Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Idance", You Dance, We all Dance (other exergames)

I had a great opportunity to see Idance up close and personal. I was able to see how it functions and how interactive it is. I think it would be a great piece of equipment for a physical education class. It really captures the attention of the participants. It could also be a very strenuous workout. There is much cognitive functioning with identifying patterns and it would really force student to think on their toes. There is also so many different skill levels that it gives everyone a chance to play it. It will also never get old because you keep advancing skill levels so it stays challenging. Above all it is fun. Dancing to the music is a blast. I felt it did something to me afterwards too. I was more relaxed. The rhythm component is powerful. And the fact that so man people can participate at once against each other is amazing. I was also able to help out with an experiment. I worked with some graduate student to help them punch in data. They seemed like awesome people and it was an honor to work with them. I also was able to get my photography skills up. Mr. Yang had me going around and taking pictures of people from different angles and using different methods. To top it off I was able to interview some of my classmates on what they thought of Idance. I was also able to see some other exergames equipment. Someone set up punching bags and a DDR platform and ghetto rigged an Xbox to make a street fighter game virtual reality. That was mind blowing. It seemed like it was a ground breaking invention that has a lot of potential to see success. I could not believe it. Well any how I guess it was just another day at Cortland?

In the Classroom at St. Mary's

What a way to start off my morning. I was half a wake and sick but still managed to drag myself to St. Mary’s. I introduced myself to the teacher and she put me to work giving the kids name tags. It gave me a chance to interact with the kids. I played around with them about spelling their names and it was fun. The pre K kids are so adorable. The teacher seemed very nice and smooth with how she managed the classroom. I think it was morning free time because the kids were participating in different activities all over the class room. Some kids were doing finger paints, others were playing house, some were playing with Legos, and others sat attentively well the teacher read a book to them. I was able to remember a bunch of names for a chance. One of the girls was begging me to play house with her so I finally gave in. It is not my favorite activity but I managed to stomach it for a little while. I then started to read a book to them and before I knew it was potty break time and then I had to rush back to Cortland College for psych class. One thing I noticed about the experience was that I saw a different side of the kids. They were not as riled up in the classroom. I got to hear input from the teacher as well. It seemed like they were calmer and more focused. At the same time being in a class room all day I could see how they may get a little rambunctious. I actually witnessed them sitting still and concentrating, normally when I am there they are constantly running around. It was a great experience and put me in a great mind set for the rest of the day.

The Masterpiece Portfolios

It was an honor to attend the portfolio showcase. I had a lot of work to do and studying to do for finals but I still took some time out to attend. I got a chance to see some of the awesome work my peers have done. I am right about to start my portfolio so it was a perfect time to get ideas. The idea of making a portfolio is daunting and overwhelming but I will take it one step at a time and I am sure I will do well with it. It was also nice to converse with some of Cortland’s elite. I congratulated them on how nice their portfolios were and all their work that went into them. I was able to pick their brains a little about their time at Cortland. It is always good to be surrounded by people who are passionate about physical education because it rubs off and makes me more passionate. It also gave me a different perspective on where I am at because they are all about to go out to student teach and were sad that they are leaving Cortland. It is only my first semester here but I could imagine being involved and living at a place for years, there is bound to be an attachment forms. It was nice how they were all dressed up and looked so professional. I was able to flip through some of the portfolios page by page and get an idea of the format. I also got a good glimpse at what awaits me down the road. I saw a lot of their work from the 300 and 400 level classes. I was able to talk to them about their experiences and what it took to build such an amazing portfolio. I was also able to talk to a personal friend Brandon Herwich who is in the picture with me. Some of the activities that he was involved with are amazing. He is truly inspiring and a great role model for PE. It got me thinking of things that I could do to help build on my portfolio. It was a great experience to be a part of and I am glad I got a chance to attend it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

