Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Online Portfolio

Hey check out my online portfolio, it's in its beginning stages but I can tell it will be something very useful to me in the future!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My First "Prezi"

In Motor Development, my teacher came across this really cool style of presenting information. It's similar to a power point, but is more active and definitely more interesting! Its like a moving power point and you can glide around the information. My "Prezi" is about the best and worst moment in motion that has taken place in my life so far. I also talk about how these moments have shaped me as a person. Since we are all about motion as physical educators, check it out!

* To view, simply press the play arrow to move to the next bit of information!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Final Lab at St Mary's

Wednesday marked the final time our Motor Development class was working at St Mary's. Working at St Mary's has been an awesome experience and one where I have gained a lot of knowledge. It is great to go there and work with kids of all different ages. I think that is very important for someone who is aspiring to be a Physical Education major. You need to work with children of all different ages because not all children are the same - physically and mentally!

Jump Rope!

In the above picture you can see that I am playing jump rope and having a great time. This girl in the orange shirt was a young girl I met that didn't have anyone to play jump rope with her and her brother. I guided her hand to help her get the correct motion down of swinging the rope. The rope wasn't very big but she didn't care, she wanted me to jump! I will admit it was tough to get down low but when she had a big smile on her face I knew I had made her happy.

Doing the "Christmas Tree"

Towards the very end of our final time with St Mary's, my group and I formed everyone into a large circle and put on the song "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." We had commands for different dances that included elves, christmas tree, santa, and raindeer. Everyone was smiling and having a blast.

I can't thank St Mary's enough for allowing me to gain valuable experience working with children that ranged from Pre-K to 6th grade. We assessed and helped develop their locomotor skills, created and played games, sang songs, danced, created arts and crafts, and most importantly had fun! Thank you St Mary's!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Much To Be Thankful For!

This was our 5th time at St Mary's and it was an awesome Thanksgiving week. Check out what I observed from it!

For this week at St Mary's my group did something really cool. We went around to all the other groups and asked them questions about St Mary's so that we could make a newsletter to show all the parents what we are about here at SUNY Cortland and what we are doing with the kids. It was something new but important because as physical educators we want our parents, community, and school to know what we are doing. It's important stuff!

Corn on the cob!

Towards the end of the day, my group gathered everyone up and we did a Thanksgiving dance. We actually put on the "chicken dance" instrumental and changed the lyrics around so that we were talking about Thanksgiving Day food and we could act it out. This involved the corn on the cob, the turkey, the mashed potatoes, and even pie! It was definitely fun to lead a dance with all the kids and other groups and it was something I haven't done yet. 

Have A Happy Thanksgiving! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Applied Behavior Analysis Conference

Last week I attended a two day Applied Behavior Analysis Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York. It was a totally new experience for me and I gained a lot of valuable experience.

[The conference was held at the beautiful Gideon Putnum Resort]

Applied Behavior Analysis is an approach that was taken from the learning theory. In behavior analysis, the goal is to find out what is exactly causing or maintaing the behavior through the environment. The "behavior" could be anything from throwing a football, talking out in class, or eye contact. The "environment" is all the physical or social events that might have an affect on the behavior. In Applied Behavior Analysis, a behavior is targeted to be changed and is done so through different techniques. One of these techniques is called "positive reinforcement" which adds a reward to the environment after the correct behavior is done. A very cool example of this was shown on the first day of the conference:

We went into a room where Dr. Luyben, a certified behavior analyst showed a video illustrating the impact of positive reinforcement to a child with autism. The desired behaviors the man was attempting to teach her was sitting down and to reduce tantrums. The child had tantrums whenever she was given instruction. She would cry, flail her arms, and yell. After they found out what made her have tantrums, they found out what was reinforcing to her which was drink, snack, and verbal praise (A reinforcer is something that will make the desired behavior occur again). Through the use of Applied Behavior Analysis, the man had her sitting down in 18 minutes on command without showing any signs of tantrums. He did this by having her stand up, would tell her to sit down, and when she did the correct behavior a reinforcer would be given. Although she would have extreme tantrums in the beginning, the man was able to have her sit down on command without providing a reinforcer  by the end of 18 minutes. It was very remarkable. This is just one example of how effective and simple Applied Behavior Analysis can be.

[Me on the left with Brian Iwata, Ph.D]

Meeting Brian Iwata was a very cool experience. He is the professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Florida and received his Ph.D in Psychology at the State University of Florida. At the conference he was described as the "Father of Applied Behavior Analysis." He has done incredible research and work on severe behavior disorders. At the conference he was a keynote speaker and did a presentation on Prader-Willi Syndrome which is a disease where the person never feels full and continues to eat and eat. Through working with subjects for an extended a period of time using Applied Behavior Analysis, the average weight loss was 70 pounds/31% of body weight. Very incredible.

The reason Applied Behavior Analysis is very important to a Physical Education major like myself is because this can be used in a classroom setting to decrease negative behaviors or even increase athletic performance on a sports team. I recommend that anyone involved with teaching, coaching, or even working with people take a serious look at Applied Behavior Analysis because of how effective it is and how easy it can be to implement!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Happy Halloween at St Mary's

Check out what I observed at St Mary's for Halloween!

