Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fit Body, Fit Planet

Nowadays, we see advertisements, signs and even bumper stickers saying, "Green." I fitness center in my local area has recently opened.  It is not your typical gym or fitness center.  This is one that can make an impact on the planet as well as paying the electricity bill.  

"Core is the first fitness facility in upstate New York to utilize technology created by The Green Revolution that captures energy from cycling classes and converts it to electricity that helps power the studio.When members pedal any one of the 26 exercise bicycles in the studio, the "human electricity" generated by their workouts is sent to the building's electrical grid to power everything from the lights to the air conditioning."

Core is not only offering an opportunity for people to help themselves, but their planet and community as well.  I feel as though this is a way for people to find a reason to exercise.  If they see this as a way of doing good for their planet and their community, they may find it necessary to contribute in a non-costly way.  The fitness center uses the human energy to run power.  This could be a costly way to exercise in schools; however, students can learn other ways to exercise and benefit their community at the same time.  For instance biking to class, walking to work, walking to the local track instead of driving (use it as a warm-up).  This could be a great way for people in the community to exercise and contribute together.  

Read more: http://poststar.com/news/local/new-glens-falls-gym-generates-buzz-with-green-technology/article_f2fecc98-e171-11e0-b88e-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1ZDdvU6tn

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CrossFit in Physical Education?

For those of you who have not tuned in to the Reebok CrossFit Games on ESPN 2, you are truly missing out on something incredible.  The athletes they show train all year round to compete, and prove that they are the fittest people in the world.  They do not only train for these events, but they train for events they do not know they are participating in until minutes before it begins.  They are here to expect anything.  These events are nothing like the Strong Man Competition where they just measure pure muscular strength, but some of the events include: pull-ups, sit ups, monkey bars, cycling, running, swimming and even walking distance on their own hands.

So, what if we were to include CrossFit into Physical Education class?  Can we get kids to start at a younger age in preparing for this type of fitness?  Of course, we would have to decide at what age could this program be used appropriately.  To begin, Physical Education teachers need to be more concerned with proper form rather than results.  As kids begin to progress, then we can keep track of results in order for them to set goals and eventually develop a fitness program for themselves.  However, because these are just children, we need to make it fun for the kids.  Use the workouts and develop games for the kids that they can enjoy while working out.  Hard work can be disguised with fun and games.  So the question is, can we mold children into becoming some of the fittest people in the world?  It is up to us.

Here is a great promotional video for CrossFit Kids

I am also sharing a website that shows workouts, demos, nutrition and access to lesson plans for CFK.  I feel with the publicity and promotion, this could become the future of fitness.

Forging the Future of Fitness

Monday, September 19, 2011

Teaching Adaptive Physical Education

Last Friday, I had my first opportunity of teaching two students for my Adaptive Physical Education Lab (EDU 356).  The two students I was assigned came from BOCES, and both have ADHD.  I honestly had no idea what to expect going into Friday's lesson.  The previous Friday was when we were given our placement students, and the Monday right after, our lesson plans were due.  Without having met my students, it was difficult to come up with activities for them.  I was unclear as to what they were going to enjoy, and what they might get bored doing.  I came up with a variety of activities and sports that I thought they might like, but I was mistaken.  Having looked at their file that were put together by past PE Teacher Candidates, I thought I may have had a solid lesson plan.  Right off the bat, the kids refused to participate in anything I had planned: locomotor skills, basketball skills, soccer skills, throwing and catching.  The only thing that they wanted to do was throw balls at bowling pins in order to knock them down.  This lab has helped me realize even more that as a teacher, I must be prepared for any type of situation.  For all I know, these students may be interested in playing the games and activities I had planned before, next week.  I do know now that these students are interested in throwing at targets, so I have planned a lesson using different types of targets for them to throw at: pins, hoops, cones etc.  I will post on this weeks outcome. Until then...stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Out With The Old, In With The New...Fitness Tests

Have any of you ever asked your parents about their "Gym" teacher when they were in High School?  Maybe you have seen the TV shows with the kids in Physical Education who are extremely intimidated by their teacher because they are the ones that are humiliated by all the other students.  Whether the show is real or not, kids have experienced these certain situations.  Today in Physical Education, we are trying to get away from the typical fitness tests that may have potential to embarrass a select group of students.  Physical Education is supposed to be taught and utilized to promote future healthy activities that will last a lifetime.  We cannot have students take these tests at the beginning of the school year, become embarrassed and not want to participate for the rest of the year.  We want them to enjoy it so they want to continue a healthy lifestyle.  It is not just up to the Physical Education teacher to promote this healthy lifestyle, but parents need to start playing a role as well.  Parents need to become an influence in their child's lives by participating in activities with them, getting them to eat healthier at home and utilizing the resources in their community to stay active outside of school (NYS LS 3).  Teachers and schools need to come up with other tests to limit students feeling uncomfortable.  Maybe running the mile is not the best idea because there may be the one or two students everyone is waiting for.


In my most recent Exercise Physiology lab, we were asked the question as to whether or no we felt these tests really tested a person's true physical fitness.  I feel as though it does not.  However, I do feel it can give an idea of where you may stand physically, but as far as TRUE fitness goes, I do not think these few tests can measure that.  They can give measurements based on results and can give the idea as to where you can improve.

So, lets make it fair for the kids.  We want everyone to be healthy and safe while enjoying their physical activities.


