Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Last Day at St. Mary's

Well we finally finished our first bit of field experience and are on our ways to becoming Physical Education teachers, but I think that most of us find it a bit bittersweet. This last week was, like the last weeks, even more fun than the weeks before it and it seems like as soon as we started to become comfortable with all the students it had to end. I was able to work with the Pre-K students again and with out superhero theme I brought in pictures for the kids to color in of various superheros. Dan read a book about a super hero guinea pig and then we started to play our games. I had a variation of freeze tag and I called it "Mr. Freeze Tag" to tie it in with superhero, the kids loved it and were running around constantly with a few of the other college lab students that were dressed up as superheros. Then we had a small obstacle course for the kids where they had to help save WonderWoman and after that the time was up and our last week at St. Mary's was over and it feels like we've barely been there. I loved going to St. Mary's and working with the kids and I'm sad to go and I've learned much from my experience there and you can see my reflections about it here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Security or Food?

In this experiment conducted by Harry Harlow, the main idea was to find out whether the rhesus monkey would choose the security and comfort of a "mother" made of cloth compared to a "mother" made of wire with just a bottle to feed it. The beginning idea was that the time would be split almost even amongst the two but the final result was not even close. The monkey spent almost 17-18hrs each day with the cloth mother! It only went to the wire mother when it was hungry and needed food. I expected the cloth mother to have more time than the wire mother but not anywhere near this much of a majority. The idea of the monkey going to the cloth was called "Creature Comfort" which is the idea that an infant will go to the more comfortable choice in any situation. This just goes to show how much of an effect a nurturing and comforting parent can have on a child.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This week's theme at lab was Toy Story and Dan and Mitch both came in dressed up and were both instant hits with the kids. We assessed stationary bounce(dribble) and kicking and you can see how it turned out here. We started off with a game that involved two teams trying to get a ball down to other end by passing it and dribbling it, the game was set up well, but a couple of the students weren't too enthused to play it which in the end hurt the overall game. After this we played kickball with the students which was fun and they seemed to enjoy it. After kickball was over we went into the cafeteria because the gym was taken up. In the cafeteria I played with the dominoes with a couple boys until the time was up and we did the group cheer with everyone. Overall this was another fun week at St. Mary's!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter at St. Mary's

This week at St. Mary's our group was assigned to special assignment so we didn't get to play a game in the beginning with the kids, but we observed them and assessed their play. One of the first games had the children throw eggs from their side to the other side, this game was a good was to assess their throwing technique, but at points the children wouldn't throw with proper form and would try to rush it which hurt their technique. After a little bit the children were split up and we had to go to our special project. Our task was to put up a large banner that we would take a picture in front of at the end of the class. Also we had to take collages that the entire class made and put them on posters to put on the doors of the gymnasium which took a decent amount of time to make. Once this was done it was time for the end of the day activities which we led. The first one was Dan's game of "Sneak Attack" which had the students try to sneak up on the people who were it and then run back to their side of the court without getting tagged. This was a good instant activity which got the kids' attention. Next Holly explained her dance which involved each students having a hula hoop to stand in and them copy Holly's movements which included: hops, jumps, skips and running around the hoop. After this we all took a group photo in front of the banner that we put up and that ended the day. This was one of the most fun days so far at St. Mary's and it seems that with every week its getting easier and easier to do.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dinosaur Train Stops at St. Mary's

This week at St. Mary's the theme was Dinosaur Train. Working with the Pre-K students has been my favorite week so far and I hope I get to work with them again. The lab started off with us observing another group starting up all the activities, which went well. The first game involved the students going through a "forest" and jumping over rivers. This game worked very well and it kept the students active and occupied enough to make sure that they performed the skills that were necessary. After these groups did their activities we took note and answered questions based off of a couple students.

