Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kinetic City



Kinetic City is a website that has many games and activities that children can participate in. There are many different aspects to the game that I found while I was playing around on the site. If you are on the main page and click on "Enter The Lab Car" you will find that there are three sections. They are Mind Games Creative Writing and Art, and Hands on Games and Activities. If you click on the section that says "Enter Kinetic City Mission to Vearth" you will encounter four different sections of games. These games include Omega, Phi, Sigma, and Tau. In the last section you can enter is the Science Gym. In this portion of the site there are eight different sections of activity that you can use to find different activities to participate in with the class. In this section they have already built lesson plans, or activity plans, that can be participated in with the class. The one activity that I found particularly interesting was the Respiration Relay. In this they included all of the material that was needed, as well as what information the students were supposed to get from it. If you would like to see some screenshots that I took form the website just click on the link below to see them.

I think that this website is good in some ways. I think that it is good because it works with the childrens' reaction times, as well as their knowledge on certain subjects. Although I think that they could improve it more to have the children moving more instead of playing some of the stationary games, they also have many activities that the children can do in motion. One of these games includes the Smart Foot. With this the students are able to work out while they are also playing games.

255 Final Kinetic City

What did I do?

For my volunteer hours I do not have a great amount of documentation. I worked at the APEM table during the apparel sale for 3 hours and I also refereed at the APEM Hoops for Hearts tournament for 3 hours. Besides those six hours I also volunteered with my profressor at college and went to a school near SUNY Cortland to help inform young girls about how technology can be used in school (2 hours). It also showed the girls different forms of technology that can be used in Physical Education. I also helped volunteered to help other students at SUNY Cortland organize their schedule for the next year for 2 hours. Although I had many other hours of community service and have helped in other ways I find that these hours are the most important. This has been an extremely busy semester for me, but I hope that I am able to volunteer more this summer in my home town.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Students and Exercise - How Important Is It?

In Canada at CBC News they have been doing many studies in the United States as well as Canada about the use of aerobic exercise and how it helps stimulate brain function. In Canada, at City Park Collegiate School in the Saskatoon Public School they have been using this theory to help improve their students ability to concentrate and comprehend the information that they were learning in their class. This school is located in the lower central part of Canada above North Dakota.

The teacher of the class, Allison Cameron, has been working with her students very diligently in order to help them in their ability to perform better in the class room. This peace is highly interesting to me because I see how well it has improved the students ability to perform in the classroom, as well in their lives. It reinforces my belief that exercise is vital to students.

I do not think that the physical education teacher was involved in this experiment because it was being run primarily by the teacher of the class. It is now shown whether or not the physical education teacher helped with the program or not, but they showed a clip of the students participating in their p.e. class while they were at the school and many of the students were not actively participating, but were instead standing around. Even some of the students were just standing at the side of the gym watching everyone play while they lean against the gym wall. As you can see in my following blog posts from when I am teaching, I try to have all of the students that are in my class continuously moving. (Lab D)

The following video is about a group of students with discipline and learning problems at a school, City Park Collegiate, that is designed for students that are no longer accepted at other public schools. From this program it has shown that the students had improved their push-ups by 277%, their sit-ups 224%, their sit reach by 21%, and decreased their BMI by 5%. Besides improving their physical strength and fitness, they also maximized their academic success. Their fluency increased by 121.4% and their comprehension by 230%. In their studies in reading 27%, their writing by 33.3%, their sight words by 36%, and their math by 17.3%.

One of the articles that is also listed on the website, entitled "School Recess and Group Classroom Behavior" which was published in Pediatrics talks about the students ability to improve their academic ability. In the article it states, "research suggests that recess may play an important role in the learning, social development, and health of children in elementary school." This is very vital because it shows that students activity is very important to their learning.

A second article that is present on the website is "Effects of a Classroom-Based Program on Physical Activity and On-Task Behavior." In this article they are talking about a test that they constructed in order to show how physical activity throughout the day, in the classroom, can benefit students ability to learn. In this article they state the benefits of physical activity, through either recess or physical education, and how it improve students "concentration, mental cognitive, and academic performance." It also talks about how it has not been proven yet, but it might help the students by reducing their "fidgeting, self-stimulatory behaviors, and school-related stress." In the article they also talk about how if students receive instruction for a large amount of time without any activity their learning ability can actually be hindered.
They tried to help the students ability to learn in the classroom by having them participate in what they call Energizers. These are short bouts of exercise that last about 10 minutes. In this study they used pedometers to assess the amount of physical activity that the students used. Whether they were in the control group, who did not participat in the Energizer programs, or the other group who had. From this study they were not able to see any significant difference in the students academic performance. This could be because they only had the students wear the pedometers for a week, and in effect did not have a great estimation in the amount of activity they were participating in. In another study that they do for this they should assess the amount of activity that is done for longer than twelve weeks and keep track of the students steps with the pedometers more frequently. By doing this they would have a better assessment of how much the activity that the students get affects their ability to perform in the classroom.

