Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kim's Lesson

Last week, Kim taught an awesome lesson for Lab D. Her lesson had her step outside of her boundaries by moving out of the class; even outside the school. First she had us go to stations that made us use our brain, heart, and lungs. After her instant activity, she had us move to another gym where there was two sets of rope chain. She split the class into two groups and we were told that we were going to be doing a scavenger hunt around Park Center. So the groups made our way to the first clue.

{A look at the rope chains}

After both groups reached the first clue to get a handle of how we would discover the clues, the scavenger hunt began. Being into adventure and the outdoors, I thought this was a really cool teaching experience. It was cool to see the use of technology in the lessons as well. People used their smart phones to scan the card of the clue that helped us lead to the next clue. It was a beautiful morning so it was perfect to be outside as well.

{Looking for the next clue}

Kim did a really great job with her lesson and everyone had fun. Something cool that I learned was that she made everyone wear name tags with strange names on them. At the end she told us they were all ingredients in cigarettes. Not only did she get us outside but she also informed us a lot on the dangers of smoking cigarettes. You could tell Kim put a lot of preparation into her lesson and it payed off.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Teaching Finale - Lab D

On Monday, the day had come where I was doing my final teaching experience in 255. As I sat watching my buddy Devon teach, waiting to go next, I didn't feel nervous one bit. I think that comes down to how well my Professor prepared me throughout the semester. I have learned an incredible amount of information from Professor Yang; he is way beyond the game and his techniques are revolutionary for Physical Education. For Lab D, I decided to teach my class defense in Ultimate "Pool" Frisbee. I felt it was a risky choice due to how common Ultimate Frisbee is getting, but I felt since it was in the pool and I added a few new adaptions to it that it would be a hit. It turned out better than I thought!

{Instant Activity with the "Swinxs"}

I started my lesson with a relay race to get the class going. My Professor told us we had to integrate technology into our lesson so I took up his suggestion of using this device called the "Swinxs." It's an interactive device that has many games on it. I chose the game Swinxs Dash. It allowed two separate teams to go and than whichever team finished back first, it told them their time. All the students were definitely feeling good after the relay race. Next up, I went over classroom rules and safety than jumped into the main focus of the lesson. I was focusing on defending with the noodle for Ultimate Pool Frisbee. I had the students work as pairs so they could get used to slapping the frisbee down to the water. After that I had them work in groups of 4 (2 v 2) so they could get a taste of gameplay. After seeing excellent results, the final 6-7 minutes of the lesson were devoted to gameplay. After watching the students smile and laugh and have activity falling just short of 50% of the lesson, I am happy with how my lesson went.

After watching and analyzing my video countless times, I can confidently say this was my best performance thus far. I feel I have grown incredibly since Lab A up until this point now. Comparing my video from Lab A to Lab D you can see a lot of growth. I feel that I am a lot more confident in my teaching abilities where as in Lab A I was nervous and seemed unorganized. Throughout the labs I am able to gain and retain students attention and have them jumping into activities quickly. I noticed in Lab D students started to goof off and I addressed it quickly and kept them on target. 

Things I still want to work on though is more activity. Physical Education should be about physical activity and I want to have as much of that as possible. I noticed in my video I can cut a lot of the talking out; but I have done better with that throughout the labs and it is also something that gets better with time. I have incorporated technology better into my lessons too. Wether it be music, the swinxs, or videos, Lab C and D saw me put technology to use. Thanks to Professor Yang, I have seen myself go through a complete transformation in my teaching abilities. I am more confident, organized, prepared, and knowledgable due to what I have learned in EDU 255! Below are some links where you can watch my lesson and check out some of the analyzing I did for my lesson. I also made a video that shows my growth as a teacher candidate and my ability to make an impact and improve student learning. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Green Representative

This semester, I became aware of a position called a SUNY Cortland Green Representative. I found out about this job when I came into my building one day, and there was a girl sitting down with a sign about sustainability and recycling among other things. I asked what this was about and we got talking about how she was a Green Rep. I became interested and I am now applying for a position next semester. The purpose of a Green Rep is to encourage and practice environmentally responsible living within the residence halls on campus. The goal is educate as many people as possible so that it may result in positive changes that will ultimately contribute to a more eco-friendly and sustainable campus.

I would be really excited to get this position on campus. I am really into the environment and would love to show my interest through this program. We live in a country where we could do better with how we treat the environment; wether it be through recycling or other matters. If I was a Green Rep I know I could definitely make some positive changes around campus.