This was an awesome Halloween at St Mary's. After one group led a fun game in the gym, we took the kids out to the playground because it was a beautiful Wednesday afternoon. We were all dressed up in different outfits and I was a cowboy. Out on the playground, we started a really fun game. All the kids were told to go looking for a pair of handcuffs by the sheriff, and the kids ran around the playground going from person to person searching for the handcuffs. At one point they were chasing me because they thought I had the handcuffs! The finally captured me in the tunnel and it was really fun.

After that I spent some time reading with the children and than we went back inside for a game that I led than a closing activity. The game was similar to hot potato, when the music stopped whoever had a spider had to dance in the middle for a turn. So far St Mary's had been a great time and it is really valuable to work with the kids. 

A Superhero Lab 3!

Saint Mary's was a blast once again! For this lab, we had the gym group which was an awesome experience. Right from the start the kids were all very excited and had lots of energy. That makes the day a whole lot better when people are excited to get up and get active. Since our theme was Super Heroes I wore a Batman t-shirt which the kids loved. The skills we were working on with them were leap, horizontal jumping, and slide.

Since the theme was Super Heroes, I set up poly spots and stars all over the ground on one side of the gym. I explained to the kids that they were Super Spiderman and that they had to save the princess on the other side of gym. To do so, they had to go from building to building (spots and stars) to save her. The first time I made them only leap. The next time through they only horizontal jumped. Than I presented a challenge to them, they could only leap to a poly spot, and only horizontal jump to a star. If they missed, they had to slide all the way back. The kids and everyone had a blast with it!

After playing with the kids in the gym, we went downstairs to the cafeteria and had an arts and crafts session and did some coloring. It was an awesome day at St. Mary's once again!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Western St. Mary's

St. Mary's was a blast again! Here is what I observed

Lab 2 was a great time. There was a lot of games to be played and the theme was western! The kids all loved our outfits as we came in as cowboys, sheriffs, and even horses. We played games that worked on the locomotor skills: gallop, run, and hop.

Take a look!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lab 3 Game

Super Spiderman

Half of the gym will be set up with an equal number of hula hoops and poly spots. Spider man has to get from building to building (poly spot/hula hoop). When spider man gets from building to building he/she either has to horizontal jump to a hula hoop, or leap to a poly spot. If spiderman leaps/jumps and misses a building, than he/she has to slide all the way back to the starting point and try again.

Modification: If it is too easy, remove some of the poly spots and hula hoops.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dodgeball in Phys Ed: yes or no?

After much consideration on a highly debatable topic, I have decided that I will say that yes, dodgeball should be allowed in a physical education setting. Here is my reasoning, when people think dodgeball they think of people running up to the midline, grabbing hard rubber balls and hurdling them at their opponents. Here is the reality. Today there are various forms of the game and there are now balls that can be thrown at an opponent without it hurting. There are balls called "gator skin" that are very soft and squishy. Now the question arises, can't someone still get hit in the face? True, can't a goalie get hit in the face in soccer? Can't someone get accidently hit in self defense? Can't someone get accidently elbowed in basketball? My point is this, I would NOT spend a whole unit on teaching dodgeball or a form of it. But I do believe that it could be involved in a physical education setting. I would agree I wouldn't teach it for a unit but to totally exclude it? I think that would be taking it too far. Dodgeball is a sport and as physical educators we teach kids in sport. I understand there is no real progression for it (as to why I said I wouldn't teach it as a unit) but there are some awesome forms of dodgeball that I have played in physical education settings which classes have loved!

Monday, September 19, 2011

First Time at St Mary's

What I observed at St. Mary's

This was my first time going to St Mary's and it was a completely new experience. It was fun working with the kids and the start of something new. Im glad I am getting this experience and I can tell it is going to be totally worth while!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chapters 1-3

Why are fundamental skill developement and assessment so important to our profession and health of our students?

Fundamental skill development is very important to our profession and health of our students. Fundamental skill development is defined as learning the movements involved in two or more body parts categorized in three sections: stability, locomotor, or manipulative movements. So, you might think what would be some examples of these movements. Well, it could be any movement you can think of such as jumping, grabbing, twisting, and running. It's vital for our students to learn these movements as they will lead to advanced techniques in their futures. What is physical education if we can't teach our students basic locomotor movements that progress into more advanced ones? Physical education is all about movement and always will be. Thats what makes phys ed great. If a student doesn't get the chance to be effectively taught skill development than he/she could be behind the class and might not be able to participate in certain sports because of it. If a person than avoids exercise than that could lead to worse things down the road. We need to make sure we are developing the bodies of our students; thats what skill development is. Assessment is described as the teaching being aware as to the different skill levels of each of his or her students. This is important because every student is different and once you know where your students are, than effective teaching can commence.

Some impotent standards I found on were ones that are important to all physical educators for skill development and assessment...

Standard 1Professional Knowledge 
Advanced physical education teacher candidates come to understand disciplinary content knowledge, the application of content knowledge to teaching physical education, and modes of inquiry that form the bases for physical education programs and instruction.
Standard 2Professional Practice Advanced physical education teacher candidates use content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge to design and conduct appropriate learning experiences that facilitate and enhance the growth of learners.
Standard 3Professional Leadership
Advanced physical education teacher candidates are continuous, collaborative learners who further their own professional development and use their abilities to contribute to the profession.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My first post

Hello, my name is Mike Morelli and am a physical education major at SUNY Cortland. This is my first blog and I wanted to state that over the summer I worked at my local YMCA working with kids and in the fitness center. This helped me become a better teacher because I improved my interactions with children and even adults as well.