Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lab "D"one

We have come along way from where we started, and I feel that as a teacher, my skills home grown exponentially. I feel that the areas that I was weak in at the beginning of the semester, I have strengthened these areas, and focused on them enough to make them strong points of my teaching. I felt that in the beginning I tended to ramble on too long about the same information. Now I feel that I have shortened my points to only relevant information and push directly into the activities with little wasted time. This final lab has shown this, because I was able to earn all five points of the time encoding, keeping my instruction and management time to a minimum and spending over 60% of the time involved in the activities. I feel that this is something that all Physical Education teachers need to strive for, because there is far too much time wasted, especially since we have such a short time together anyways.

My students during this lesson were so busy with the activity that there was no time for horsing around and everyone was on task at all times. I had maximum participation, which is one of my major areas that I focus on in all of my lessons. I felt that in the short amount of talking that there was, some very important and relevant information was passed along. I think that even as physical education majors, many people took home some important new knowledge that will help them in their own fitness programs. I still need to focus on time during my lessons, because I tend to

lose track of it, but it didn't have a negative effect on this particular lesson. All in all thinks went well and I wouldn't change a thing. It has been a great semester, and I want to takes this opportunity to thank my peers and the TAs for all their help and hard work.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


What a fantastic learning experience for not only me, but for my peers. This was an excellent assignment that forced us to start thinking outside our comfort zone of traditional sports. Fencing has always had my interest, but always having other things taking priority, I never pursued the interest. This assignment gave me that opportunity to step out, learn a new skill and then give that new found knowledge to my peers. It also allowed me to tap into my creative side as I created my own equipment for this lesson. This new equipment I feel had a drastic affect on the students learning and how well they took to the lesson. Things weren't based upon the equipment, but it was a tool that I utilized to gain focus and direct their learning and attention. The realistic equipment helped the students to grasp the concepts more fully and was a huge hit.

Overall this lesson went just as I had hoped, now that doesn’t mean it was perfect, but it surely wasn’t a failure. I maintained control of the class and had my expectations clearly set, and followed. My instructions were briefer than normal and therefore I was more efficient. I drastically cut down on my management time as well as my instruction time, allowing for more activity. I still need to be briefer and include more activity, but I feel that I got out a vast amount of information as well as a fair amount of hands on time. I still would like to work on different teaching styles, to further my skills and potentially make me a better leader. I had no behavior issues, and the equipment was liked by all, so all in all the lesson was a great success!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Another lesson in the books, and another experience to learn from and improve on. Lab B was a true test of adapting and overcoming obstacles that may arise unexpectedly. For starters we weren’t in the gym, which threw a giant wrench in all of my plans, but I felt that this was a good opportunity to show how well I can adapt to the change in environment and still provide an effective lesson that was not only informative, but enjoyable. I feel that my instruction showed that I was strong, confidant and enthusiastic

about what we were doing. My goal for teaching is always to achieve maximum participation, and the only way to do that is if the students are having fun, and by the amount of laughs I received during the lesson, it is safe to say that people were enjoying themselves.

Now it wasn’t all roses and hugs, because no lesson is without flaws, and for this lesson it was the amount of time it took me to get through all of the instructions. I think that I tried to incorporate too many things at once, and while they were all compatible and doable by the group, I could have shortened things significantly. Since I took so long I wasted precious activity time, but given that this was a short amount of time to begin with I feel that with practice I will do much better with my time management.

I feel that even though I took more time then I wanted to with my instruction and management, I feel that students still learned the lesson I was trying to teach them, and how important the cues were. I think that more practice time is always important, but I will ensure that my next lesson is going to maximize this time and cut down on me talking.

