Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saying Goodbye!

This week was our last lab as St. Mary's. I think that I am definately going to miss all of the students that I have gotten to know over the semester. For our last lab we were assigned to work with the pre-k students. I was glad that we got another chance to work with the pre-k because I feel that last time we played activities with them we may have chosen some activities that were a bit too hard for the pre-k age group. I enjoy working with the pre-k group because it is both challenging and rewarding. It is harder to keep their attention, yet their enthusiasm for the activities we play is infectious. After playing with them in their class roomI read them a book called "How do dinosaurs count to ten." Next we played with the students in the gymnasium. We began by playing an activity that I named the sleigh ride. We tied jump ropes together and had each student grab on. We gave them each a ball and set up hula hoops around the gym and went through a course which allowed each of them to drop off their balls or presents as we called them into the hula hoops or the houses for the kids at christmas. Once we finished this we played reindeer tag. This was a tag game where the students had to freeze like a reindeer, santa, or a snowman depending upon which variation we played. We ended the lab by doing a song and dance to the song YMCA. Looking back at my time at St. Mary's I have to say that I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to have had the opportunity to work at that school and with the wonderful students and teachers at St. Mary's. It was a great learning experience for me and I plan on taking many of the valuable lessons that I learned at St. Mary's with me in my future endeavours as a physical education teacher.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks!

Today was our thanksgiving lab at St. Mary's. We were originally assigned to work on cleaning the equipment rooms but they did not need it so we had to assist other groups with working on their activities. While helping one group they were playing a tag game that had a twist to it which had the students dribbling in order to stay safe from being tagged. As I observed a few students dribbling I noticed that they had a few of the correct critical elements but were also making some mistakes. I helped one student realise that he needed to use his finger pads. First he was dribbling with a flat palm, then after I told him to use his finger pads he used his finger tips so I showed his the difference between finger tips and finger pads. During the students free time I played soccer with a few of them and was the goalie while I had them practice shooting so that they could work on their kicking skills as well. It was also our groups turn to conclude lab with a song and a dance. We decided to play the song Cotton Eyed Joe and to teach the students how to work on the dance. I think everybody looked like they were having a good time with the song. Going along with the theme of lab we ended the day by having all the students yell TURKEYYYY!!!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Clowning Around

We had a circus theme this week at St. Mary's. Many of the students thought that it was funny to see college students dressed like clowns. We began the day downstairs and soon went outside. I found that having the clown hair on made me an instant target for a fierce game of tag. When we came back inside we went to the gymnasium to set up our game. I told the students about the game that we were going to be playing was the "popcorn game"(renamed from messy back yard) because everyone loves some popcorn at the circus! I chose to play this game because we were supposed to be looking at the students ability to throw and catch. In this game the students must throw the balls over a matt that is standing up. There are two groups and the group that has the least amount of balls at the end of the song wins. I felt like the students really enjoyed this game and got very excited. They got so excited we had to remind them that they could catch the ball instead of just letting it fall to the ground. Most of the students really did a pretty good job of throwing and stepping into the throw while following through. We ended our day at lab by having everyone come together to play with the parachutte. I felt like we did a good job of providing a circus type atmosphere for the kids and I think they really enjoyed themselves today.

Rise and Shine

On Tuesday I went into the Pre-K classroom first thing in the morning. This was a totally different setting than we are used to seeing after school. The students came in one by one. I helped them work on their coloring and number matching assignment. I found that while the atmosphere was very different there were similarities as well. Just as with the various locomotor movements, with the coloring and classwork, there was a wide range in skill level. Some students needed to be proded and helped along the whole way, while others were able to work independently after being told how to do the assignment just once. After the students finished their assignment they were allowed to have some free time where they could play. However, this was also different from after school activities. The students had to keep their noise level down and were reminded that they could not get too loud. This is much different that after school where the students get so loud at times they scream. I enjoyed being able to work with the various students on a one to one level. I felt like I had the chance to get to know them a bit better, while they got a chance to see a different side of me. I am truly glad that I had the opportunity to see this different side of the students.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spooky Fun at St. Mary's

This week was our halloween theme at St. Mary's. Many of the students were very excited to tell us what they were going to be for halloween. The kids were most excited when our old pal Blaze showed us to say hi and play games! Our group was assigned the main gym and we played Zany Zoo with our students. We used different scary animals like snakes and sharks to use as examples for our different movement patterns that we were looking at for the day. The students seemed to really enjoy the game and got very invloved with what we asked them to do. We did notice, however, that some of the students struggled with a few of the different critical elements that are important in order to properly perform these movements. Some of the students needed work with their arms when doing the horizontal jump in order to propel themselves forward. After a fun day of playing games inside and outside we came inside to finish off the day with a fun song that was very fitting for the theme of the day. We learned to do some dance moves to the song "Thriller" by Michael Jackson. In fact I think some of the students ended up teaching us some dance moves by the time we were done. All and all though today was alot of fun and a great learning environment for the students.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Superhero's are real!