Take a look at this article for further insight and possible physical fitness test ideas:


Monday, September 12, 2011

Schools Look to Make Cuts

As we hear over and over again, schools throughout New York State are making cuts in education in order to save money.  Last Spring, Ballston Spa Central School District, a school near my hometown near Saratoga Springs, cut five Physical Education positions.  Keeping one of the Physical Education teachers, who had probably been there the longest, will be accompanied in classes with teacher's assistants.  Is this the right thing to do?  Some people criticize Physical Education programs and argue that the classroom teacher can keep them physically active.  Even though this is true, and classroom teachers should still keep their students physically active, children need to be physically educated.  Physical Education teachers are the professionals with the knowledge to physically educate children.  Because Ballston Spa looks to fill a large budget gap, they are also moving to cut spending on Special Education programs as well as Summer school programs except for students with disabilities.

So, what does all of this say about us teacher candidates?  What are we supposed to expect for the future job openings?  Do we need to move out of New York State?  It is really difficult to say.  We are completely unsure of what the job market is going to be like in the near future.  As teacher candidates in Physical Education, we need to do everything we can in order to set ourselves apart from the rest of the field.  Of course schools feel they can just allow TAs to teach Physical Education because there are Administrators and tax payers out there that still are not convinced of the value of our profession.  They feel that "those who can't teach, teach gym class."  We need to do everything we can to prove it wrong.

Here is the article from last Spring for anyone interested in reading it

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Summer of Fun and Play

This past Summer was one full of activity, exercise and fun.  I was not home for two weeks and was off to Raquette Lake in the heart of the Adirondack Park for 12 days.  This was a requirement for my B.S. in Physical Education at SUNY Cortland.  This was one of the most amazing opportunities I have ever been able to experience.  At first, I was uneasy about going because it seemed as though 12 days was going to be a long time without outside contact, but it flew by.  The first few days at camp went by a little slow.  We learned Orienteering and other knowledge about being the outdoors.  We learned how to canoe as well as rescuing people in a flipped canoe.  When the day came for the High Ropes Course, everyone began to understand what the purpose of being there was: working well with others to form a bond.  This is why much of the assessment was Affective Domain dealing with Personal and Social Behavior.  When it was time to pack up and head out into the High Peaks for the next five days, I was excited, but anxious at the same time.  I had always enjoyed hiking, but I had never spent nights out in the mountains before.  It ended up to be a blast, and I plan on doing it again in the future.  I would like to climb all of the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondack Mountains.  As a future Physical Education teacher, I feel as though students need Outdoor Education.  Learning how to canoe and doing hikes are great ways to influence healthy lifestyles.  By promoting these activities, students gain an opportunity to experience lifetime activities.  They also get to experience of the outdoor aesthetics.  It is an extraordinary way for students to work together as a group or team in order to accomplish goals. 

When I got back from Raquette Lake, I began my 6th Summer as an Assistant Recreation Director for the Town of Fort Edward.  I could not ask for a better Summer job than this.  We provide children with ample opportunities for play throughout the entire Summer.  They are provided with equipment and activities such as basketball, softball, arts and crafts, golf, bowling, weight lifting, volleyball and occasional field trips.  Some of these activities are split up for certain days of the week, but our park is open to anyone with equipment provided.  The Recreation Department is also funded by public tax payers, so the      children are able to participate in the activities for free.  For five weeks, our park hosted a 5th and 6th grade girls basketball league where I was able to referee games for them.  For anyone planning on going to school for education, there is no better job than to be working with kids.  Not only does it give great experience, but it also provides greater enjoyment in working with children.  As a Physical Educator, I feel as though this job working with kids in all of the activities we provide helps even more.

An event I had the opportunity to participate in this Summer was called "Warrior Run."  It was held at West Mountain, a ski mountain, located near Lake George, NY.  It was the first time my area had held this race.  It was a 5K race up and down the mountain with a number of obstacles including walls, fire pit, wind tunnel, etc.  It was not exactly what I expected, but the workout itself was intense.  I was able to complete it in just over 42 minutes which was 246th place out of about 1600 runners.  I was impressed with myself, but not as impressed with two of my friends who finished 2nd and 12th overall.  It was a great thing for us to do not only for the workout, but for the experience as well.  We plan on going on to bigger and tougher things for next Summer, including the Tough Mudder, which takes a good deal of training and preparation.  I think it would be exciting for Physical Education teachers to develop some sort of races for students; preferably high school, with smaller obstacles.  I feel as though students may be more excited to run and get some sort of workout while challenging themselves.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beginning to an End

It has been quite a while since my last blog.  In fact, it has not been since last Fall Semester that I made a post.  A new and final semester has just begun, but this time I will be posting my blogs from EDU 470.  It seems as though we will be getting into the depths of what is really like being a teacher in a real school system.  Now that reality is beginning to set in about becoming part of a school system as a teacher, we need to understand what is going on with them.  Should we be part of a union?  How safe will my position be?  How will my retirement look in my contract?  These are all things that are important in becoming an educator.

For our first class we wrote down a few things we feel should be necessary for an educational aspect:

"I hope that Physical Education will become a more respected field in the near future."

"I believe children need Physical Educators in their lives in order to influence them to live a healthy lifestyle."

"I will use my knowledge of Physical Education in order to implement a curriculum into schools."

As teacher candidates, just think to yourself about how you feel.

As we progress throughout the final chapter, start thinking about how you will be as a professional.  Set yourself apart; be unique.  There is not much time left until we are all out there looking for the same position.  This is the beginning to the end of our time training to become professional educators.  Enjoy the ride.