Monday, September 26, 2011

CH 2 & 4 Q's

Ch 2

3. In order for someone to learn a motor skill, they must first have some set of prerequisite skills to step off from. These could be simple skills that one might pass over as common sense or not think is vital to learning the new motor skill. This prerequisite could be simple movements like jumping, running, or throwing using proper form. Since we are all unique, we must be mindful of individual characteristics that everyone has. They also need to have a clear understanding of what they are trying to learn. If someone is unsure of what it is they are supposed to do, then how can you expect them to perform it. Along with practice, these are points that we as teachers need to be mindful of when teaching, because they are simple mistakes that can have dire effects on the learner.
4. Teaching open and closed skills should be done separately and in their own respect. This is because the variables attached to each skill is quite different from one another. For instance, closed skills are skills that are done with no environmental influence, therefore we can focus more on the skill itself and not the environment it is taking place in. The bench press would be a closed skill, because the skill is done is a stable environment with nothing else taking place other than the lift. An open skill like kicking a field goal outdoors, is going to have environmental factors such as wind speed/direction, field conditions, and possibly defenders. All of which are unstable changing factors that must be taken into consideration prior to the skill being completed. Discrete skill are going to be a skill with a distinct beginning and ending point such as an archery shot. Now a serial skill is going to be multiple discrete skills done in a continuous manner such as swimming. There is one skill of the stroke that is repeated over and over again. We would first want to teach the discrete skill of the stroke to ensure that proper form is being used and then practice linking the skill back to back with one another. The same goes for teaching open and closed skills, in that you want to learn a skill in a controlled environment than start to add environmental changes.
Ch 4
2. Communication in a loud gym is a difficult task, but it is manageable as long as the teacher has a means of gaining their attention. This could be a short loud blast of the whistle which would be a signal for attention. If the teacher is able to quickly and effectively gain the students attention, then they can get out their information in the same manner. In order for the whistle blast to work, the teacher must explain what the whistle means prior to the activity starting. Having a simple attention getter along with simple and easily understandable directions makes communication easier for all those involved. The short and simple directions leaves little room for misunderstandings and maximizes activity time.
3. Using demonstrations appropriately is critical to the success of a physical education teacher. Demonstrations should be accurate, and done so correctly, because if you are performing the movement incorrectly students are naturally going to try to mimic exactly what they see rather than listening to cues. Having other students demonstrate should also be utilized whenever possible, because this allows the teacher and the other students to focus on observing and point out the most important aspects of the skill. Demonstrations and cues should be given in an organized manner, because it will allow for a smoother transition as well as give students specific steps to follow when trying it for themselves.
5. A good cue is going to have a simple description of what is taking place and can easily be replicated. It is also going to be skill and age appropriate that isn’t above or below the level of the learner. When teaching a closed skill it is important to have effective verbal cues that the learner can use to visualize when they are going through the motions. Once they have effectively learned to perform the skill as a closed skill, adding in environment effect such as wind will further challenge the learner, for instance hitting a ball from a tee as a closed skill, and then hitting a ball pitched by a machine. Learning to hit the ball from the stationary tee will build the fundamentals of swinging the bat, and hitting from a pitching machine is going to add the variable to ball speed as well as timing of the swing. The machine makes the skill more difficult, but allows for a controlled and steady pitch.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Where Are My Turkeys?!?!

It’s always interesting watching one’s self on video, regardless of what you are doing, as well as hearing what you actually said while teaching. It is even more uncomfortable to watch yourself teaching as silly a lesson as I chose to do. While we all got a good laugh out of the lesson, my energy was fantastic, and I felt the others in the group fed off of me and let themselves go out a little further than they would have on their own. I was loud, confident and tried to push the limits of the group while still keeping everyone under control. I still need to work on flowing from one topic to the next, but this will come with time and practice. As far as the value of this lesson is
concerned, I think that while this was a very unconventional approach to the topic, it was still quite effective in getting the students to understand the importance of creating distance. For my next lesson I would like to keep the energy high and hopefully keep pushing the group release their inhibitions and drive fully into the lesson. If they are able to continue committing to the lessons the students will benefit far more than just teaching the skills of cutting and starting/stopping.

Monday, September 19, 2011


1. Goal oriented teaching is something that physical education teachers have lost over the years, and I say this, because the mundane actions of rolling the balls out has become the status quo. As physical educators we need to take charge and challenge our students to push themselves towards completing goals that may seem out of reach. It is through solid task oriented learning and teaching towards the attainment of goals is how our students can reach further and achieve more. Students need to understand that our goals in physical education are not just to play a sport and move on, but instead to set a goal and use progressions to attain new skills and reach that goal.

5. The movement-task student response unit of analysis is important because the students will learn how to do a certain task/skill and allows them to analyze their movements and reflect back on them. When we analyze a student’s movements we can praise their achievements and give positive feedback and then use this as an avenue to insert constructive criticisms. These critiques are not meant to break down the student’s esteem, but instead allow them to get specific feedback to further their progression of the skill/task. When the teacher has a starting point they are able to guide students and have them work through the progressions. They are not only learning the skills, but they are becoming more proficient through activity and practice. When we give a proper demonstration the visual learners get an understanding of what is expected and then we are able to analyze their movements making corrections as needed.

7. The relationship between teaching functions and teaching skills is that teaching functions are the guidelines a teacher uses to teach skills to their students. One way to plan and present is through intra-task variation, where the teacher takes prior assessments of the students and uses this data to determine what skill level the students should start with. Another way to plan and present is through teaching by invitation. By giving the students the opportunity to chose their own equipment and level, they feel a release of pressure and are able to work the skills with more freedom to try something they may not be comfortable with under other circumstances.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jumping in the Deep End

What a refreshing way to kick things off after a summer full of sun and relaxation. I felt like things were a little rusty as to be expected, however I do feel as though it went smoothly. I was loud and chose a simple activity that didn't involve long directions. On the other hand there were mistakes throughout, and a lack of organization made the lesson choppy at times. I wasn't sure of what I was going to say and basically went from the cuff. I would like my directions to be clear and as straight forward as possible next time as well as have a clearer idea of what I am expecting from my students.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Good Bye St. Mary's!

