Tuesday, May 8, 2012

End of Semester Reflection

While all good things must come to an end, you wish some would not. I was provided the opportunity by Professor Yang this semester to T.A. not only for 255, but also 201. I am so thankful for the opportunity that he has provided for me. This semester was a great learning block. Not only did it refresh all the teaching steps from 255, but also it helped me to grow to lead others through the course. This is a great benefit for me. I was able to lead students through the semester and help them with whatever help they would need. If you would ask my three students for 255, they would tell you that I was there for them no matter what, and I was there to answer any questions they had.
For 201, it was more of a challenge. You had to get other teacher candidates to open up to the students at St. Mary’s, and interact with them. As the 201 semester went on, you defiantly could see my T.A. group starting to become more comfortable with the students. The biggest challenge was trying to make sure that there were appropriate activities to run, however I believe all the 201 students did a great job finding age appropriate activities.
This semester also provided me with many experiences that I am lost for words on. This semester I was able to go to Boston, and help out at the National Physical Education Convention. On the Tuesday of the convention, I helped out with Professor Yang, and many other Cortland students, and Exergaming professionals to put on an Exergaming demonstration. This opened my eyes to just how many teachers see the same vision that I see for the future of P.E. I also had the opportunity to meet a student from South Florida, who was shocked to find out that we had over 700 students in our program, while they only had 16. Even though the convention didn’t go on as planned due to a massive fire, I am still thankful for being able to attend the one day and get to meet so many different professionals from different backgrounds.
However, this semester did end with some sad news. Professor Yang made the announcement that he wouldn’t be returning next year. This hit home for me. Over the past two semesters Professor Yang has provided me with many opportunities and experiences that I am so grateful for. Also, as I have told him, I don’t know if I would be where I am today without him. Two semesters ago, I walked into Cortland’s park center trying to find myself in the major I got accepted into. I wanted to go for coaching, but figured to go into physical education. The first day Professor Yang talked about his excitement for physical education, and if we are there for coaching then we are in the wrong major. This set me back. I was close to dropping out of Cortland. However, his energy throughout the year excited me. I met the kids at St. Mary’s, and it opened me up. I grew to love the physical education program, and it all started with Professor Yang’s excitement. I have came to know Professor Yang personally, and I can say I have never met a better man, or a better professional who was able to find the best in me, and helped me to grow along the way. I am upset about Professor Yang departure, but I know I will stay in touch with him, and this isn’t goodbye, but it is I’ll see you soon. I would once again thank him for the opportunities he has provided me with this semester. Best of luck in the future! I know I will see you soon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Field Experience- Class 18- April 17- Grade 6

It has been a while since I have been at my field experience due to their spring break. I walked in today ready to teach my second lesson, and to do my cognitive and affective assessments.

The students came in as excited as they usually are. I told them that we were going to continue our team handball unit from before break. Before that I did a little opening activity where the student played a throwing tag game. This was to get the students moving right away, and ready for the game. After the tag game we did some stretching, and a few fitness activities. We then broke up with a partner and practiced throwing to make our partner move. This meant that the students have to aim for a stop on the side of their partner, in front of their partner, or behind their partner. This got the students to practice their throwing, before moving into our team handball game.The students remembered everything before break about the rules. They knew how many players were on the court, and how to rotate in and out subs. I did make some errors on my calls as the ref, and the students let me hear about it. That is what makes the game fun for both students and teacher, that there will be some argument.

After their team handball game, it was time to do the assessments. During the affective assessment, it was just asking them about their sportsmanship, respect and honesty of the class. I didn’t see any problems with the class where they had to be addressed. For the cognitive test, the questions were related to the throwing technique, sportsmanship, and team handball. During the assessments, I made sure to read the questions aloud for all the students. I was aware that some students might need extra time, or need questions read aloud so I did it for the class. Also, even though I demonstrated for the pre-assessment, I made sure to demonstrate the proper throwing technique again.

