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.

355 Field Experience 2/14/12

Today I observed a sixth grade class that focused on floor hockey. The warm up that was used was the usual warm up of push ups, sit ups, laps and jumping jacks. There does not seem to be any variation in the warm up coming anything soon. Assessment should be an important part of every physical education curriculum. Without assessment how can a physical educator show progress for their students and really evaluate their students? Up to this point, I have not seen any type of assessment that will be used. The teachers spend their time mostly managing the class, explaining game play and refereeing the game play. I think it would be very easy to accomplish an assessment within this unit and lesson. If you wanted to assess the students ability within game play you could create a rubric that describes what you expect for different levels. Your rubric could have 4 different point values each with different criteria. Each point value would have specific criteria that would leave little room for subjectivity when deciding which point value a student observes. You could also perform an affective assessment during or after the game play. If you wanted to do it during the game play you could create a checklist of different affective behaviors you think you should see while the students are playing. You could check yes if you see the behaviors or no if you do not. You could do this for every student individually or for the students as a whole. Also, at the end of the lesson you could do a cognitive assessment in which you give the students a written quiz on what you have taught them. You could do a pre-test first to establish a baseline for the scores for each assessment and domain. then you could teach your lesson and during that lesson you could post-assess and see the progress, or lack of, that the students made. Unfortunately, I did not see any sort of assessment nor did I see a lot of student learning occurring in this lesson.

355 Field Experience 2/7/12

Today I observed another class at Cincinattus. The class that I observed was a sixth grade class and they were working on floor hockey today. The students started with a warm up consisting of push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, suicides and laps around the gym. The students had a large amount of trouble completing the assigned amount of push ups which was 10. The form during the push ups was incorrect and most students could not complete more than 1 proper push up. I do not believe that this warm up was very effective because the students disliked it greatly and there was poor form on everything but the jumping jacks. The suicides are never fun for anyone and I know I would hate having to do them for a warm up. I think warm ups should get away from the old PE way of doing things and try to incorporate fitness inside of a fun activity. Also, although the students were working on fitness during their warm up there were not learning what benefits the different activities gave them. They did not learn about muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility or body composition. These 5 factors are very important in health based fitness and should be incorporated and taught in every lesson in some capacity. I think that if the teachers worked on proper form on the warm up activities the students would receive significantly more benefit. Also, I observed that the teachers did not check on exactly how many and if the students actually completed their warm up. The floor hockey lesson itself did not consist of much learning either. The teachers taught basic cues to passing and just had the students passing in lines. Just passing in lines does not transfer into a game like situation and is not authentic. There were no tactical concepts involved and I do not believe that future game play will be effective without more authentic practice situations.

355 Field Experience 2/9/12


I observed another class on this day that was a sixth grade class. The students were continuing with their floor hockey unit. To my surprise, there was no skill practice before jumping into gameplay. The teachers did not go over dribbling/puck handling, defense, offense, shooting, passing or how to play goalie. The only thing that the teachers did before gameplay was a warm up. The warm up consisted of several laps around the gym which had a big safety hazard for me. In order to separate the two halves of the gym to use for game play, the teachers put mats down the middle of the gym. This may be a good barrier to separate the two different games, but the students were jumping over and messing with the mats. I think that at any point, although no student did, a student could fall and seriously hurt themselves. Also, on one side of the mats there was all of the equipment like gloves, hockey sticks, goalie gear and pucks laid on the ground. The students were stepping on or jumping over these as well. The teachers gave the students a verbal warning but did not correct the source of the problem. Luckily none of the students in the class were hurt by this gym set up. After the laps the students had to do 10 or more jumping jacks, sit ups and push ups. The jumping jacks were good quality but the sit ups and push ups were done with poor form by all of the students. I did not see one student correctly execute a push up properly out of all the students in the class. Push ups and sit ups may not be the best warm up to have because they are not fun to do and most people do not like them. Additionally, without correct form there is a limited amount of benefit to either exercise. After the warm up was complete the teachers organized the students into separate teams and split them up between two gyms. One teacher took some of the students to the small gym and the rest stayed with the other teacher. Tom and I refereed one game and the teacher refereed the other. The students switch opponents after each game of about 5 minutes length. Although there was a lot of activity there was little to no learning involved in this lesson. But, the students did not some concept of offense or defense. There was one student on each team that played defense. But, I am not sure whether or not they wanted to play defense or they were put their by their other teammates.

