Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Favorite PE iPhone Apps

I have to admit that switching over from my blackberry to an iPhone at the beginning of January was a very smart phone. The millions of Apps that are available are absolutely incredible. I recently searched for some physical education apps.

One of the first apps I downloaded was called “Play” and was free. It was a pretty neat app and included warm-ups, stretches, games, as well as cool downs. What made the app even more reliable and authentic was the fact that it incorporated NASPE standards into the various activities. I found that the “Play” app was definitely more geared torwards elementary physical education and almost all of the activities would not be appropriate for middle school or high school. As a future physical educator, I know that I will always be looking for new and innovative ways to improve my teaching and this app really had some fun little activities.

Another app that I recently purchased for $0.99 is called “Fitness Tests”. This is an awesome app for physical educators because allows one to reference over 30 physical tests. The tests range from cardio and aerobic tests to flexibility tests. The app gives information as to how to structure the test and administer it. It also gives norm results. Some of the tests included in the app include the mile run, the 300meter shuttle run test, leg press and bench press, timed sit-ups and push-ups, the vertical jump test, and an agility test just to name a few. In the future I know it will be extremely convenient to have access to all of these tests in one convenient location on my iPhone. 

Another app that I also purchased was iMuscle. This is a really neat app that allows you to select an individual muscle on the human body. Once a muscle is selected, the app will give you exercises to strengthen the individual muscle.

I came across this website http://pe4lifeblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/ipadiphoneipod-touch-apps-for-use-in.html. This is actually someone’s blog who has compiled a list of some of the best physical education apps. It’s really neat and I would definitely recommend checking it out!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Virtual Bike Exergaming

Taking a little tour of the exergame lab in Park Center this morning sparked my interest to read the article posted by Professor Yang about the “virtual” bike systems. The article was entitled “On Your “Virtual” Bike! Exercise and Exergames Bring Benefits” and came from the Alzheimer’s Research Forum. One component of the article that immediately grabbed my attention was the fact that while a person is using one of these virtual bikes, they are not only getting physical exercise but also working the brain. Thinking about the game while exercising increases cognitive functioning and often draws attention away from the actual physical movements. This is a great break through for all age groups. If kids are going to play video games for fun, why not make them exercise while riding the bike at the same time? The elderly population does not get nearly enough exercise. Because riding the bike is low impact, it is the perfect way for older adults to exercise and they will stay motivated to want to do the physical activity because a game is incorporated. It is of low risk and those who are older do not need to worry about over-doing it because they can pedal at their own pace.  I found the statement “In addition, the benefit of the simultaneous physical and mental exercise was greater than the expected additive effects of the two separately” in the article to be especially interesting. Incorporating cognitive and mental aspects into physical education and physical activity will definitely help prove the importance of physical education class. Although these types of systems may be expensive I definitely will look into investing into using technology in my classroom when I get a job as a physical education teacher.

I have never really been a fan of riding the bike for exercise and would much rather run on the treadmill or use the elliptical. But back in the fall I pulled a muscle in my hip/groin area and it was very painful to run for about a month. Thus I found that biking was a way I could still exercise. I began using the bikes at Tomik Gym that had the video game systems incorporated and ended up finding this activity to actually be quite enjoyable. I found myself riding the bike for longer and longer because I wanted to beat a level on the Dragon Hunters game I loved. It was really awesome to be exercising and not really thinking about it because I was more focused on the game. Now when I get bored of just running day after day I switch it up and ride the bike so that I can play the video games and get a break from mentally pushing myself to keep running.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

First Adapted Physical Education Lab

This semester I am taking PED 356, which is Adapted Physical Education and Sport. Because I have a concentration in adapted physical education, I have already taken some classes that focus on children with disabilities and the different ways to adapt teaching to meet these needs. Although I have a good amount of knowledge on the subject and content, sitting in a classroom learning about the disabilities is much different than actually working one on one with a student with a disability. I was assigned a student who is classified as having a severe emotional disorder and I was assigned to work with her in the pool. I would say that I am a good swimmer but I do not have any experience actually teaching someone else how to swim. I was a little nervous but I spent a lot of time preparing a lesson plan for my first day. I can honestly say that the first day went really well and the student I worked with was a ton of fun! Our assignment for the first day was to assess our students on their skills so we could get a better idea of where they are at. I tried to incorporate the skill testing into games so that my student had fun and was learning at the same time. She did a great job and I was extremely excited to see that she is a good swimmer. She is full of energy and always kept me on my toes. Because she is so full of energy I know it will be important to come prepared with many games and tasks for her to work on. I am glad I got the first day jitters over with and now I focus on turning my student in to a better swimmer while she has fun at the same time! I am definitely looking forward to lab again this upcoming week.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Multiple Intelligences

