Thursday, August 16, 2012

Suprising Realization

Hey everyone! Sorry for being MIA since spring semester ended! I have been enjoying the sunshine and trying to improve as a future Physical educator! One of the best things I did as school was out was shadow a Physical education teacher for the whole day. However, I shadowed in the biggest city school in Rochester. I spent the day at East High School in all different types of PE classes. It may not seem like a big deal but I am a suburban girl. This was totally out of my comfort zone and I wasn't sure if I would like it. But you never know until you try!

I arrived early in the morning and meet all of the PE teachers and got right into it. I shadowed Jarrod that day. He had to enter some grades in and said, "this list is of all the names of kids who are incarcerated." Right then and there I knew this was going to be an interesting day. Feeling a bit nervous we headed into the first gym class. The classes are not coed so there was either all girls or all boys. The first class was all boys and were all either juniors or seniors. The first thing I observed was that the ethnicity's consisted of  African Americans and Hispanics. This was a lot different then my high school because most everyone was white. Jarrod started to tell me some of the kids backgrounds and pointed out gang members, drug dealers and kids with bad home lives. 

Now I live 15 minutes from Rochester and I see and hear stories on the news everyday about the multiple murders and shootings in the city. I would be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated by the environment I was in. However, when I started to observe and interact with these kids I found how caring and respectful they were. That's something you don't really see in suburban schools. Kids I went to school with are snotty and disrespectful to teachers. Jarrod said something that will stick with me forever, "once you earn their respect they will do anything for you. Just showing you care about them and what they go through everyday will earn their respect." It clicked. It is my goal as an educator to inspire the youth whether it be through PE or just being that one person who appreciates them for who THEY are. That's the original reason I was inspired to become a Physical Education teacher in the first place. My 5th grade PE teachers showed me how to be passionate and enthusiastic about gym class everyday. I looked up to them. That's what these kids at East were like. They were happy to be in school and exercising in gym.

The rest of the day seemed like a dream to me. I felt like this is where I should be...somewhere I NEED to be. Those kids inspired me. I want to make a difference in their lives. I got to observe my first adapted PE class and absolutely loved it. We played Just Dance on Wii and those kids have better moves than me! Finished the day off with an all girls class and played mat ball. When I left that day I thought about all I had learned. I always thought that I would rather work in a cookie cutter suburban school because its what I'm used to. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed an urban city school more. In fact, I felt like that was where I fit in. I hope that I can get placed at East for student teaching in spring 2014. I know it will be challenging but if you really want something you have to reach for it. Thank you East High for inspiring me!             

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Best and Worst Moments

Here is my Prezi presentation I made of My Best and Worst Moments. I talk about playing soccer at Finger Lakes Community College. Check out the link below!

                           Best and Worst Moments

Bittersweet Feeling

Today was the last day at St. Mary's. I must say I was very sad for it to end. However, I think back to my first visit and how uncomfortable and timid I felt. Looking back on my journey, I can see that I have become much more confident when it comes to teaching. Each week I wanted to challenge myself and try new things. The experience I was able to have at St. Mary's was very special because it proved to me even more why I want to be a Physical Educator. I really enjoyed walking in every other Wednesday and seeing all of the kids sitting there eager to see what we had in store. That's what makes teaching so rewarding to me. I love that kids want to play and be active! The students at St. Mary's were great kids and not to mention, great movers! So for me I did have a bittersweet feeling when it was all done. I feel like I have grown from this and I plan on getting even better in 255.

This week we got to play some parachute games. I mean, who doesn't love playing with the parachute? It was a blast sitting under the "mushroom" and having dance-offs and sending the balls into the air. Later my group had the cafeteria group which consisted of fifth graders. We got to go down to the cafeteria and go play with Legos, blocks, and paper dolls. Then we headed upstairs to the gym to play a game with the older kids. We played basketball however, they had to have a certain number of passes before they could play. I decided to be the referee to keep the game under control. I think that the kids had a lot of fun. Then we got to have a free time so I played soccer with a couple of the boys and girls. Come to find out that they are incredibly skilled soccer players! Then we ended with Sharks and Minos and did the St. Mary's cheer. Then it was all over!

My experience at St. Mary's will be something I will remember. I will look back on the college girl who was a little scared in the beginning and was able to break out of her shell! PED 201 has really been awesome and it has made my first semester at SUNY Cortland one to remember. I really would like to thank my group members you guys have been my main supporters through all of this. Also a BIG thanks to our wonderful TA, Steph. You have been so incredibly helpful and made this class more comfortable and have helped all of us grow as future educators. Also, thanks to Professor Yang, I hope to have the enthusiasm and passion you have for PE one day in my near future. Lastly, thanks to all my classmates! Crazy to think that this semester has come to an end already but it certainly is one we will all remember. 

                                       THAT'S A WRAP!  
                                               Lab 6 Write-Up

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ithaca Slide Jam

I always see kids at Cortland on longboards zooming down hills and flying by me. However, I had never really thought about the sport until I came across the Ithaca Slide Jam. I spotted a bunch of skaters at the top of this insanely steep street. Of course I had to check it out and see what it was all about. Once I got to the street I was immediately in awe. I saw all of these people gliding down the street at extreme speed and doing these gnarly slides at the bottom. After watching them for around ten minutes I had to get my iPhone out to snap some pictures. I was amazed at how much balance and complicated body movements had to be performed to stay planted on their boards. I also noticed a piece of equipment that all of them were wearing. They are called slide gloves  and after researching what they were I found that they are used for control and safety. They have a large hard part on the palm and fingers so it protects them from the pavement. 

