Tuesday, May 1, 2012

355 Field Experience 4/17/12

Today at CCA I taught my first class of soccer. At the end of class I had the students perform my post assessment to track their progress. My skill theme was kicking/shooting in soccer so naturally my focus for the lesson was kicking/shooting. I had the students kick around the soccer ball together to get a feel for how it is to play soccer in a controlled manner. After two or three minutes I gathered the students into the middle of the gym for a class talk. I told the students it would be my last day teaching them. The students were disappointed I was leaving and I was sad to have to go. I had the students practice shooting in the context of game like activities such as having them dribble and then shoot on a goal. One game I had them play was great and the students really loved it. The game is called socketball and is a combination of soccer and basketball. If the ball touches the ground the students have to play soccer style but if they catch it they have to play basketball style. They can score by shooting the ball in the basketball, kicking it in the soccer goal or throwing the ball into the soccer goal. I thought this was a great game because it added in a new skill and also reviewed skills from the last message. The students loved the game and were sad when we had to stop for the assessment. I had the students do the assessment in the same fashion as I did in the previous lesson. The students really love playing knockout so why not let them play one last time. Over the few weeks I was at CCA I really got to know some of the students and I was surprised. I noticed that there was one student in the class that was a catalyst for a lot of the trouble or behavior problems that would pop up while I was teaching. I had to be very firm with this student and had to have him sit out a couple times before he really got the point and began to behave. Another student was my host teachers child and they tended to complain at times and give less than optimal effort so I had to work on that over time. Overall, the students were all really awesome kids and I was glad to have had the chance to teach them. I learned a lot from this experience at CCA. Teaching is not just about writing a lesson plan and following it exactly. You have to be prepared to adapt you lesson and extend, shorter or change the tasks or activities you originally planned. Teaching at CCA was an amazing opportunity and I look forward to the chances I get to teach in the future.

355 Field Experience 3/28/12

Today when I arrived at the CCA I was surprised to see the gymnasium filled up with tables and the walls filled with posters. I talked to the secretary and she told me they were having an Ad fair as a bit of an advertisement for what the students were doing. Also, my host teacher happened to be absent on this particular day so there was a substitute teacher there. Due to the lack of space to use to teach my lesson, the substitute teacher and I had the students go outside onto the small playground next to the school. There is not any other space that I am aware of to use as a replacement for the gym so the playground was the only choice I had. The substitute teacher and I watched the students and intervened during some safety and behavior problems. Students were continually walking in front and behind the swing so we had to stop that so none of the students would get hurt. The kids seemed to enjoy the playground but I was disappointed that I was not able to teach my lesson.

355 Field Experience 3/25/12

Today I taught another lesson in my basketball unit. Today I focused on shooting but did some review on dribbling to make sure the students remembered what I had taught last time. As a warm up I did a dribbling game in which the half of the students were dribbling around the general space and the other half were trying to knock the ball away. I had the students with balls count backwards from a hundred losing 10 points every time they dropped their ball. After that I gathered the students in the center to go over the behavior management concepts that I had discussed last week. The students were still having trouble being patient and listening to my directions so I continued to work on that through the class. I introduced the BEEF cues to shooting, balance, eyes, elbow and follow through. Then I had the students work on shooting very close to the basket. I had the students do several other shooting drills but always made sure to have them stay within a range that would allow them to be successful. Success is important to people learning new skills because if they fail constantly they will be less likely to continue to practice and give full effort. As a part of my curriculum project I had the students do a shooting pre-assessment in soccer. I had goals lined up on the other side of the gym and had the students shoot from 15 feet away. I let them shoot any way they wanted and did not give them any sort of instruction. I wanted the numbers I got to serve as a baseline for the rest of my assessment. I had the students count the number of shots they made and had them write down their numbers on a chart. I decided to have the students play a game of knockout on one side of the court and had any student that got out in knockout come over and start the assessment. I did not want half of the students standing around doing nothing. Also, the students love playing knockout so I figured I would allow them to play as a reward for good behavior. I am going to continue my assessment with the same 4th and 5th grade class next week.

