Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Teaching some iDance

For our final exam in my 255 class I was assigned to create a lesson incorporating the iDance system. The iDance is a really great system that is exactly like Dance Dance revolution but with much more. With the iDance you can play with up to 32 people. This is great for physical education teachers with big classes. With this system everyone can play at the same time. Another great this about this system is that each student can choose their own difficulty. This is helpful when students are at different levels of difficulty.

In my lesson I incorporated teamwork and communication. I used this lesson as one day in my block plan. My block plan starts off with students just learning the basics and getting comfortable with the iDance system. This includes learning different strategies and techniques for improving. This also includes students learning where to look for things such as arrow placement. To test the students after learning these things, I had them take an assessment quiz. This quiz has the students place the arrows on the projector screen in the correct order from left to right. Throughout my block plan I have students get involved in more and more difficult tasks. In lesson 7 I have them work with a partner in activities that are much more difficult than the others. My lesson plan shows what activities I choose to do. One activity called "Listen up" involves one student on the dance pad dancing but, blindfolded. They need to listen to their partner, who will be giving the commands and where to step, in order to succeed. Another activity I have students to is called "Watch and Learn". This is the same concept as the other one but this time, the partner will have their back to the screen and will have to watch their partner perform the dance moves in order to succeed. Both of these activities involve a lot of teamwork and great communication. It is a lot of fun and the students enjoy is a lot. At the end of this lesson I have students choose the song they would like to dance to and have them just practice till the end of class. This practice is for the final day of the unit when they will be able to pick a song and try and get the highest score they can get on the highest level. I use a self check checklist for the students to see how they do in this test.

The whole unit of iDance is a lot of fun and a great way to keep moving and active. I came up with a whole lot of different activities that the students will go through and get better at as the class goes on. Each of these activities will help students with their endurance, strength, agility, flexibility, and balance. This unit is perfect for helping students stay healthy and fit.

Doing a little extra

This semester was the first semester that I took the time to do something extra for my professional development. I signed up to help Dr. Yang and be a lab assistant for his PED 201: Motor Development class. This was an outstanding opportunity for me and really helped me develop as a teacher. I had taken this class the semester before so I did know most of what was being taught. However, being able to relearn everything really helped me understand and take it in much better. It also really helped me learn because I had to teach it myself to other students. When you teach someone else something it really helps you understand it better yourself.

In this lab assisting experience I achieved my minimum of 10 hours of experience. Each semester at SUNY Cortland we are required to have a minimum of 10 hours teaching outside the classroom. This is required to help up improve our teaching styles and abilities. Being a lab assistant did just that. In this class the students have to go over to St. Mary's to teach little kids at an elementary school. It was great to be back there after a semester. Many of the students actually knew who I was and remembered me from the previous semester.

Although I did not have to come up with any lessons and activities to do with the kids, I was still responsible for helping my group of students with their activities. I was also responsible for a closing game at the end of the lesson for the kids. One day I had to dance and sing to a song of my choice while everyone else danced in a circle around me. And another time I had to play some games using a giant parachute (which was soooo much fun). I was able to take much more time for observing children and seeing how they act toward different styles of teaching. I was also able to really have a good amount of 1 on 1 time with certain kids that misbehave a lot.

Overall this experience has really moved me along on my Physical Education journey. I am becoming a much more comfortable teacher and I am much more confident in front of students no matter what the age. I plan on helping as a lab assistant once again for Dr. Yang next semester in his 255 class. And I can not wait to continue my experience in becoming the best teaching I can be. I hope to help all the students that are in my classes and really move them along toward becoming great teachers as well. It is up to our generation to really change the systems we have and improve what we have. The students of the future need us and I am excited to be apart of that. This experience was not only for a requirement but for my own development in what I plan to do the rest of my life, and what I want to do the rest of my life.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Technology in Physical Education

I was browsing around some site and found this great resource for using technology in physical education classrooms. The site is called Bonnie's Fitware Inc. This site has various examples of lesson plans and ideas for incorporating different kinds technology into your class. There is also many items that are available to buy including pedometers and books on how to incorporate technology. This is a great resource that I just would like to share to all the other physical education majors out there.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Relay For Life

What can be said about Relay for Life. One can say that is is a great event for socializing and seeing friends. Others might say that it is a fun time staying up all night and participating in the various activities that are going on. Some might not even know what to say about the event. But what Relay for Life really is, is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. It is the support for all the people that have to deal with cancer some way in their lives. It is a time to help give the strength to these people to fight cancer and not only manage with it, but BEAT it.