North Pole recruiting at St. Mary's

I arrived to lab in a reserved, stand offish mood. I was sick, finals were coming up, and I felt burnt out. My group was assigned to go down to the cafeteria. I ended up playing chess with some of the kids. I really did not know how to play very well so I had them teach me. It seemed like our roles were reversed as Sage, Melinda, and Herald explained the game to me. I learned how to play and at the same time they were forced to think critically. I believe this type of social interaction helped them to grow socially and cognitively. It was a lot of fun playing and interacting with them. It was amazing how the free spirited nature of the kids took me out of my stressful and tiresomely dazed state. After playing for a while it was time for us to go upstairs. When we got up there we started to toss the football around. I jumped up to catch it and one of the students ran under me and I came down on her. I felt so horrible about that but my fellow classmates kept ensuring me that it was not my fault. It helped me see that if we have our guard down for a minute and lose our vigilant awareness than an accident can occur. Luckily the girl was not hurt but even though it may not have been my fault I vowed to myself to be more cautious in the future. We then set up a game which consisted of a series of activities. The first activity was the students rolling on scooters, then the kids jumped through hula hoops, and then last they kicked balls at posters that our group created. The students were getting off task so I had to interject my enthusiasm into the activity in order to keep them focused and excited. It was a fun game that gave them a cardiovascular workout, helped them with their manipulative motor skills, had some mild competition woven into it, and had a variety of components to it. One of the ways I used to motivate the kids was since we all had elf hats and Santa hats on and it was a Christmas theme, I told them that we were recruiting for the North Pole and this was their tryout. I asked them to see how many times they could hit the poster, with only kicking it 3 times per run through. We then used modifications to keep the game fresh. Instead of hitting the poster with the balls they had to score on me. I was the goalie and we used the giant mats as goals. It was fun to challenge them to score on me. After awhile I started to block all their shots and forced them to come up with a strategy to score. I helped them to come to the conclusion that in order to score two of them had to kick the balls at the same time. Nick and sage where the first ones to catch on and then the rest took heed. Then another group came in to the gym so we switched activities and just played knock out. It is a famous game to play at St. Mary’s and we always have fun playing. Again I would actually be trying and sometimes they would still get me out. For those who didn’t want to play or when people got out in knockout we went to the side and tossed the football. We wrapped the day up with a great dance that one of my classmates conducted. Then we took a group picture, first with just the Cortland students and then with the kids too. After Mr. Yang gave us a debriefing and brought closure to the end of our motor development labs at St. Mary’s. I am really going to miss it. From the bottom of my heart I truly cherish my experience at St. Marys. It really helped me come out of my shell and interact with kids in such a lively, joyful, and rewarding way. It contributed to my professional as well as personal growth in ways that cannot be measured. I am truly grateful for the opportunity

Friday, November 27, 2009

Still In Awe From The NYS AAPHERD Conference

The conference was such an amazing experience. Right when we arrived and checked in we started to hit presentations. It was great to sit in on the workshops and get a chance to mingle with professionals. Once again I felt a part of something much, much larger than me. It was a spiritual feeling being part of such a positive movement and being surrounded by such awesome people. I found myself drawn to a lot of health orientated presentations. The first one was called Drug… Wise….. Er….. It really caught my attention because drugs are prevalent in the secondary school setting to a profound extent. The presenter, Lori Reichel, was full of energy and very articulate. Another presentation I attended was finding your inner self and doing what you love. Chris Xaver, who is a local at TC3, did a great job describing the passion needed to really love ones job. She also talked about being responsible and empowering oneself. By the first night I was exhausted from the little sleep I had been getting in order to meet deadlines for my classes. It was even rough getting started the next day but once I started to hit more workshops I felt uplifted and energized. There was a social before the award ceremony were I was really able to pick some Cortland alumni’s brains and probe them alittle to understand more about the profession. The award ceremony was very elegant and emotional. I got a chance to meet some more really awesome people who I really look up to. To see people winning awards, making a difference in people’s lives, and giving inspiring speeches was something I am very grateful to witness. After the ceremony ended we went to a social that amazed me. There was professionals, future professionals, and professors all dancing, drinking, and having a good time. I really got loose on the dance floor and was able to let it all out and have fun. The next morning we packed it up and went home.

