Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Character Education



Character Education programs are mandated in about forty of the states in the US. According to our textbook “Teachers, Schools, and Society”, these character education programs focus on teaching students the characteristics of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. I believe that physical education class is a perfect place for these morals to be taught to students.
            In a regular classroom setting, these values can be taught through discovery in literature or history. But teaching these values in a physical education setting is a little bit different. I believe that one of the best ways to teach character education in physical education is during project adventure and orienteering experiences. These units may involve the students doing high or low ropes course, rock wall climbing, trust falls, and group cooperation activities. The skills that are taught in character education programs are part of the affective domain. In my opinion many physical education programs do not touch enough up this domain and thus character education is a great way to integrate characteristics such as trustworthiness and respect into physical education.
            In PED 434, Statistics in Sports and Physical Education, we learned how to integrate the affective domain into physical education. In order to assess students on a characteristic such as respect, the teacher needs to be able to see and to hear respect. In other words, teachers need something objective to assess. For example, it is not good enough for a teacher to simply say that a student showed respect for participation points that day. They need to justify the fact that the student showed respect by saying the student worked cooperatively with a group in a project adventure activity and listened to what classmates had to say as well as offered his/her own ideas.
            I believe that character education is something that is developed throughout life. Most children are taught from young age to play fair and to show characteristics such as respect and kindness. As I have gone through my journey in life thus far, I know that it is easier to show these characteristics in certain situations more than in other situations. Life is a journey about truly finding out who you are and what your purpose is in life. I believe that character education really aids in this self-discovery.
             

Multicultural Education and Glee


Glee has been one of my favorite television shows since it first aired about 3 years ago. There are so many storylines that intermingle and deal with real-life issues that many teens face today. The characters in the show are growing up in a rural town in Ohio and this season had followed the students through their journey of their senior year of high school and choosing a path to take in life and where to go to college. The number of issues that arise in the television show is never ending, from LGBT issues, to teen pregnancy, to interracial dating to diabilities.
            One of the stars of Glee, Kurt, is gay. He is extremely lucky to have a father who cares so much about him and loves him exactly the way he is. Yet in school he is bullied quite a bit by one of the football players. The biggest irony of the situation is that the football player is actually gay as well, but has not come out yet and is covering up his own homosexuality by bullying Kurt. He uses both physical and verbal bullying towards Kurt, and even forces Kurt to transfer schools. Kurt portrays himself as a very put-together and confident individual at most times. He has a very unique sense of fashion and is not afraid to flaunt it. But there have also seen times that he has had complete break-downs on the show. For example, last season Kurt was voted as the Prom Queen by his entire school as a joke. But it was not really a joke and was a form of bullying. I would say that Kurt has found a group that he identifies with and feels comfortable around which is the Glee Club. When he is around his friends he acts like himself. Kurt is also fortunate enough that his teacher Mr. Shoe is so supportive of him and is always there for him.
            Another one of the major characters in the show Glee is Artie. Artie is paralyzed from the waist down and thus in a wheelchair. His greatest wish is to walk again one day, even though the probability of that ever happening is very slim. Glee is a club that choreographs different songs and dances into musical numbers. Because Artie is in a wheelchair, he is not able to dance. But this does not stop him from moving. He is always incorporated into the various musical numbers and does and amazing job moving in his wheelchair. He has one of the best voices of all of the males in the club and shines as an integral part of the team. In terms of bullying, Artie does face bullying for being in a wheelchair as well as for wearing glasses. But I really admire Artie because he does not seem to very phased by the acts of bullying by others towards the Glee club. I can only recall one instance in which Artie lost his temper, and it was not as a result of himself being bullied but rather because one of the other characters in the show Blaine was being bullied.
            Our textbook talked about James Banks and his approach to multicultural education. He believed that in order for groups of people to understand one another and have positive attitudes towards those who are different than themselves, that diverse groups need to be integrated with one another. This method of multicultural integration is very apparent in the Glee club as the club is composed on many different teens who all have their own issues. But the Glee club is like a family and I believe that the reason for this is that they all have a positive attitude towards one another. They are all there for each other in times of need and despite their differences, they can always count on another.

Bullying and The "It Gets Better" Campaign


According to recent statistics, every day many kids experience acts of bullying in schools. These aggressive behaviors often cause social rejection to others, as well as a plethora of different personal effects. The word bully can be defined as a person who is cruel to another, and the act of bullying may take many forms. In recent years, a term know as “cyber-bullying” has also become more common. While traditional bullying requires face-to face contact between the bully and the person being attacked, cyber- bullying uses technology rather than direct contact.
Cyber-bullying is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly popular. This type of bullying is done entirely through the use of technology, whether it is through the computer or through the use of cell phones. When used improperly, technology has a negative effect on the youth today. Children and teens are saying very hurtful things to one another through technology and this is having very negative effects. Some of the negative effects that have been correlated to cyber-bullying include depression, anxiety, and even suicide in some extreme situations.
The website “It Gets Better” is full of videos posted by people across the country that address the issue of bullying towards people of the LGBT population. These videos are posted by normal every-day people, famous celebrities, and even big companies such as Disney, PIXAR, and Apple. But the messages that the videos send are very similar: no one should be bullied for who they are or who they chose to love. Every person deserves the same love and kindness, no matter their sexual orientation. The videos on this website offer anyone of this LGBT community a friend and also show people of this community that they are definitely not alone. For example, in one of the videos that I watched, a man of about middle-age told his story. He was originally married to a woman and had two children with this women. But he knew inside that he was living a lie and today he is divorced and has a male partner. He offers his personal email address during his video for anyone who just needs a friend. Each and every one of the videos that I watched was very heart-warming. Many of the videos were made after many teens took their own lives after being taunted and bullied for being LGBT. The videos give hope that “it gets better”. It is truly amazing how the LGBT community is so close net and they lean on one another for support.
 One day when I am a physical education teacher, I hope to be a person who my students will be able to confide in. I will have to get my students to realize that although I am their teacher, I am also a friend who is there to listen to them in times of need. I work at a summer camp with young children over the summer. Part of our staff summer training was a bullying seminar where we learned how to deal with bullying with our campers and I know that I will be able to use what I learned here as a physical education teacher. The issue of bullying is not one that can be ignored and it must be dealt with immediately. There need to be consequences for bullies and they must know that taunting and acts of hatred towards others will not be tolerated.

What does diversity mean to me?