Today in Lab it was a Superhero theme. My group was with the pre-k students for this lab. We started out going outside on the small playground. I played tag with many of the students who were really having a good time. We played variations of tag and had the students hop and gallop. We noticed that some of the students struggled with these locomotor movements because of their age. The biggest mistake was that many of the students were hoping with two feet, or jumping. After we played outside we came inside and set up our game "Heroes and Villians" which we renamed after "Sharks and Minos." We had the students run first while playing the game first, then we had them hop, and last we had them gallop. I found that many of the students in this age group are at the initial stage of these locomotor movements. Some students even at the pre-k age were already quite a bit better at these movements than some of the other students were. In this week's lab i felt that the students got really into the activities because of the superhero theme. The best quote I heard of the day was a student who said, "Wow I never knew that Superman and Batman were actually real." It is this kind of excitment that helps to show how fun and educational physical education can be and that excites me!

PE Hall of Shame

Kickball has been added to the Physical Education Hall of Shame for a variety of reasons. I have played kickball and disagree with many of these reasons and feel that if some slight variations of the game are made, then it can be a fun, safe, and physically active game that doesn't embarass students. One of the criticism's is that it has the potental to be embarrassing to students. However, when I am teaching a class I will make a slight variation to the game so that when one team is up to bat there are no outs. Instead everyone gets a chance to kick the ball each inning and that way people won't feel bad for being the last out of the inning. Another criticism is extremely low participation. Having everyone have a chance to kick the ball takes care of part of this. Another variation which I would add would be to have the students switch their positions after every batter in a systematic order so that they keep moving and have a chance to see different kinds of action in different positions. Lastly, a criticism is a high likelihood of injury. There are ways to prevent this however. First, I would introduce a no head hunting rule. If I were to see that any student was going for the head then they would have to sit out. People would only be out if they are hit from waste down or I might think about paying baseball rules in which you just throw the ball to another person on the same team and aren't allowed to throw it at the person running the bases. Another way I would try to help the students avoid injury is to have the students in the field call for the ball if it is coming to them in order to prevent confusion and running into each other. In conclusion almost any activity that is played in physical education has a rick for injury and that is important for people to understand. These simple changes can help the teacher protect their students while providing an atmosphere of fun, challenging activity for class.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SUNY Cortland Mini Conference



“Windows of opportunity don’t come often.” This is what the main idea of Dr. Judy Rink’s opening session at the Mini conference was last Friday. As I sat there I waited for her to begin speaking thinking that she would soon be telling us about how we as Physical Educators had to work hard to become professionals. However, I was not aware of just how hard we as a profession must work in order to change our culture and the way people view it. Dr. Rink explained that for what seems like the first time ever people seem to be in agreement of what Physical Education should be. Physical Education should have the goal to educate people for a physically active lifestyle. However, we as a profession have obstacles that may interfere with this idea. As physical educators we must be able to bring the school to the community and also bring the community to the school. In other words we must provide means to get our students to stay physically active after they leave school. It also means that we must bring community groups and organizations into the school to show that we are working with them to help keep our community healthier and more physically educated. As physical educators we also must understand how movement is a great medium for learning and we must have active intramural programs and after school programs that give students more opportunities to explore a healthy lifestyle. I came away from Dr. Rink’s speech feeling that there was quite a bit of pressure on each of us if we are to change the way people feel about Physical Education. However, I look at it as a challenge that I can help make a difference in the lives of our future youth. After all, like Dr. Rink said, windows of opportunity don’t happen often and it is up to us to make the most of our chance to improve our youth and help Professionalize our wonderful field.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lab #1

Today was our first official Lab. I was fortunate enough to work with different age groups. I came in hoping that I could really get down on the same level as the kids and engage with them to find out what kinds of things that they like. First I was able to join some students who were playing a game of checkers. I got to know two students Mike and Liam. They seemed very excited that "the college kids" were going to watch and help them play. We then followed that same group upstairs to the gym and played Flytrap, and blob tag. I found that the younger kids did a pretty good job but that their fine motor skills were definately not as advanced as the older kids. To finish out the day I went over to a group of 5th grade girls and played four square with them. I was impressed as they made many of their own rules and showed much improvement in the fine motor skills that the students who were just three years younger than them did not possess yet. I really enjoyed getting hands on with the kids and hope to continue this and build on it getting to know more students as the semester progresses.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First blog

This is my first time ever blogging! I found that setting up my account was very easy and i look forward to writing more blogs as the semester goes on.