketball, Frisbee, Kan Jam and more. The "Hoops for Heart" tournament wasn't as much of a teaching gig, but I had to use my management and communication skills to maintain order and run the tournament smoothly. Working with the Exergames was very useful as well because I got to practice setting up and using the equipment so I can set the equipment up on my own. I also got to teach how to use Exergames and the benefits to those who have never experienced Exergames. I think the community service requirement is a very important element to the Basics of Effective Instruction in P.E. class. One, we are helping out the community and others. But we are also helping out ourselves. We need as much practice as we can get to be good teachers and the community service serves as real life practice. I had fun doing the community service and made many friends in the process.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Last One, Lab D

Last week I taught my last lesson in EDU 255 on Dance Dance Revolution. This lesson was the culmination of everything I had learned throughout the course of the semester. And it is a safe bet to say I learned a lot, just look at the difference from my first lesson, to my last and the steps I took in between. This lesson was the first time I had to write a lesson plan which I believe helped a lot in the planning of my lesson and the actual teaching of my lesson. The lesson plan laid out everything I was going to do during the lesson. I think my lesson went very smooth. The activity progression sheet also helped. I felt much more confident teaching this lesson, then I had in my previous lessons. The only thing that bothered me was skipping my instant activity which I was excited to do, and then cutting my lesson a little short because of time constraints, so my lesson was about 12 minutes and 40 seconds instead of 15 minutes. I think it may have thrown off my time coding sheet a little bit because I cut out the activity time involved in the instant activity and the last activity I planned to do, "Lord of the Dance Pads". However as teachers, our environment can always change and we have to adapt. I think I adapted pretty well to the changes. It is a little hard to hear my feedback to the students due to the music and the fact that I didn't have a microphone on, however I did the best I could on my feedback form from memory and the video. I gave feedback to the class as a whole and to more than half the class individually. I used names, tried to stay as positive as possible and gave feedback congruent with my cues and tasks. I also filled out my own C-9 form for the first time and I think I hit almost all the spots. I think the only thing I missed was my timing. I had some waiting time in between songs which I wish I could have avoided. I don't think some waiting time is bad because students might need some rest in between dances, however I still wish I didn't have as much. I think I handled my behavioral issues pretty well because I noticed the problems relatively early and got my students back on task. Below is a quick clip of me handling one of the behavioral issues. Over all I am happy with this lesson, I really enjoyed teaching it. I've had so much fun in EDU 255 through out the semester and I learned so much! It has been an awesome experience learning from Dr. Yang, the lab assistants, and even my classmates.
video video

Sunday, April 12, 2009

2009 AAHPERD Tampa Conference


A week ago I had the privilege to attend the national conference for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in Tampa Bay, Florida. It was an awesome experience. There are so many sessions and activities to do at the conference that I wish I had more time to attend them all. I learned so many new games, concepts and ideas to use when I am teaching. I have tons of notes about games and best of all, a lot of the information is posted on the AAHPERD website. I met so many people and made friends with about 20 other SUNY Cortland P.E. majors who I might have never gotten to know if I didn't go on this trip. I met leaders in the P.E. world, I met famous athletes like Carl Lewis and Garry Sheffield. Most importantly I networked with a bunch of people who can help foster my career. I attended some sessions on current issues that are going on in the P.E. and Health World. I learned about obesity issues, adaptive physical education issues, women's body image and more. I also had the opportunity to help Dr. Stephen Yang present a session on Exergames: Bridging the Gap Between Video Games, Activity, and Fun. It was a great experience for me to help teach P.E. teachers, who have more experience than me in P.E., about Exergames. I got to show them how to use some of the games and tell them about how they can be used in a P.E. setting.
I went down to Tampa with the intent of absorbing as much info as I could. I realize that I have almost two years left before I enter the job field so I wasn't in the mode of trying to land a job. However the seniors who went with us on the trip were, and it was awesome to watch and learn from them how they networked. A lot of them made connections with grad school programs and now I know what I will do in future conferences.
Lastly, I couldn't believe how popular Cortland was. I met so many alumni and everywhere we went, people saw our Cortland polos and complimented the Cortland program. A lot of people complimented how we represented ourselves and Cortland. It was an awesome feeling to hear all the positive comments about SUNY Cortland's Alliance of Physical Education Majors! I'm so happy that I went, I have memories for a life time and I can't wait to go to another conference. I strongly recommend attending the conference to everyone involved in P.E.!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Little Rice Bags Round 2