Over the past 8 weeks, I have got to know the students and staff at Tully Elementary. I had the privileged to work with a wonderful host teacher, who provided me feedback and support on my lessons and throughout the past 8 weeks. The students who I got to know very well gave it everything they had during my lesson, even if sometimes they didn’t understand the reason we were doing some things. I also enjoyed how well every student got along in both 6th, and 2nd grade. The students never left another student out, or bullied each other. I had a great time at Tully Elementary, and I will miss them. Thank you Tully!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Field Experience- Class 17- April 3- Grade 2

Today, the second graders entered as talkative as always. We did an Easter game with the students, were they had to find the matching bunny color under a hidden cone. The students had to work together as a team to find the matching bunny. It took a little while to get the students going, and for them to calm down. However, once they were into the lesson, they were doing great. When the child had to go down and back before they could look for the bunny, we had them perform a certain motor skill. We had the student’s hop, run, leap, and skip. I was impressed with the student’s effort today in class, and you could see they were having fun.

Last week we asked the students to think about what it meant to be a good sport. Their classroom teacher also turned it into a writing assignment. It was nice to see the two subjects come together in the school. All of the students work is located outside of the gym for other students to read. We took the last 5 minutes of class to talk about being a good sport. Most of the students told me that they don’t cheat or lie. Many other students also said that being a good sport means saying good job after a classmate does something, and never yelling at each other. I was very happy with the answers that the second graders gave to me. The second grade class sometimes tends to forget about how to be a good sport. Sometimes they argue with each other, or like last week try to blame a lost on someone else. It was a very nice assignment for the students to do, and they all gave great answers. 

Field Experience-Class 16- April 3- Grade 6

Topic: Curriculum and NYS Standards

Today, I walked in a tad bit nervous. Today was my day to lead the student’s through a whole 40-minute lesson. I know that the students are older, and they might find no point to my lesson. However, I went in with the mindset that the students were going to be excited just as much as I was to be teaching. The previous week I was able to do my pre-assessment of the students in the throwing motion. I made activities that had to do with throwing, as well as did a little team handball unit as my host teacher wanted to start.
The students walked in today, and they saw that I had built forts out of hula-hoops. Some student’s knew what we were doing to do, while others were asking what was going on. I took a minute to explain to the students how to build the forts, and then told them about how we were going to play. Most students couldn’t wait to play. I had to remind the students that this is not dodge ball, and you are throwing at the hoops and not someone else. I did inform the students that if I saw them throwing intentionally at someone else, then we were going to end the game. Also, I told them they can rebuild, but if they can’t rebuild before they all get knocked down then the other team wins. I was going to choose teams, until the boys informed me they wanted to do boys against girls. I told the students that I was going to split them up, but the girls insisted to let them play boys against girls. I agreed, and figured give it a few and then I’d have to change the teams. To my amaze, the girls won the first, and the second round. The boy finally won the next two rounds, and the students had a tiebreaker. The girls actually won the game, and I was happy to get a friendly competition that didn’t turn into a nasty game of dodge ball. When I ended the game, I actually had a student ask me if they could continue to play because they didn’t want to play the dumb game that might follow.

During team handball, I was able to do my post assessment of the students throwing motion. From last week, I knew that most of the students were already at the utilization level. This means that they know the proper throwing motion, however sometimes it might look off, but they are doing the right technique and motion. I did see some improvement in the students throwing motion from last week, however most of the students stayed at about the same level. I didn’t expect the students to improve much, as they have had a great amount practice at throwing while growing up. 

When I was planning my lesson plan for this week, I to follow the NYS standards. I had to make sure that were was a psychomotor objective, affective objective, and a cognitive objective.  I focused my psychomotor objective on NYS standard 1A. I wanted to see the students perform the basic motor skill of throwing. They should also after my lesson to be competent in how to throw, and how to play the sport of team handball. My affective objective was focused on NYS standard 2. I wanted to see the students demonstrate responsible personal, and social behavior while doing the day’s activities. Most the students did respect each other, and they all demonstrated responsible personal behaviors. My cognitive objective was based off NYS standard 1. I wanted the students to think about the proper way of throwing, and how it should look. All the students understood how a throw should look, and were able to tell me something about the throwing technique.