Pre-K play!

Wow did the pre-k get me fired up. The innocence the youngsters possess is beautiful. They are truly precious. It was great how well they responded and how easy they were to enthrall and motivate. At first we went outside on the playground. Most of the time we played tag and they ran around chasing me. It is amazing how such a simple activity can really hold their attention for such a long length of time. It was a lot of fun and very physically exhausting. We really nailed the naspe standards that emphasize participating in fitness enhancing physical activities. All of our heart rates were up. I felt like Barry Sanders juking them out so they couldn’t catch me. It was great because it got them used to changing direction quickly. After we went inside and me and my classmate read books to them. I have never done that before and it was a great experience. To really captivate them and make the book come to life was a lot of fun. After we set up an activity that was hooked in to the story line of a book we read about Clifford (the big red dog). The task was to crawl through a tunnel, hop and jump on pull spots, pick up fake food, and then put it in Clifford’s bowl. The kids ate the activity up. If we didn’t stop them they would have done it all day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The circus came to St.Mary’s? Noo couldn't of ???

Ya, You bet it was physical education circus style at St. Mary’s Wednesday. We may have looked like clowns but we were not clowining around when it came down to manipulative motor skills like throwing and catching. The task was if the students could make enough of an impression on us to convince us of letting them join are circus. Did they succeed? Does dumbo fly? There were some techniques we helped them tweak but for the most part they performed the tasks well. I lead the first set of activities which involved throwing the ball against the wall and catching it. The students resembled the different stages ranging all the way from initial to mature but mostly they were performing at the elementary level. One of the bigger symbols of elementary status was bringing the ball behind their head when throwing. I though the students did great with staying focused and putting forth strong amounts of effort. I did a good job at captivating their attention and instructing the activity with enthusiasm. As we played the other throwing activity we were able to individually go into greater detail with breaking down the mechanics. I emphasized principles of keeping their eye on the target, trying to use their whole body especially their legs and core, following through, and pointing to the target with the opposite throwing hand. Some of the student implemented the suggested cues. I was surprised at some of the student’s accuracy while throwing. After, we went downstairs to the cafeteria. We got out the Legos and employed our creativity to build whatever structures came to mind. Then after going back up to the gym we played some roundball and to cap the day off we did the chicken dance. St. Mary’s has a way of making you feel like a kid again. Good times

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

PE Ninja

My spirits were flagging as I arrived to St. Mary’s. I was tired and did not know if I had enough energy to carry on through the day. Upon arrival we got right to work with organizing the equipment room. As we began to tackle the task at hand I started to feel more optimistic. I felt that we bonded as a group and it gave us a chance to collaborate closely and practice cooperation, communication, and teamwork. We were able to clean the whole closet out, take an inventory on all the equipment we had and then restock the closet in a more easily accessible and organized way. After, we all enjoyed the feeling that we had accomplished something. At first it seemed like too tall of a task to carry out but it actually was not so bad. I also got exposure to all kinds of cool equipment. From giant Q-tip looking things, to different shaped elastic paddles. The possibilities seemed endless of games that could be implemented using the variety of equipment that was present. After we finished with the equipment we got a chance to interact with the kids during some of the activities. I was a little taken back with the skill level some of the students have pertaining to knockout. There was a time I was actually trying and I lost. But it is always a fun game to play at St. Mary’s. I also played knee basketball with another group of younger kids. It was exciting to play on our knees well the children played standing up. At first I was a little annoyed with some of the students determination not to pass. I found ways to help motivate them to pass by verbally encouraging them, sheildingg them toward an open teamate, and stealing it or swatting it when they continuosly fail to pass. I was able to better facilitate teamwork and cooperation. Me and my classmate were able to implement sliding on defense and leaping on offense. At the end of the day I got dressed up in my Halloween costume and helped attempt to facilitate the “Thriller” song as a ninja. One of the kids responded strongly to me being in character. He was way more attentive and motivated to participate. I was able to do the dance with him and it was a blast. I left the school knowing that I contributed to the schools physical education. I had another great experience at St. Mary’s.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