Diversity is a broad term that encompasses a variety of meanings. I believe that diversity is important in many aspects of life, especially in education. One interpretation of diversity is ethnic. This involves the different cultures across the globe which are all unique and make the world a diverse place. Without diversity, our world would be a very boring place because everyone would be the same.
            Diversity can also be explained in the educational setting. It does not only include ones racial background and their heritage, but also includes ones learning style in the classroom. There are many different types of learners including visual, auditory, and bodily kinesthetic. Thus as a future physical educator it is important that I recognize all of the diverse styles of learning so I can reach out to my students and give them a worth-while experience in physical education. I think that this past semester working with the kindergartener through third graders at the Cortland Christian Academy showed me how diverse learning really is. It was easy to see that not all of the students learned the same way. I found out that visual aids are extremely important. Some students really liked the visual aids with cues on them, while others preferred to stand up and go through the steps of the skills as we were demonstrating. I think that a good physical educator is one that finds ways to reach out to all students.
            Physical activity and sports can be defined as the way a person expresses themselves physically and/or athletically. Artistic and performing arts are related to physical activity and sports because they are another way that one can express him/herself. One way that the arts are taught in physical education is through dance. There are many, many different forms of dance that range from the traditional folk dances from around the world to the use of exergaming technology for dance.
            Some teachers are fortunate enough to have exergames such as Dance Central, Just Dance and DDR in the schools they teach in. These games are an excellent way to work on fitness while having a blast at the same time. They are a great way to meet the needs of all diverse learners because the games include several different levels. Students get to decide individually how much they want to challenge themselves. I personally believe that students really take a lot out of their experience of using exergaming equipment. Every time that I have played wii dance or iDance I have such a great time and end up so sweaty without realizing how much physical activity I am actually doing. Thus I believe that using these different dance exergaming systems gives students an opportunity to express themselves artistically as well as get a great amount of MVPA in. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bullying Research Paper

Check out the research paper that I wrote on the similarities and differences between in-school bullying and cyber-bullying.

Click Here to read my research paper now:

My Philosophies

Here are the three philosophies I have written for my professional portfolio this semester:

Educational Philosophy

Physical Education Philosophy

Coaching/Athletics Philosophy



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Maria Montessori


Montessori lived from 1870-1952 in Italy. She attended medical school and overcame many gender barriers to become the first female physician in Italy. Through her work as a physician, Montessori came into contact with many patients who were intellectually disabled. At the time in which she was alive, these children were seen as having no potential in life by most people. But not Maria Montessori. She was able to reach out to these students in a way that no one ever thought would be possible. In 1908 she opened up a school called the “Casa dei Bambini”. It was located in a not-so-good part of Rome, Italy.
                Montessori had a much different view on education than many of the other well known educational philosophers of her time. She believed in an extremely limited role of the teacher. She believed that if children were given the proper environment, they could excel without much interaction with a teacher at all. She did not believe that a teacher played a large role in the education of children, but rather that children prefer to work and play on their own without the dictation of the teacher.
                The curriculum in Montessori’s first school was extremely diverse. One of the aspects of the curriculum was that it included practical skills such as setting the table, getting dressed, and basic manners. The curriculum at the school also included the basic educational skills of reading, writing and math. Students were also educated in motor skills and intellectual skills. What made Montessori’s school so different from other skills was the fact that personal attention was given to each student rather than just addressing the class as a whole.
                Although Montessori originally worked with students with special needs, her curriculum also works very well with early childhood aged children. Across the United States there are still many Montessori schools in function today. These schools address the fact that much of what students learn is discovered on their own if they are put in a carefully thought out environment. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Let the love of learning rule humanity."

Early this morning I was inducted into a National Honor Society here at Cortland called Phi Kappa Phi. This is an honor society for both seniors and juniors who are in the top 7.5% of their class. It was a very nice ceremony and the key note address was done by one of the early childhood professors here at Cortland. She specializes in the area of environmental studies and with earth day coming up tomorrow, she decided to focus her address on the huge issue of global warming. It was definitely not the typical key note address that I am used to hearing at various physical education conferences and mini-conferences, but it was very interesting to hear some of the facts about how our global climate is currently changing. 
The motto of the organization in Greek is "Philosophìa Krateìto Photôn" which translates to "Let the love of learning rule humanity." I personally really like the quote and found deep meaning in it. I am a firm believer that one should never stop learning and that it is extremely important to always continue with professional development. I think that it is also extremely important that humanity is included in the motto of the organization. To me, the word humanity means that one is able to treat others with kindness and compassion. Every well-educated person can be no one in life unless they show these crucial humanity skills. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Personal Body Guards to Stop Bullying?

I recently wrote a research paper on the differences between cyber-bullying  and in-school bullying. I was able to find out some really interesting facts about which types of students are usually the bullies and which types of students are generally the ones who are the victims of bullying. In EDU 470 class on Monday Professor Yang showed our class an article about a student in the New Brunswick, Canada who is the victim of many bullying and hate crimes because he is gay and overweight. Because nothing has worked in the past to protect the student from bullying, his parents have gone to extreme measures. They have hired a personal body guard for their son. In my opinion, this probably was not a good idea. I believe that the student having a personal body guard will probably only make the situation worse. He very well may be bullied even more by his peers for having someone there to "protect" him. It really saddens me that the students parents needed to hire the body guard in the first place. I hope that they will find a solution that works to protect the student in the very near future.
To read the full article, click here: 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Horace Mann- "the father of the public school"

So what exactly was a “common school”? Back in the 1800’s a man by the name of Horace Mann advocated for this. A common school would be the modern day equivalent of an elementary school. He was a strong supporter of everyone having the access to an education, no matter how rich or poor they really were. Thus Horace Mann is often known as the “father of the public school”. One of the main reasons for his push towards public education for all was that he felt that the economy would become more productive if there were more skilled workers. His hope was to find and nurture the talents of all children and he sought to close the gap between the rich and the poor. One of the most important things that Horace Mann is known for is for light the spark about the role of religion in school. 

We would not think twice about having the right to a free and public education today. But a public education was not a reality like it is now back in the 1800’s. The major groups who fought against the public school movement were powerful business men and many taxpayers also opposed the public school movement. The private religious schools also opposed the idea of public schools.

                Not only did Horace Mann advocate for public schools, he also advocated for schools that were better built and teachers who were more prepared and trained. As a result of these efforts by Horace Mann, several “normal schools” were founded. The purpose of these schools was to train teachers in pedagogy and show that positive ways to motivate students rather than using punishment. Mann was a true pioneer for better education systems in the United States, and who knows if our educational system would be where it is right now if it wasn’t for all of his efforts. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Relay for Life!


Last night was the Relay for Life here on the SUNY Cortland campus. I had participated in the relay back at home when I was in high school but this was my first year attending the relay here at cortland. We organized a team made up APEM members and we all got matching Pinnies to wear to show our unity. The point of the relay for life is to raise money for cancer and this is done all through donation. There were a ton of different groups from cortland including many different clubs and sororities. It was really neat to see so many people from the cortland community come together for this cause. As a club, apem decided to get together and run some games from the popular tv show minute to win it. These games turned out to be a lot of fun! When we were playing these games, we were walking laps to show support for cancer.  Every single person has been affected by cancer in some way or another. I think that showing our support is a great way to bring the community together. I'm looking forward to attending Relay for Life again next year!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

PED 201 Infant Skits!