Physical Education is becoming an integral part of school. There has been talk of having a regents created in New York State for Physical Education to test students knowledge on physical fitness. By doing this it will test how well the teachers are doing to educate their students on lifelong fitness, as well as what type of curriculum needs to be created ins schools to improve the students knowledge. It is apparent that something needs to be done because of the ever-rising level's of obesity in the United States, and this may be just the thing to kick start a higher knowledge in fitness for the younger generations.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lesson Reflection from Lab D



video

In Lab D I taught a lesson with the stability ball, focusing on the core muscles. I noticed from reviewing the video that I did well in the lesson but that there are still many things that I need to make improvements on. Although there are some things that I still need to make better, there are also many things that I have already become highly competent in.
The lesson was only about thirteen or fifteen minutes long, making it very hard to include everything in the lesson that was really needed to make it a complete. I realized from the lesson being so constricted for time that I was not able to have the students participate in as much physical activity as they should have. If the lesson had been longer I would have been able to have the student's practice the tasks with more repetitions and for a longer period of time.
One other thing that I could have done was give the students more feedback. I was only able to identify that I gave three of the students feedback, and realize that I should have given more. I hope that later I will be able to give the students more feedback so that they know that they are doing the task properly, but I also want them to be able to realize what they are doing wrong on their own.
One thing that I think was very important is the fact that I referred to safety very frequently. Safety is a key issue in physical education, and it is very common for students to "monkey around" and put themselves into situations that can cause harm to themselves or others without thinking of the consequences. In the video that I have posted above there is a section, from 2:35 to 2:55, that I find very vital to teaching a lesson. I told the students about being safe while they are using the stability ball, and I told them this in a serious manner while adding some humor to try to keep their attention.
Even though I had already told the students not to throw the stability ball's at one another there was still an incident that occurred. One of the students, at the end of the lesson, randomly stood up and threw the stability ball at another student. As soon as this happened I controlled the situation by removing the student that had thrown the stability ball from the area that the other student was in. Since it occurred at the closure of the lesson I had the student that had committed the wrong doing come up to the front and stand with me while I was ending up the lesson. Once the class was completed I talked to the student so that the rest of the class was not distracted by the encounter and could continue to learn. I think that this is good because what happened between those two students was not a concern that needed to be dealt with while the other students were present.
I also think that I did well teaching the lesson in respect to being clear on the content. I think that I spoke clearly with what the tasks were, and the students all knew what I was talking about based on what I said during the lesson. I also asked the students frequently if they had any questions to make sure that they understood, and no one asked any questions. Because they did not ask any questions I concluded that I had done a good job when I was giving my explanations.
A large part of my lesson was that I included a video that I had created with two other people in the class that were also teaching with the stability ball. In this video we recorded a person performing an action while the person that was going to be teaching that lesson gave instructions to the task. We then took all of the short video's that we had made and created a DVD. In that we included pictures of the different instructors of the task and also the cues for the asks. I think that the video was very good because while it was playing the teacher can manage the class and help any students that may need it, or handle any other situations that need to be solved. Creating the video was also very nice because it was unique and something that no one else in the class had done.
Overall I think that this lesson was a success. Although I may have left out some very information, there were a lot of different things that I did do. I hope that in the future I am able to continue improving on my ability to teach, just as I have throughout my present teaching class.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Honor and Shuttle Ball Day 2

In this past weeks lab I switched positions with my partner and now, instead of teaching Shuttle ball, I taught the instant activity, Honor, and a lead up to Shuttle ball. In this weeks lab I was not able to be video recorded, so I am not able to assess how effectively I used my time, nor am I able to assess what I said. In spite of these things I think that I did very well with the second part of the lesson.
The instant activity went well and it seemed as though everyone knew what I was talking about when I explained the activity. I also changed the activity so that everyone in the class was participating in physical activity instead of just the students' that had "won." I had the students' that won had to do five push ups while the student's that were not quite so fortunate had to do ten sit ups. After they had finished the task they then had to get up and find a new partner.
Since I was only introducing the main activity, Shuttle Ball, I did not go into great depth. I had a person first demonstrate the different cues; the kick, the bounce, and the knock. After the person was done I had them separate into groups of two and practice the skills with one of the three different types of balls that they were given.
After all of this I concluded the class with a short ending. Considering all of this I think that I did very well with the lesson. This is partially due to the fact that we have worked on all of this in previous classes, and hopefully with the next lesson that I teach I will do even better!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Shuttle Ball

Shuttle Ball is a revised name that me and my partner gave the game Shuttlecock. Shuttlecock is a game that is played in China that is essentially the same as Hacky Sack that is played here in the United States. In this game there are main moves that are used; the bounce, the kick, and the knock. The bounce is when the ball is bounced off the knee, the kick is when the ball comes off the top of the foot, and the knock is when the ball comes off the inside or the outside of the foot. Other actions that can be used are from the head, the chest, the shoulder, or the abdomen. The upper extremities are essentially the only part of the body that is not allowed to be used.
I think that while I taught this lesson I did reasonably well. One thing that I would change would be to stop saying "umm," and "ahh" as frequently as I do. It have repetitively done this throughout all of the lessons that I have taught, and it seems to be a pretty difficult habit to break since I don't even know that I am saying it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ultimate Frisbee- Who Knew it was so Dynamic!!


This past week I taught a lesson on Ultimate Frisbee. Before my class started to work on this sport I didn't realize that there was so much involved with playing it. Whenever I had played it in the past we weren't given very detailed instructions and mainly just played without any true knowledge on how to set up the proper offense or defense. Now after having participated in teaching and being taught in my class here at Cortland I know a lot more about the sport and will be able to apply that knowledge in the future.
While I was listening to myself teach the lesson I realize that I say ahh a lot. I think that I use it as a filler to give myself more time to think about what I am going to say next, but hearing myself say it repetitively I realize that it can become quiet annoying. I hope that when I teach my lessons in the future I try to refrain from saying it as often and instead have more confidence in the message that I am trying to convey to the class.