On Friday March 6th, I taught my lesson on "Little Rice Bags" for the second time and I think it went really well. I felt much more relaxed, confident, in control and really enjoyed teaching the lesson. This time around I started the lesson so I was able to initiate an Instant Activity which I thought went awesome because I started off with a "teaching by invitation" and by the looks of it, the class really enjoyed the game. I also hit a lot of the points I missed the first time like my introduction, signals of attention, safety statements and teaching by invitation. I experienced some behavioral problems during my lesson when one student was throwing the bags off the wall instead of using the equipment appropriately. I thought I did a decent job of solving the problem because I didn't let it disturb the rest of the class too much. I wish I noticed the problem earlier and after asking the individual to stop I should have stood next to her for a while because once I turned my back she did it again. After creating a Time Coding Sheet for this lesson, I noticed the amount of management time I used was too much but the other categories were on task. Overall I was happy with the lesson and really enjoyed teaching. Even when I heard about the things I can improve on I was happy to hear them because they will make me a better teacher.
video

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lab C1 "Little Rice Bags" - Little Nervous


On Monday, I taught my biggest and longest lesson to the class. The class was given a Chinese culture theme, so we had to teach Chinese games while incorporating the culture. My game was called "Little Rice Bags" which is a game that simulates working in the rice paddies and works on coordination. I have to admit that I don't think this was my best performance as a teacher. I think I was pretty nervous as my transcript shows that some of the words coming out of my mouth got "tumbled up". Eventually I was able to settle down and the lesson did turn out pretty good. I just know I can do better. I think what really messed me up was when I tried to demo and I couldn't demonstrate what I was asking the students to do. First off I didn't practice myself and second I was trying to talk through the cues while doing the demo and that didn't help because the movement was so quick and I was trying to say 3 different cues in a second of air time.
This was the first time I filled out a feedback form for a lesson. My feedback was pretty good, but like everything else, there is always room for improvement. I mentioned everyone's name during my 7 minute lesson with the exception 3 students. However, I did give feedback to some individuals twice before giving those 3 students any. I also noticed that a lot of my feedback was very general, the typical "Good Job!" I did have a few specific and congruent feedback on the cues, but next time I want to give more of that specific-congruent feedback.
I'm looking forward to teaching this lesson again for the second time because now I know the flow of the lesson better and I know I can make the improvements.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ultimate Frisbee! - defense wins championships Lab B


For my lesson on Ultimate Frisbee defense, we used an mp3 recorder to record everything I said which I thought is an awesome idea. The recorder records every "um" "ah" and in my case "alright". Writing the transcript and getting everything I said was so much easier with a voice recorder compared to writing a transcript from video footage. I was able to see how often I use the word "alright" which over time I have to try to avoid using it so much.
Overall, I think my lesson was fairly good. However, I will admit that having two students fight with each other during my lesson, startled me. My fellow classmates said I handled the situation very well but I could tell from my audio clip that I was flustered. I think I did a pretty good job of trying to stop the two boys from fighting. First I warned them, then put them in separate groups and when that did not work I had them sit out. If I could do it again, I would have put them at opposite ends of the gym instead of just changing one boy with a group right next to the original group. I was still able to give feedback and use intratask variation but it was definitely harder trying to hit those points while trying to stop two students from fighting. I wish I gave more feedback and was able to spend more time with other students but I felt a little overwhelmed by the bad behavior in class. However, this is a good thing because situations like this will definitely happen in the future and it is good to get practice with it now. Feel free to take a listen and let me know some of your thoughts.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Paul Alexander - Cortland Grad and Cincinnati Bengals Assistant Coach Gives Back to Cortland


On Thursday night, I took the advantage of the opportunity to listen to Paul Alexander's lecture "Coaching is Teaching". Paul has been a coach for 26 years, of which the past 15 with the Bengals. In addition he has coached the NY Jets, Central Michigan University, and been a graduate assistant coach to Joe Paterno at Penn State and Bo Schembechler at Michigan. While at Cortland, Paul was a Academic All-American in football and graduated cum laude. Paul is an excellent example of how hard work and determination can lead to high levels of success.
Check out what I picked up on from his lecture by clicking here.