Pre-K was a ton of fun and working with these kids was a pleasure. We started off with Dan reading a story to a few kids and a few others didn't want to read so they continued to play. I played legos with a few boys for a little bit, but they didn't seem too interested with me playing with them so I asked a couple girls if they wanted me to play castle with them. I played Lena with the castles and learning her name then later helped me when we did our game at the end. After the book was finished the kids had snack time in the next room and after they snacked they wanted to read a book so we did that again. After this book was over we went into the gym with the kids and I started my first game. The game went well, but after a few minutes the students started going off of the rules that they actually went by at first. Then they started to play by their own rules, but before this got out of hand the next game was set-up and we were ready. The last game went well and we were able to see the students perform the different skills. Overall working with the Pre-K students was my favorite group to work with and Dinosaur Train was a big success!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Childhood Development

Childhood development is very important and making sure every step is done properly can ensure that a child gets everything that they need.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Fundamentals and Physical Fitness

The fundamental locomotor skills are the most important and need to not only be taught but taught to the point that students are almost perfect at it. Skills like running, jumping, and hopping are some of the fundamentals and not knowing how to do these will effect other skills that are more advanced. Knowing how to do these skills will eventually lead to the ability to manipulate them into other skills like kicking, punting and bouncing.

Making sure students have the different kinds of stability (axial, static and dynamic) is important. Axial stability would include things like bending or twisting. There are also static and dynamic postures which would be rolling or dodging. Having stability is important and without it many advanced skills will suffer and the student will become stuck at one level.

Physical fitness can be broken down into two components: Health Related and Performance Related. Health related deals with strength, endurance, cardio, and flexibility. You want a combination of all these things to get through your day with enough energy to perform all your normal tasks and making sure you have extra energy in case there is an emergency. The performance-related aspect will make sure that you are able to do tasks at a high level and the higher your skill the easier your tasks will be. Some examples of this are balance, coordination, and agility.

Making Sure Children Develop Properly

Today there are many issues facing our children and we have to first identify exactly what they are before we can try to prevent them. Childhood obesity has been climbing recently and it has gotten to the point that the numbers are frightening. About 25% of children are considered to be overweight or obese, so one in every four kids is already at an unhealthy weight at such a young age. Ten years ago that number was only at 11%, in order to stop this growing trend we need to figure out why children are becoming more and more obese at younger ages before it gets too late and they suffer serious consequences. Another major problem facing our youth is violence inside the school area. Physical Education teachers can play a major role in trying to reduce this. Recreational sports and team sports in phys. ed. classes can reduce this and will teach students teamwork and working together as a team and hopefully build bonds. Early puberty is also a problem as some kids will start to develop 3 years earlier than their classmates and being alone without peers going through this can be hard for a kid.

There are many goals that teachers have through the use of physical education. The most important in my opinion is teaching physical activity and fitness enhancement. In order to stop childhood obesity and to make sure people stay active in their old age we need to teach people at a young age lifetime activities. This will increase their fitness at all ages and give them more to do rather than sit inside. Another major goal is to teach movement skills. Teaching different skills at a young age will enable the students to advance more quickly and develop more complex skills later at life which can come in handy if they want to compete in different sports.

Childhood development isn't based off of one factor. There are a few factors combined that all lead to this development. Biology will always play a factor in how a child will development and this can't be changed. The conditions in the learning environment is a factor and teachers do have a say in how that will be used. A healthy learning environment will enable children to learn and develop properly without any problems. A final factor is the requirements of the tasks you have the children do. If you have tasks that are too hard for a child, they won't be able to do it and won't advance at all because they will be stuck at that point. At the same time tasks that are too easy won't challenge the student and then they will become bored and won't develop either. You have to make sure your tasks are age-appropriate for all students and this will take some work from the teacher.

To make sure your activities appropriate you have to ask two questions: is it appropriate for the individual and is it age-group appropriate. Every students learns at a different pace and some activities may be more difficult for some than others. If a drill or game is too hard for one student, go back and see if you can make changes to make it more suitable for that specific child. P.E. should be fun for all students and being unable to do an activity is not fun! Age-appropriateness is also important. If you are teaching basketball you don't want to use the 3-man weave drill if you have a class of first graders, make sure your activities is right for the group or you won't progress at all.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vancouver Comes to Cortland!