355 Field Experience 2/28/12

Today the students played soccer for the entire class. The teacher split the class into two separate teams and allowed me, and herself, to play because there were several students absent that day. There was one goalie on each team and the rest of the students took a position, but there were not defined positions like offense or defense. As usual with younger kids, (grades 4-5) any time the ball would go in any direction, every student would flock over to the ball. 10 students around one soccer ball does not lead to a large amount of goals or game flow. The skill themes that can be found in soccer are dribbling, running, kicking and shooting. I found that soccer was not as activity that the students in the class were particularly high in skill in. None of the students dribbled the soccer ball at all. They chose to kick the ball high into the air and tried to get it as far down the court as they possibly could. When shooting on goal the students had low success and rarely made it near the goal, let alone in the goal. As i said earlier, the students would all run to wherever the ball was on court regardless of if they should have been there or not. The teacher tried to get them to spread out and use the space of the gym, but it is difficult to teach tactical concepts in the middle of game play. The lack of tactical concepts and skills was a big problem during this lesson. The students did not know the different positions on the field and were not separated into offensive or defensive positions. Overall, the students had a low level of psychomotor abilities as well as cognitive and affective.

355 Field Experience 2/23/12

Today was my second day at Cortland Christian Academy (CCA). Today there was a kindergarten and first grade class that I had the chance to observe. I was surprised to see a fellow Cortland student there teaching the class so that was a pleasant surprise. The Cortland student taught a lesson on basic jumping, almost if not the same lesson we did on one of the first days of 355 lab. The tasks and activities in the lesson were very good and seemed to be very effective. Some of the students already had the ability to jump rope, but some of the students in the class made good progress in their ability to jump rope. The management of the classroom was pretty good, but the students were still off task at times. I believe many of the behavior management issues stemmed from the lack of structure in the classes up until this point in the year. The students do not always listen closely to the teachers instructions so it can be difficulty to keep the students attention and they tend to be off task. Overall the lesson went very smoothly and one thing that I thought was great was the Cortland student had set up an activity for the end of class. The students already knew what they activity was and as soon as the Cortland student said the name of the game, the students went right to where they were supposed to be. I think an end of the lesson activity can be good incentive for the students to cooperate and be good during class or else they will not get their reward of the activity.

355 Field Experience 2/21/12

I was placed at a new school today because of some circumstances that came up. I was placed at Cortland Christian Academy (CCA). Compared to Cincinnatus, CCA was a much smaller school and different than any school I had ever been in. On my first day I received a tour of the school and found out that CCA was K-12 in a very small building. They had small class sizes compared to what I had been used to. The physical education program was not particularly developed and was just getting their legs under them. CCA does not currently have trained physical educators teaching their classes. But, the teachers that have taken responsibility for the classes are great people and try their best. The physical education classes are more of an extended recess than the typical phys ed class is. The students have a high activity time and are playing more or less for the entire class. High activity time is something every physical educator aims for in their lessons. But, like I said the classes are more of an extended recess. Today the students played kickball for class. The boundaries of the gym and the fact that they students also eat lunch in the gymnasium made the game difficult. The kickball flew under or over the lunch table multiple times and the students ran after the ball with little regard for safety. The rules of the game were not explained ahead of time and the students seemed to have difficulty picking the game up and following the rules they were supposed to follow. The teacher did a good job in controlling the class and the game flowed as smoothly as possible. I am looking forward to more time here at Cortland Christian Academy.

355 Field Experience 2/14/12

Today in class was a continuation of the kidnastics/gymnastics unit. In physical education there are standards that help guide a teacher on how they should do  things in their lessons. NYS Standard 1 is personal health and fitness. In this lesson students were working on different balances and jumps. The students had to perform the skills presented over and over until they were told to move to the next station. NYS standard 1 states that students will attain a competency in a variety of physical activities. I do not believe that this was accomplished during this lesson for a couple reason. First, there was no criteria on whether or not the students were doing the different balances or jumps correctly. Second, there was not a teacher at every station to keep track of how the students were doing. Additionally, physical education is not just amount completing a movement or practicing skills the entire class period. The standards for physical education also say that the students need to understand what they are doing. I did not see any learning in the lessons and I do not believe the students gained any knowledge of the different activities they were performing.

355 Field Experience 2/9/12

In most every school there will be students with special needs. Having been at Cincinattus Elementary for close to two weeks now, I have not seen any special needs students. If there are any special needs students, they are either separated completely from the physical education classes or are incorporated in the regular classes without any special accommodations. I was surprised to see that there were no accommodations for any of the students in the classes I have seen thus far. In my schooling experience there have always been at least one student that had some type of accommodations.