physcial education super hero

It was another exciting day at St. Mary’s. We were able to implement some fun activities that contained some predetermined objectives. Out of the activity my group (leaping Lizards) did my station was the football toss. The kids were very excited to participate. Part of the reason was because we all dressed up in super hero costumes. As they were able to make the ball through the hula hoop I had them move back further little by little. It really pushed them and challenged them to try their best. They performed other skills at other stations that I supervised such as hopping and galloping. Some of the kids were confused but we tried to show them and encourage them to perform the movement patterns correctly. The kids seemed like they were having a blast and it is great to be in that type of atmosphere. It is electric. I love seeing the kids participating. It is really a heartwarming experience. I never thought I would enjoy physical education with this particular age group to the extent I do. It is amazing. We went down stairs to the cafeteria and there was a kid hanging by himself so we went and kept him company. Some of the kids stole one of my peers mask and I thought it was funny. On a serious note my classmate might have been able to handle it better. It is difficult to be assertive and take authority with the kids but I think it is important to establish that type of relationship with them. We then went outside and played kickball. The kids had me laughing hilariously. I tried to get Nicholas to understand the rules and strategies of the game. He kept running the bases excessively every time only to get out. The smile on his face after was priceless. But it is ok because the most important thing in this type of setting is if they are moving around and having fun. I was able to allow him to understand that by practicing self control when running the bases he may be able to eventually run all of them and score more points for the team. Some of the kids surprised me with some of the catches they were making. It was a sunny day and we all had smiles on our faces. I was able to evenly distribute positioning such as pitching and the batting order. Then we went back inside and tossed the football. We played some mini football games. The kids were able to run around and work on their hand eye coordination. By the end of the day I was exhausted. Can’t wait to see the kids again next week.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The PE "hall of shame"

I thought the article was harsh in some regards but in others I feel the radical nature was justified. One aspect of the article that I did not agree with was that it is possible to overemphasize fun. I don’t think there is any such thing as having too much fun. Right in our standards of physical education it is stated that students should participate in physical education for enjoyment. Know when fun starts to take away from the development of the child then it could be a problem but let’s face it, fun is one of the main motives for kids when participating in PE. I think there is a way to have boat loads of fun and still sufficiently meet the proper objectives. I think another issue is to make sure that everyone has somewhat equal amounts of fun as well because that will increase everyone’s likelihood in participating in PE again. My favorite line of the article was that one that states the purposes of PE is to enhance unity with mind and body in order to live healthy and productively in society. I believe in that but the one thing that comes to mind is that society does not hold everyone in equal regard all the time. If someone is more talented then you they will have the upper hand especially when it comes to employment. So life is not always fair but if you work hard it is very rewarding. The reward is relative to each person’s potential though. So that is something that needs to be accepted. We don’t all have the same amount of potential in all areas. I love the game Line Soccer but at the same time it might not be appropriate for physical education. I agree that it has low amounts of activity time, high amounts of waiting, students are embarrassed and put on display, and it could be dangerous. But with some modifications it could be an excellent game for PE. Instead of everyone lining up in front of a giant goal, everyone should line up on the sideline, there should be a voluntary goal tender, and there should be a designated line that students have to kick the ball behind so the goalie does not get hurt. Also the physical education teacher should know the students well enough and be prepared to pair kids up with similar skill levels as numbers. When calling out numbers it should be done in increments of 4 or 5 to improve activity time. Also students on the sidelines can be used as teammates to kick the ball to. I would even say put out 2 balls but that may be dangerous for the goalie if 2 balls are kicked at him at once. But at the same time the boundary for shooting will be far away. Also the soccer balls could be substituted for softer balls or beach balls to put student on similar playing field, in regards to skill. Also this is a game that should be introduced after thoroughly teaching and practicing separate skills. It will be a chance for the student to wrap them all together and use them in a game situation. It will incorporate aspects like spacial awareness and cooperation. Their heart rate will be increased due to running long distances against a group who is of equal skill level. Overall it will be fun. Know on the other hand a game like red rover is ridiculous. I agree that this game should be illegal in and outside of PE. I really don’t think there is much hope for this game and it should hold a legendary place in the hall of shame. Their maybe ways to modify it but most of the guiding principles will be changed so it will not even resemble Red Rover anymore. The article really forced me to look deeper into many child hood games that at the surface seem somewhat appropriate for physical education. I appreciate my future profession and I think it is up to us that it remains in educational curriculums as a crucial contributor.

