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 

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


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  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


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!

Monday, February 6, 2012

First SCOPE Media Video

Today in class we watched the first SCOPE media production. The video really came out awesome and I was excited to see that everyone’s hard work paid off. Trent did an awesome job directing and producing the video and he really deserves a lot of credit for all the hours that he put in. I think that the rest of the video crew and me did a good job formulating our ideas on the concepts in the chapter. It was important to make the skits funny while informational at the same time so that we could keep the attention of our viewers.  After all, no one really wants to watch a boring video where the actors and actresses just list off the facts of the chapter.
It became rather apparent today that there was a huge discrepancy in the number of hours different people spent on the video. The audio crew obviously did not have as much work to do but they will now be in charge of filming the next video. I think that Trent spent a great deal of time on the video, maybe even too much time. In the future, it will be important to divide up the work a little more maybe. So instead of myself and the rest of the video group spending about 4 hours each on the project and Trent spending 10 hours, the work will be divided up a little better.
Working together in groups is always a learning process and must take patience. Now that we have the first video under our belt, we will know how to be more effective next time!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

American Identity? Melting Pot...or Tossed Salad?

image from
I have been continuing with reading Chapter 3 in our textbook on the diversity of students. One section of the chapter that caught my eye in particular was the section on the metaphors concerning the U.S identity. Cultural, racial, and ethnic differences are one of the most uncomfortable things for many people to talk about. Tension arises when people of different backgrounds talk about these subjects with one another. The United States is a very culturally diverse society, yet the topic of a multicultural society is not one that is really spoken of amongst the different races.
Back when there was a huge influx of immigrants in the early 1900’s, the United States became known as a “Melting Pot”. This name came from the fact that all the different cultures just “melted” together into one culture which was the American culture. This “melting pot” was a reality for most immigrants who were assimilated into the American way of life. Thus “melting metaphor” really entails the immigrants forgetting where they came from and their old culture so that they can be fully immersed in the American culture.
Another metaphor was that the United States was a “tossed salad” rather than a “melting pot”. Thus “tossed salad” consisted of many different vegetables tossed together. Rather than all melting together into one big “American” culture, the “tossed salad” metaphor advocates that that immigrants maintained parts of their culture. The differences amongst the different cultures should be embraced and it is not right to make immigrants forget their native language and way of life.

Meeting the Needs of our Diverse Students

Chapter 3 of our textbook goes into detail about teaching to fit the needs of diverse studetns. According to the textbook, by the year 2030 about half the students in school will be from non-European ethnic grouos, Some of the biggest minority ethnic groups include hispanics, black (non-hispanics), and a small percentage of Asian/Pacific Islanders. A very surprising number to me was the fact that 20% of all school age children speak a language other than English at home. The schools that I attended growing up were not very ethnically diverse at all and I think that is why the statistic surprised me. As a future physical educator I know that it will be important to reach out to all of my students, including the ethnically diverse students. Some of my students may not be fluent in English and thus I know I will need to find a way to communicate them so they understand directions and feel comfortable in class.
The textbook went into describing some statistics to explain how schools have a long way to go before it can be proven that the needs of the diverse students are being met. For example, statistics continue to show that Hispanic, Native American, and African American students continue to score lower on standardized tests. The number of minority students who do not graduate from high school is also higher. Yet despite these statistics, many people believe that the public schooling opportunities for all U.S children are equal. So this thus leads us to question why the high school drop-out rate is higher for minorities? While it may not be the schools to blame, many people believe that the schools have the power to make adjustments and make sure each and every child reaches their full potential.

Thursday, February 2, 2012 toxic as tobacco and alcohol?

I just read the article posted by Professor Yang entitled “Sugar Should Be Regulated As Toxin, Researchers Say” which was published on The article immediately caught my attention when I saw it on twitter because I myself have health issues which require me to closely watch the sugars I intake. I do not think that a lot of people realize just how bad sugars are for the body. Sugars that are naturally found in places like fruit are of course not found to be harmful to the body because they also contain fiber and do not contained added sugar. Yet sugars that are man-made like table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are metabolized in a much different way than natural sugars. Obesity is such an enormous problem in our country these days and I think that people definitely need to start monitoring the sugars they intake more closely. According to the article, correlations have been found linking the excess intake of processed sugars to many health issues including liver failure, diabetes, and heart disease. Some researchers feel so adamantly about encouraging people to reduce sugar intake that they are proposing putting a tax on foods containing “added” sugar. I think that it is also important for school cafeterias to take a closer look that the foods containing added sugar. One quote from the article that was particularly strong in my opinion was  “added sugar — or, more specifically, sucrose, an even mix of glucose and fructose found in high-fructose corn syrup and in table sugar made from sugar cane and sugar beets — has been as detrimental to society as alcohol and tobacco”. This can be proven in the amount of deaths that are occurring because of heart disease and diabetes. I think that people need to start taking a closer look into the nutrition facts on what they are eating. Consuming less sugar and high-fructose corn syrup will make a huge impact on people becoming healthier individuals.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Favorite Workout: Step Aerobics!

Step Aerobics has always been one of my favorite workouts to do. At home I am a member of Gold’s Gym and love to take the classes there on weeknights when they have them. I was a dancer from the age of 3 until I was in high school and thus I would say that I have a pretty good sense of rhythm. I love the step aerobics workout because music is incorporated as well as a great cardiovascular workout. It is really quite enjoyable and can be a lot more fun than just running mile after mile on the treadmill. I always feel satisfied after a step aerobics workout and know i got in my physical activity for the day.
The step aerobics instructor at the gym I go to has gotten to know me more since I always attend her classes when I am home. Last time I saw her over winter break she suggested that I take the course to become certified in teaching step aerobics! I loved her idea and when I go home this summer I definitely plan on getting my certification to teach.
For Lab D back when I was in EDU 255 I taught step aerobics. My class was full of boys except for myself and one other girl and these boys did not seem thrilled at all to be doing a lesson on step aerobics. Step aerobics has fooled many people into thinking that it is only for girls. Well by the end of the 20 minute class I think I had changed the opinion of every single boy in the class. They were all tired and sweating and shocked that they could get such a good workout in 20 minutes. Imagine if they took a whole 60 minute class!
I think that it is very important that people realize how many great health benefits that come along with step aerobics. One is always working at an upbeat tempo and burning tons of calories. I came across a website FITDAY that really explains the cardiovascular benefits of doing step aerobics. I cannot wait to do step aerobics in my physical education class and know that I will be able to back myself up with evidence to support why step aerobics is such a great way to get physical activity and to have children reach the MVPA goals each day.