Thursday, February 16, 2012

TEACHers Hall of Shame

The Hall of Shame in Physical Education show cases games that are outdated, unsafe, and boring today in physical education classes. As a physical educator our job is to teach. What are we teaching students by telling them to go play tag, red rover, or simon says (all are included on the most recent list in the Hall of Shame)? Every single child has played this games hundreds of times before they step foot in our classes and truth be told they are bored of them. If they want to play these games they have time to do that on the play ground. Again, as teachers our job is to teach, so why are we not teaching new games? Sure there are hundreds of modified games of tag but in the end it is still a game where part of the class is being chased and tagged while the rest of doing the chasing and the tagging. No matter what the name of the game is (Temple Tag, Doctor Doctor, Cops and Robbers) it is essentially still a game of tag! 

Some teachers will argue that tag can be used to assess students in locomotor skills. I agree that tag can be used however it is not the only way to assess students. If students are bored of the game they are less likely to play or do skills to their full potential, so while you are assessing them during tag, you are not assessing their full ability. Once students are bored they begin to start trouble and/or want to sit out. The easiest way to sole this solve this problem is to eliminate the games that make students cause trouble. Of course it will not solve all the problems within class, but it will eliminate all of the unnecessary sitting and trouble caused by boredom. The only logical spot for tag in a physical education class is as a warm-up for students. Even then it should be a modified version where no student is ever standing still because once you tire students out a bit, they are in the palm of your hand for the rest of the class. 

Physical education is a place to get students moving actively. Statistics have proved that 50% of students will fully participate during a game of tag.  Statistics have also shown that 90% of those students who are fully participating are the students who need it the least. 10% of those fully participating are those students who need the activity the most. This shows that something needs to change. No classroom should only have 50% of students fully participating! That is ridiculous. I believe that statistic is a full representation on what the teacher is doing in their classroom. Tag is not a game for physical education anymore. It has seen its better days. By introducing new games students will overall participate much more and that includes students who need the activity along with student who do not need it as much. 

Tag can be described as a game that enhances a child's motor skills, locomotor skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Again, yes I agree tag will do this, but only for the five students left playing the game by the end of class. Students are sitting around in class all day; why do we not give them a place to run around and have fun without boring them with these Hall of Shame games. 

According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, their are six standards that physical education should be following explaining how a physically educated student should act and what they should know. Click here to view these standards. Not one of these six standards are demonstrated in a classroom that is involved in playing tag. 

Standard 1: 
Students cannot demonstrate their efforts during tag if they are bored of it. They are most likely not going to play to their full ability, and as a teacher you will never know if that is their full ability. 

Standard 2:
Again how are we to know if students understand concepts, strategies, or principles if they are not fully participating?

Standard 3:
Students are bored therefore not participating in regular physical activity.

Standard 4:
Without participation students are not achieving or maintaining any level of physical fitness.

Standard 5:
By being bored and not participating, students are going cause trouble and start problems therefore not demonstrating responsibility or respect for others in this setting. 

Standard 6:
If a student is bored, and not enjoying the classroom, then they are most likely not going to value physical activity in any way at all. 

Again all of these standards come down to the participation and interest of the students. Without their interest, even though they are physically educated, they are not showing it through the six standards outlined by the NASPE.

Our main goal is to make sure students are 
having fun while staying physically active.

See what other games are included in the Hall of Shame for physical education.

Dancing Through the New Year

On November 19th, 1992 I was born. 19 years later, on November 19th, 2011 my 18 year old cousin, Sarah, was involved in a fatal car accident which killed her. Sarah has always been my inspiration to stay active through dance. She fought through a lot during her life. We both had been dancing for 15 years at that point. I stopped when I graduated high school until January 2012. Sarah’s death has opened my eyes to a whole new light within dance, and I could not imagine a better way to remember Sarah besides through dancing. Sarah was an amazing lyrical dancer while I have always been more hip hop ad jazz. I have always wanted to try lyrical, and Sarah is my inspiration to succeed and try new things since the being of this year.

For my Motor Development class this semester we were asked to enter a contest where we would make a video and enter it into a contest. The video was to be about a healthy new year's resolution. My healthy new year's resolution is to start dance again in memory of Sarah. In addition to talking about our resolution we must explain how we use technology to help us keep this resolution.