A man named Howard Gardner is very famous for his work done in exploring what the true definition of intelligence really is. He believed that IQ tests focused too much on mathematical skills and language. Thus he broadened the definition of intelligence to include “the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings. He designed intelligence to be of 8 different natures, including:
-          Logical-mathematical- “number-reasoning smart”
-          Linguistic- “word smart”
-          Body-kinesthetic- “body smart”
-          Musical- “music smart”
-          Spatial- “picture smart”
-          Interpersonal- “people smart”
-          Intrapersonal- “self-smart”
-          Naturalist- “environment-smart”
It is most definitely possible for a person to be stronger in a couple of the different types of intelligence and weaker in others. Some people are better athletes than others. Some people find school work and studying to be easier than others. Some people are amazing musicians while some people cannot even read musical notes.
As a future educator, I think that it is very important to be aware of and meet the needs of all of my students. I know that it will be important to incorporate interpersonal interactions among students as well as encourage my students to really take a closer look at themselves personally. It will be important to do a variety of different lessons so that all the different intelligences can be incorporated.
I know personally that I have never been “music smart”. I am an awful singer and cannot even really read music notes. I would not be classified to have musical intelligence. On the other hand, I have always excelled in school and would be said to have logical-mathematical intelligence. I would also say that I have body-kinesthetic intelligence as well as interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Closer Look at Different Learning Styles

I think that one of the most important things I have learned as a future teacher is that there are many different learning styles and it is important that we accommodate all the various styles is we want the students to experience success. Some of the different learning styles that are most common include visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Students who are visual learners will learn best by seeing information. This may be in the form of looking at posters, graphs, and textbooks. Auditory learners obviously learn best by hearing and do well with remembering what teachers said lecturing. They learn well by reciting verbally things that they need to study and memorize. Kinesthetic Learners learn best by “doing”.

Let’s take the simple task of tying ones shoes and examine how each learner would learn how to tie their shoes:
VISUAL: This type of learner could be given a step-by-step list of instructions or see the instructions on a poster. They would be able to follow the instructions one by one to ultimately tie their shoes.
AUDITORY: This type of learner would best learn how to tie their shoes by listening to a teacher or peer say the directions step by step out loud.
KINESTHETIC: This type of learner would learn best by physically watching someone tying their shoe and copying the exact movement at the same time.

One class will consist of many different learners and thus I know it will be my job as a future physical educator to make sure I take the different learning styles into consideration in my classroom. I will hang up bright and colorful posters. I will have a loud and clear voice. I will show the proper demonstration of the different skills and activities that I will be teaching.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

No Towel = No Gym

Today I observed something at the gym that bothered me quite a bit. As I was working out on the elliptical I observed the girl working at the front desk deny 9 people from entering the gym. The reason she would not let them come into the gym to work out was because they had not brought their towel with them. Thus they had to go all the way back to their dorm or house to get a towel. I understand that it is gym policy that everyone must bring a towel with them when they workout but this rule has never been enforced in the past. I also understand that the gym probably wants to start making people oblige to the rule but I think that the students should be given a little warning first. For example, the people at the gym could warn the students that after a certain date, they will not be allowed into the gym without a towel. They can continue to give friendly reminders that it is okay if they forget their towel the first time but the next time they will not be given access to the gym without a towel. I know that towels are extremely important for hygienic reasons but I do not think that people should be denied the right to work out at the gym because they do not have a towel. There is disinfectant spray and paper towels available all around the gym to wipe down the machines after using them. I am not saying that I do not think that people should still bring their towels, but I do think that if they happen to be in a rush and forget their towel once in a while they should still be allowed into the gym to workout. There have been times that I have a jam packed day and only have a little block of time to go to the gym. I certainly would not want to be denied these times for not having a towel. I just felt that the situation at the gym today had a negative impact on allowing people to exercise and I was quite disappointed to see this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I was appointed to be the president of APEM (alliance of physical education majors) this semester. For the past three semesters I was the treasurer of the club and it was truly a rewarding experience. It was most definitely a lot of work and at times it was quite stressful to be in charge of all of the money and having to hand into forms to SGA on time. But I am an extremely well organized person so it seemed like a good fit for me. After last semester I was one of the only remaining officers as many of the officers moved on to student teaching. Thus I took on the responsibility of being the president this semester. Although I was a little bit nervous to take on such a large leadership responsibility, I was also very excited!

