Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stations and Progressions

Today in our EDU 355 lab we had a bunch of stations set up that we were suppose to go to and participate in and then pick one station and my partner and I made progressions for that activity at that station.  The stations were horseshoes or ring toss, juggling, puck handling, football throwing, blind wall toss, paddle ball, soccer passing, volleyball passing, basketball dribbling, and wall toss.
My partner and I chose juggling for an activity and made progressions with a bunch of different equipment.  We used handkerchiefs, tennis balls, bean bags, gator skin balls, rings, and juggling sticks or pins.  We started with singled handed juggling with two objects, then progressively moved to two hands and 3 objects, and ended with partner juggling.  
Another group demonstrated paddle ball and did well with their progressions.  They started with hitting a balloon in the air, to moving and hitting, to using a beach ball, then they incorporated the paddled, they ended the progressions with hitting a beach ball against the wall or at a target to a partner.
The ring toss group had an interesting set up using a wide variety of equipment.  They lined up cones, along with the wooden peg, and a baseball tee.  The students were allowed to throw different size rings at the objects like hula hoops, flying discs, and smaller rubber rings.  Therefore the students were allowed to choose what they threw, what they threw at, and the distance, it was clearly an inclusion teaching style, and was very well thought of for being on the go.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1st time running the class at NVMS

Today was our first day back to Newark Valley Middle School after missing last Monday due to Presidents Day and the students were starting floor hockey.  Today my partner ran the first classes warm up, she used the game rock, paper, scissors tag.
-Rock, Paper, Scissor Tag
- The game starts with all students getting a partner and lining up across from each other half court.  Students then play rock, paper, scissors with their partner and the winner becomes the runner and the non winner becomes the tagger, the goal is for the tagger to tag the runner before the runner runs back to their wall on their side of the half court.
The game flowed rather well the only thing I suggested for my partner was to bring the students in when directions are given instead of talking to the kids all spread out in the gym.  The students really enjoyed the game and even asked if they could play it with different motor skills besides running.
After that warm up our teacher took control of the class for their first floor hockey lesson, which was mostly focused around puck handling, proper hand positions on the stick, proper stance, and spatial awareness.
For the second class that we are at the school for is usually the second PE class for that class that day due to scheduling and lack of time.  Therefore the class the teacher suggested if we had any fun games for them to play and I suggested they try the activity which focuses on trust and the student must guide each other through the gym with obstacles spread out.  The student that has to be guided cannot see and the person who is guiding was not allowed to talk.  The students came up with a few creative ways of communicating for example one boy stomped really loud when his partner needed to step up or jump, another student shrugged their partners shoulder up when they had to jump.  I thought these were very creative and allowed each of them to explain their strategy to the class.  The next activity we played we used Frisbees and hula hoops, and progressively started at throwing the Frisbee and hula hooping, to seeing how many hoops we can throw the Frisbee through and what different strategies we can use.
The kids had a lot of fun and the feedback I received after running the class was that when I am explaining directions to grab the kids attention a little bit better I should have the direction to put the equipment down or hold it still while I am talking.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Recently as a class we enter videos into the Healthy New Year Video Challenge which was created by The Office of the National Coordination for Health Information Technology (ONC).  The object is to promote healthy and active lifestyles for the new year, I created this video to submit.  This video has me playing a made up character Buff Daddy and he is demonstrating how someone can use P90x in their own small area to get a intense and active workout.  Personally I really enjoyed doing this video even though it did take forever because a lot of it was improved.  I wrote out a skit at first however everything flowed better when I used the skit as more of a guide line then memorizing each line word for word.  This was my first video ever creating on Youtube, I did not think it was that hard to make however it was tedious but fun at the same time.  It was neat to be able to ad in fillers where the screen breaks down into checkers or the screen will fade in and out.  I hope everyone enjoys the video and at least gets a kick out of it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

No Age Limit on Physical Activity!

