Friday, December 10, 2010

Prime Examples :)

This past Thursday, Tracy and I were lucky enough to be able to attend the Physical Education Portfolio Showcase. This was a fantastic event honoring those exceptional Physical Education students that have created a professional portfolio masterpiece. It was a fantastic experience to be able to check out some great portfolios. It was truly inspiring!!! Great job Rockstars!!! Thank you!

Checking out the wonderful work of SUNY Cortland's PE Rockstars!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Even the Grinch is smiling :)

Our final week at St. Mary's couldn't have been any better! I was lucky enough to be in the gym with Nate for most of the afternoon. We had a total blast!

Look how wonderfully the students are listening and how respectfully they are asking their questions!

Mr. Nate and Miss Bree are checking for understand before Christmas tree tag gets underway!

Christmas trees and house mice - GO!!!
Apparently I wasn't running fast enough! Now - I am frozen in Christmas tree form until I am freed by a house mouse!

Christmas tree tag was perfect for a warm-up!  We ran out a lot of our wild energy!  But, don't be fooled - there was plenty left to go around.

After Christmas tree tag we broke out one of the favorites - PARACHUTE GAMES! The kids go wild for a parachute! Our first game was Nate's. We had to run underneath the chute and collect a present when our Christmas character was called! We had Rudolphs, Snowflakes, Frosties, and more! It was great!

Nate is freed by a house mouse!!!

Uh OH! Here comes the GRINCH! Watch out little Whos!!!!

After we'd collected all of our presents, the Grinch showed up! Yikes!!!! He was so sneaky, clever, and conniving.That little green guy crept all around underneath the parachute and snuck up on the unsuspecting Whos! When a Who was caught - they became the Grinch and the Grinch a Who! The kids had a riot!

Little genius! This young lady, right here, just stunned me (obviously!) with her uncanny ability to dominate the checker board. All I can say is... WOW!

After our crazy parachute games we went down for snack time and play time. Madeline and I got to play a riveting game of checkers! That girl, I swear, is a little genius. The way she can visualize the game - INCREDIBLE! Her little brain is a firecracker! It's awesome!

Always a favorite - the parachute! This awesome addition to the day's activities always gets the kids super excited and revs up their imaginations!

I can't tell you just how much I am going to miss those kids (though, lucky for me, I get to spend next semester with them too)!  :)   It was truly an honor to be a part of their lives!!! 

Thank you - St. Mary's!!!
You will always hold a special place in my heart! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Little Christmas FUN :)

This past weekend I was privledged to spend some quality time with the students and parents of St. Mary's School. On Friday, late afternoon, a group of us helped the school set up for their big Christmas Bazaar! It was neat to be a part of the effort that went into preparing such an event. The ladies did a great job decorating for Christmas, the school was beautiful! We were more so responsible for setting up tables, chairs, and games. Saturday, however, was the fun part :) On Saturday morning, Tracy and I were responsible for the football throw for a couple of hours. It was AWESOME! The kids loved it, let me tell ya! They were so adorable! It was great to see them having a blast!

Game on!!!

Shootin' some hoops with the kids and Spongebob!

Getting to spend some time with the kids in a fun and relaxed setting outside of the gym - was AWESOME!

They were able to win prizes and hang out with Santa himself! What could be better?! (Well, besides real reindeer)!!!

It was a wonderful experience to be a part of the school and community outside of the classroom. It's totally about being more than just a teacher. I definitely had a ball :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Totally Turkerific :)

Our Thanksgiving lab was wonderful. Ian, Tracy, and I got to work with the Pre-K this week and I can absolutely say we had so much fun doing it :) Tracy and I got to spend some time in the Pre-K classroom and had a blast getting to know some of the kids! We got to talk about everything we were thankful for while creating a masterpiece: The THANKFUL TURKEY!

We all picked our favorite color and made a feather for our Turkey. On each feather was a little piece of us that we were thankful for. Many of us were thankful for friends, family, and much loved pets.
The Pre-K had a blast creating this Thanksgiving masterpiece! The thankful turkey is our collection of the things in life that we love the most and are the most thankful for.

It was so much fun to listen to all of the interesting things that each of the students were thankful for. There were so many wonderful stories that exemplified the character of each of them!

Spending some quality time with the students before the afternoon comes to a close.

They always have something funny and insightful to say!