It seems like almost an eternity ago that I was in PED 201 here at SUNY Cortland with Professor Yang. I remember being so excited to finally get out in to the schools and going to St. Mary's was a great experience! One of the biggest parts of Professor Yang's PED 201 class is students must turn the information from one of the chapters in the book into a song or skit. I was in the class in the fall of 2010 and my partners and I were assigned a chapter on infant reflexes. I can honestly say that I remember every little detail from the chapter because of the skit we did on it. My partners and I made a skit up about a pretend new item called a "flexlet" that gives an infant the incredible power of having all the reflexes. It was a really neat experience to make this skit and I had a lot of fun also watching all of the videos that my classmates made.

Today I went to watch Professor Yang's current PED 201 class perform their infant skits live in Poolside. I think that although many of the students seemed extremely nervous, each group did a great job. It takes a lot of courage to sing in front of others, especially in Poolside during busy lunch hours!! This performance was a great way to get the students more comfortable in front of their peers and I really enjoyed watching!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Start of my Paper on Bullying


There are many things that come to mind when one hears the word “bully”. According to recent statistics, every day many kids in elementary schools, middle schools and high schools are experiencing acts of bullying. These aggressive behaviors often cause social rejection to others, as well as a plethora of different personal effects. The word bully can be defined as a person who is cruel to another, and the act of bullying may take many forms. In more recent years, a term know as “cyber-bullying” has also become more common. While traditional bullying requires face-to face contact between the bully and the person being attacked, cyber- bullying uses technology rather than direct contact.
Although we see the phenomenon of bullying across all ages, there are differences in bullying between elementary school aged students and high school age students. In one study done across three elementary schools in Spain, researchers took a closer look at what types of children were the bullies and what types of children were the victims of bullying. They studied various different factors including gender, race and age as well as other factors such as disability, level of intelligence and impulsivity.
The way that the research was done was quite interesting. Three grade levels were looked at including 4th grade, 5th grade and 6th grade. Students were given the following scale: 0 = not involved in bullying, 1 = bullies (named by at least 25% as an aggressor), 2 = victims (named by at least 25% as a victim) and 3 = bully-victim (named by at least 25% as an aggressor and as a victim). Students had to give each one of their classmates a 0-3. Several complicated formulas were used including the Chi Squared formula to determine the relevance of the findings. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Sprint to the Finish


I have recently been having a little trouble keeping up with my blogging every day. This is the end of the race to the semester and I can see the finish line in the near future. Taking 21 credits this semester was a big under-taking and the work load has really been piling up these past few weeks. But there is something else besides this semesters workload that is occupying my thoughts lately. After this semester, I will be taking one more semester of classes in the fall and then I will be student next spring. I am on track to be getting my masters in health education in one year through the collaborative physical education and health program here at Cortland. As an undergraduate student I have already taken some health classes including personal and community health, human sexuality education, and nutrition. I have enjoyed all of these classes and I can honestly say that I would like to teach health education even though my true passion lies in physical education. At last Novembers NYS AHPERD Conference I talked to many different teachers and asked them what they thought about getting a master’s degree in health education. I think that every single teacher said it was a great idea, especially in today’s job market. Some open positions may require me to teach both health education and physical education. Right now my plan is to apply for jobs as soon as I finish my degree in physical education. If I cannot find I job, then I will go right into the master’s program in health education. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

SUNY Cortland Accepted Student Open House


Today was the Open House for accepted students at SUNY Cortland. I was invited to sit at the table for the APEM group because I am the president of the club. So this morning the vice president and myself went to the open house. Dr. Couteriour and Ms.Wright were there at the physical education table to explain information about the major and answer any of the questions that people had about the major. I must admit that was exhausting for over 2 hours straight but it was pretty awesome to see all these new faces of people who will be students in the fall. There was a broad range of emotions amongst the accepted students. I could tell that some of the students were more nervous and had a lot of different questions about not only the major but also about campus life in general. Then there were also some students who were so excited about coming to Cortland! I had so many great things to say about the physical education program and the faculty here at Cortland. I have loved every minute of my time here at Cortland and at times I might be super stressed with all the work I have to do. But I know that in the end it will be worth it when I have the job I have always wanted. It was exciting to see so many incoming freshman and transfer students ready to immerse themselves in all the physical education that Cortland has to offer. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing some new faces at APEM next semester!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Educational Philosophy (work in progress)


Education is not simply the delivery of information from teachers to students, but rather is a means by which teachers instill the capacity to learn and achieve in ways that will make students successful individuals later on in life. I believe that students need to be able to relate the learning experiences to the world around them, and that it is the responsibility of the teacher to make students hungry for knowledge.
For as long as I can remember, I have always believed that what I am learning in school should relate to a real life situation of some sort. I recall sitting through numerous lessons in high school and thinking to myself “how and when am I ever going to use what I am learning right now in life?” Thus I truly believe that as a future teacher, it will be my responsibility to facilitate learning in my students using a student-centered approach. This does not simply mean teaching all the numbers and facts from a textbook, but rather helping students connect what they are learning to real world experiences. Connecting learning experiences to students lives’ most definitely requires social interaction, which I believe is another crucial part of learning. I believe that anything from small group work and projects to larger class discussions and debates are fundamental parts of a child’s education.
            I am a firm believer in structure in the classroom. The classroom is a place where students learn and it is important that teachers create an environment that is warm and inviting to the students. I believe that good teachers instill in their students the desire to learn and the drive to succeed and have a bright future. They do this by motivating their students in many different ways. Students become bored very easily, especially when learning a subject that it is not easily related to real life situations. Thus teachers should use different methods to reach all the different learners in their classroom. It is extremely important to remember that all students have a different preferred style of learning. Not all students will learn by looking at a colorful poster or graphic, just as not all students will learn by listening to a teacher lecture. Teachers must plan their lessons with individual learning differences in mind.
            Teachers have an immense impact on student’s education. I believe that all teachers share a passion for working with children and bringing them the knowledge they need to be successful individuals later on in life. Teachers touch the lives of their students every day and are role models for their students. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bullying in Schools

http://libproxy.cortland.edu:2443/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=aa658098-00ae-4fa1-bdbb-eed8a6f4e6e6%40sessionmgr14&vid=4&hid=123
I recently decided to change my research paper topic to bullying in school. I think that this is a major issue that every teacher in the school needs to be aware of. It is important to know the difference between cyber bullying and bullying. I also know that teachers should be educated on what to do if they see signs of bullying, including violent or suicidal thoughts.
One article that I have found gives some great statistics on the percentages of students in a high school being bullied. Statistics showed that boys were bullied slightly more than girls in school, and girls experienced cyber bullying slightly more than boys. The article breaks up the percentages of students being bullied into different grade levels as well. It was interesting to see that 21.4% of students reported being bullied 9th grade and that this number is cut in half as only 10.6% of students in 12th grade reported being bullied. I was somewhat surprised to see that the percentages of whites being bullied was just about the same as the percentage of non-whites being bullied. There was a slight difference in the percentage of heterosexually identified students compared to the percentage of students who were non-heterosexually identified. The students who identified as non-heterosexual were bullied slightly more.
Another reason I liked the article was because it divided the different effects of suicide into depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, self-injury, suicide attempt, and suicide attempt with medical treatment. It was definitely interesting to see how cyber bullying and school bullying had different effects.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Source #1