The way relay for life works is that is will be set up somewhere where there is a track or pathway that loops around to make a lap. Typically these events will take place at a track or park area. The event lasts for 12 or 24 hours straight with no breaks. The event will be made up of many people in teams or as individuals. My self and Jack Murphy were both in charge of coordinating our team for this event. We were in charge of the SUNY Cortland Physical Education Majors and I must say, it went very well.

The first thing we thought of doing as our booth was incorporating something physical that does not take up a lot of space. Maybe a video game. But it has to incorporate movement and activity. I know...DDR. Dance Dance Revolution is a great way for getting students to move. They think they are just playing a fun video game, but really there is much more going on. In order to be successful in this game you have no choice but to get your dancing shoes on and move. Playing on a high level in this game.... ridiculous. Anyway, once we decided that DDR was the best way to go with our booth we both had to think about where do get the equipment. Well right away we knew exactly where to go....the technology man of the century, Dr. Steven S. Yang. He supplied us with a projector, projector screen, playstation 2, 3 DDR dance pads, and the necessary extension cords. We had the stufff, set it up, and it was a huge success.

Overall, I think we had one of the best booths there. The only other booth that were able to compete was the gymnastics team hand stand contest and cartwheeling area. But hey, not everyone is meant to flip, toss, and turn in the air while drinking tea and reading a book and sending an G-mail all at the same time.

The night really meant a lot to a lot of people, especially Jack. As a good friend of Jack I know that he is dealing with a family member having cancer, and although I can't completely understand how he feels, I know it is tough. There were many people there that either knew someone who had cancer, has cancer, or passed due to cancer, or even had cancer themselves. It was really inspiring to hear the stories of these people and what they had to go through, or are going through. To see the strength these people have really makes me a stronger person knowing how possible anything is. And with that said I will end this post on this statement....anything is possible, as long as you believe

This is it!! Lets Dance!!

Yes, this is it....today we learned how to be like Mike....Michael Jackson that is. On Wednesday, November 11th we were assigned to teach in our 5th and final lesson of the class (Lab D). I chose to teach dance and selected the very famous dance "Thriller" by Michael Jackson. Going into this lesson I was determined to pick a dance that everybody knows and would love to learn. I feel that making my lessons more personal and close to the students make it easier for the students to connect and want to participate.
As you can see in my lesson plan I tried to organize my lesson into stations. I find stations one of the best ways to organize a lesson. Stations allow the students to work at their own pace and requires less instruction time and more activity time. The only thing that I have to address is how to go to each station and the various safety concerns and rules that I may have (also listed in my lesson plan). Along with the directions at each station, I also handed out a checklist that students could follow which had identical directions as the stations. This style of teaching worked out nicely and really kept my lesson running smoothly. After my lesson, one of the lab assistants gave me the idea of possibly using the jigsaw method with the stations. This method involves having the students get into groups of 4 or 5, splitting them up (one student at each station), having that student learn their portion of the dance at that station, and then all coming back together to put the dance together into one. This involves them teaching themselves how to do the dance, improving teamwork, and allowing them to work at their own pace. I will definitely consider doing this method the next time I teach.

Since I was using the station method, it gave me much more time to focus on other important parts of my teaching. With out constant direction, and having the students learn the dance moves themselves, I was able to really focus on giving the best feedback I could give. I was able to demonstrate for each person at each station and tell them what they were doing right, and what they were doing wrong. The only thing that I had to be sure to do is keep a close eye on the whole class even though I was concentrated on only a couple of students. You always need to be aware of the whole class because you never know when students might start misbehaving. Any type of situation can occur at any moment and as the teacher in charge it is your job to always be ready. I was lucky however, and did not have any incidents in my lesson. If there was any type of event, I do believe I was ready to handle it.
One area of improvement that I could work on in the future and seemed to be a problem of mine this whole semester is my time management. Although I have avoided any waiting time in my lessons, I continue to have to much instruction time in my lessons. I get caught talking too much and not giving the students enough activity time. My time coding form you can see that my activity time and instruction time is almost exactly half and half. In my future lessons I need to make sure I keep my instruction time short and to the point so that I can have as much activity time as possible.
Over all I think this lesson was my best and was the most fluent. Using my powerpoint video to instruct the student in what they were going to do really helped a lot too. Although I had a lot of instruction time, I think my instruction was really useful. I made a powerpoint for my introduction and placed the "Thriller" music video on it so my students could see exactly how Michael Jackson does the moves. I think this really helps a lot of students because when it comes to physical education, many students are better visual learners rather that verbal instruction.
With the improvements I have made, there are still many more to be done. But my journey toward becoming a great physical education teacher has taken a huge step forward during my teaching experiences in this class. I can only hope I continue to improve each and every day.

- Lesson Plan
- Assessment Checklist
- Activity Progression Sheet
- Time Coding Analysis Sheet