Friday, October 24, 2008

Phys. Ed. Fun Soccer Style!!

During the open gym time that we had available toward the end of our third lab I noticed a significant difference between ability and age between two students. I approached Mel, an 11 year old girl, who was playing with a soccer ball by herself. I asked if I could join and we began to pass the ball back and forth. After a few passes she noticed a trick/footwork that I doing when I got the ball and I asked her if she wanted to learn how. She was so excited and eager to learn. I showed her how to correctly perform the trick two times by placing my foot on top of the ball, snapping my foot down so the ball rolled towards me and using my toes to pop it up in the air for a pass or so you can kick it in the air to your partner. I was shocked when she tried it only two times and mastered it. Mel soon became board with the trick so I began to pass the ball with another girl named Mary Kate. Mary Kate said she was only 5 years old and didn’t know how to play soccer. I asked her to first kick it with her toes and then the inside of her foot and she caught on quickly. After a few passes she asked how to perform the trick I had shown Mel. I demonstrated two times again and she attempted to copy me however, Mary Kate tried multiple attempts and couldn’t master the skill. I demonstrated that you have to push the ball down so it spins back toward your foot and I tried to explain it another way but she became very frustrated the more I tried to help her. She eventually asked if we could play a different game and became very discouraged. I have to find a way to prevent this or maybe instead of just a demonstration I could have done a progression.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cortland Phys. Ed. Fun MINI-Conference!!

Spice Up Your Warm Ups:
When I was kid I know my imagination ran wild. I used to pretend to be my favorite animal and go on all kinds of adventures. Well what happened to my imagination now and how can I relate it to my kids in the class room to make my lessons more fun? Steven, an APEM officer, presented ideas based around just this concept. We took an entire adventure throught the water, woods, and wildlife without a single prop and completed a heart pounding warm up at the same time. It reminded me not just to find fun games but to use the imagination to make it interesting.
Another officer, James, came up with a fun game called Fitness Flip Cup. Instead of having the same warm up each class (5min run, 20 sit ups and push ups, stretching) he used cues on the top and bottom of plastic cups. Your team either has to try and get all the cups facing up or down by completing the activity on the card and flipping it to your side. Competition, basic skill completion and constant movement by everyone makes this warm up a good refrence to build upon.
Personally I enjoy rhythm and dance so a simple warm up presented by the president of the PE Majors Club, Nicole was great. She had everyone copy her dance movement but they couldn't start until she moved on to the next dance. Every 8 bars of music she would switch to a new dance and we would copy the previous. It increased heart rate, was easily adaptable and everyone was involved and looking silly at the same time.
GO APEM! Great Job Presenting!!

Obstacle Course Anyone?

Boys vs. Girls Obstacle Course!! The first group that I observed had the St. Mary’s students practice the leap, jump, and slide by moving through different stages of an obstacle course. The students were continuously moving so it was difficult to ask their specific age and grade level, although as a group I noticed a difference between gender and ability on different tasks. The girls and boys were able to slide down the river of the obstacle course with seemingly equal ability however; the next area of the course was to work on leaping from one hoola hoop to another. The boys often took a few steps back for momentum or would take off and land with both feet. As the hoola hoops began to spread farther apart with repeated use, the boys became more concerned with distance however they often missed the hoop altogether. The girls however took their time on each hoop and some began to hold up the line. Many of the female students would land on one foot and stay on that foot until the next hoop was empty and use the non-weight bearing leg as a pendulum for momentum to leap and then land on that foot. Many of the girls were able to balance for a substantial time waiting for the next hoop to become available. When I noticed the hoola hoops spreading farther apart as the students went through that part of the course I went over to move them back. As I was heading over one girl had completely stopped the line because she wouldn’t attempt her leap until the hoop was fixed, the boys would try even if it was out of reach, fail and try again in the next hoop.

Hungry Hungry Hippos!

Day 3: Today I assessed Megan and Nicholas in running, galloping, and hopping during the game Hungry, Hungry, Hippos! The game involved the students to perform the skill from their home hoola hoop to the hippo food in the center of the circle. The students were to bring the food (balls) back to home and the group with the most food at the end of x minutes won the game. It was difficult to assess during this activity because of two reasons. First, the kids were split up into groups and put on home base before the directions were explained causing many of the kids to become distracted. Running was never demonstrated to the kids because it was assumed that they knew how to run properly but while galloping and hopping were being explained, many of the kids were grabbing balls at home base or being distracted in some other way. It was also difficult to assess or may have been easier to assess if the home bases were moved farther away from the balls in the center. This would give the students a farther distance to complete the various skills. Nicholas and Megan both rushed the skills because they were more concerned in getting the balls back to home base but when pulled to the side and working with them one on one they were able to complete the skills more efficiently.

Pre-K Phys. Ed. Fun!!

Day 2: My lab group, the Scooby Snacks, were assigned to go out to the playgroud with the
Pre-K students. When we arrived, I encountered a pair of bright blue eyes that peered around the outside of the tunnel and in a flash disappeared again. I went into stealth mode and began to approach the tunnel. Again his eyes peered and disappeared but this time a giggle followed. I was very sneaky and peered through the opposite end of the tunnel and saw him looking for me again. Boo! He looked at me and a roar of laughter followed. I told him my name and asked if he wanted to play a game. A few minutes of Hide n' Go Seek became exhausting so we both agreed to play another game. Our attention was grasped by a boy standing on the very top of these climbing blocks. He was jumping from a height that was more than 5 foot high and pretended to be Spider Man as he jumped, shot out his web and landed on the ground. I asked my blue eyed friend if he wanted to jump with them and his body language became obvious that he wasn't interested by crossing his arms and crouching to hold his knees and curl into a ball. He said that he couldn't jump as well as the other boys and that it was too high off the ground for him. I told him that I could hold his hands and that he could jump from a lower block on the playground which seemed to spark his interest. I held his hands and counted to three and helped him achieve a smooth landing. We did this a few times until he said that he wanted to "blast off" of a higher block. "Blast off" reminded me of a song called Zoom Zoom and I told him we should pretend to blast off to the moon and use a countdown to practice numbers. We sang, "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, we're off to the moon! 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Blast OFF! After a few times singing we were able to jump from the highest block and with only holding one of my hands. This progression really seemed to show improvement not only with him, but when other children on the playground began to ask if they could 'Zoom' with us. This was really a boost of confidence for him and he began to lead the song for his friends. The children were actively climbing the blocks and jumping from off of them, singing the song, counting backwards, and doing a little dance to crouch down before blast off, it was so much fun!! Even some of my lab partners joined in and we took turns with some other students.

Phys. Ed. Fun at St. Mary's!!

Day 1: As we approached the playground I could feel the butterflies welling up inside. About twenty pre-K students awaited our aquaintence. Our only tasks were to get to know some of the kids and play!! I began looking around and found a girl crying under the slide. Her shoe had falled off and she was feeling home sick. I started to panic a little and called for one of her teachers but the chaos that surrounded us prevented that. I introduced myself and got down to her level under the slide and asked if I could help. She timidly crawled out from her refuge and stopped crying as I replaced her shoe. I reminded her that Mom or Dad would be here shortly to pick her up and that we should play a game while we wait. It was a good feeling and confidence booster to conquer such a task and hopefully brighten her day, if only in a small insignificant way. We began to rally together some of our friends for a game of Duck Duck Goose and her parents came to pick her up soon after.