Tonight was our first meeting and I was very excited to see the turnout. There were many more people there than I expected and everyone seemed excited for the start of the semester. I was excited to share with all the members all of the exciting things we have planned for the semester. I think that the event that I am most excited about is probably our trip to the national AAHPERD conference in Boston in March. This will be an excellent opportunity for professional growth. I have really enjoyed attending the New York State AHPERD Conference for the past 3 years and thus I am excited to continue my education journey to the huge national conference.

I know that being president of APEM this semester is going to require a lot of time, energy, and commitment. Yet I know that it will be an excellent leadership opportunity for me and I am excited to see what exciting things this semester will bring.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Most Inspirational Coach I Have Ever Had

I have had many coaches for various sports throughout my life. Some coaches were better than others and had more of an impact on my life. I will never forget my travel soccer coach named Coach Quentin. He also happened to be a physical educator in another school district and served as a mentor to me when I was deciding on my career path and decided to follow my dream of being a physical education teacher. Coach Quentin was my soccer coach for 8 years of my life and I believe that working with him for that long definitely left a lasting impact on my life. One of my favorite parts of being on his team was the fact that he would always read an inspirational quote to us before each and every game. This quote challenged us to be the best athlete that we could be and that we needed to leave everything on the field. I think that the fact that he was also a physical educator and not just a coach made a lasting impression on me. While some athletes dread going to practice, I was always excited to see what fun and exciting things that he had planned for the day. He always found the perfect balance between drills and working on skill as well as incorporating game-like situations and fun, competitive games. I will never forget one particular tournament we went to. We lost our first three games and needed to win the next one to stay in the tournament. We all knew that we did not want to head home and Coach Quentin gave us the best pep talk that I think I have ever had. He told us that he knew we were fighters and that we had the talent to beat each team that was at the tournament if we put our heart and minds to it. We ended up making a remarkable come back and coming in first place overall in the tournament. I will never forget what it felt like to win that tournament and feel that all our hard work had really paid off. I hope that one day I will be an extraordinary coach and teacher just like Coach Quentin was.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chapter 1 Questions Continued

2. What are the satisfactions—and complaints—of today's teachers?

I would have to say after considering the advantages and disadvantages of being a teacher in my previous blog post that most teachers are content with their jobs. When one decides to become a teacher, it usually means that they have a passion for working with children. Thus they fill the satisfaction of working with children and having a great impact of their lives. Their workday may be long and may carry into their life at home at times, but overall teachers are satisfied with the fact that they have weekends and summers off. The number one complaint of teachers is most likely the low starting salary and their salaries in general are considered low. They may feel like their pay is inadequate for the amount of time and work they put into their job.

3. Can we consider teaching to be a profession?

Teaching is most definitely considered a profession. The definition of a profession, according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, is “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation”. Teachers spend 4 years as undergraduates getting their bachelor’s degrees and then must move on to get their master’s degree as well. I would most definitely consider this “intensive academic preparation”. Along the way, teacher candidates also take numerous certification exams. The knowledge that teachers must acquire is usually not just common, every-day knowledge but rather is a result of careful specialization in a particular area of study. Sometimes I believe that teachers are not given the credit that they deserve.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chapter 1: What are the Advantages and Disadvantages to being a Teacher?

I think that it is important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of being a teacher. For me, the advantages have most definitely outweighed the disadvantages and thus I knew from the start that I have a passion for the kids and physically educating them. I know that teaching is the right profession for me and cannot wait to have students of my own. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages I have considered.