355 Field Experience 3/23/12

Today at CCA I did not teach I just helped out my master teacher and observed. The class was made up of kindergarten and 1st grade students. The teacher had the students organized into two teams and played kickball. The physical education classes at CCA are generally more of an extended recess than an actual physical education class. The students happened to have a lot of behavior management issues. Throughout the class I had students coming up to me complaining about what the other students were doing. Almost every student came up to me at some point and asked whether or not they could pitch the next inning. I told the students that I would be pitching for the entire class because I cannot let one student pitch and not another that would not be fair. Also, some of the students were not sharing and allowing the other students to kick. The students would stand near the student that was kicking which was a big safety issue. At one point I had to stop the game and talk to all the kids because they were not listening and they needed to understand what I needed them to do. I did not teach this lesson but I realize that these students definitely need a lot of work on their behavior management.

355 Field Experience 3/21/12

Today at CCA was my first time teaching a full 40 minute lesson. I was very nervous going into the teaching experience by myself. You never know what to expect when you are out in the field teaching real children, not just your peers at Cortland. For my lesson I chose to teach basic dribbling to start a basketball unit. I chose basketball because the equipment that I had to work with was limited. I know that equipment is not an excuse for just doing sports and not lifetime activities, but that is what I chose to do. The students were very excited to get a chance to play basketball for the next few classes. The first thing I had the students do was play bulldozers and builders as a quick warm up. I wanted a game that was simple to explain but would help them start listening to my directions. After that I decided to work on a bit of behavior management. I remember talking about personal space and general space in lab and realized that this class could definitely use these concepts. I talked briefly about what general and personal space were and that it needed to be obeyed at all times. I also talked about how to hold the basketball when I was talking. This took time for the students to really understand and get down but after one full class the students began to understand it. Another behavior problem I recognized was that the students do not listen to the directions and be patient. When I would explain an activity the students would tend to talk and not take in every direction so I would end up repeating myself multiple times. Another problem was that when I would ask the students to do something or get equipment they would all run over to the basketballs and knock each other over. I had to have the students walk back to the baseline and tell them to quietly walk over to the basketballs and grab one. Even then the students were fighting over which basketball to use. When that happened I had the students return to the end line again and told just half of the students to grab a basketball and then had the other half grab one after they returned. I continued with different dribbling drills adding one cue at a time. I figured the students would be able to remember and get used to each cue one at a time better than all at once. A lot of the class ended up I ended up working on behavior management concepts because the students needed to learn how the class would run and the different routines and protocols I was going to put in. The students began to get used to what I wanted to do by the end of the class.

355 Field Experience 3/13/12

Today was my final day at Cincinnatus Elementary. Due to circumstances with transportation I could not return for more hours. For my final class I observed and assisted with another day of floor hockey. Unfortunately the class was very similar to all of the other floor hockey lessons I have seen thus far. The regular warm up of jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups and laps led into game play. The warm up lasted around 5 or so minutes and game play took the rest of the class. I wish that the students had more of a chance to learn lifetime activities like badminton because I doubt that any of the students will ever play floor hockey after they graduate from high school. I think that sports have their place in physical education but they should not be the only thing that is in the curriculum.

355 Field Experience 2/28

Today at field experience I observed another kindergarten class doing gymnastics/kidnastics. As a warm up the teachers had the students play everyone is it tag. Everyone is it tag is a good tag game because you have to be aware of yourself and everyone else at the same time. Also, it gives everyone a chance to be it and be tagged so nobody feels left out. When a student got tagged they had to go onto one of the mats and do 3 mountain climbers. The game was fun and got the kids moving a lot but went on for a very long time. Tom and I participated in the tag game and by the end of it we were completely exhausted and were dreading having to play the game again later in the day. If the warm up were much shorter it would have been effective because the students ended up standing around and had limited movement after a while. The gymnastics portion of the class was like every other class in which gymnastics was the unit. The students had to move from mat to mat and complete a different balance or jump. The only difference today was that some of the activities had the students working as partners. This was a good idea, but after every rotation at least one student was without a partner. The student without a partner was left out and did not get to practice the activity at the mat. The main problem with this gymnastics unit is that there is a lot of down time for the students. When a student is not jumping they are just standing there. Also, I do not really think the students are learning anything at all. It is more of them just practicing gymnastics.