Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Picture or Pictures are worth a Thousand Words

A collage I've made with all of the pictures that I have been in at St Mary's. It's always good to have a visual aid, so people can see what you have been doing.

Physical Education, not just a class for students to "play"

Three critical issues facing children in the United States today are childhood obesity increasing, the increase among youth in-school & community violence, and some students reaching puberty as early as third grade. Childhood obesity has risen partially due to the rise in technologies keeping children occupied. These include video games, the internet, television, i-pod's, etc. There are ways that children can do both, as shown in one of our classes earlier this year. The increase in youth violence could be due to budget cuts, which end up cutting after school programs, and other activities that keep children out of trouble. It's important that schools setup a program, using either a gymnasium, or cafeteria to use after school. You can engage students from the local high school to volunteer to help out if it's an elementary setting.

One goal of "Development Physical Education" is the acquisition of movement skills for elementary students. It's important that at a young age children develop skills, and it's important as teachers to incoporate these skills in fun activities. You have to make it seem that the children don't think they're learning, but playing a game instead, while they're learning. Another goal is for students to be physically fit, and be enhanced in physical activity. It's important that we engage students in physical activity in our classes, and that they enjoy it, so they will be physically active when they're on their own time.

The three factors that lead to the development of the whole child include the biology of the individual, the conditions of the learning environment, and the requirements of the task. This is to make sure the child is developed enough to participate in the task, the task is age appropriate, and the environment is safe for the child to participate in the activity. Individual appropriateness is when the learning experiences in the PE program are appropriate to the individual's motor skills and development. Age-group appropriateness is when the learning experiences are incoporated into the program based on a student's age or grade level. These are both important, and relate to the three factors in the development. They have to do with their age, and their skill level, making sure the student's will be able to participate in the activities. This is so the game isn't too simple or complicated for the students.

Three examples of locomotion are running, leaping, and hopping. Three examples of manipulation throwing, kicking, and striking. Advanced movement skills include stability movements which are axial and static/dynamic movements. Two examples of axial movements are twisting and turning. Rolling and dodging are examples of static/dynamic movements. Physical Fitness is a combination of health-related and performance-based concepts. The health-related concept has to do mainly with how strong they are, and how far along a student is physically developed. The performance-related concept has to do with how a student can show what they learned, such as balance, coordination, and speed.

Time, We All Wish We Could Have More Of It

Yesterday, was the second lab at St. Mary's. It didn't go as well as I wanted it to. The group I am in with Holly and Dan, (Three's Company) was in the gymnasium this week, leading the K-1st grade groups. Holly and Dan both led their games, while Mitch followed them in leading his activity. It was then my turn to lead an activity, which was "When are we going to get there?" I wanted to engage the students in practicing their locomotor skills, and it took a while to get the students out there in the game. When the game got started, it didn't last long, since it was time to switch stations. I didn't get to complete my activity as planned.

One thing that I learned this week, and I learned it the hard way, is that you may not get the time you want. I was expecting to get at least ten-fifteen minutes, but instead it was about two minutes. I felt that I did everything to the best of my ability, but you have to get the students engaged in the game as fast as possible. It took a few minutes for me to explain the game, since I wanted all of the students to participate. However, I learned that sometimes no matter what you do, you can't get everyone to participate. I felt one thing that I did do well was that I modified the game due to time. I knew that if I used the game with the equipment involved, that it would've taken too long. When it was my turn to lead the activity, I decided to do the part of the game that didn't involve the equipment.

I also took too long to grab the equipment that I needed for the activity. I wasn't sure on where to go at first, and by the time I got everything I needed, Holly had already started her game. As I learned yesterday, it's important to have your game setup on time, and have everything ready to go. I knew this from the camp I worked at, since kids attention spans don't last that long. I was disappointed, but I made sure that I didn't show it in front of the students. Student's don't care about your problems, and if they see you there, depressed, they won't want to go near you. I made sure that I was always smiling, and making sure that I looked happy. The cafeteria worked out very well. I had the flags that I had drawn for my activity, and I showed them to some of the students down there. A student named C, wanted to draw a Jamiacan flag like the one I had drawn. R, another student, taught me something. She drew the Austria flag, which I didn't know what it looked like. This I felt was good, because just like the last time I was there, and they were drawing Valentines Day cards, they drew different flags this time with the Olympics. I also enjoyed how R, and A, both explained about their class, and how each class was a different country. It's great when students tell you what they're doing, because you learn something about their interests, and what they're doing in school.