Monday, April 9, 2012

ExerGame Lab

Last week, my classmates and I were able to do a little experimenting in the ExerGame Lab. It was the first time I had ever been in the lab and it was a pretty cool experience. I will say that I have never been a big believer in video games for the use of exercise. I went through a phase when I was absolutely addicted to video games when I was younger. I loved playing sports, but I also loved playing video games as well. I finally snapped out of that phase and realized that playing hours upon hours of video games was hurting my mental and physical state. Sitting in front of a screen provided no health benefits.

I will say that being in the ExerGame did change my opinion somewhat on video games for health benefits.  We are now in the age of technology and it is widely used. A lot of children love video games and a lot of children are not thrilled about sports; they have been turned off by it for some reason. If we can incorporate fitness into their video games than we are achieving something. For example, in the pictures shown, you can see us playing a dancing game. An hour of that and you will definitely work up a sweat and get your heart rate going. Your body is moving and thats what we want.

On an even better note, I played a racing game on a spin bike and my speed was controlled by how fast I biked. It was probably the best idea Ive seen yet of incorporating fitness into video games. I did one session, on easy, with medium resistance, and by the end my heart rate was really going and sweat was forming on the top of my head. An hour of that and you'll feel like you've biked the Tour de France.

At the end of the day, I love the ideas that are stemming from the ExerGame lab. People love video game so if we can incorporate fitness into them I'm all for it. I would still recommend getting outdoors and biking rather than sit in front of a screen, but if thats the only way people will get exercise than play on.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ultimate "Pool" Frisbee

For my Lab D, I decided on going with an original game, but a different location with a new twist on it. I am in the pool for this lab and I wanted to choose a game that was going to be new and different. I decided on doing Ultimate Frisbee in the pool. It might sound like a safe pick, but I feel it is actually more of a risk. You can barely find any information on how Ultimate Frisbee works in the pool so I don't know how it is going to turn out. I am going to use soft foam frisbees and instead of players using their hands on defense, every player is going to have a pool noodle and will only be able to use that on defense. The players will have to carry their noodle with them at all times.


I am a little nervous on how it is going to turn out in the pool but I think it will be a positive experience and something new. I just want to try something new and I am also going to be using Swinxs, a really cool device that I will use for my instant activity. Lab D is my chance to show everything I have learned thus far in 255 and I am ready to prove that.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lab D First Day

Today was the first day of teaching for Lab D and it started with a bang. Trish kicked off the teaching with an awesome lesson on yoga. She looked professional, had awesome visual aids, and a great lesson. You can tell how much people have grown since the start of the year and she has definitely improved considerably. I actually enjoyed being in her class today and it really felt like she was the actual teacher. Well done for her.

We started the lesson with a background lesson on yoga and than moved into stations. She had every student pair up with another student and move around to each station, staying for about 2 minutes. After each student went to each station, we moved into an actual yoga session. She dimmed the lights, and we all set up mats and followed a 10 minute video that she actually made herself. It definitely looked like she practiced this repeatedly because in the video she looked like she could pull off being a yoga instructor.

Trish definitely raised the bar for Lab D but I think that winds up being a good thing for everyone. That way, everyone has to do their very best and step outside of the box.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Volunteering for St. Mary's

On a drizzly saturday morning, spirits were high as always at St. Mary's as young and old were ready to participate in the annual St. Mary's 5K Run! Waking up at 7 a.m. was tough but when you saw the energy from the kids, that energy wore off on everyone. It was cool to volunteer and help out for both races as it is something I have never done before. This was part of my 10 volunteer hours for my 255 class and this experience gave me 3 hours.

{Getting ready before the races}

The first race was designated to the younger children, although everyone could participate for the 5K. The race track for the children was a run around the streets that surrounded St. Mary's. Me and my fellow colleagues acted as flaggers in the race so that we could keep the children safe and making sure they stayed on the sidewalks. It was nice to be at the race and see the kids smiling and running furiously around the street corners. The winner was actually the same kid who won it last year and I even asked him for his autograph after the race which put a big smile on his face.

{The kids getting ready}

For the 5K race, things got serious as me and my colleagues were put at various street corners. At around 9 a.m. the race started and I stood at the street corner, waiting for the first glimpse of a runner. Before I knew it, a runner came flying up and blew by me. I looked beyond him and no one was even on the street corner. He went on to win with a fantastic time. Although he finished first, everyone that came out that day was a winner. It was cold and rainy and still people were giving their best efforts and participating in something that was bigger than everyone. It was great time for everyone to get outside, get some exercise, and to meet new people!