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 :)