Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lab 16

Observe elementary students in a formal or informal play setting as they play any sport such as basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, etc. Utilize the four stages of game play to carefully determine what stage represents their level of play. Provide a brief written description of their skill level and stage of play. Write three to five recommendations for steps that could be taken to improve their level of play.

I observed a kindergarten class playing tennis, and they were definitely working on the first stage of game play which is controlling an object. They focused their attention on learning how to control the racket while striking a moving object. Since the long handled implement was foreign to most of the students, this proved challenging for most of the students, until they became more comfortable swinging it. They started by striking balloons with the forehand and backhand straight up in the air. The object was to hit the balloon just hard enough to go over their head, but not so far as to lose control of it.

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To improve their level of play, I would continue having them hit the object straight up, but instead of using just a balloon I would give the students a slightly heavier ball, such as a small beach ball. This would provide a more challenging movement, because it will not only move faster, but the students will feel the impact on the racket more. The next step would be for the students to go back to the balloons, but instead of hitting it to themselves they will hit it over a low net to a partner. The next stage from here would be to have the students continue hitting over a net to a partner, but now they will use the beach ball. If the ball is full enough, it will bounce giving the students an even better feel for how a real tennis game may go.
Explain how you would use the four stages of game play by Rink (1985) as a rubric with students in your own physical education classes.

The four stages of game play fall in line with how we use progressions in our lessons, so it would naturally fit in. This model will allow the teacher to create a sequence of events that will build students up gradually as their skills progress. I would use the rubric to help me create my lessons, knowing where I want my students to end up. The rubric will allow me to almost set milestones of where the students will be in the future. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Field Experience Day 2 3rd Grade 2/9/12

Knowledge of Students

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The teacher that I work with has obviously been working with these students since the beginning of the year and now has a good grasp of their abilities and what they struggle with. The third graders that I observed overall do a fairly good job with the motor skills portion of the lesson, but they often struggle with working together and staying on task. With this knowledge, the teacher is able to strategically place certain students with one another to try and alleviate some of the off task behavior. He also knows which students are going to naturally be more athletically talented, and he will often pin point students that are doing well, but he does so in such a manner that they all get a chance, and feel important.
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I think that making students feel proud of their accomplishments is so critical and is often overlooked because there are things to get through. This teacher does a fantastic job of getting to know each student he has and prides himself on knowing their skill sets and attributes. Just being here for the second time I am starting to learn which students are going to need more one on one work, and which students you can depend on to stay on task and work hard. While there should never be favorites, I feel that this age group of students has been by far my favorite experiences, just from the joy and pleasure I see in their eyes when they finally get it.

Field Experience Day 2 Kindergarten 2/9/12

Curriculum and NYS standards
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Today was my second day back with the kindergarteners and it was even better than the first. I took a more active role in the class today doing demonstrations, and working on skills with individual groups of students that were struggling. It was fantastic to hear how excited they were to be working with me and knowing my name from last week. Today’s lesson continued on with their tennis unit, and I really noticed that the teacher was doing a great job of seamlessly integrating the standards into the lesson. There were obviously psychomotor skills that were tested, seeing as this is the first interaction with long handled implements. The teacher even tested the students to attempt 10 consecutive hits back and forth with the balloons, and for some this was a challenge and others it was a bit easier.

They were also tested in the affective domain, because they were tasked with working with a partner to hit it back and forth and they must communicate with one another. They also were responsible for cleaning up the equipment at the end of the lesson. The cognitive domain was worked on as we walked around quizzing the students about the different racket piece names, and where they could go to practice their new tennis skills. Overall I felt that the lesson was smooth with minimal antics and a lot of time spent being active. I really am excited to go back each time, so this reaffirms that I want to be a teacher!

Lab 6

Can a child in a wheelchair enter the front door and the back door? What modifications would you make?

No a child in a wheelchair cannot enter from both the back and front door, because if they were to enter in through the back door the rope would come down on top of them. Whereas if they went in the front door, they would essentially follow the rope as they were going through and pass right by the rope. To make it easier for the student, the students swinging the rope would swing it slowly so the pace of the rope could be easily matched. The student in the wheelchair could also enter from the front door, but in the middle of the rope allowing for more height on the rope as they went through.

How would you apply goal setting to this lesson?

You could apply goal setting by having the students practice jumping by themselves for a minute or two to get comfortable and then stop the group. Have the students choose a number of consecutive jumps and try to accomplish that number of jumps. After a few minutes of attempting, see how many students met their goal. For those that did meet it, you could challenge them by having them increase their number by 5-10 more jumps. Those who still hadn’t accomplished their original goal, see if they want to change their number, or continue trying for their goal.

Design a long rope jumping routine for a pair of students jumping at the same time.

