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"