Staying physically active and living a healthy life is something to strive for.  People of all ages can stay physically fit, the human body is an amazing thing just ask the Boston Celtics who have an average age of 29 years old one the older teams in the league.  That number may not be that big however their starters have an average age of 33 years old.  The Boston Celtics are still an elite basketball team with Hall Of Fame players.  All of these players including the starters are in top physical condition, coincidently the oldest player on the Celtics roster is in arguably the best shape, Ray Allen.  Ray Allen plays the shooting guard position and his whole game is derived from constantly running off screens and creating space between him and his defender without the ball.  Doing this means he has to be continuously moving on the offensive end, doing this demands a lot of stamina.  The Boston Celtics and Ray Allen are not the only people who stay in shape as time ticks the National Senior Game Association is an organization that has seniors compete in games for medals.  It is going to be held in Cleveland Ohio this upcoming year and the age groups range from 50 to 80 plus years old.  The games that offer medals are Table Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Triathlon, Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cycling, Golf, Horseshoes, Pickle ball, Race Walk, Racquetball, Road Race, Shuffleboard, Softball, and Swimming.  Being a Physical Education major I can tell you that all of these activities should be introduced to students at some point during their Physical Education experience. Physical Fitness and Physical Activity have no age limit I know the NSGA would agree with me just as Ray Allen and the Boston Celtics would too.  Image

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Diversity in PE

Diversity is something that needs to be addressed in the classrooms and in the gym (Image Found).  No matter how rural an area is the people and students of the community still face common problems with diversity.  Some think of race when they think of diversity however that is merely the tip of the iceberg.  Diversity goes as far as culture, social class, gender, age, and ethnicity.  The term diversity is not limited to the things that were listed however these are something’s to think about when addressing diversity to students.  One of my classmates had a great experience with diversity in the PE setting during her elementary school days.   The teacher found information about each of the student’s historical cultural background and played games based off of those, for example if someone was from Ireland than the teacher would play the game Gaelic which is played there.  I thought that was a really great idea and it really opens the eyes of the students and lets them experience different culture.   I believe that international games are a must in a physical education experience.  With some diversity issues such as dealing with gender stereotypes it is good to stray away from using the terms “throwing like a girl” and to use different terms as boy and girl for partners.  For example with dance it is expected to have a male and female partner however by changing those terms to leader and follower that eliminates the awkwardness of the gender issue.  This also can allow for less awkwardness when there are male and male and females and females paired up together.  Allowing students to dance to both rolls will also help the cognitive domain by making the students learn how to do the skills for leader and follower rather than just one or the other.  With our countries populations growing our public schools are seeing more immersion classrooms and it is the teacher’s responsibility as well as the schools to have policies and lesson that address, handle, and build peoples comfort level with diversity. I think PE teachers are put in a position where they have the opportunity to work with diversity on a social level and there are many activities and games that build teamwork by having students perform out of their comfort zone.
 Lab 10 for EDU 355 was about exercising the imagination and building inanimate objects (image).  With growing obesity these days a lot of people say that kids need to get out more and get away from the TV.  I agree with that but a lot of kids when they get outside they do not know what to do, this is where we as educators need embrace active imaginations and help kids be able to use their imagination no matter how boring or “lame” the environment is.  Mirroring is a nice warm up for the students, have the students pair up, designating one student as the follower and the other as the leader.  Then the pair will mimic or mirror each other’s movements.  Having stations that are super hero based are always great way to motivate students to participate.  One set of stations for example would be Spiderman Fitness, where there will be 5 stations, sprint back and forth between 10 foot areas, wall pushups, leaping objects of various heights, low balance beam walking, jumping rope or slalom jumping.  Using props such as newspapers can be a good and efficient way to expand imaginations.  We built imaginary dream houses on pieces of newspaper and made different sounds for different tools, and different movements for different activities that are involved in building houses.  Another newspaper game was building a bridge somehow over the newspaper.  Once everyone was done with the newspaper activities we crumpled up the newspapers and threw them in the recycle bin.  Another game that we played that could be played with older groups as well was the inanimate object game.  This involved groups of students about 3 to 4 preferably and they had to act out inanimate objects such as; toast in a toaster, wheels and a motorcycle, sunflowers in a garden, ect.  Ending the lesson with a class talk about how everything man made was once just an imagination in someone’s head.  I think kids as a generation lack imagination because I feel that their minds are made up already with all the video games and sitting in front of the TV.  I believe kids should be outside playing and exploring their imaginations without the influence of the TV and video games.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Open vs Closed Loop Control Process