This article talks about a model in which theorists believe that if a student has high achievement in the verbal domain, they most likely lack confidence in the mathematical domain. The opposite is also believed to be true as students that show high scores and achievement in the mathematical domain are seen to have a poor self-concept in the verbal domain. This model is referred to as the Internal/External Frame of Reference Model. The word internal relates to the students comparing their own personal achievement in one subject to their achievement in another subject. The word external refers to a student comparing their own achievement to the achievement of their peers.  For this study done in the article, investigations were done to link physical education to the verbal and mathematical areas and see if high achievement in physical education can be linked to high achievement and a positive self-concept in the classroom in verbal and mathematical subjects. The study was done in France and surveyed about 451 students with the mean age of 13.5 years. It was ultimately found that physical education showed no significant relationship with achievement or self-concept in verbal subject matter. Yet there were positive implications for self –concept in the mathematical domain.

Take a look at the full article here!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dancing through life


Today in my PED 356 class we began discussing different implication for teaching dance to students with disabilities. My professor Dr. Craft showed us this video before we even began our discussion. I think that the fact that she showed us the video before the lecture and discussion made a huge difference because seeing the video showed me just how much students with disabilities are really capable of. I think that this video is absolutely incredible and so humbling. To see a young man with no function in his legs dance the way he does in the video using his crutches and great upper body strength is phenomenal. It was interesting to learn about teaching students with disabilities different dances, and it was awesome to learn how much these students really enjoy dance units. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some Shocking News


Dribbling Lesson for EDU 355
Today I once again taught at the Cortland Christian Academy. My partner and I decided on a lesson that would focus on dribbling because our host teacher has mentioned to us before that she thinks the students need a lot of work on this skill. We did a short activity called “busy bee” for the instant activity and the students really seemed to enjoy this activity. We then went into a series of dribbling progressions. It was important to make sure that the students were first comfortable with the basketball and then we moved on to actually dribbling. The students were all working very hard and were very on task today for our lesson. After we had gotten through everything we had planned in the dribbling progression, we closed the class by playing a small game that we learned in 355 lab called Forest Ranger. This game is a lot of fun, but also requires patience. It was great to end the class on such a positive note.

Today at the school I found out that my “master teacher” is really not a certified teacher at all. She was a teaching assistant at the Cortland Christian Academy last year and they had to cut her position due to budget cuts. So out of the goodness of her heart, she stepped in this year as a VOLUNTEER to teacher physical education classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was absolutely shocked when I heard this and was actually quite disappointed. It is because Cortland Christian Academy is a private school that they are allowed to get away with having a volunteer parent as the physical education teacher. I think that the biggest reason that I found this disappointing is because the school is not seeing physical education as important and do not see the need for a teacher certified in teaching kids about motor skills and physical activity. With this new knowledge, I feel that it will be my duty to show the students what physical education is really about for the rest of my time there!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Coaching Philosophy


Athletics is not only a means by which students practice and compete in sporting events, but is also a place where a lot of individual growth takes place. Many physical education teachers also have a passion for coaching but the goals of physical education and coaching athletics are very different. While the goal of physical education is to teach students ways to stay fit and engage in lifetime activities, the goals of athletics are much more competitive competition and to develop proficiency in sport skills. Through athletics, individuals develop character though hard work, dedication and teamwork. It is the responsibility of the coach to facilitate the acquisition of character through these different aspects of sport.
            One big difference between athletics and physical education is that every child on the sport team in interscholastic athletics wants to be there. This differs from physical education because physical education is a state mandated requirement and mandatory even though some students may not really want to be there. Thus the players on sports teams are more likely to work hard to improve their skills both to better themselves as athletes, as well as for the benefit of the team as a whole. It is the job of the coach to motivate the players to keep practicing and working at 110%. A coach needs to find creative and innovative ways to keep practice sessions interesting and rewarding while improving the skills and mental capacity of the team. A coach is a person who is always learning and constantly acquiring ways to challenge the athletes. After all, coaching can be seen as an extension of learning as coaches teach their players lessons both on and off the field.
            Athletics almost always requires a large time commitment. Players and coaches who are truly dedicated will put in countless hours to practicing so that come game day, they are more than prepared.  This dedication leads to a discipline in athletes. As a coach, it is crucial to make athletes know that all their hard work and time will pay off.
            The way that a player acts on the field can really show a lot about their character. Coaches should strive to mold their athletes into respectable individuals who show compassion for their opponents and who have an unbreakable bond with their teammates. Learning to work together as a team towards a common goal requires a great deal of effective cooperation and communication. Both cooperation and communication are skills that can be carried over to many other life situations besides athletics.
I believe that the number one most important part of being a coach is finding the balance between being a friend and role model to the players while maintain authority at the same time. I have had several coaches throughout my life who were the most inspiring people in life and really pushed myself and my team to succeed even when none of us had faith. A coach believes in his or her team at all times and is an approachable individual who players look to for advice, both on and off the field. I believe that the coaches I had and the experiences I had in interscholastic sports really shaped me into the person I am today. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Boston Blackout!!