Dancing involves a lot of technology. Besides the obvious communication through email and texting, we just Facebook to stay connected. Facebook is great because it gives everyone a chance to see what is going on, and keeps everyone involved in the conversations. Anyone can post on it to give their ideas for new dances, costumes, or any other ideas they may have. Each choreographer has a group set up for their specific dance, and this way we can keep our dance separated and easier to talk about. Facebook is the easiest way to keep in touch with everyone to have a group discussion.

Another big part of dance is video taping practices to help see where our mistakes are. It is extremely important to dance to be together and stay on beat, but it is also very hard especially when you have people of all different skill levels like the Dance Company. We tape practices and analyze them to see what parts of the dance we need to work on. 

Below is my video submission. Please click here to vote for my video. It would really mean a lot to me and my family. I am dancing on for Sarah and will continue to dance on forever. Thank you all!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Where Is My Valentine?

This weeks lab theme was Valentine's Day. We began in the gym with all of the students and assessing one boy and one girl on their run, gallop, and hop. The activities that the gym group led seemed to keep the students at Saint Mary's interested, and incorporated Valentine's Day very well. My lab group was the cafeteria group however since it was a nice day outside, the older students went out to the playground during the time that we were supposed to teach our games. Instead we decided to play the games that the students wanted to play, and in turn they ended up playing our games when we went into the gymnasium later. While outside I asked one of the girls why she was not participating in the game of tag on the play ground. She replied by saying that the boys sometimes would make fun of the way she ran. I reassured her that she should not be scared to have fun, and that if I heard anyone say anything to her I would have them stop. After a few minutes of talking to her and helping her with her run, she entered the game, and not one person said anything to her! 

After the playground, we went into the gymnasium with the older students (3rd to 5th graders). Even though the older boys did not seem interested at first in playing MK's game (Where's My Valentine?) once they began to play you could tell from their actions that they were having fun! I originally was suposed to play a game with students that did not take a lot of space, but since we were in the gymnasium, I changed my game to play a game like handball. Students could either play the ball on the ground and shoot at the little nets on the ground or shoot it like a basketball at the basketball nets. At first not too many students seemed interested in playing, but by the end of activity almost all of the students in the gymnasium were on our side playing my game.

Overall I believe lab was a lot of fun and a successful day. We got to play with the students doing both our games and theirs. It seemed like the students had a lot of fun as well. Next week Kendra, MK, Christina, and I are in the pre-k room. It is going to be a much different experience than having the older students, but I am excited to see how well we do with the pre-k group!

Remember to check out my Lab 2 assessment as well!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We Are Who We Are

This is the link to Kendra, MK, Christina, and my lip-sync and dance to We Are Who We Are by Kesha! Check it out!

Camp Lakota Lessons

I have been going away to sleep away camp every summer for the past 10 years. I now work at a sleep away camp in the Catskill Mountains. This summer will be my 3rd year as a counselor. It is a great experience for me. Working at a camp really helps me become comfortable working with children of all ages. I look over children of ages ranging from 5 to 16 years old. I coach a variety of sports such as soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, dance, and swimming. It is my passion to teach children to live a healthy life, and while at camp I believe I emphasize a healthy life style to campers, counselors, and the rest of the staff. 

I started a running elective for campers that are 13 and older, and also counselors who would like to run as well. This has become one of my favorite activities at camp. I never really liked to run distances before, but this run is around our beautiful lake that is a “cross country” like run. It has many different running conditions including pavement, hills, woods, fields, etc. This run became extremely popular especially on girls campus because it was a fun way to stay in shape, and also brought all of us closer together. It was an accomplishment to finish this 3 mile run every day within an hour long period! By the end of the summer it was so good to see some of the girls faces when they saw how much they progressed from day one. By the end of the summer, the girls who started day one had cut their times down to finishing 3 miles in under 45 minutes!

Between coaching, and just being around children all day I really learn a lot more than I thought I would as a counselor. Children of different ages work in a variety of ways, and you have to cater to the specific needs of the different age groups. For example, my first summer as a counselor I was in a bunk with 10 year olds. They liked to play games, run around, and be physically active without a fight. Last summer I was in a bunk with 14-15 year olds and it was like pulling teeth with them to actually play their scheduled activities just because they wanted to give their counselors a hard time. You really learn to pick your battles with each age group. Although you may not think that this is important to be a teacher it is! Students of all ages are going to give you a hard time, and you have to find a way to get them on your side otherwise they are going to continue to be hard to work with.

Camp has taught me so much throughout the years. I cannot imagine my summers without it. Even once I graduate, and become a teacher I plan on continuing my way up the ladder at camp over the summer. "We live 10 months for 2." Camp Lakota Summer 2012!