Tuesday, October 25, 2011

School Adds Technology for Physical Education

A middle school that has just opened up in January has introduced technology to its Physical Education class.  The school has purchased 150 iPads for the use in Physical Education. Now that technology is becoming a huge part of today's society, bringing that technology into the classroom is becoming vital.  Allowing students to handle the iPads can help them focus for tasks throughout the lesson.  Students will partner up with one another, each pair controlling an iPad.  One student will perform tasks while the other student films them with the iPad and then switch roles.  When they finish, the students then assess themselves on whether or not they performed the tasks correctly based on their given cues.  This could be a great way for peer assessments.  With an application that was set up by the school, students are also able to check off what they may have missed, and the tasks are based off of a point system.  It would also be an easier way for the teacher to assess their students by being able to watch the videos and use the point system or rubric for each task.  The teacher could also take notes on what the student needs to work on to give more efficient feedback.  Allowing students to watch themselves afterward helps them understand what they may need to work on through personal observation.

The only downside to having these would be the cost of all the iPads.  Depending on school's budgets, it could be financially difficult to purchase these.  However, it would be a great way to transition to new styles of Physical Education, and a great opportunity for both instructors and students. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why Physical Education?

At the beginning of the semester, many of the students had talked and blogged about why they chose to go into the field of Physical Education.  I never really talked about it that much, nor thought about it too much.  Everyone says that they go into education because they love working with kids, but then we come across the teachers in Grade School that seem to be completely miserable when coming into work.  Maybe they just did it for the weekends and Summers off.  The way I see it, is teachers have the opportunity to change the way children see the world.  They have a chance to mold their minds and make a great impact in children's lives.  For teachers, being in the field of Education should be rewarding to them.

Earlier this week, teachers in Bennington, Vermont went on strike and schools were closed during the negotiations with board members.  "The issues separating the two sides include salaries, health insurance and time spent with students."  It completely blows my mind that teachers would do this for more money.  They should know by now that there are not large salaries in teaching.  There are plenty of people out there that would do anything to find a teaching job nowadays, and these teachers are taking away from the kids' education when the schools are forced to be closed.

 

For the past six years, I have worked with kids every Summer for my town's recreation department.  It is something that I wish to never give up.  Every time the Summer comes to an end, I feel there was more I could have done for the kids, and I try to think of things I could do for them next Summer.  I want kids to remember me as being a positive influence in their lives as I have done for people that have influenced me since childhood.  


This is a picture of a note that a couple girls had written for me at the end of the Summer.  This is something that makes me feel like I did something for them that they appreciated.  It is very rewarding to me to receive something like this from kids, and this is the reason that I want to be a teacher.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stop Bullying!

One thing that seems to be a major concern in our schools today is bullying.  There are many children, boys and girls, who are being bullied every single day.  In fact, "one-third to a half of America's children report being bullied at least once and 10 percent feel continually targeted."  There is not just physical bullying in schools, but there is also something known as cyber bullying as well.  Boys and girls can both be harassed through the internet and cell phones.  Physical and verbal abuse can do harm to children at all ages.  This can lead to low self-esteem and even youth suicides.

Bullying seems to almost be accepted in schools today.  Teachers do not realize the large number of students that are actually being bullied.  They feel that students are just "tattling, it's a natural behavior."  Well, teachers need to become knowledgable with this information.  Teachers need to take charge and not only put a stop to bullying, but to prevent it from happening in the first place.  If a child comes to you as a teacher, you need to take action in helping this student.  During my EDU 256 Field Experience last Winter, there was an incident in the high school locker room, one student placed saw dust from a previous class into a fellow students locker.  My host teacher took action in contacting the Vice
Principal, the Wood Tech teacher and Principal.  Teachers need to make sure their students understand that bullying will not be tolerated and consequences will be paid.

Source: Teachers, Schools, and Society

I recently saw a commercial for a website informing about bullying in schools.  It provides a great deal of information on bullying for kids, teens, parents and educators.

Stop Bullying

Monday, October 10, 2011

SUNY Cortland Phys. Ed Mini Conference

For yet another year, SUNY Cortland hosted the annual Phys. Ed Mini Conference.  This just adds to the reason that SUNY Cortland is so reputable for its Physical Education Department.  It is a great opportunity as well as an amazing resource for SUNY Cortland Physical Education students.
One workshop I most definitely was the ExerGame Station.  I was introduced to this last year with my Professor Dr. Stephen Yang.  With technology continuously on the rise in today's society, video games have become a big part of all households with children.  We do not see much of this equipment in local school's physical education program, but it is something to should be.  Not only do kids get to play games, but they are exercising in order to take controls.  What if you had to playing a car racing game, but the only way to accelerate with the car, you had to pedal a stationary bike? Well that is how you play the game.  Using the technology with the video games, this could help children focus on them while getting a workout.  While playing these games, most children will not even have their mind on the fact that they are actually exercising.  Public schools would benefit from this program greatly.  It would also allow the school to make its transition away from the "old school gym class."  This is what exercising is becoming; getting out with the old and in with the new.  I hope a lot of students, teacher candidates and teachers from all over the state were able to attend this workshop.  It is something they should certainly be introduced to.  Maybe they could make the difference for their school.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Successful Adaptive Lesson

For only the third time of the semester, I had my two BOCES students for a Physical Education lesson.  The first two weeks were a bit challenging in the sense that the students have trouble following instructions, and do not like to participate in many activities.  So, I began to think of what else I could do with them to get them to participate.  I thought that maybe getting them out of the gym with the number of other students and teachers might be a decent idea.  Maybe everyone being around may be a bit of a distraction.  I thought that possibly bringing them to the fitness center downstairs would be a change of scenery, equipment and people.

I must say that this was successful in getting them to participate and exercise.  I got my students to ride the stationary bike and elliptical showing them the different controls on each.  I also had them use some of the weight lifting machines to improve muscular strength.  I demonstrated each of the machines as well as explain what each machine worked on and the importance of each muscle group.  I allowed them to increase weight to see where their strength level is at.  I feel students should be introduced to weight lifting at a younger age so they can gain knowledge of muscular strength.

At the end of the lesson, the students were very excited that they were able to workout with the weights. They came back telling their BOCES teacher that they had just got done working out, and talking about muscles.  It was a great thing to hear.  When students get excited about something like this, it makes it so much easier on the teacher when planning the next lesson.