The two students could enter from opposite sides one in the front door, and one in the back door. When the students reach the center, they could try to hold hands and keep jumping. If they are able to do this, then they could try and jump in a circle spinning inside the rope. Then they could release hands and try to do a 180 and exit out the other side that they came in on.

Create a checklist of critical elements to look for and use in teaching basic, two foot rope jumping.

Is the student taking off and landing with 2 feet?        Y    N
Is the student swinging their entire arms?                   Y    N
Is the student jumping over the rope?                        Y    N
Is the rope swinging evenly around the body?            Y    N

Describe how you would go about organizing a rope jumping club for you elementary school.

I would start by creating interest during the jump rope unit in the class, and see how many students would like to participate. I would then ask the staff if there is anyone interested in helping out as well as extending the offer to parents. I would plan to meet once a week directly after school in the gym and have students master the basic movements, and then progressively increase the difficulty of the moves. The students could then get together and create their own routines and use this time to practice them. After a few weeks of practicing, we could set up a night for parents to come in and watch the different routines. I would also look into the community to see if there were any jump roping clubs in the area that would be willing to come and give a demonstration. We could also organize a jump off to raise money for a charity. For example students to try to find sponsors that would donate for each successful jump. Like a penny or nickel for each consecutive jump and then donate the earnings to a local charity that the students decide on.

Stimulus Variation is a method/technique used by teachers to attract a student’s attention and gain interest by using different methods of teaching and different ways of learning. In today’s lesson we focused on jumping rope, but we didn’t just do a standard jumping routine, instead we used catching the snake activity and jumping the creek. Both included skills that were necessary for jumping rope, but taught them in different manners. One worked on timing and focus, while the other worked on the skill theme of jumping. Both activities proved to be useful when building a jump roping unit.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

lab 5

Use the internet to search for information about turtles and how they live.
When searching for information about turtles, I came across many websites that have a lot of in depth information about turtles and habitats, but this one had good quick information for children. It tells us that turtles have been around for over 230 million years, and have adapted to live in all sorts of environments from the sea to the desert. The main thing we think of when we talk about turtles is their shell, and after reading around, I found that while all turtles do have a protective shell, they look very different from each other. These turtles range in size from 4”-95” fully grown.

Identify fitness components being addressed in squad square fitness. Where are these components located on the New York State Conceptual Framework for K-12 Physical Education.
During this activity, the students were working on muscular endurance, and they did this through the series of exercises that taxed the muscles through continuous repetitions. These components of fitness are located in the first learning standard for Personal Health and Fitness.

Prescribe a series of ball handling skills for a second grade boy or girl that is afraid of catching a ball. What kinds of objects might you prescribe for throwing and catching?

First I would start by having the student trying to catch their own ball that is bounced to them self directly off the ground. The ball would be a soft foam ball that is still able to be bounced. Then I would have the student practice bouncing the ball off a wall and attempting to catch it as it bounced back. Once the student gained confidence I would have them try to catch it after only one bounce, and then with no bounces. As far as catching, I would have the student practice with something that is soft and light so that the oncoming force would be minimal.

What are some of the guidelines you would follow in pairing students for throwing and catching?
I would match skill level as closely as possible and at the same time place students that can't catch with those who can so they can see proper the skill done properly. I would also have give the students limits as far as the distance between them to alleviate any safety concerns with stray flying balls. At first I would make sure that everyone was using both hands to catch the ball and then wrapping it up into their chest, but as the students progress I would allow them to be creative with how they are catching the ball as long as it was still safe.

How would you help a special needs student learn to catch, that displays delayed motor control and lack of fine motor control dexterity?
I start by having the student learn to catch a balloon, because while it will still move, it won't go too fast or be too difficult to grab from the air. Once the student has mastered that I would move on to a beach ball, because it is still going to fly slowly, but will move at a slightly quicker pace causing the student to work harder on their hand eye coordination. Once this becomes more comfortable, I would switch to a smaller foam ball that is still going to maintain a relatively slow speed when traveling through the air, but now come with more force and a more realistic catching motion. If the student is able to complete this much, we will start to explore smaller balls, and balls that are more dense.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Field Experience Day 1 3rd Grade 2/2/12

My next class was a group of energetic third graders who had already had one introductory class in the tennis unit. In that class, they learned some of the basics of the forehand and back hand swing, as well as some of the rules. Since they had all of this information in the last class, the teacher started the lesson with more rules, and formalities of the game. Today the students were going to get the opportunity to try out these skills in a modified game. Students were split into groups of 3 and assigned to a small modified court, with a short net. Students played on point sets and rotated out, so each student got a lot of opportunities to play. Since games were only one point wait time was short and everyone played a lot.

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There were some behavior issues in this class that I had the pleasure of handling, and after a quick reminder of what we were supposed to be doing, the students were back on task and having fun. I was also given the opportunity to help lead the demonstration and aid in some of the rules. Another thing I liked was that the students were given a choice of what type of ball to play with, the first choice being a balloon. The second choice was a balloon based ball as well, except this one had a thick cover that went over the balloon giving it weight and the ability to bounce more like a real ball. This ball still floated more than a standard ball, but moved slow enough for the students’ skill level.