On a tour of Boston Harbor

Quincy Market
I had been looking forward to the 2012 National AAHPERD Conference in Boston for a very long time. I was so excited to continue to pursue more professional development and check out my first national conference. But on our 9 hour train ride back up to Boston on Tuesday, we got some bad news. There was an electrical fire that blew two transformers, leaving much of the city without power. It was a huge blackout in Boston and even our hotel did not have power. The next morning I was really excited for Day 1 of the conference but it ended up being cancelled because of the power outage. So some of my friends and I went on a tour of the city of Boston! It was my first time ever in Boston so I was excited to learn a little about the history of the city. After all the touring around Boston, we were all ready for the conference the next day but were just disappointed once again. On Thursday AAHPERD decided to cancel the entire rest of the conference because of the blackout. I was extremely disappointed because I really was looking forward to the conference and was excited that I was also going to have a chance to present with one of my professors at a national conference. But a situation like the blackout is not any one’s fault and just really unfortunate. After we got news that the conference was cancelled for the entire rest of the week, we realized that the hotel rooms and train tickets were all paid for already so we would be spending the next two days in Boston. I ended up having a great time with some of my fellow physical education majors and we got to see some really neat things in Boston. Despite the AAHPERD conference being cancelled, we all had a great time in Boston and got to know one another well. Some of the different things that we saw in Boston were the Boston Harbor, Quincy Market, the Freedom Trail and Fenway Park. Another highlight of the trip was when I got to meet up with one of my physical education teachers from high school for lunch. It was also cool to see that wherever we went touring around Boston there were other physical education teachers. For example, when we went on a boat tour of Boston Harbor, we met a couple of physical education professors from Arizona State University and a few professors from West Virginia University. They were also making the most of their time in Boston even though the conference was cancelled. We got to talk to these professors about what the physical education programs are like at their schools and it was interesting to see the similarities and differences. So even though we were not physically at the AAHPERD Conference, we still got to network with other teachers at the same time. I have a lot of great memories from my time spent in Boston this past week and formed some great relationships with my peers which will be helpful in the future when we are all teachers. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" Campaign



After taking a look at PE and what it was like back in the Cold War Era, I wanted to take a look at Michelle’s increasingly popular campaign called “Let’s Move”. She talks about how her family was not very healthy and then decided to make some changes in their lifestyles. Her new campaign is to all children more active and moving. She divides the campaign into four different parts:
1.       Making Healthy Choices
2.       Healthier School Foods
3.       Access to Healthy Affordable Food
4.       Increase physical activity
As a future physical educator, I know that I will be involved in the movement. I think that it is great that a figure head like the First Lady is so passionate about this type of movement. I believe that Obama hopes to not only fight childhood obesity that is such a problem right now, but she also hopes to start a proactive movement to prevent childhood obesity for even starting in the first place. Michelle Obama is also encouraging families to be active together which I think is another great idea. I remember growing up my parents always had my family doing activities together like going on hikes and going snow tubing.
I really like that Michelle Obama is trying to get everyone involved in the movement. It is awesome to see in the video how many professional athletes are getting involved in the movement. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jumping towards Fitness!


Yesterday was my third day of teaching at the Cortland Christian Academy. My partner Lucia and I decided to try out a whole lesson on jump roping and our host teacher absolutely loved it.
We started off the lesson by handing out different colored name tags to the students. This helped easily divide up the students into 4 squads. It is also helping us learn the student’s names, and every day that I go to the school, I try to learn more and more of the student’s names. We started off with a quick instant activity called Shadow. Students worked with partners and had to do different locomotor skills moving around the gym while “shadowing” their partner.

After the instant activity, we dove right into the lesson focus which focused on a bunch of ways to modify jumping rope for the kindergarteners and first graders who were still gaining competency in the skill. One of the favorite activities of the students was laying the rope on the floor and doing as many ski jumps over the rope as they could in 30 seconds. We then challenged the group to jump for another 30 seconds and try to beat their first score. The class really seemed to like all of the modified activities we had planned and most definitely got their MVPA in for the day.

Our second class of second and third graders was much more competent in jumping rope and thus we got to do some more advanced things with these students. I was truly amazed at all of the tricks that the students could do. This class was exhausted by the end of the class and asked if we could do jump roping again next week!

It is really amazing how many neat things you can do with your students if each student has just one jump rope. It is definitely a great way to build up the cardiovascular endurance in students and they have a lot of fun at the same time. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

President JFK on Physical Fitness



I decided to take a look at what physical education was like back about 50 years ago. At this time, the United States was facing the Cold War, and this time period was marked by an intense rivalry between our country and the communist Soviet Union. Thus the president at the time, John F. Kennedy wanted to instill physical activity in schools that would give the United States an edge over the Soviets.

I found this video on YouTube that shows some of the ways that physical education classes were conducted back in the 1960’s. It was extremely different and seemed rather militaristic to me.  In the video, JFK said that he hoped to build fit and stronger individuals. The students shown look about high school aged and are standing in a very clear formation and doing the same exercises in unison. The students are simply following whatever exercise the teacher is doing in front of them. JKF sees physical fitness as crucial to life and wants all Americans to gain the benefits of vigor and energy from fitness. He goes on to say that “A country is as strong as it’s citizens”.

 Another thing that I picked up on from watching the short video clip was the fact that I did not notice a single obese individual in the video. Although I cannot be certain as to the reason for this, I am speculating that Americans were more concerned with fitness back then and made it more of a priority than some individuals do today. I am also speculating that Americans back then ate less fast food and most likely had a healthier diet.  

I really found it interested to compare and contrast what physical education and fitness was like back then compared to what it is like now. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dream Team: We're in it to win it!



Last Sunday night I blogged about my team’s final regular season game of broomball. As you may recall if you read the post, I was not a big fan of the game when I first started playing. I was very easily frustrated and had trouble adapting to the new game. My team did not have the best record as it was the first time many of us had ever played. So going into the playoffs we all knew that we would have give 100% effort because each game was “do or die”. If you lose in playoffs, you are out. Well I could not be any more proud of my team at this point! So far we have won 3 playoff games within the last week.
Tonight’s game was especially exciting!!! We were playing against a team that was full of experienced hockey players, both the boys and girls on the team. My team and I knew it was going to be a tough game but we were prepared to give it our all. By the end of the first half, my team was losing 4-1. But instead of giving up and calling it quits, we had a pep talk at half time. One of my teammates gave us an awesome speech about how we’ve made it this far and that we can’t give up now.  So we went into the second half with our heads held high and ready to make a comeback. With about 5 minutes left in the second half, we had tied up the score to 4-4. We knew that we needed one more goal to just win it and avoid going to overtime. So that is exactly what we did. We went up 5-4 and held on to our lead to ultimately win the game!! I could not be any more proud of our win tonight and now we advance to the next round and will play again tomorrow night. 


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cortland Woman's Gymnastics!