The Winter Olympics have been full force and the theme for the second lab at St. Mary's was of course the Olympics. The locomotor skills we were focused on watching this week was running, galloping, and hopping. In this weeks lab my group was to lead activities first and the other lab students were to observe. My game involved multiple stations with different activities that would have the students complete a locomotor task such as galloping to a target and back then throwing a beanbag at a target before moving on to the next station. The activity didn't go as smoothly as I thought and hoped it will, but since this was my first time trying I have a lot more time to improve on this. What I need to do first and most importantly is have my game set-up as soon as I arrive at St. Mary's. I tried to set-up quick but I had trouble finding the bean bags and because of the time I spent looking for them I lost time setting up targets and other parts for the activity, which kind of put me into a shock when it was my turn and I wasn't 100% set up yet. Also I should have made the rules more specific because the kids seemed a little lost at points and it got slightly chaotic at times. With all this happening now I know what I'll need to do in the future in order to improve my activities and lessons and I'll be able to run it all much smoother so I don't feel defeated at all. Overall this week was a great learning experience for me and I'm excited for next week's Dinosaur Train theme.

We also were assigned to watch two students, observe and take note of their skills for the gallop, run, and hop. The first thing I had to do when making sure the students hopped was to make suer they knew what each of the skills were. They all knew how to run and with slight help the gallop was done, but they didn't all know what a hop was technically, because of the idea that a bunny hops. A hop is a movement of elevation from one foot to another and is not done on two feet, so we had to make sure the students were aware of that when we played the games.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hall of Shame: Dodgeball

Dodge ball is a highly controversial game that is played in many physical education classes. Some would argue that it creates too much down time, some say that it promotes bullying, but others have no problem with it at all. There are many things you could do to make the game of dodge ball more friendly to all.

I personally feel that the only problem with dodge ball is the amount of downtime that is created when a player is eliminated. To increase physical activity and decrease down time I think some changes and variations can be made to the game. Once a player is knocked out give them multiple options they could do to get back into the game: 20 push-ups, make 10 lay-ups, run two laps around the gym or any other thing you think of. This would first decrease the down time as the students will always be doing some activity and it develops many other skills when they try to get back into the game. Also the game would never end so this reduces the self-esteem loss because no one would technically lose and targeting the weaker people would not be as beneficial anymore and I think more people would actually go for the stronger players since they could quickly get back into the game. I don't think any games should be put into the hall of shame, but put into an under construction category until they are more suitable for physical education class.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 1 at St. Mary's

Today was the first day that we had an official lab at St. Mary's and I was nervous going into because I wasn't sure what to expect. It was chaotic going into the gym and we found out that we only had half the gym to work with as older girls were playing basketball on the other half. The theme of this week was tag games so we started off playing different kinds of tag for the first bit. The kids then got divided into smaller numbers as certain grades were left in the gym and the others went into the cafeteria for snack time and games. My group stayed upstairs in the gym first and we had to gather the kids together for the next game which started to get chaotic with the smaller group. It seemed that whenever we got 3 kids to settle down, another 3 would get up and become off task, this made it hard to be organized and start a new game. We were able to get everyone on the same page eventually and continued games of tag including blob tag, frog tag, and various freeze tag types. Then my group went downstairs for snack time and small games and I watched a couple kids play checkers for awhile and then I helped one kid with a game because he was still learning the rules. One thing I noticed from observing the game of checkers is that some of the kids have a basic understanding of the rules, but it seems they are just on the borderline of fully understanding the game rules so maybe they haven't fully developed the skills for that yet. When this time was up we went back up to the gym and all the groups were then there and the kids weren't all organized and some were having a catch, some played basketball, and a couple were kicking a soccer ball. I saw one boy alone kicking a soccer ball so I went over to him and played numbers with him which is just juggling the soccer ball back and forth to see who can get the most. After playing that for awhile the time was up and we were done so all the other people in lab gathered up and we talked about the class before we were dismissed.