I felt I improved on getting to know the students, and their interests. Something I wanted to improve on this time. However, this time in the gym, it didn't work out the way I planned. It worked out well last time, so the next time I'll have to make sure it works, while learning more about the students. Instead of getting discouraged, I have to just move on from this, and learn from my mistakes. Sometimes it won't work out, and while it upsets me, you just have to find ways to make sure it doesn't happen again. I will do better, and try to find new ways so it doesn't happen again, not for me, but for the students. It's about them learning and having fun, which is in my hands.

Learning While Observing

There weren't a lot of pictures taken of me interacting with the students. However, while I may not have been shown leading an activity, I was observing the lab assistants, and my fellow classmates lead activities. There are always opportunities to learn, even when someone else is. Look at how a person is leading and engaging the students. You can see what they're doing right, and what they may not being doing right. This can only help you get better as you move along.

The Benefits of Tag (Orig Date Feb 16, 2010)

After reading the hall of shame game, I would have to agree with the article for the most part. Most of the games listed do not comply with any of the state or National standards for Physical Education. However, I did not like reading that tag was in the Hall of Shame. I feel while certain tag games aren't appropriate for PE, that there are certain tag games that are appropriate for the Physical Education setting. There are a few tag games which I learned and incoporated at the summer camp this past summer, which included a lot of physical activity and strategy.

My personal favorite of all the tag games played this summer was frozen ant tag. The campers liked it when I would have this as one of my games at my station. It's a game where you have a few taggers, depending on the size of the class or group. When a person is tagged, they lay on the ground on their back with their feet in the air like a frozen ant. They are free when a person who isn't a tagger comes over and tags their foot. I knew it was a success because the kids would sometimes keep playing even after the whistle was blown. Also, the lazy counselors wouldn't like the game because they knew it required a lot of running around. This game is very similar to Buffalo tag.

A second tag game which was also popular was survivor tag. Again, depending on the size of the class or group, the class would be divided anywhere from 2-4 teams. This is like regular tag except with teams. Once you're tagged, you're to remain frozen until one of your teammates rescues you. The last team standing is declared the winner. A modification for this game can be made. You could split the class into two teams, it would have to be a smaller class to accomadate the teams. Once a person is tagged by another team, then they join that team, and vice versa. The game would last for a long time, and no student would be sitting out. To avoid confusion of teams, students could wear pennies for one team, and the other team would have pennies, but hanging from the side. When you're tagged, you either put the pennie on, or hang it from the side, depending on which team you're on.

Flag tag is a game that I learned at my old college. Each student in the class takes a pennie, or depending on the equipment, an actual flag that is used while playing flag football. I prefer to use the pennie. Anyway, the student takes the pennie, and hangs it from the side of their shorts. When the whistle is blown, the objective is to collect as many flags as possible, without yours being taken. If your flag or flags are taken, depending on how many a person may have, you're out of the game. However, there are two different modifications for this game. The first being that a student can stay in the game, even after their flag is taken, and would just continue to try and get as many flags as possible. The second modification being that a student could grab another flag from the side. I wouldn't suggest the second modification since it would require a lot of pennies, and it would slow the game down.

There are other tag games that can be used such as blob tag, which can be used for an icebreaker in the beginning of a class. Tag can be essential to a Physical Education setting if done properly. The Hall of Shame article was correct was when they said that elimination games aren't appropriate since students are forced to sit out to the side when they're out. However, if done properly, students can be physically active while participating in these games, and won't have a low self esteem by being eliminated. They can't be eliminated, if elimination isn't an option.

Tag, Your It (Orig Date Feb 10, 2010)

Today was our first official lab for our Motor Development class. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be, since we were informed of what kind of games to come to class with ahead of time. At the summer camp I worked at, we played a different kind of tag game at least once a week. I liked how the lab assistants helped us in the beginning getting the kids into the tag games. Once we had our group on our own, the students didn't listen as much. We started off playing blob tag, but it didn't work out as well, since the students didn't fully understand the game. A lot of the students wanted to play hide & seek, and duck duck goose. I then led the students in a game of frozen ant tag, which they played for a little while. However, they seemed easily distracted by the student's playing basketball on the other side of the court. I told the students that if they played our games, that we could play duck duck goose when we were done. This motivated them to play the game a little longer, but the student's wanted to play duck duck goose. We played that until it was time to go to the cafeteria.