Physical Education is about so much more than just the physical. It is our job to educate the whole child! We have innumerable ways to help our children grow into thoughtful, responsible, respectful individuals.

It is especially awesome working with kids this age because they are just so happy and excited to be where they are. Everything is new and an adventure for them. If you listen close enough, you can learn a lot about the simple things in life - the pure and good things that can really make someone happy and appreciative of their life.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halloween Scream :)

You can't help but love Halloween - Fall, costumes, candy, witches, and fun! We were the gym group this week and we got to play some great games that allowed for us to check out the students' throwing and catching skills.
Tying wild and creative stories into your explanation of the game is a fabulous way to keep the kids' attention and to inspire in them a passion to play! Check it out - they totally dig it!

It was extra awesome because not only did we get to play games with the kids we got to make up some pretty fantastic stories as well.

Just to illustrate - when I was introducing my game (Magic Orb Tag) to my kids - I got to elaborate on just how magical our special orbs were in helping us during our play. I was also asked why my witch hat wasn't sticking straight up!!! Whoa! Million dollar question! How do I answer cleverly and creatively so I can inspire the kids to play!?? Ah ha! It's obviously a magic hat that is losing its magic and the only way to fill it back up is to have an awesome fun time playing this game!!! (At the end of the game I made sure my hat was pointing straight up to the skies and thanked the kids for helping me fill up with magic once again)!

Dressing up and playing a role is a great way to make your program unique and influential! It allows the kids to use their imaginations and have tons of fun all while being physically active!

Beyond Physical Education - we aspire to inspire. We encourage our students to create, to imagine. To feel open and confident. To play. To respect. To show compassion. To love - life, health, and each other.

I totally love being able to use my imagination and get wild with my stories. I think it helps create an unforgettable experience for the kids and promotes a very healthy and vivid learning environment! It seems as though we are all kids at heart <3

The Beginning of a NEW ADVENTURE :)

This has truly been a wild Autumn for me. My life has changed drastically in a matter of months. It seems to be true what they say... about just knowing what you want to do with your life. I love this, I love PE and I know I will love Health - Just like I love Biology. (See, you don't have to pick just one thing... there's a whole world of wonderful things out there - why choose just one)?!

So, in short ... I am happy. I am excited. And, I can't wait for tomorrow!

Friday, November 5, 2010


A heartfelt thank you to the fabulous and inspiring students of St. Mary's!

Hot Stuff !

...and things get crankin'! So we'd been asked to cleverly and conscientiously develop a physical education curriculum that we were proud to stand behind and ready to defend. The FITNESS FANATICS (that was our group!) did just that. Our philosophy for our PE program was to inspire the individual to strive for a lifetime of physical fitness - one that was completely enjoyable to them (because what's more important than fun)!! We believe that with the proper (and enthusiastic) introduction to a vast variety of physical activities from each of the activity categories we will be able foster the confidence to attempt new (and perhaps even wild) things and instill in our students a love for physical fitness.

Pete and Ian tap into their incredible wit and cleverness and create an unforgettable and comedic little skit to introduce our Fitness Fanatic plan ;) 

Discussing the who, what, when, where, why, and how of our physical fitness plan!

Eleana provides some examples of how one might implement lifetime fitness activities into their physical education curriculum! 

We must get creative in the activities we introduce because the more unique and fun the activity the more of a chance it sticks with the students and inspires them to get out there and have fun getting active! 
Jon introduces the class to Jack LaLanne and shows us exactly how Jack is a prime example of the benefits of a fitness oriented lifestyle!

Wrapping up! We encourage everyone to try new things and have fun doing it :) It's our job to expose students to the unfamiliar and help them to pursue those activities in which they find themselves!
We will continue to strive to become well-educated, responsible, and resourceful physical educators and we will be prepared to defend the definite necessity for a diverse, healthy, and efficient physical education program in our schools.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

YOU are a superhero to someone!!!


Today, we got to spend the day with the fantastic and mighty St. Mary's superheroes! It was so refreshing to be back at the school with the kids after our little break. Wednesday's are the longest, toughest days so the time we get to spend at St. Mary's at the end of the day is like a breath of fresh air!

This young lady taught me much more than Irish Step dance :)

I got to spend a lot of time getting to know young Mo today. She is truly a thirty year old in an eight year old's body. ADORABLE! She taught me a lot about the power of a young mind and a young spirit. She was enrolled in Irish dance (which she so graciously tried to teach me) and could talk your ear off about theater and singing and playing the piano. She was almost worldly in a way. I look forward to meeting her again next Wednesday - when she is dressed as a teenage Elphaba!