In Motor Behavior lab this week we played a variety of games that involved Open-Loop control process and Closed-Loop control process.  It took me awhile to understand the concept between the two and I think I now have a grasp of the concept.  Open-Loop control process has either no feedback or the subject has no immediate control to correct the feedback.  Closed-Loop control process does have feedback and the subject can use that feedback to make corrections based on their movements.  We had four activities that we experimented with to help us understand the open and closed loop processes.  The first activity was called Tracking Tasks (mirror tracing), and the point of this task was to trace a star  -Kinesthesiometer-                                        looking pattern with your arm not touching the table and only using a mirror to see your hand and a plate to block the visual pathway directly to the hand that is tracing the pattern.  What was measured here was the amount of times you left the pattern while tracing, this was calculated as an error.  This activity is an example of a closed-loop control process because there is feedback with the mirror and it can be corrected by the subject.  The second activity was called slow positioning task, this was a device that allowed you to rest your arm on a platform and then a partner would move your arm a to a certain spot and then put the arm back to the starting point and the subject would have to see If they can get their arm back to that spot while they have their eyes closed the whole time.  This is an open-loop control process and closed-looped because there were two trails one was fast and one was slow, the fast one is suppose to be open loop because there is not enough time to receive feedback and correct, there is more instant action in moving the arm, while on the other hand the slow trial is closed looped because the subject receives feedback through the time by sensing the muscles in the shoulder and being able to fine tune their response.  The last two activities were Scoop Toss and Ring Toss both of these activities are open-loop because there is feedback with the Scoop Toss when the object is thrown however there is no way for the subject to correct anything when the ball is in the air, same reasoning goes for the ring toss when defining it as open-loop. However the difference between these two activities is that the scoop toss has a catching portion to it and when someone is catching the ball it is closed loop because there is feedback with the ball moving and spinning and the subject can easily move to catch the ball based off of the feedback.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Edu lab 8

Today when we walked into lab we picked up the lesson where we left off with lab 7 the jump rope lab.  When we got to lab a classmate and I were picked to help our professor demonstrate how to swing the ropes and jump when Double Dutching.  There were a couple of my classmates that were able to jump and stay jumping with two ropes but most of us including our professor just could not figure it out.  We then started in with hoop games, we played multiple of games that ranged in difficulty for students kindergarten through six.
-Introductory Activity
1.  Travel around the hoops- students run around the hoop changing locomotor skills but cannot enter inside the hoop.
2.  Inside Instant Color- The students get in a big circle and stand inside their hoops.  When the music starts the students move around the outside of the circle in using locomotor skills, and when a color is called out by the instructor all the students must find that color and place their body part or stand in that hoop.  Image found
- Fitness Activity
1.  Hot feet- Promotes agility and quickness,  students jump in and out of the hoop as fast as they can.
2.  Hands of The Clock- Students are in the pushup position with their feet inside their hoop and their arms or upper half of the body are pointed at a certain direction or “time” like the hands on a clock.
-Lesson Focus
1.  Spin your hoop and run around it- students spin their hoops like a quarter on a table and see how many times they can run around it before it hits the ground.
2.  Poison hoop- this helps students explore that space behind them at the lower elementary levels, students hold the hoop over their head and let go of it, the object is to not allow the hoop to touch you as it falls.
3.  Walk the dog- invite the kids to walk around the gym and roll their hoop around, as they get the hang of it show them how to spin their hoop so it goes out in front of them and comes back.  Some modifications can be to kick the hoop up to you when the hoop spins backwards.   Also have students jump over the hoop while the hoop is moving (stress safety), students could also dive through the hoops (stressing safety).
-Groups of three activities
1.  Twister-  have four hula hoops make a square (kind of) and have each circle be a different color, the students will be spread out around the outside of the hoops and the teacher says for example “right hand red, left foot blue, and ect”
2.  Ring pass Contest-  Three students hold each other’s hands in a circle and one person will have their arm in a hoop and they will try to maneuver through the hoop until they back to where they started.

Hoops games are extremely fun for the students; even I enjoy playing with Hula Hoops and playing simple games.  Just always remember the safety aspect with diving and running around a gym, students must have competent spatial awareness.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Good Old Parachute!