Lab A2 - Teaching Soccer 2nd Time Around

On Monday, I retaught my soccer lesson on the push pass. Overall I thought my lesson was a big improvement from my first attempt, however I think I still need to to get used to the "shotgun" method. My second lesson was planned better and much more organized. I had better enthusiasm and control over the class. I had a better demo, cues, visual aids, checked for understanding and my activity was better. Instead of being involved in the activity by being a student's partner, I was able to walk around, assess and give feedback. My feedback was a huge improvement, I was able to give individual feedback that was simple, specific and congruent to the task to several students. I was also able to use intratask variation by seeing how the students were doing and adjust the activity for them. I didn't have to simplify the activity for anyone. I started off asking a few students to try their weak foot and eventually the whole class was able to try their weak foot. I realized that I forgot to mention a safety statement and pinpoint which I planned on doing but I think I left them out because the "shotgun" method is still new to me.
On Wednesday, we went over the time coding sheet which I used for this lesson. By doing the time coding sheet I saw how much time my lesson is instruction, management, activity or waiting time. My instruction and management time were a little longer than they should have been and the activity time was a little short. If I can fix those problems my lesson will be more efficient and beneficial for the students.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Need for Feedback


Teacher feedback is a necessity when teaching and I completely forgot to give individual feedback during my first lesson. Feedback lets students know that their teacher is there and watching what they are doing. Feedback keeps students on track and can motivate them to do better or keep up the good work. Feedback should be specific, congruent with the task, cues or skill being taught, relatively simple and mostly positive or neutral. There are tree types of feedback, positive, neutral and negative. Individuals respond to the 3 types of feedback differently so it is important for the teacher to know his/her students and what type of feedback works for each student. Even if some individuals are motivated by negative feedback, the majority of feed back in the phys ed class room should be positive and neutral. I gave general feedback to the entire class but my lesson would have been more effective if I gave individual feedback. Individual feedback gives off the impression that the teacher really cares about the students' development and makes students feel better when they hear that they are doing a good job. I know from now on that I have to give individual feedback and make sure everyone in the class is getting individual feedback instead of a select few.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


After a few weeks of learning the "Basics of Effective Instruction in P.E." and writing the transcript of my first day teaching video I've noticed several elements that were missing from my first lesson in soccer passing and trapping. After learning the physical education pedagogy, I will be the first to say that my first day teaching lesson was not as effective as it could have been. For starters, the transcript seems very simple. I already know that I should have said more, used cues, motivated the students, checked for understanding, I didn't pinpoint, use intratask variation and more. Secondly, I hardly gave any individual attention to the students. With the exception of one tiny line, everything I said was directed to the entire class. I should have gave comments and feedback to individuals. I kept saying "try that" or "continue that" when I should have been more specific in what I was asking of my students. After watching the video again and then writing the transcript, I felt like my lesson was a dull performance. However, I have already taught another lesson and I made strong improvements. I feel like I have learned so much already in only 3 weeks which amazes me. I am even more excited that it has only been 3 weeks and I have so much more to learn and to look forward to. I can use this video to see what was missing and eventually look back to see how much I improve!

Friday, January 23, 2009

First Day Teaching Video Review

After watching my video clip of teaching soccer passing and trapping, I noticed that there were some positives and a number of ways to improve. To be honest, I was not expecting to jump right into teaching on the first day and wish I was more prepared. After my second class, I am quickly learning to expect the unexpected! And I see that as a good thing.
Probably the best aspect about my session was my voice level. I was loud enough for the students to hear me. However, I did stumble on a word or two so I can focus on my clarity. I think I had an "ok" description of the skill and cues. When passing, I mentioned stepping and planting with the non-dominant foot, then striking the ball with the inside of the dominant foot and following through. I wish I had a better demonstration. I was demonstrating with a student and then some students started to pass before I was done demonstrating. This is a result of poor communication. I should have made it clear to watch the full demo and start when I said start. If I was going to do it all over I would have had the students sitting and watching without a ball for a few seconds then let them try the skill.
When I switched over to trapping, I liked my analogy of trapping the ball with your foot like you would catch and egg with your hands. I said they should cushion the ball with the inside of their foot. I would have also liked to have done a better demonstration with this skill so I could make sure I had the classes full attention.
At first I thought it was a good idea to participate with a student because there was an odd number, however, now I realize I should have had the extra student work in a group of 3 because I was not able to evaluate the students. I was not able to give my full attention to all the students and make sure they were doing the skills correctly.
Lastly, I'm kicking myself because I forgot to ask the students if they had any questions or concerns about the skills. I also think I could have picked up my energy level so the students would have been more excited and enjoyed the skill even more.
This is the first time watching myself teach and I think it's awesome. It is giving me an opportunity to see my mistakes and learn how to correct them. I'm looking forward to learning the skills I need to be a better teacher and I'm constantly looking for ways to improve. The better teacher I am, the more my students will learn!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

test post for PE Giving Tree blog