I would also like to take a minute and comment on Justin. I personally did not get to witness this - but the picture says it all. ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE. This is what we strive to get from our kids - this undivided, unfaltering attention. When we acquire this... we open an eternal portal of teaching opportunities - and, not only the physical education opportunities. When the kids look up to you like this you become a role model. This allows you to easily and even subconsciously teach them about life, respect, and becoming a positive role model themselves. I hope that we're all a Justin someday!

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Pirate's Life for Me :)

This Wednesday we spent the afternoon with the St. Mary's kids hobbling around our pirate ships on our peg-legs, stealing gold, and chatting with our talking parrots! It was FABULOUS! The kids are adorable. Each child is totally unique and it's wonderful that we are getting the opportunity to be a fun and hopefully influential part of their life.

During this lab we were able to observe the children running, galloping, and hopping and examined their ability to perform the fundamental parts of each skill. Adam and Mary were great examples of students who understood the skill, could perform the skill successfully, and are still refining the full motions/aspects of each skill.

Check out how enthralled the Pre-K's are with Trent's story about Peter Pan and the Lost Boys! It is awesome how well you can keep the kids' attention when you get them to use their imaginations and are right down on their level!

A little dress-up goes a long way :) The Pre-K's and I are wrapping up the day with a little discussion about our favorite colors and a little contest as to whom can toss their favorite color ball the farthest and then pick it up and get it right back into the basket the quickest!

The St. Mary's kids always bring about a laugh and a smile :) Pam and I are sharing a laugh over our first attempt at teaching! Learning to teach well is going to be quite the journey!

Danny and I are learning that one of the best ways to keep the kids excited about the games is to hop right in on the action! Literally!

Getting to create/pick/modify a game for the kids to play was a lot of fun. It was like unlocking the little kid in your memory. It made you think back to all of those awesome games that had you loving your PE class so much! You couldn't help but smile at the fact that you were now able to share those games with other kids! I mean, how cool would it be if your exciting and unique teaching could help a kid fall in love with moving?! I mean, you're only helping them get on the road to a healthy, successful, rewarding life! Pretty neat, right!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The PE Hall of Shame Games!!!

After reading through Chapters 3, 18, and 19 and reviewing the articles regarding the PE Hall of Shame, I am ready to start formulating creative and innovative ways to modify PE to benefit the whole and not the parts - meaning: designing and executing games that involve everyone at most all times and eliminating or modifying those games that don't or those games that favor the gym class all-stars. Our main goal is to help these kids succeed at a lifetime of physical fitness and ENJOY doing so. We don't have room for failure here. Health and even happiness are dependant on a physically fit body and a sound mind - both of which we can help students work towards if we instill in them a love for lifetime physical activity.

I have to admit that I was taken back by some of the games in the hall of shame. SPUD and elimination tag games were some of my favorite activities in phys ed. class! Now that I am able to step outside the box and look at PE from different perspectives, I can see why some games don't necessarily favor all students, how they don't foster a period of constant physical activity, and how they can lead to a feeling of embarassment or failure. That is something that we, as PE teachers, should strive to avoid. If our goal is to create lifetime movers, we will have to adapt our lessons to benefit the whole.

I am not necessarily sure that I support the PE Hall of Shame. The articles discussing it and its inclusions seem a bit cynical. I believe, as instructors, it is our job to modify or adapt the game to support our goals. It is easy to spot the characteristics that will offer a game up to the Hall of Shame Monster and therefore, it is our duty to create a better, safer, more positively influential variation of these games. We don't want to totally phase out the old classics!!! Eliminating the element of human targets (or using feet as targets, for example, instead of bodies), increasing the play (or physical activity) time of the whole, allowing more time for the development, practice, and refinement of the essential motor skills, and decreasing the potential for harm, injury, or embarassment are ways that we can keep games from the hall of shame. If we employ these methods of improvement to games such as elimination tag or spud, for example, we can still include them in the PE curriculum. We can play tag games that call for movement at most times (with any locomotor skill) and allow a method of re-entrance to the game after being tagged. One can even become a tagger after being tagged to ensure continual movement (so we don't get a collection of kids just standing/sitting around). This will keep kids active for a longer period of time and hopefully ensure that they won't ever feel singled-out or like a failure (because they are always part of the activity). This allows for a mentally and physically safe environment.
This is the perfect example of future PE Rockstars trying their best to modify and adapt games to be more acceptable and friendly to the whole of the class :) The week before their time with the kids, they get up in the gyms at Cortland and play out their activities. Here, they are given the chance to receive constructive feedback from their peers. This helps assure the games and activities they take to St. Mary's are fun, safe, and positive.

