Friday, May 6, 2011

Move Your Body!

This past Thursday, my classmates and I showed the world what it means to get off your bottom and move.  Under the direction of my professor, Dr. Yang, the class and I were able to put together a great video showcasing our version of Beyonce Knowles' video, "Move Your Body". This song was rearranged by Beyonce, and re-coreogrphed to make it an appropriate video for kids in schools to use as a possible warm up; for unification. Michelle Obama actually asked Beyonce to create this rendition of her song, to help curb childhood obesity. Everyone had so much fun while participating, it was an experience I will never forget. Here is one of the videos from camera 2, I think we pulled it off: Go Cortland!

Monday, May 2, 2011

St. Mary's Day 6

Our final day at St. Mary's was a great closing experience, but also an experience which opened up my horizons to my future physical education students. The theme for today was Star Wars, and the kids knew more about the story than I thought. My group was assigned the PRE K classrooms, and we did a craft and read the children books. The books we read were about space, and then one book about the actual characters in the movie. My knowledge about picking books appropriate for their age groups was further instilled, as the teachers told me I picked great books which had some religious views in it, perfect for a catholic school.
     For the craft, my group member, Brittany made cut outs for the children to glue to a stick, forming a 'Yoda' stick puppet for every student. The students really love crafts. I learned a lot about the instructions I must give to children their age when it comes to making a craft that looks good and will stay together. I learned to hand out only parts of the craft at a time, then had more distributed to keep everything out of control.
     For the closing of the lab we played with a big parachute and the children loved it, I can not wait to have one of them in my future physical education classroom. I learned safety cues should be given before using them, as students may be running into each other underneath. The final activity we did was a giant dance, which involved a couple locomotor movements such as claps, jumps, and high-knee raises. The older kids really took to the dance and it was a great way to show much how we appreciated them having us at St. Mary's. Along with this we also made posters thanking the school for us using their facilities and ability to work with their children. St. Mary's is an awesome school and I will never forget the memories I have had there with all of the wonderful children and teachers and all of the wisdom they have added to my teaching style.Lab 6 Write Up

Monday, April 25, 2011

St. Mary's Day 5

      My fifth visit to St. Mary's was a bit different from my previous visits. The week's theme was Easter, and we were assigned the younger group of children. Instead of playing and interacting with the older children, today I was able to read, play and make crafts with the Pre-K group of children. The children were very well behaved and were eager to learn about my book I had brought in for them. I believe the children understood the story line and enjoyed every bit of it, and at the book's conclusion we had the kids make paper bunnies complete with cotton tails thanks to my group member, Brittany's efforts. I really enjoyed spending time with the younger children, it was interesting seeing the variety of development in the room, despite the age difference being no more than a year! Some students developed a good vocabulary and were able to do things on their own, while others needed some assistance and encouragement to finish their paper-bag bunny.
     Once we brought the children in the gym, they were really excited for our games, which turned out to be a success. The kids were able to understand directions despite their young age. The kids even showed how good they were at dribbling during one of the games. Maybe the kids from St. Mary's are more prone to basketball and dribbling because of the community and the availability of courts; they had some great skill for such youngsters.
     The two children my class and I observed, Todd and Sally were able to demonstrate a good understanding of dribbling a basketball and kicking a soccer ball. Some common mistakes seen were sometimes dribbling with two hands, and kicking the soccer ball without following through to maintain stability. The kids at St. Mary's continue to surprise me with their knowledge and skill. The children remind me of how the developmental steps we all once took to get our bodies where they are today and how important it was to make good habits early in life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Lil' Baby Move It" - Group Project

Here is my group's motor development video for chapter 8, Rudimentary Movement Abilities.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Sojourn on a Whim!

     This weekend a couple of my friends and I decided to take a visit to our neighboring college's Ithaca's Buttermilk Falls. The experience let me know spring was on its way, as we experienced sun for most of our sojourn with vivid green plants and flowers emerging. We saw some beautiful sights of waterfalls, trails, fallen trees, and numerous other pieces of nature. Some portions of the trail we had to hike up, while others were easygoing flatland. It is important to have fun while exercising with friends, as these are the types of activities I will be teaching and encouraging my students to partake in.  Despite a few rain drops, we ended up having a blast and can not wait to go back the next time central new york grants us a sunny day. Having fun outdoors is a great for the mind, body and soul. If you are ever in the area and want some exercise, check out some of SUNY Cortland's walking trails.

Here are some photos from the trip!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Invest In Your Community

     Yesterday, I took some time to visit St. Mary's Elementary school and volunteered for their second annual 'Run for the Stars'. It was a great experience to help out such a deserving group of people. I felt inspired once there, as so many people showed to support each other on their active endeavor. People of all ages arrived for the same reason, to support their community, socialize, and have fun while exercising. I recognized most of the children, as I see them weekly. It felt great to be there for the kids and I feel they really enjoyed our presence and extra support as we cheered them on in their 1k race and for some, a 5k. Not only did I recognize the children, but some of the school's staff was in attendance.