We were able to play 10 minutes of team handball. I had to explain the rules to the students, and also how many dribbles, steps, seconds, and passes they needed. The students have played this in past years, so they knew mostly what to do. I was impressed with the student’s effort today, and how well they were able to get along and encourage each other. I can’t wait for two more weeks, as it will be my last day at Tully, and my final lesson to teach. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Field Experience – Class 15 – March 27- Grade 2

             Today the 2nd graders came in as talkative as always. This class a whole tends to be a very talkative group. We started out with a quick warm up which was called toilet tag. Two students were it while everyone ran around. The students seemed to like this tag game.

            After our warm up, we moved them into the main activity, which helped the students to practice on their throwing. The activity was called clean up my backyard. There were balls placed in the middle of the gym, and the students had to throw them from side to side while students on the other team tries to catch the balls. The 2nd graders knew that they were just practicing their throwing by throwing the balls in the air, and not at each other. Before we got to the main activity, I lead the students in a step-by-step way of how to perform the throwing technique. I told the students that they wanted to create their T formation first, and then turn their hips (turn to the side) while still being in the T formation. Next the students had to step with their front foot, or the foot that is opposite of their throwing hand. Finally the students wanted to follow through. I was worried about how the students were going to do on the throwing formation because they were going to be more interested in the game rather than how to throw correctly. However, what I saw pleased me as a physical educator. I saw many students not focusing exactly on the game, but they wanted to improve their skills. Many students were taking time to create the T, and then turn to the side just as I taught them. This made me feel good. I was proud of the student for trying it out, and you could really see that they were able to throw better.

            Seeing that this class has problems with talking, we took 5 minutes at the end to talk about sportsmanship, and to say something good that someone on the other team did. While I heard some great things from the students, when they were asked to say something they saw well about someone, the students just froze. So I took the opportunity to tell the students how pleased I was with their throwing motion. I mentioned a few students who I was pleased with actually taking the time to practice their throwing. While most of the students didn’t want to see what good sportsmanship looks like, we told them that next class they need to bring ideas on what good sportsmanship looks like. I was pleased with the effort of the students, and how involved they were in the lesson even though it did take sometime to quiet down. 

Field Experience- Class 14- March 27- Grade 6

         Today was a big day for me. Today I was able to do my pre-assessment of the 6th graders performing the throwing motion. When it came to planning what activities I wanted to do, I wanted to make sure to give the students enough practice so I could evaluate what level they are at with their throwing motion. I had the students start out by throwing a beanbag at the wall. It was a smaller object, which means it should be easier for the students to throw. While one student was throwing the other was giving them feedback on how well they are throwing. After the beanbags, I had the students move up to small gator balls. These might give students a challenge, but still they should be able to throw the ball. Most of the students didn’t have a problem throwing the gator ball. I then gave them a bigger round ball, which provided a challenge for them. You could see that many of the students couldn’t grip the ball all the way, and they were having trouble throwing the ball with the proper technique. While I expected most of the students to be able to throw the ball with the proper formation, I wanted to see where the class as a whole is. The students are moving into their team handball unit next week, and throwing is a big component of the game.  After I was done assessing the students, I gave them a little game where they could continue to practice their throwing. This game is called Catch 100. The goal of the game is to get the students to throw the ball back and forth, without it hitting the ground. They have to be able to do 100 throws, before the class found a winner.

            I saw what I expected to see today. I knew that most of the children would be able to throw the ball at a high level. After a while the students started to get bored, so would start to get off task. I have to remind them that I had to assess their throwing ability, so I know how a class as a whole would be able to handle the team handball unit. Overall, I feel like today went well. I feel like the student accepted the task of throwing the balls back and forth without complaining. Next week when I do my team handball lesson, I am going to start with a little activity that gets the students to practice throwing on the move like they are going to be doing. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Field Experience- Day 13- March 22- Grade 2

Topic: Classroom Visitation 

Today, I took the opportunity to go into a classroom setting and watch how this second grade class. This second grade class at the school has always caught my attention. They do have many people who have social behavior issues. Sometimes these students tend to clash with each other. However, I wanted to see how they were in the classroom. I wanted to see if they were going to be loud. I wanted to see if they were going to times where they yell, or if they are quiet most of the time. The teacher was very welcoming, and was excited to see me in her classroom. I can't thank her enough for allowing me to come in, and giving me the opportunity to watch these students outside of physical education class.