Friday, October 16, 2009

AAPHERD Mini-Conference Suny Cortland

The AAPHERD mini conference was a great experience. Just walking in to the gym at 8:00 in the morning and seeing how big the turnout was, was inspiring. To see all the physical educators who are already out in the field working, gathered around for the conference was moving. Everyone seemed friendly and welcoming. It was awesome to see all my fellow students participating and coming together to help make it happen. Judith Rink was the keynote speaker. She is a seasoned veteran of physcial education that is well accomplished. It was a treat to hear her massage and learn some valuable information. One of the things she spoke of was the idea of bringing the school to the community. This principle would obviously help promote lifelong physical activity by helping them getting use to being resourceful and allowing them to be plugged in for when they get out of school. One practical way to achieve this goal would be to make it a requirement to take part in community run physical activities. Another way could be to bring people from the community who are physical activity and health promoters and activists into the school to teach, lecture, help out, and for the kids to get to know. Another issue that Judith presented on was to do no harm to overweight kids. It shined a different light on the matter because I am so use to the mind set of fighting obesity tooth and nail. We have to be very careful to not damage kids self esteem even though are motives may be good. Some kids are more predispositioned to be overweight. The most important thing is to motivate kids to be physically active and make them feel comfortable to participate. Another concept she lectured on was the family unit. I am also a member of the PE majors club and I was honored with the opportunity to preside at a workshop. It was called “Character education in health education”, and it was run by Greg Scutt, who at one point signed a contract with the Green Bay Packers. He delivered an encouraging talk that addressed the idea of showing that you care as the foundation for teaching. The first step for getting kids to listen is to convey that you have their best interest at heart and that you genuinely care about them. He also lectured on the significance of topics like being prepared, altruism, interviewing, honesty, consequences, and listening. It was a privilege to meet him and preside for him. He seemed like a good hearted warm individual. I was a little afraid of going in front of the group and presiding at first but as I started to talk and introduce him it just flowed. I feel like I grew from the experience and was able to learn some great information that I will be able to apply one day. I left with a feeling of confidence, professionalism, and participating in something much bigger than I am.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What an experience! (at St. Mary's)

I was a little nervous when initiating my interaction with the students. As I demonstrated some courage to approach the children and engage them the fear dissipated. I was able to pick their brains a little and ask them questions about themselves. They were welcoming and responsive. It was an opportunity to improve my ability to communicate with children. It was cool to see them construct pretend phones out of Lego like toys. I notice they started out with simple versions and then progressed into more complicated and sophisticated ones. It was also fun to hear them express their imagination and creativity by pretending to talk on them. I was able to make fun comments, encourage them, and give them ideas. It was nice to just be in their presence and experience the energy they carry with them. One girl wiped a mash potato like substance on me and I was able to be assertive with her and tell her that was unacceptable. She agreed to not behave like that again. It was a great time playing soccer with the kids. I was able to cheer them on and facilitate the game in a way that let everyone get a somewhat equal chance to participate. I was able to teach them how to spread out and emphasize passing. They picked up on it well and were very enthused. It brought me back to being a kid and enjoying physical activity with my peers. That is what I lived for at that age. I left feeling exhausted but it was a good feeling. It seemed like a whole other world in there. I am looking forward to going back.