Sarah Nadrowski



I just got back from my roommates gymnastics meet. Sarah is on the woman’s gymnastics team here at SUNY Cortland and today was a big meet against their rivals from the state university at Brockport. When I walked in the gym the first thing that I noticed was how exciting and full of energy the gym was. Both teams were very loud as they cheered their teammates on. The first event that the Cortland team competed in was vault. Every girl did a great job on this event. Next team performed on the uneven bars and the girls did great on this event too. Sarah was especially excited because she made her entire routine on bars for the first time since the beginning of January. I personally get so nervous when watching the gymnasts compete, especially when they are releasing themselves from the bar and in to the air. I make gasps and sighs of relief when then catch the bar or land a trick. The team struggled a little more with the next event which was balance beam. Three out of the seven girls competing fell off the beam which is a 0.5 deduction from their score automatically. I could tell that they were all quite frustrated especially since Sarah has been telling me how much they have been working on their balance beam routines this week. I knew though that they could use their frustrations and aggravations with the problems on the balance beam to work even harder in the last event of the meet which was the floor exercise. Going into the last event, the Cortland team was about 2.5 points behind Brockport. This is personally my favorite event to watch and I absolutely love seeing all of the different tricks that the gymnasts can do. Sarah did awesome in the event along with the rest of team! Although all of the gymnasts did a great job on their floor routines, they ended up losing the meet by less than one point. I still think that each one of the gymnasts on the Cortland team should be very proud as they put up a very good fight! I’m looking forward to going to watch Sarah and the rest of her team at her next meet in Ithaca.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What a workout!


Recently the Tomik Fitness Facility here at SUNY Cortland acquired two new pieces of equipment known as “Jacob’s Ladder”. As you can see from the picture, the main idea when using this piece of equipment is that you are continuously climbing up a ladder. Every day when I am at the gym I watch people try out the ladder. No one stays on for very long and I never really understood why until I gave it a try for myself today. I was on the ladder for about 7 minutes and it felt like an eternity. It was an absolutely amazing workout and I most definitely reached my high target heart zone. I could hardly breath after 7 minutes which in reality is not that long at all.
Jacob’s Ladder is very energy efficient because it does not use electricity or need to be plugged into the wall.  Instead it is self-powered, meaning that when someone is on it climbing, the screen is powered by this energy. The ladder is self-paced meaning that it the ladder rotates according to how fast or how slow you are climbing. Another benefit of the ladder is that it is low impact and using both the arms and legs is a better workout overall for the body. Jacob’s Ladder is an awesome way to get a great cardiovascular workout in a very short amount of time.
I am looking forward to using Jacob’s ladder again tomorrow at the gym. My hope is that I will be able to slowly increase the amount of time that I can stay on!

Check out the Jacob's Ladder Website at http://www.jacobsladderexercise.com/home.html 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Blog????

When Professor Yang first told us that part of the course requirements for EDU 470 was that we had to blog every day, 7 days a week, a minimum of 250 words, a flood of anxiety immediately came over me. I thought to myself “Where am I going to find the time?!” Not only was I  worried about when I would find the time with such a busy schedule of 21 credits, but in was also worried that I would not know what to write about every day. I feared that I would not have enough to talk about.
Well I was definitely wrong in all my initial judgments of the task. Blogging has really allowed me to reflect on all my different experiences this semester as well as many different topics that relate to my future. It is a way to channel my thoughts and I definitely feel that writing about them has helped. Writing everyday has improved my writing skills and I am more confident in my writing abilities. Some things that I blog about helps recreate the situation or memory in my head which may be helpful in the future. Sometimes I like to go back and look at my posts from earlier in the semester and I really enjoy seeing my growth since January. It is neat to see an accumulation of all that i have learned. Having a blog is almost like having a personal journal for me to write in about my day. When I have a cool, new experience I immediately think “I can blog about this tonight!”
In the future I will definitely plan on starting a blog for my physical education program where I teach. This will help ensure that my students can stay up to date on what is going on physical education classes, especially if they miss a day of class.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Scope Media 2012!



Today Professor Yang shared with our class a video that he put together of my classmates and me saying our personal philosophies. We shared our "hope, beliefs, and wills" and these videos were shot on only the second day of class back at the end of January. I can honestly say that I feel that I have grown tremendously in just one short month in EDU 470 class. I know that if I had to tape more videos on my philosophies, I would feel comfortable with the task. It is amazing to look back and see how much has changed in the past month. I have been working extremely hard this semester and have been keeping up with taking 21 credits. I know that all my hard work will eventually pay off. It is awesome to see this collaboration that Professor Yang has put together and I am looking forward to continuing to grow as a professional along with my classmates this semester!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rules, Rituals, and Routines in the Classroom


Each school has its own rituals and routine. Furthermore, each teacher has his/her own routines in the classroom. These protocols are absolutely necessary to make sure that a class runs smoothly and thus time on task can be maximized. For example, Chapter 4 of our texts talks about something as simple as the distribution of books in a classroom. It would be way to hectic to have a class of 30 students get up and go to the front of the classroom to get a book at the same time, thus the teacher may call one row at a time, or have one person from each row go up and get enough books for his/her entire row. Simple little adjustments like this make a huge difference in the class atmosphere. A very similar modification could be applied to a physical education setting concerning the distribution of equipment. Another essential protocol in classroom is that each student should know that they are expected to come to class and prepared to participate in what is planned for the day. Students should know that they should use the restroom before the class starts and will only be allowed to leave in the case of an emergency. I think that a major reason that rules and routines are so important in class is that without these, it would be difficult to accomplish anything. If students know exactly what is expected, more time can be spent working on fitness or skills for the day in physical education class. The amount of time that students spend in physical education class per week is already too little time, and thus it is crucial to make the most out of the little time we do have so the students receive the most benefits. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

LinSanity!

Jeremy Lin’s rise to fame is an absolutely incredible story. He has played more minutes for the New York Knicks in the past weeks than in the past 2 yrs combined. His story and rise to stardom is quite incredible. He led his high school to the state championship in the state of California and still did not even get recruited to play basketball in college. So he went to Harvard and pursued a degree and played basketball at the same time. Lin brought a lot of great talent to the team and was the first player to ever reach 1,500 points in the IVY League. Despite his talent, he still recalls being faced with racism by opponents.  In May 2010 Lin graduated with a degree in economics, and wanted to pursue his dream of getting drafted to the NBA.  But Lin was not drafted. The Dallas Mavericks coach spotted Lin and asked him to play in the summer league with the Mavericks. After that he was a released as a free agent and spent a short amount of time on several different teams. He was constantly moving and was very frustrated. He even recalled being “reduced to tears” and thought about giving up when he didn’t have a team. Starting on February 4th, Lin was finally given a chance by the Knicks and he went in as point guard.  Even since then, Lin has become a star and has been given the nickname of “Linsanity” for his extraordinary performance. It was so awesome to hear Lin say how he would never conform to the views society and he will always play his “brand” of basketball. I am definitely looking forward to watching some more of Jeremy Lin!