 I feel that the standards were also taught in this lesson, and there was also a student in the class who received an alternate adapted lesson, but that was done by a separate teacher. The teacher also stopped the lesson a few times to check for understanding and ask to see if there were any questions. He also took this opportunity to move students around in the groups based on skill level, and how the groups were working together. I thought this was an excellent way of managing the class, because no student felt singled out, and everyone thought of this as a natural transition. With all this being said, I can’t wait to get back in the class with these students next week.

Field Experience Day 1 Kindergarten 2/2/12

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On Thursday I made my way to my field experience elementary and had my first class with the kindergarten class that I will be seeing every Thursday, and I must say, they were a blast. They had just started their tennis lesson, and were learning about the racket and how to safely swing it. They did a few small activities to get them used holding the racket and how they would be using it to strike an object. Since they were obviously too young to actually play a game of tennis, the teacher had them practice hitting balloons, and trying to keep them in the air.

I was informed beforehand that this particular class could be difficult to manage, but the teacher was very effective in keeping the students on task and moving. I also aided my host teacher in managing the behavior of the students and offered my assistance whenever possible. The students really took to the lesson and I feel like the host teacher did an excellent job of hitting all of the standards, because he had the children moving, but also challenged them cognitively as well. Overall, I had a great time with the kindergarteners, and I can’t wait to go back, because they were all so excited to hear that I would be returning.

The Super Bowl is Super Bad for you

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Even people who aren't necessarily fans of football, know what this weekend is; that’s right, the Super Bowl. There are many people who will only watch one game a year and this Sunday will be the one, because it is such a large part of our society to go to parties, bars or restaurants to watch this game. While the players on the field will be pushing their bodies to the limits, and burning calories at a dramatic rate, those of us at home will likely be doing to opposite. We have built the Super Bowl up to be one of the most watched events in the world, and with the game and its funny commercials comes food. Not just a little food, but massive amounts of food that is packed with badforyouness.According to, the average Super Bowl watcher will consume around 1,200 calories while “snacking”.  A few other fun facts include:

           “Football fans are expected to eat an estimated 69.6 million pounds of avocados during this year’s Super Bowl (mostly in guacamole). The most popular take-out and delivery items on Super Bowl Sunday are pizza, chicken wings, and sandwiches. It is estimated that Americans will eat 90 million pounds of chicken wings, which breaks down to 450 million individual wings! An astounding 14,500 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday. Budweiser has been the exclusive Super Bowl beer advertiser for the past 17 years, and will continue to be until at least 2014. Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest winter grilling day of the year.”

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Now those in the health field are going to say try substituting chicken wings for celery and other non-comparable food items to fight back against the monster calorie foods, but in all reality, very few people are going to have a stick of celery over a breaded or fried chicken wing, dipped in ranch. So my advice for those hungry game watchers is to take the game on in moderation and only have a few different things at the party. Don’t eat a whole plate of wings, or half the container of 7 layer dip, but instead try a bit of each and be done. So go root on your team and don’t hog out on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lab 4

Explain how a unit based on lessons of this nature would serve as a foundation for acquiring specialized throwing and catching skills.

The use of beanbags is going to provide a safe and effective way for students to learn crucial throwing and catching techniques. Since the beanbags are soft and moldable, they make for an easy object to catch, because they won’t bounce out of the students’ hands, nor will they hurt the students’ hands when caught. Even though they are soft they still fly well when thrown, and won’t bounce and roll around once they land. This makes them the perfect candidate for younger students who are just learning the skills.

Identify a theme that could be applied to health hopping appropriate for young children.

You could use a race car track theme. Each student would be a race car and race around the track and when the music stops they would have to make a “pit stop” at whatever station they were near. Depending on what kind of car or motorcycle or whatever vehicle they choose, they would do a different movement around the track.
Design a checklist of critical elements to look for when observing a child performing a locomotor movement.

Does the student leave the ground on one foot?                             Y or N
Does the student land on the ground on one foot?                          Y or N
Does the student use their arms to propel forward?                        Y or N
Is the student’s knee pointing towards the ground?                         Y or N
Is their free leg moving in a swinging motion?                                  Y or N

Two beanbag games:
Modified Baggo: Using an underhand motion, students will toss 3 bags towards a pre-marked target on the floor counting the total points of the 3 throws. The students will stand a predetermined distance away from the target and move closer or further away depending on skill level.

Catching activity: Students must come up with 5 ways to throw the bean bag to a partner (depending on skill level) and then also come up with 5 ways to catch the bean bag as well. Once they have their 5 ways of throwing and 5 ways of catching, they must try and complete 5 passes using the various throws and catches.