     I can definitely see myself creating such a race for my school, to bring the community together. Asking local markets, and chain restaurants for sponsorships is a great idea when planning these events; as most of these places will be interested in getting their name out for such a large group of locals. Races, along with other types of engaging large group activities are great ways to bring people together. Adding these types of activities for your district's community will keep everyone interacting and staying active while keeping up with the newest trends in physical activity.

     Working with the community in the district you teach will definitely show the community, district, and school you teach in how much you care for the children. People will recognize the extra time put in outside of school time, and appreciate how much more involved your are in their child's life. I can't wait to initiate new fun activities for my future school or district's community, because the town and its children deserve it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thank You, St. Mary's

A collection of some of the memories from St. Mary's Elementary School in Cortland, NY; along with pictures from the Brookhaven-Roe YMCA, NY.

Monday, April 4, 2011

St. Mary's Day 4

     For my fourth lab at St. Mary's I evaluated another boy and girl. This week the children were evaluated on the overhand throw, and the catch; each with their respective cues to executing the movement/skill correctly. Some of the cues for the overhand throw I looked for as a future physical educator included having a downward arc of their throwing arm, a rotation of hip and shoulder, a weight transfer, and a follow through. The children I observed, Paige and Daniel both were able to execute the movement, yet Daniel had a less pronounced follow through and shoulder and hip rotation while throwing. The other skill I observed was the two-handed catch. Some cues for the catch included having both arms flexed and extended in front of the body, elbows bent and caught with just their hands. The boy and girl displayed this catch very well, the only criticism I have is Paige used her chest once or twice to aid her catch.
     Through deeper analysis of Paige's overhand throw, I concluded her throw using different sized balls was at the elementary stage for the most part. One of her throws correlated with that of the mature stage criteria. When we asked her to use lighter and heavier balls she displayed more mature stage skill, with only one case of her displaying kill at the elementary stage level. Being able to hang a grade on movement is something I must learn for my future profession, these observation/evaluation experiences have been nothing but interesting and helpful.
     As my lab group was in charge of the closing activity, I was responsible for a closing quote/cheer which summed up the day and reinforced our class's theme from the PBS children's show, "Dinosaur Train". My quote was silly and fun, but when presented with real vigor and enthusiasm turned out to be rather effective and informative for the group of children who had just ran around the gym playing numerous games for two hours after their normal school day. I used some basic locomotor skills in my quote which paralleled with some of the movements the show's characters displayed; such as flapping arms up and down, standing on one foot, roaring and shaking hands with a neighbor or two. In all, the children were really interested in my cheer/quote because I displayed a high level of enthusiasm and excitement.

Lab 4 Write Up

     These photos capture intensity and our ability to unleash our inner character for the children so they really buy into what we're saying, and in turn they are more motivated to participate and pay attention. The second picture shows my peers and I as we evaluate children executing various locomotor skills.

Monday, March 21, 2011

St. Mary's Day 3

     This week at St. Mary's proved to be another fun, exciting experience from which I could learn. I have learned to recognize effective teaching strategies, and those which are less effective. Also during this visit I was able gain more experience assessing the elementary students. This week we assessed the same kids, Eric and Ana. The students' ability to execute particular locomotor skills such as leaping, horizontally jumping, and sliding were accurate in some regards, and not as much in others. While assessing I have learned there might be some amount of variable which can throw off a student's assessment. Although some of this week's locomotor skills weren't executed perfectly, there is always time for the students to develop their skills, as every child develops at a different rate.

     Some of the effective teaching strategies I used this week were the same as last week. The first strategy was to recognize the well behaved and mannered students who are listening attentively and reinforce their behavior either verbally or by granting them privileges such as becoming the first "tagger" for the activity. The other students not paying much attention soon understand the more behaved students are granted some form of reward, and they too begin to calm down and listen as attentively as their peers. Another strategy I used was to use a firm, direct, loud voice while describing my game. Using this type of voice, I was able to excite and hold the attention of the young students, which leads to their understanding of the activity they are to perform. Using these strategies is an enormous help, especially when you are trying to describe a game for many children.