Check out this link to see Jeremy Lin's Journey towards success!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

“Don’t give up, Don’t ever give up”

Tonight was the last night of regular season play for intramural broomball. This is my first season playing and it has been quite a ride. Some of my friends and myself decided that it would be an exciting and new experience to play broomball because it is something that none of us had ever tried before. We got a team together and all us playing are athletic and have had experience playing many different sports. Yet broomball is unlike any sport any of us had ever played before. Trying to play a game very similar to hockey on ice while wearing sneakers is a lot harder than I originally thought it would be. It is extremely hard for me to get traction under my feet and the first game we played back in January was extremely frustrating for me. I was falling every other minute and every time someone passed the ball to me I would fall too. But as the season went on I found myself becoming more and more comfortable with being on the ice and using the broomball sticks. If someone asked me after the first game if I like the game of broomball, my immediate answer would have been “No, I hate it”. This was most likely because I was not very good and get discouraged when I do not succeed. But I stuck with it and I personally feel that although I am still not the strongest player, I have improved tremendously and each time I play I am growing to love the sport more and more. Everyone looks ridiculous when they fall so I needed to realize that I was being too hard on myself. It is impossible to excel in something the first time you do it and thus it is important to never give up. This statement about sticking with it can be applied to my own life in another way as well. I know that I will face many obstacles in my teaching career and I know that it will be important to keep my head up and never give up on something I feel so passionate about. My varsity soccer coach in high school used to have a single phrase that he so passionately believed in and would say too us many times each day- “Don’t give up, Don’t ever give up”. This is a short yet powerful line that I try to live my life by.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Water Aerobics for 356 Lab!

Yesterday I had lab for PED 356 in the pool with my student from BOCES. She is so full of energy but has some trouble focusing on one certain activities for a given amount of time. We will work on an activity for about 4-5 minutes before she gets bored and begins losing focus. When she gets bored she starts to misbehave and swims off away from me. She does somersaults under water and refuses to work on the activities I plan for her to improve her swimming skills.  Thus when I planned for my lesson this week, I  decided to take a break from trying to simply teach her the different strokes and make her learn different cognitive cues. I wanted to think of something that would be new and different from just working on the basic swim strokes, but that would still get her to work on her cardiovascular endurance and get her MVPA for the day. I came up with the idea of putting music on and doing some different water aerobics activities. I already knew some of her favorite songs so I made a CD to use while we were in the pool. My student absolutely loved having the music on during the class time and I definitely think that it kept her motivated to work hard and stay focused on the different exercises we were doing. One of my peers and the BOCES student she is working with decided to join us for our water aerobics activity and thus we worked on the affective goals of working cooperatively with classmates. As for the water aerobics routine, I came up with some of the moves myself and then also used the website http://wateraerobicexercises.org/  to get some other ideas. I was so impressed to see how well bot of the BOCES students did with the water aerobics exercises. They were definitely getting their heart rates up and having a lot of fun at the same time. I was excited to see that I am starting to connect more with my student and am choosing activities that suit her needs. .

Friday, February 17, 2012

Will I have what it takes?

Today in class, we continued our discussion on diversity a little and then we proceeded to begin diving into our own personal philosophies of physical education and teaching. Most of the other EDU 470 professors have their students write essays about their beliefs, and what they hope to be as a future teacher. I do agree that it is definitely important to put these philosophies into writing. But in class today Professor Yang did something a little different. He put up a list of a few questions to get us thinking a little bit about who we really are as future teachers and what it means to be a physical educator. As the group was sitting in a circle, we went around the circle and “rapid fire” elaborated on one of the questions and what we believed in. It was really neat to hear all the different things that my peers had to say. Although we are all united in our common goal to be physical educators, we all have slightly different outlooks. Being able to think off the top of my head will benefit me in many ways when I am out there looking for my first job. I hope that I will have what it takes to know what to say in these situations I may find myself in. For example, will I know what to say when the superintendent at my school asks why physical education is really that important? I know that doing these activities in EDU 470 class is the perfect way to practice and although it might seem stressful now, I know it will only benefit me in the future. You never know when a single small conversation might end up landing you a job!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Second Day of EDU 355 Field Experience

On Tuesday I went to my second day of field experience “observations” at Cortland Christian Academy. Except this experience is not really “observations” for me. I was assigned to a school without a certified physical education teacher and thus I have taken over as the physical education teacher for the rest of the semester when I go to the school. I was a little nervous about the first day teaching but everything went even better than planned and I definitely learned a lot.
The first class that my partner and I taught was a mix of 1st and 2nd graders and the second class was a mix of 2nd and 3rd graders. They are so excited and full of energy and could not wait to see what we had planned for them. We did a lesson that incorporated different locomotor movements and different cues for the movements. The children traveled in general space listening to the different cues we said and moving at the same time. The second class had no problems with this lesson, and I was pleased that the younger kids also did a very good job with the activities. We played another game called mouse trap as well and then finished up the game called “class vs. teacher”. The students especially loved this game called “class vs. teacher” because they saw it as a challenge to beat myself and my partner.
Overall the classes were extremely well behaved. We really did not have to deal with any behavioral issues. I learned how much energy the kids really do have and even though they only have physical education class for 30 minutes, I still need to come prepared with a lot of activities and/or games. I definitely feel like I will be more comfortable next week and I am looking forward to it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

MyPlate

This semester one of the classes I am taking is Nutrition. It is one of the undergraduate requirements for the 4 + 1 Health Master’s Program. We recently learned that the food guide pyramid has been replaced with something called “MyPlate”. As you can see in the graphic, the new image shows what portion of your meal should be grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and dairy. The website promotes eating more vegetables, more whole grains, and healthy and lean proteins. It is an improvement from the food guide pyramid in several ways. By looking at the food guide pyramid, it is very hard to tell the percentages of each food that you should eat in your daily diet by looking at a pyramid. I definitely think that MyPlate is a big improvement because it shows the portions on a plate. I think that a person can relate to this type of illustration more that a pyramid.
According to the plate, half of what you eat should be fruits and vegetables at each meal. The drink on the diagram is milk. The website is really neat and has some different features that can help with weight management and calculating calories. It also helps with telling some different ways to burn calories and increase physical activity. As a future physical educator, one of my favorite features on the website is the part that describes what physical activity is and why it is so important, as well as how much is really necessary every day. Many Americans are not educated on these facts and this is why the MyPlate website is so important. It is easy to use and easy to understand.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Adapted Sports

Today in my Adapted Physical Education and Sports class we discussed some of the different opportunities to play competitive sports for people who have vision impairments. The first sport that we learned about was called “Beep Baseball”. This game is very similar to baseball with a few adjustments. The ball makes loud beeping noises once the pitcher pitches it so the batter knows when to swing. There are only two bases and the bases also make the loud beeping noises so that the batter knows when to run once he/she has swung and hit the ball. It seems like a really awesome game!