1.       How is the classroom arranged and decorate?
a.       When I walked in, I felt as though the classroom was very welcoming. The seats were placed in the middle with each student’s name on the seat. On the outside of the classroom were many posters for each subject the students were going to do. In the back of the classroom was the science area. There were posters about the planets, and the earth. In the front of the classroom were a white board, and many different visual aids that the teacher and students use. They had a calendar area, and a place for the weather. In the front right corner of the room, was a carpet where the students did their opening song, and had a morning story time. The classroom was not naked. Many posters and work that students have done to get the students to feel comfortable, and more welcomed in the room.
2.       How is the classroom differ from the gymnasium as an educational setting?
a.       The classroom is more decorated. There are a lot more visual aids, and is almost more appealing for both the teacher and the students. Also the classroom is a lot smaller. In a gymnasium you need room for the students to move around. The classroom is also a little bit more structured. In the gymnasium the students are able to do the activity, and be a little talkative. In the classroom the students always need to be quiet, and pay attention to the teacher.
3.       How would you describe the classroom atmosphere?
a.       The classroom was very loud. It took a lot of patient to sit in this second grade classroom. Most students had behavioral issues of some sort. When you put these together, they all tend to class. So the classroom atmosphere was very welcoming to guest, however it was very loud at the same time. There is a reason why I did want to attend this 2nd grade class. I was interested to see how they acted in the classroom.
4.       What was the topic and structure of the portion of the lesson you observed?
a.       I went into the classroom in the beginning of the day. The students all started at their desk, and then they all moved to the carpet for a beginning song. They moved into a little hot potato game, and stayed on the carpet for a story. After they went back to their desk which are placed in the middle, and worked on their suffixes. The teacher would give them a word and they had to put ed,er,est,or s on the end of the word.
5.       How would you describe the language and literacy levels of the students?
a.       Giving that the students are 2nd graders, I would say that their language and literacy levels are at the beginner level. They are still learning the language, and with the spelling section they had an opportunity to work on their language. I would say that these students are right on track with where 2nd graders should be. They tend sometimes to make mistakes, but that is expected from them.
6.       How did the teacher engage the students in the lesson segment that you observed?
a.       The teacher danced with the students. It gets the students excited, and started to dance as well. She also started the hot potato game, which she was the first one to be knocked out. The students were pretty excited to see her be the first one knocked out. She also read the story to them. During spelling, she would call students to say the word with the suffix, and ask them to use it in a sentence. She is very engaged in her classroom.
7.       How would you describe the social behaviors of students in this age group?
a.       The class that I observed seemed to get along pretty well. It seems different when they are in physical education class because they tend to sometimes have a few problems. This class is also has many students with social behavior issues. They will talk to each other, however sometimes students will yell out answers over other students. It would make the classroom setting very loud. The students do show that they have social behaviors, but sometimes it takes some patience to see the proper social behaviors.
8.       What did you learn from this observation that will help you teach this age group more effectively?
a.       I learned that everything needs to be explained to the students. You need to provide the students with details of what is exactly asked from them. Also, it takes a lot of patience to work with the 2nd graders. They tend to listen, however can get off task fast. You need to keep your instructions short.  Also, sometimes you just need to wait. You can try holding up your hand, or clapping and the students will continue to talk. You just might need to wait till they calm themselves down before you can move on.
9.       What other insights did you gain from this observation?
a.       I learned that the students do in fact act differently in the classroom setting versus a gymnasium. In the classroom the students tend to talk but usually have no way to get their energy out. When they come to physical education class, the students are excited but they calm down fast because they know that they are going to be moving around. So the classroom setting usually takes longer for them to quiet down.