Our final week here at St. Mary’s went out with a bang! The students loved the parachute activities and really seemed to get involved in the activities. I feel like this was a great ending point of our time here, because there were very few behavior problems, and everyone was involved. This experience has further strengthened my desire and drive to get out there and into a classroom leading students. I look towards the future with a smile and welcome the challenges that are to follow.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another Solid Week

With less than the normal amount of kids at St. Mary's this week, we had to modify activities to keep them entertained. Once all of our games were done, all the kids wanted to do was play knockout. As we have all talked about many times, basketball is not what we should be playing every time. This time I took advantage of the situation and modified the game to get more people involved and adding in additional spots to shoot from. This made things different, but the kids still felt like they were getting to do what they wanted. It's times like these that I embrace the chance to try new things on the fly and see how it's going to be when I'm running my own class.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Collage of Awsomeness!


Another great week with the students at St. Mary’s! This week was Dinosaur Train, and to bring dinosaurs into the class room I decided that we would design and color our own dinosaur eggs. I brought in egg shaped foam with special markers and everyone got to create multiple different eggs and take them home. Then as a special surprise, since everyone did such a great job everyone got their own special dinosaur egg to take home. This was a nice treat for them, and served as a great way to hold their attention and something that they could take home and love forever (or the next 30 seconds)!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Get Outside!

Spring is finally here (not to jinx things) but it's time for everyone to get out and enjoy the lack of snow. I noticed that my neighborhood has finally come out of hibernation, and people are finally out moving about. I met a few new families, and did so through walking around the neighborhood. As future physical educators we need to be encouraging people to get out and MOVE! Movement is the key to healthier lives, and we need to be taking every opportunity to encourage people to get out and do something. So take sieze the day and get outside.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Getting in the Groove

Three weeks worth of teaching are in the books and we are all getting louder, smoother, and more comfortable. We all are interacting more with the kids in a more natural way and it’s not as forced as it was in week one. We are now beginning to find our steps in the gym and before long we will have our own swagger. I wasn’t able to get to my game this week, but I was able to really help out my fellow group members with theirs and I was more than willing to since I played both my games for a while the first two teachings. I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks have in store for us and I’m sure that it will only get better from here!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Finding Your Voice

As our second lab week at St. Mary’s has come and gone, many of us that may have struggled with the first week have started to find our voice. Many of us started to really control the group instead of having them run amuck. As teachers we will constantly be looking to break through to our students and really peak their interest about physical activity, and St. Mary’s is no different. This week I had a young boy tell me “playing the college kid games sucks” and through talking to him I was able to redirect that negative energy and had him help me to design an activity that he would love to play. Getting over the initial shock of the school was easy, now it’s time for us to start fine tuning our skills and get these kids to count down the days until we come back. They will do this, because we are so much fun and have original exciting activities that they will want to play again and again.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spring Fever...

Don’t get me wrong, I am one of the biggest snow sport enthusiasts you will ever meet. But there comes a time every winter where we all are ready for those outdoors activities that don’t involve twenty layers. Well the spring bug officially bit me, and the only thing to do was call up one of my good friends who happens to be member of the Navy Golf Team and we hit the road. We drove out to Turning Stone resort to the golf dome and sporting complex for a few hours of golfing. At this range there is a two tier driving range with multiple targets, putting greens, chipping greens, and a full virtual simulator to play hundreds of courses around the world. This oasis in the frozen tundra known as central New York is just a taste of what we have to look forward to in a few months. The dome gives you a chance to let your swing loosen back up while there is still snow falling on the greens outside. While there I was able to take video to analyze my swing later in a biomechanics software program and I have embedded a few of the samples to give you an idea of what this range really has to offer. So if there are any avid golf fans out there I highly suggest you check this place out to get you through those long cold months. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Teachers Still Learn

Working as a snowboard instructor at Labrador Mtn. I come in contact with a wide variety of people on a day to day basis. Everyone from entire families, young children, and people from all different career paths. This past week I had the opportunity to teach a group of college students that were all education majors and came to the mountain to learn something new that they could use to relate to their students. This made me think, that more of our own physical education majors need to be getting out in the community and trying new activities that they could in turn pass on to their own future students. We have many students here at Cortland that have never experienced any of the outdoor activities this area has to offer, and that is a shame. There is a multitude of activities that are not only enjoyable, but also have excellent psychomotor and cognative skills associated with them. We all need to be expanding our "bag of tricks" and get involved in some of these activities and share our experiences with students. Needless to say the group had a great time and learned a lot, and hopefully one of them might pick up the sport as a lifetime activity that they will carry with them forever.

Friday, February 11, 2011

First St. Mary's Experience

After our first crazy and exhilarating experience at St. Mary’s I’m pleased to say that I have made the right decision to become a Physical Education teacher. I had such a great time interacting with the students, that it reinforced my reasons for being here. Things didn’t go exactly as planned, but that was to be expected. I had some great input from my fellow peers, and I am going to use that to make each time with the kids better and better. I can’t wait to see where we all go from here. Great job everyone! As you can see from my face that a great time was had by all!