After practicing and adapting the games for their kids, the Cortland Rockstars get out there and help the students of St. Mary's see just how fun physical activity can be :)

One of their most important adaptations to many of the old classics is the necessity for constant movement and total student inclusion. They do their very best to keep kids moving, laughing, and loving what their doing!

I believe as we develop as teachers we will continually learn new methods and improve on the old to ensure the happiness and safety of our students. We will have to be insightful, clever, and critical in our thinking and modifications of games and activities so that we help to foster lifetime movers.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What about kids with sticks!?!?

So, the question has been raised... what about kids and sticks?  If the children are at age appropriateness and can recognize spatial awareness and demonstrate motor control for the usage of any long handled implement, I say go for it! I do suspect that such a decision would be situational for some classes - depending on evaluation of the kids and their behaviors. I might be wary of younger children (about pre-K and K) with things like baseball bats, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, or even rackets. As the children got older (maybe 1st and 2nd grade) I would be apt to allow skill acquisition and play with these long-handled implements if they respected the equipment and those around them. Throughout the years I would love to allow more exposure to these implements and encourage skill refinement.

TAG! You're it!

Playing tag with the Pre-K during our first lab at St. Mary's! The girls are SAFE!!!

A view of Lab 1 at St. Mary's

Getting Creative with the Kids :) Mary, Brady, and I went on a camping trip in our backyard with our dogs!

Our New Friends :)

A friendly, fun group dance to wrap up the day! Cortland PE and our newest friends! :)

Meeting the Kids!

Wednesday we were able to meet the kids that we are going to be working with over the coming weeks. All of them were just AWESOME! SO many interesting and fun personalities. Mary and I got to get really creative and planned a whole camping trip in our backyard with our dogs. It was so much fun! She was adorable and truly an outgoing spirit. Towards the end of our day, a bunch of my peers and I got to play soccer with a few of the kids from St. Mary's. It was awesome to see the older kids playing friendly and fairly with the younger ones. To see them demonstrating that respect felt great! Excited for next time, that's for sure!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting into 201 - A whole new world

Good Morning :)

After reading through the Overview of Developmental Physical Education I feel much more confident in what I can expect from an education in physical education at Cortland. It helped to clarify some of the terminology that many of my professors are exposing us to in classes and to get the motor running, so-to-speak, on thinking about all of the developmental areas that physical education exposes us to.

It's fun and interesting to think about the progression of a K-12 Physical Education Program and the many ways you can shape and change your methods of teaching to accomplish the 7 goals of NASPE and to provide an incredible, fun, and memorable fitness experience for your students throughout their years with you.

I think the seven goals of NASPE are a great collection of the qualities and expectations that people desire in a physical educator. They provide an educator with the foundation to build a fun, phys-ed world in their school and will allow for that educator to become an important and influential role-model in the lives' of their students. I mean, if we're given the knowledge and power to make a difference... we should harness it and mold it into motivation and success for each student.

There is also an extremely powerful relationship between standards III ("exhibits a physically active lifestyle"), IV ("achieves and maintains a health-enhancing level of physical fitness"), and VII ("understands that physical activity provides opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and social interaction") in that there are countless ways in which you can make striving for these goals incredibly fun and challenging with regards to physical education and the natural environment. (But, this is for another day... because I could go on a million tangents here)!

So have fun and get outside!
Til next time :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day One in the life of PE

Well, Monday was the start of my newest adventure - day one of PE at C-State. I never would have thought that life would point me to teaching... let alone... PE.  It hit me like a ton of bricks thus, here I am. A new adventure, a new set of skills, and a new passion in life. WILD!

Everything has been overwhelmingly exciting as of yet, so I am anxiously anticipating what lies ahead... such as....

 ...PED 201. This course seemed like it was going to bring about oodles of awesome, hands-on learning experiences with a group of kids that I can only imagine to be fabulous. I am sure spending time with the kids will be teaching us far more than we ever thought possible. So I say, bring on tomorrow!!!!