Today my partner and I went back to Newark Valley Middle School for our EDU 355 observation hours.  This week our host teacher let us run the class warm-ups so my partner and I stole a warm up right from our EDU 355 lab called Shadow Shake, Shadow Shake is a game that is similar to tagging except without the tagging.  The students pair and designate themselves one as the leader and one as the follower or “shadow”.  The leader runs or walks in any pattern and any direction they want in the gym but their follower or “shadow” has to keep up with them and when the music stops both students freeze and the shadow has to see if they kept up with
leader by putting their arm out and measuring the arm lengths away they are from their partner.  The students then switched roles and we changed the loco-motor patterns and used jumping, sliding, and skipping.  After the warm up our host teacher pulled out the parachute and the 5th grade students went nuts, they were so excited.  We played a variety games such as; mushroom, merry go round, shark attack, popcorn, and another game that made the students work together to make one ball go around the entire parachute by tilting the parachute up and down.
- Mushroom-   All the students have one color slice of the parachute and one the count of three the students throw the parachute up (still holding on) and step inside and sit with the edge of the parachute underneath them.  Once the students are under the parachute we switched colors, for example all the yellows found another yellow spot to go sit on.
- Merry go round-  Each student held on to the parachute with their right hand and ran, skipped, hopped, ect in a circle while making the parachute look like a merry go round                                                                                        
- Shark Attack- All the students put their feet under the parachute and one student will be underneath the parachute and when a student’s foot is grabbed they have to switch spots with the “Shark” or student who started out underneath.  Throughout the game there were more sharks designated and eventually the game ends when the teacher decides.
- Popcorn-  All students pull the parachute tight and with gator skin balls in the middle they wave the parachute up and down until the balls all fall off or the activity goes on for too long.
- Ball Tilt-  All students hold the chute similar to when holding it during the game of popcorn however now there is only one ball and the ball must roll around in front of each student without touching the middle of the parachute or falling off.
The students all in all had a great time without warm up and were extremely well behaved.  They really enjoyed the parachute games and could not get enough it.  Our host teacher said we did a great job at introducing ourselves and running the warm-up, also during most of the second class we were there I led most of the activities in a discrete manor I took leadership of the class.  I apologized after to the teacher because I was afraid I may have jumped in too early but she said it was fine and she believes that we learn better by doing so she was more than comfortable with me running the classroom.  Next week my partner and I are going to introduce some of our adventure activity games to the students and see if they enjoy them like they did the parachute.

Images found at 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Just Let Me Nap!

Personally I love napping and I just started napping about 6 months ago to be honest.  I was not a huge believer in sleeping during the day because I felt that I was wasting the day away, however I found that if I slept just for a little bit during the day that I felt rejuvenated after and more alert.  Now after looking up information instead of taking the common word that napping is good for you I found that if fact napping can enhance alertness, “enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.” This came straight from the National Sleep Foundation website.  It is recommended that sleeping for 20 to 30 minutes during the day will allow that person to wake up with less grogginess than waking up later after napping for more time.  Also the best time during the day to nap is from 1 a.m. to 3 p.m. according to  Napping is better for you than chugging a Redbull or sipping on a cup of coffee, this is because studies have done that have shown reduce in memory recollection.  Planning to nap during the day can be beneficial for work performance and can make someone’s mood better.  So before you start off the day try to squeeze in a 20 to 30 minute nap and see if your day isn't just a little bit better.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

EDU Lab 7

This lab had a jumping rope theme and we had many appropriate progressions and activities that were fun yet relevant.  We played lots of different games such as making shapes and letters with the rope on the floor, and then began walking on the rope, which led to jumping over the rope being stationary on the ground.  To start off for older students in the elementary setting letting the students just jump rope freestyle which gives them the opportunity to just get the jitters and some energy out of the way.  We then cut the big circle in half we were all in and half of us jumped rope however we wanted while the other group watched and then we switched roles.  The next progression was Double Dutch and only one of our classmates could complete it however we were cut short with time so we were unable to practice.  Jumping rope is a great fitness tool that helps with cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, balance, coordination, and rhythm.  It is also an inexpensive piece of equipment and rope is pretty durable so the equipment will last a while.  One safety cue that needs to always be addressed when teaching jump rope is never allow students to wrap the rope around there neck or other body parts also do not allow them to swing the rope at other students.  There are many websites online where you can find jump ropes and other fitness equipment.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Rivalry!!