Another game that we learned about is “goal ball”. This sport was actually designed by people who have vision impairments and specifically designed to be played by people with vision impairments. The game consists of two teams. Each team is defending their goal. The game is traditionally played with three people on each team, who are trying to score the ball in their opponent’s goal. The key to the game is that the ball has little things inside it that jingle so the players know where the ball is at all times. The game gets very competitive and intense. It is played in the Paralympics and there are World Championships played each year. When I went to the New York State AHPERD Conference I went to an adapted physical education presentation and we got to play goal ball. We played with blindfolds on and it was actually quite difficult! It was a lot of fun though and interesting to experience what it would be like to play a sport with a visual impairment.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Intramural Sports!

I think that SUNY Cortland has an excellent intramurals sports program. There are a ton of different sports that are offered to students. And better yet, these programs are absolutely free of charge. Playing intramural sports is a great way to get physical activity and have a lot of fun at the same time. I know that I personally love playing intramural sports because it is a time for me to take a break from all the work and studying I am doing to spend some time with my friends.
Some of the sports that I have played during my time here at SUNY Cortland include co-ed volleyball, broomball, floor hockey, and girls flag football. I form teams with some of my good friends. I can say that many of my close friends here at Cortland are also physical education majors and love physical activity and just playing as much as I do. We can get really competitive sometimes when the game is on the line. We play to win of course and have a lot of fun doing so.
Last semester myself and some of my girlfriends signed up to play in the girl’s floor hockey league. There ended up only being one other girl’s team who signed up so they gave us the opportunity to either withdraw or we could play in the boys league. My team was all so excited to play so we decided to join the boy’s league and at least give it a shot. We ended up having a blast and I honestly think we all improved greatly from playing against the boys.
I am currently on a broomball team with some of my friends and it is my first time every playing. It is a lot harder than it looks but I am having a lot of fun playing even if I am having a lot of trouble staying on my feet! I’m also looking forward to starting to play volleyball soon!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Adapted Valentine's Day Dance

Last night I attended the Adapted Valentine’s Day Dance in the dance studio at SUNY Cortland. There were a lot of people from the local community and these people had many different disabilities. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment of the dance. It truly was a very rewarding experience to get all the people up and dancing and you could tell how much they all enjoyed themselves.
Before the dance started, Dr. Craft had all of us students come a little early to learn some dances that we could teach the guests who came. The dances ranged from very simple to a little more complex. Of course we did the Macarena and cotton eyed Joe. These were of course the most popular dances among the crowd. A lot of the people at the dance liked the slow songs too and it was awesome to see how much moving they were actually doing. I was talking to the chaperones and aides and they were telling me that the different guests do not usually get much physical activity. Thus it was absolutely great to see them up and moving and having fun at the same time.
I really enjoyed mingling with the different guests at the dance. They were all so friendly and excited to be out dancing and socializing.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A True Inspiration


I came across this picture on one Facebook. One of my friends actually posted it after she saw it. One Facebook you are able to “like” the photo and each “like” is supposed to give more support to the little boy in the photo. The Facebook page does not give much information about the little boy and what his story is. But in this case I think that this one picture speaks a thousand words. The young boy who doesn’t appear to be any more than three or four years old is missing both legs and is wearing prosthetics. He is running some sort of race on a track. But what really catches my eyes in this picture is the huge smile on the little boys face. The grin is absolutely adorable and shows what an inspiration the little boy really is. Although I do not know his story, I can tell by his expression that he is a fighter and is truly dedicated to overcoming whatever stands in his way in life. While obesity is plaguing our country and many, many individuals are not getting the necessary daily amount of physical activity, this little boy in this photo is out there beating all odds against him.  
This photo really did brighten up my mood for the day and brought a smile to my face!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Naperville Physical Education

Today in class, Professor Yang started to tell us a little but about Naperville High School. This high school is among the top in the nation for physical education. I found a video on YouTube that was actually a short excerpt that was broadcasted on PBS. The physical education program at Naperville is quite different than any other physical education program I have seen. Naperville High School focuses almost completely on fitness in its physical education classes. Rather than playing the usual team sports that every other school does, the students at this school get their physical activity from working out in a facility very similar to any gym or fitness club one would be a member of. In my opinion, this is a great way for kids to get their physical activity. They do not even have to pay the gym membership fees! The students seem really motivated and enthusiastic about this program and it even shows in their increased academic performance.
The video of the physical education curriculum at Naperville showed some other lifetime fitness components that were part of its program. For example, students could take kick boxing, dance, and yoga as some alternative options to working out in the gym. I personally never really had any of these opportunities in my physical education class. I would have loved all those different options!
While I do think that it is great that the physical education coordinator and other physical education teachers really stress lifetime fitness, I do also think that it is important to incorporate some types of sports in physical education programs. The short 8 minute video did not clearly state if sports were also incorporated. I think that variety is key in physical education and thus some students may become bored with simply working out in the gym for each physical education class. It is important to find the right balance. I am interested to see if lifetime fitness accounts for the entire physical education curriculum at Naperville High School.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First EDU 355 Field Experience!

Today was my first day of my EDU 355 field experience. I was assigned to work with the students at Cortland Christian Academy. The field experience that I will be having will be a little different than my peers that are going to different schools. The Cortland Christian Academy is a very small private school with about 115 students total in grades pre-k through 12th grade. The graduating class this year only has 11 students! Because it is such a small school, the school does not have certified physical education teachers. The teacher that I observed today was actually an English and accounting teacher. She had very minimal knowledge on physical education because it was not her main area of focus as a teacher.
The first day of the field experience is dedicated to observing the classes and getting to see what the children are like. We got to check out the equipment that would be available to us to use in the future when we teach. For the first period that we were at St. Mary’s, we observed a class that was a mix between kindergarteners and first graders. As a warm-up, the teacher played “Simon says” with the students. Then she had the students play “red rover” for about 15 minutes. Once the students were tagged, they were out for the rest of the activity and were just sitting down. After this, the class of 18 was divided into 2 groups. They did a relay race of dribbling a basketball down to the other side of the gym and then back. There was A LOT of standing around and very minimal activity because only 2 students were moving at once. At the end of the class for the last couple of minutes, the teacher had the students run laps around the gym to “tire them out”.
The second period that we observed was a class of about 20 students that were 2nd and 3rd graders combined. The teacher did a “Simon says” warm up again. She then had the students play dodge ball for the next 25 minutes. To end the class, the teacher again had the students run laps around the gym for the last 2-3 minutes.
Starting next week, my partner and I will take over completely. We will be in charge of teaching for the rest of our time at the Cortland Christian Academy. The staff at the school seemed absolutely thrilled to have us working with them. I am really looking forward to bring a little more structure to the classes I will be working with. I know that I have learned a lot of innovative and fun things to do with young children and I am super excited to share these activities with the children. While most of my peers who are also in EDU 355 will do more observing and less teaching, I am excited to take more charge. The teacher told my partner and I that the classes are ours now. I am definitely looking forward to getting started next week and showing the students at the school what PE is really about!