-          Working with children each day
-          Really changing the lives of my students
-          Routine schedule each day
-          Weekends, holidays, and summers are off from school
-          Teachers are constantly learning each and every day
-          Working with other teachers and thus developing relationships with other professionals
-          Ability to share your personal knowledge with others
-          Although starting salaries are not very high, teachers work their way up to a higher and higher salary
-          Having a job as a teachers usually comes with other benefits such as health insurance
-          When a teacher has a family and kids, the job is convenient because the school days are synched together
-          The union is a resource that strives to better

-          Starting salary is quite low
-          Work doesn’t really end when the school day is over- teachers are at the school early, leave late and often must do work at home to make sure they are fully prepared
-          Teaching a large number of students at once
-          Some schools with smaller budgets do not have great physical education equipment

Friday, January 20, 2012

Our first video recording!

Today in our EDU 470 class we were videotaped while explaining some of the ideas we have on our philosophy of physical education. It is one thing to write out on paper what our philosophy is and what we hope and aspire to be one day as physical educators. But it is most definitely a completely different experience to talk about our ideas and dreams out loud in front of a camera. This was such a worthwhile experience to be videotaped because in the future when we go out to schools to interview we are going to be speaking to our potential hirers in person. These days physical education is definitely not given the credit that it deserves in many skills. Thus being able to verbally back up the program with the reasons why physical education is so important is a crucial skill that every physical education teacher must have. We must be able to explain the significance of being physically fit as well as the ways we will teach our students to be active and healthy individuals.

I noticed today that when I brought up my notes with me while being videotaped, I actually did worse than I would have done if I had just had said what had come to my mind. My words flowed a lot smoother when I truly just said my hopes and beliefs. In reality when you do have to talk to your superintendent and back up your physical education program, it is going to be important to think off the top of your head. Thus speaking in front of the video camera about our philosophy and what we aspire to be as future physical educators is extremely important. It shows that we truly have passion for what we want to do in life.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Hope, I Believe, I Will

My greatest hope as a future physical educator is to make an impact on the lives of my students. The job market right now is not what it used to be decades ago and thus the teachers that are hired must be the best of the best. I strive to better myself and learn each day so that I can share my knowledge with my students one day. I want to be the teacher that the students go home and tell their parents about when they share the exciting things they did in physical education that day. I hope to develop the motor skills of my students and to make them realize that physical activity is fun.

I believe it is my own personal RESPONSIBILITY to educate my future students on why physical activity is so important and also on the ways to stay physically fit. As obesity rates are on the rise, it is extremely important to realize that going to Physical Education class twice a week for 40 minutes is not enough. Thus I believe it will me my duty as a physical educator to show students’ ways in which they can get their 60 minutes a day in. I want to show them that exercising doesn’t need to be a tedious and boring thing, but rather make them more enthusiastic about moving. I believe that physical education is not “recess” time or a time for students to run around and burn off all their energy, but rather is a time for LEARNING to take place.

I will make students want to come to physical education, and will make them excited to participate rather than just showing up to class because they have to. I will continue to strive to educate my students on the dangers of obesity and what they must do to stay physically fit and live a long and healthy life. I will show them ways to make exercise fun and rewarding. I will instruct my students that it is important to have BOTH a healthy mind and a healthy body. I will show my students by example. In other words, I myself know that I must be a healthy and fit individual if I want my students to also aspire to be that way.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blog is back up and running!

I have not really blogged since I took PED 201 but now that I am taking EDU 470 with Professor Yang I am excited to get back into blogging. Today was the first day of classes for the spring semester and I have to admit that I am already feeling a little bit overwhelmed. This semester some of the classes that I am taking include EDU 355, EDU 470, PED 356, Anatomy II, as well as Nutrition. Thus the course load is heavy but I am excited because this semester I will be fully immersed in the Physical Education Major. I am especially excited for EDU 355 because it includes field work and observations at a local elementary school. I think this will be a great experience and I truly am most passionate about working with elementary aged students. After completing my observations for EDU 256 in a middle school and high school last spring, I realized that although I would take a job in whichever grade level I was offered, I really do enjoy working with the younger children more. They have such vivid imaginations and are really are excited to play and learn. I am also really excited about taking PED 356 which focuses on adaptive physical education. I am in the adaptive physical education concentration here at SUNY Cortland so I have already taken a few classes with the adaptive focus, but I am really excited to work more closely with students with disabilities. As described by Professor Yang this morning, EDU 470 will really dive into discovering more about our own individual philosophies of teaching and coaching. I think this will be a real eye-opener to our beliefs on physical education and what we strive to be as future physical educators. Although look at each syllabus given to us by our professors may seem overwhelming right now, I know that all the hard work and dedication will pay off in the end.