After watching this event for about an hour I was amazed at how talented these people were. The amount of practice and time they must have spent to be able to make it down was incredible. I also was impressed with how they accepted anyone to participate. There were younger kids, older people, and girls. Everyone had a different skating style and skills but they all cheered each other on and showed respect. I am a strong believer in outdoor activities and today proved to me even more why I love outdoor sports. It brings us together so we can experience our passions with others and celebrate the sports we love. Although I have never longboarded before, I was excited to witness and learn more about their passion. I certainly have more respect for them as athletes and wanted to share my experience. Below is a  video of the pictures I shot. Check it out below!

Also check out the YouTube video below of what the sliding looks like. It is crazy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Easter Fun At St. Mary's

This week was the first time we had been back to St.Mary's in around three weeks! The kids seemed eager to see what we had in store. This week was an Easter theme since the Easter holiday had just recently passed. My group had the gym group and special projects. The locomotive skills we had to focus on were kicking and dribbling. My group partner, Brandon and I worked on making "Easter baskets" for two hours. We wanted to make a prop that would really catch the kids eye so they were willing to play and be involved. I taught the first game which was focusing on the kicking skill. It was called "Basket-Ball" and we set up all of our homemade baskets, (which were made of boxes, construction paper, Easter cutouts, cottontails, Easter basket grass and a ton of tape!) The purpose was to help the Easter bunny get all of the Easter eggs (soccer balls) into his Easter basket. The kids loved it and loved the idea of kicking into a basket. I was able to work one on one with a lot of the children because we modified it quite a bit. We told them to kick with the inside of their foot, kick with their laces, and kick with their weaker foot. Overall, I think that "Basket-Ball" was a hit with the kids and it was a success! 
The next game we did was "Monster In The Forest". We spread out cones (trees) and jump-ropes (snakes) as obstacles. the goal was to dribble their basketballs (eggs) across the forest without the monster stealing their eggs. We modified it by having them use their weaker hand, dribble going backwards, shuffle, and passing the ball with partners. This game worked perfectly for teaching dribbling because we could give that one on one attention that some kids needed.

After spending time in the gym playing tag, we headed downstairs to play heads-up- seven-up in the cafeteria. Then we headed outside to play in the playground. I was instantly tagged "it" and ran around with the kids for about fifteen minutes. Then we went back inside to the gym for some free time. I played various games including "Snake". I would spin in circles with a jump-rope dragging on the ground and the kids would have to jump over it. It was really fun because they got to know me and wanted to keep playing! Now it was time for the closing activity. My group decided to end it with an Easter egg hunt but it wasn't a classic egg hunt with candy inside. As physical educators we are constantly looking for new ways to keep the kids active. We had about forty eggs placed under forty cones. Each egg had a different exercise or motor skill written on them. For example, some said five star jumps, gallop for ten seconds, ten jumping jacks and so on. they had to pick up an egg and do whatever the egg had on it. Then they had to put the egg in the Easter basket when they were done. This was a great activity because it kept them moving and they seemed to have a great time.

Overall, I thought St.Mary's was a success for all groups. Everyone seemed to have fun and also seemed a lot more confident. Can't wait for next week because it's SUPERHERO day at St.Mary's!    
Lab 5 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Being Active While Playing Video Games?!

When most people think of video games they think of sitting on the couch for hours with a controller in hand, staring at a television screen. However, after spending Wednesdays lab in the SUNY Cortland Exergame lab, we all learned that gaming can be connected with physical activity. As Physical educators we are constantly trying to figure out new ways to stay active through the use of technology. Children today play more video games then ever before so it is important to show them how to involve fitness with gaming. 

When we all arrived in the lab there were mats that looked like DDR mats but soon realized that it was for iDance. We all jumped on a dance mat and started following the arrows on the projector screen. I instantly started to sweat because of how hard it is to keep up with the song! After about an half hour of playing iDance, I wanted to try some other games. I had never played Wii Sports so I tried baseball and then tennis. To be honest, I enjoy the Xbox Kinect more because you are more active and you dont use a controller. Wii is used with a controller and senses how hard you flick your wrist. Kinect senses body movements. For example, if you are playing baseball you have to pretend that you are holding a bat and swing with power. 

There also was an Xbox system where you could play NBA 2K but the controllers were hooked up to a step-up machine. I thought this was a great idea because you are still involved in a game but to work  the controller you have to be moving. You could also play games like Fifa, Madden, and NHL. There also was a peddle bike that you had to peddle in order to keep the race car moving. The faster you peddled the faster the car would go. Overall, my experience in the Exergame lab was an eye opener and I really learned a lot about how gaming and fitness can be connected.

After playing with all of the technology we were introduced to many games that could be used with the Pre-K kids. Most of the games were used to be interactive and help them with memorization of numbers and colors. One game that I thought was really cool and seemed like it would be perfect for the Pre-K children was Animal Hyper Dash. It had a Giraffe that could fit over the little animal figurines. The giraffe would make an animal sound and the kids had to find the animal and put the giraffe over it. It was a great way to help kids with their animal sounds and types of animals. I thought of a game that would be fun for the kids and still have everyone involved. One person could go and then the kids who are waiting their turn would have to do different fitness exercises depending on the animal. So if tiger was called out then they would have to do mountain climbers. After one game is done then they would give the giraffe to the next person. This teaches them sharing and taking your turn. Also it it keeps everyone involved in the game and they are active. Overall, I thought that Hyper Dash is the perfect way to help the Pre-K with their memorization while keeping them involved interactively and physically.     

Gym Class Hereos Make an Apperance at Park Center!

This week in lab we had to perform a live performance of our songs. Our stage was set up Poolside which probably the busiest areas in Park. All of the groups did great and didn't crack under pressure! When it was time for the Gym Class Heroes to rock Park Center, we delivered. We came in crazy obnoxious outfits, and were ready to "spit our reflexin' rhymes". Check out our live performance of "I'm Learning and Reflexing"