The greatest rivalry in all of sports it has been called, this is the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils NCAA Division 1 college basketball game.  This game is one of the most watched and anticipated games in the NCAA men’s basketball schedule.  The University of North Carolina and Duke University are two colleges that are 8 miles apart and have been rivals sense day one.  The first meeting took place on January 24 1920 and North Carolina won by 11 against Duke the final score was 36 to 25.  There has been over 230 meetings between these two teams and in the all time series in between them is 131-101 UNC leading the Blue Devils.  The two teams are both in the ACC and North Carolina has 28 ACC regular season championships and 17 ACC tournament championships.  Even though Duke trails ACC regular season championships with only 19 they lead the ACC tournament championships with 19.  The teams are extremely close in talent and when it comes to the National level both teams have a combined 33 Final Four appearances and 9 NCAA tournament Championships between the two prestigious teams.  North Carolina has 18 Final Four appearances and Duke has 15, while North Carolina has 5 NCAA Championships and Duke has 4 both teams are in the top 5 all time Final Four appearances and Championships.  North Carolina has had amazing NBA talent come from the school while Duke on the other hand has not been known for producing NBA stars.  Some North Carolina players that turned into stars in the NBA are Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Rasheed Wallace, Kenny Smith, Jerry Stackhouse, James Worthy, and the greatest Michael Jordan.  Some Duke players that were stars are much less known for example; Shane Battier, Christian Laettner, Loul Deng, Corey Maggette, Carlos Boozer, Elton Brand, and Grant Hill.  Duke however in my opinion has one thing North Carolina does not and that is Coach Mike Krzyewski, he is the most winningest coach in college basketball.  He recruits players that are committed academically and fit his system, they may not always be the best talent however Coach K turns his players into good all around basketball players.  Duke is my personal favorite team between the two teams and I have a book signed by Coach K called Leading with the Heart, I mailed the book down for my birthday and he was kind enough to sign it and write a little note inside.  The two teams matched up tonight to battle for bragging rights at North Carolina’s Chapel Hill, lets go DUKE!

My New School!

My first day at Newark Valley Middle School for my field hours for my EDU 355 lab was a very positive experience.  My partner and I got to the school after driving for 40 minutes, and the main office secretary is tremendously nice she helped us sign in and pointed us towards the gym where we ran into the other physical education teacher.  He is a super nice guy and was playing floor hockey with the kids and one thing I noticed at the end of his lesson he named a player of the day and I thought that was an appropriate award for playing hard.  The teacher then proceeded to bring us into the big gym where we met our host teacher.  She was just as nice as the other PE teacher and she gave us a run down on how they set up and warm the students up.  The students come into the gym and sit at a spot on the floor, the spots look like they are randomly chosen but the teacher actually puts them in spots based on alphabetical order to take attendance.  After attendance the students listen to music and jogged around the gym for a few minutes and the two classes split with either my host teacher or the other physical education teacher.  Our teacher was playing ultimate kickball which was actually a very fun game but it was all they did.  The game had two teams one team kicking and one team pitching/ defending the defending team when the ball was kicked they had to get to a hula hoop that is spread out on the floor and they all had to throw and catch the ball and when the ball got back to the pitcher the possession was over.  The offensive team after they kick the ball had to run around two cones that were put in the gym and after they ran around and got passed a cone that team got a point.  The points would then have to be added up by the students and after three turns the teams switch spots.  I really enjoyed the game, the students and my host teacher,  I truly enjoy the school and the environment there and cannot wait to go back.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


APPR Stands for Annual Professional Performance Review and I recently attended a lecture about what it is.  This implies to classroom teachers and building principles, the reviews will be based off of Rubrics that are in place.  My interpretation of the lecture is that there was grant called Race To The Top that basically gave schools money who signed off on it and also have to begin the APPR's.  The idea is to get the bad teachers that are tenured out of schools and hold teachers accountable for their student;s performance and growth.  (I made a Chart that broke down the percentages but I am having troubles uploading it, so I found this data from the link below.)  "The composite score will be determined as follows: 
  • 20%--student growth on state assessments ora comparable measure of student acheivement growth (increases to 25% upon implementation of a value-added growth model);
  • 20%--locally- selected measures of student achievement that are deteremined to be rigorous and comparable across classrooms (decreases to 15% upon implementation of a value-added growth model); and
  • 60%--other measures of teacher/principal effectiveness."
I find this interesting because the assessments will be done at the end of one year and the end of the next and each assessment will be part of the teachers final grade.  I think that this system has flaws because the assessments that the kids take are made by the teachers that are being evaluated.  The punishment if teachers do not do meet there required score out of one hundred, is probation and if the following year they do not meet the required score they are dismissed from school which means fired.  I cannot speak for every school but i came from a small rural school that graduated 70 kids my senior year.  I bring this point up because I think about the teachers I had and coming from such a rural area had students who just flat out did not care or wanted to try and there were small classrooms so that one student could play a significant role in a teachers job.  I just think that the two years then a dismissal is a little drastic.  However I do agree with a lot of the assessments and the fact that hopefully more teachers will be on the same page with their enthusiasm and desire to connect and reach the students beyond just the simple text book material.  Hopefully the new reviews better our schools and betters the education for our future students.