The student's were much calmer in the cafeteria, and it gave me a better chance to interact with them more. There was one student J, who I got to know pretty well during a game of checkers. After that game, I went over and watched some of the other students draw Valentine's Day cards, which was nice, since it had to do with a current theme. After this was free time, and I felt this went very well. I was able to play catch with a student, N, and while we were playing catch, others joined us as well. Some of the other student's couldn't throw the ball properly, so I showed them the proper way to throw. While they may not have gotten the skill down, they seemed excited to learn, and play catch.

There were a few things that I could've done better today. I felt that I could've gotten to know the student's a little better then I did. I was able to get to know a few of them, but I felt I could've found out their interests a little better. This is one thing that I will know that I need to improve on next time. I felt that I was able to find out what games they like to play the most. It was just like my camp, as a majority of the younger students wanted to play duck duck goose. I felt having prior experience at the camp, that I was able to prepare for this lab the way I did. On my first day of camp, I didn't have a backup plan for the younger campers, and the station did not work at all. I had to bail out, and let them play on the playground for the rest of the station. Here, when blob tag didn't work out, I was able to have a game prepared right there for the students. That's one thing with any age group, not just the younger students, you should always have a plan b, c, d, incase something doesn't work out. I enjoyed today's experience, and I feel that I'm going to go into each lab having better knowledge of what to do. I'm going to learn from my mistakes, and I will find out more about the student's interests in the next lab. Always learn from your mistakes, and fix them.

Second Day of a New Beginning (Orig Date Jan 26 2010)

Today was my first day of class for Motor Development. It was different that most first days of classes. Most classes on the first day, we usually watch a video, but instead, we watched a short five minute video. The video had clips of Physical Education students at Cortland participating in various activities with younger children. One of the most important factors that I noticed in the video was that both the students and children were smiling. It's important to teach motor skills to the young children, but it's also important that they are having a good time while learning.

I work at a summer camp, and I was what they call a group leader. I ran a different station each day, and picked the activity for the children to participate in. I always made sure that no matter what the game was, that I was always smiling and enjoying the game. It's important to do this because if a student sees that you aren't having a good time, then chances are they won't either. Students, especially in the elementary age group, look up to their teachers and instructors. Therefore, if a student, or in my case, a camper, sees that I think the game is fun, they will want to participate in the game as well. Always take pride in what you do, and enjoy what you do.

If At First You Don't Succeed, Dust Yourself Off and Try Again

The late R&B artist Alliyah once said, "if at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again. I have been a student here at Suny Cortland for exactly one month. It wasn't until last night that I realized that anyone who has wanted to follow my website, would have only seen my first blog. This meant the two others that have been written, no one has had access to see. After some assistance from my instructor, Dr. Yang, I was able to realize what I have been doing wrong. At first I was discouraged and upset, thinking what should I do. It was then that I remembered that song by Alliyah, "Try Again."

I also began to remember the comeback Michael Jordan made, the first comeback. Now before I go any further, I am in no way comparing myself to Michael Jordan. He is one of the greatest basketball players ever, and has had great success throughout his life. I had recently taken the fall semester off, after the previous college, Castleton State College, in Vermont, didn't work out the way I planned. Michael Jordan took a few years off from basketball to play baseball. When he first cameback to play basketball, the Chicago Bulls, the team he played for, did not win the NBA finals. The previous three years Jordan had played, they had won the NBA finals each year. Did that discourage Jordan? I honestly don't know, but the discouragement couldn't have lasted that long. Jordan would go onto win three more NBA finals before retiring again in 1998. He would play again in 2001, and would retire for good in 2003.

Michael didn't give up, even when he didn't live up to the expectations others had given, or the expectations he had given himself. He tried again to relive his past success, which he did. The previous three semesters I was in school, I was on the dean's list, earning a higher G.P.A. each semester. My biggest fear going into this semester was that I wouldn't be able to be as successful this time around. As I said, I've been a student here for exactly one month. I have been working harder then I ever have, and I consider my result to be satisfactory so far. Satisfactory isn't good enough for me because it's not the best I can be. I want it to be outstanding. I didn't post the blogs the correct way, so instead of giving up, I'm fixing it. After this blog, I will be posting the other blogs that others haven't gotten to see yet.

Never give up, and always try your best. If it doesn't work out at first, try it again. Look at the picture above to see why you should try again.