     After spending another week at St. Mary's, it has become evident the students respect, and listen to us more as their model teacher. I have learned more about the children and what to say to them that will have them listen and behave quickly. I am looking forward to next week's visit to St. Mary's to strengthen the bonds I have made with the children, all while utilizing the information I have learned from the previous weeks to develop my professionalism an make myself a better teacher candidate.
Lab 3 Write Up

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

St. Mary's Day 2

     My time spent at St. Mary's this week was full of new learning experiences and practice with evaluation. This week the Lab's theme was cartoon, so my group member and I tweaked our games to include some of the kids favorite and funny cartoon characters, which the kids really enjoyed. At the school, I was introduced to some new teaching strategies which I'm eager to use in my own classroom someday. Some of the strategies include acknowledging the students displaying the correct behaviors our loud, which encouraged the students not doing the correct things to do them. Another strategy was to always describe the game about to be played to the kids in depth, before sending the kids out to run around and play. Another strategy was to tell the kids they're about to play a great game and that it is really fun, while squatting on their level. This will engage the kids from the start and keep their attention for a longer time. Also not asking the kids if they want to play game will increase their rejection of your game ideas. 

     Also this week, I evaluated two kids ages six to seven, in grades kindergarden or first. The boy, named Eric was able to perform certain locomotor skills better than the girl, Ana. The locomotor skills we evaluated the kids on were carefully hidden in the games used, which made the process run smoothly. The skills tested were running, hopping, and galloping. The kids were evaluated on various criteria, and for the most part the kids performed the skills accurately; with some exceptions. It sure is interesting watching and evaluating children for the first time, and made me feel more prepared to do it another time in the future.

Lab 2 Write Up

Monday, February 7, 2011

St. Mary's Day 1

         My second week at St. Mary's school was just as fun and exciting as the first. The kids seemed to open up a bit more and were easier to talk to, I even started remembering some of their names. My group and I were able to implement our new games by ourselves and the kids really enjoyed playing. Paired with music, there was no stopping the kids from moving about and getting the most out of each of our games. I noticed a difference in the motor behaviors of children of different grade levels, gender and ability. The older students tended to engage in more skillful activities, such as small sided basketball games. The younger students had their attention held by simple games such as tag, and red light, green light, one, two, three (healthy foods version). As far as gender, the boys and girls for the most part tended to be engaged in different activities. While the boys played basketball and soccer, the girls were having fun playing in the mini doll house or jumping rope. The different abilities in the gym seen varied from small kids just learning the basics of jumping and hopping, to kids who were on travel soccer teams and possessed a high level of skill; having a certain skill level definitely influences the student's motor behaviors. Every activity played today had the kids' skills enhanced through the use of a simple stereo and ipod. The addition of music made everyone more excited and eager to play, which is definitely something I'll be using in my gym classes in the years to come. Overall, my second time at St. Mary's was another great eye opener and experience. I can not wait for my next visit in just two weeks!

Lab 1 Write Up          

Monday, January 31, 2011

Recognizing Fundamental Skill Development and Assessment

         As I come closer to becoming a physical educator, it's evident children should have certain skills mastered in order to grow into healthy and physically educated adults. Fundamental skill development and assessment is important to the health of future students for several reasons. Every student should be given the opportunity to play, enjoy games, and sports. Through the use of these fun activities, students will take with them a sense of wonder and excitement. The feelings students render from their early experiences will enable and encourage them to take part in a life of healthy fitness and involvement with all types of physical activity. Another reason fundamental skill development and assessment is important to the health of my future students is because it will serve as an outlet for them to channel their energies in a positive direction; away from some overbearing issues brought on by today's society such as obesity, early puberty, and in-school violence. As I will soon become part of this exciting profession, the fundamental skill development and assessment of my students is important to me because it will help keep my students on the right track to success in and out of the classroom. As I previously stated, the skill development and assessment will help gauge my student's lives as they grow into healthy adults; and help them with issues such as obesity, early puberty, and repel them from in-school violence. Having assessments will enable me as an educator gain access to my student's physical state; so I can gauge which direction to take the class in terms of activities. The following is a website where I can view a quality and professional physical education programs' standards Quality professional physical education standards reference.

Elderly enjoying a long, healthy life of physical activity! This photo shows some elderly people enjoying a casual volley on the beach. Enjoying activities such as this one will contribute to a wholesome, enjoyable life.

Choose Healthy Food! This is a perfect and simple picture, displaying some foods you should be eating over greasy fast-food, a large contributor to obesity.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Motor Development

Today in our motor development lab we worked hands-on with children from the St. Mary's School in the city of Cortland. The lab was quite an experience, and a great eye opener for what we're going to be doing for the rest of our lives. Having worked at my local YMCA over the summer, I felt accustomed to the environment and was ready to learn as much as I could about each child. We were able to interact with various age groups which made the experience helpful in pinpointing our interests. I realized the kids from my hometown YMCA really do not differ much at all from the kids at Cortland; they all just are looking to be entertained and have fun. I'm looking forward to a semester with the kids, getting to know them better all while improving and learning new techniques.