Sunday, March 25, 2012

From Elementary to High School

After completing my final weeks at the elementary school, I made my way over to my assigned high school, where I have been for the past 2 weeks. The difference is like day and night between the students, and how you must go about teaching them. While one of the larger difficulties in elementary was managing their excitement, the biggest difficulty in the high school is trying to get them excited enough. Trying to get students motivated to move is a concept I must work on daily with these students. One small trick that I have learned works, is don't underestimate the power of stickers. It is no surprise they are a great treat for younger children, but they work surprisingly well for high school students as well. Using stickers as a positive reinforcement for good skill demonstrations, or positive affective behaviors has allowed me to motivate a number of my high school students. I will keep you updated, as the semester progresses.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Student Teaching

Hello All! So the first 4 weeks of student teaching have flown by, but yet so much has been done. While I've been at this school I have been able to help out it in games night, literacy day, and start up a morning intramural game program. Most recently we have started up our gymnastics unit which usually consists of 7 or so stations that the students rotate through. This year I decided that a Wii Fit Balance station would be a nice addition. Students have been very enthusiastic to participate. Many already understand and own the game, so little instruction is needed, which means more activity time! The school that I am currently at is not very familiar with technology. This game is a great start for the program, and I have been able to peek the interest of my cooperating teacher to invest in more of these games for next year. This  game is both exciting and beneficial to the students, which will hopefully continue onto next year.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Hey everyone,
There's one thing that you as a phys ed major should be constantly working on throughout your cortland lifetime, and that is your portfolio. Although you still have some time before the finished product is due, there are a few things you should make sure you keep a hold of. You're notebook should be tabbed off into the following sections: resume, philosophy, standards 1-6, certification, and professional development.
Resume and philosophy (you will do these in EDU 470) is pretty much self explanatory. In the standards section you will have to have a total of 12 artifacts and reflections total (2 per each standard). Some artifacts that you may already have done are EXS coursework and PED 201 labs, FitnessGram results, personal fitness logs, and athletic performance evidence. You may use these mainly in the first two standards. Some artifacts that you will complete in the near future include EDU 255 scope and sequence charts, lab D analysis form, resource project and EDU 256 bulletin board and host teacher evaluations. Of coarse these are only examples, if you can come up with other artifacts that meet the standard requirements go right ahead, the more unique the better. The certification section of your notebook should include field experience log, portion of your ESL experience, fingerprinting, unofficial transcript, and certification exams. The Professional Development section should include your references, certifications, conference attendance, professional memberships, and awards. Once again these are just suggestions.

I know this may seem like a lot right now, but just take it all in stride. You still have lots of time and it will all come together wonderfully! One last hint- make sure you make your own personal copies of your field experience logs and host teacher evaluations (when you receive them). Cortland will end up keeping them and then you will not be able to have a copy for your portfolio. If anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to ask. GO PE!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hey check out this new video I put together for the EDU 255 class of fall 2011!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1.      I personally did not like Traineo. Especially when in comparison to the other tools I have used. I found the system to be very difficult to work. One aspect of it that did not appeal to me is that in order to access the track calorie tool I had to pay. For a feature like that on daily burn it came for free. Also it was much more difficult to input my intake of foods. When I would type in one thing, something completely different would pop up, and same with the activities. It wouldn’t let me input more than one work out at a time. Although I was not a fan of this system, there were some nice aspects about it. I liked how it was an open blog for anyone or anything related. You can blog about motivation, diet, exercise, etc. And in doing so you can see what other people are up to, and what works for them. I thought that was great. I also liked how under each food you do input, they provide you with a nice little chart next to it stating how much protein, sugar, carbohydrates, fat, calories, fiber, and sodium. I thought that was a nice tool, so it can assist someone in seeing which foods provide them with the most of what. At the time I am currently using daily burn as well as nutricalc. And thus far I found both of them superior to Traineo, they were much easier to use. Inputting foods and workouts were easier, the website was more attractive, and the daily burn provided me with a nice graph showing me how I vary my calorie intake per day. I nice visual aide.  I couldn’t find anything like that on the Traineo.

2.      This website can be easily used to meet learning standard 1b. Standard 1b is all about creating a personal fitness plan. This program is designed to help one do exactly that. Great for both the physical education and health classrooms. One can have the students check out the sight, sign up during either class period or a homework assignment. Students can then use the program track their diet, workouts, weight, etc. for a week. Then analyze the results, and create a fitness plan according to their personal needs. The class can even sign up as a group, to set a group goal, a great motivator! Besides the class group, they are also able to join other groups that may pertain to their personal interests such as running, music, etc. Individual goals can be modified as well. You can teach by invitation, inviting them to try to improve their weight if they feel the need to do that, strength, cardio vascular endurance, balanced nutrition, etc. Tell the students to design a fitness plan that will aid them to improve in the area they feel they need to most.

3.      Nutricalc vs. Daily burn vs. Traineo:
Throughout the semester I have had the privilege to work with these three different programs. Each program was different, unique, and had many nice qualities. While their where also qualities of each program that I was personally not a fan of. Here are the opinions I had of all three programs when able to compare and contrast them.
I found this site to be extremely organized, easy to use, and chock full of information. This site is a student/teacher site, and you can only obtain your own profile on it if you have bought the code (part of nutrition textbook). Although it incorporates activities, and provides you with an activity summary of your selected days that is about it. There are no motivators, or groups to join like on daily burn or traineo. This is very focused on nutrition and eating, and gives you a great deal of information pertaining to that. It provides you with tools such as calorie assessments, single nutrient reports, comparisons, mypyramid, and much more. This is a sight that provides you with a lot of factual info on food. Unlike daily burn that gives you the options for favorite foods or grocery lists which may make the sight more fun and appealing for students. This is a great site, but I would recommend it for the health class exclusively and for the topic of nutrition.
Daily Burn
The daily burn program was definitely my favorite of them all. I found it to be easy to use, fun, and accessible. Like the Nutricalc it is easy to input foods and activities. Also very similar to Nutricalc, it was able to break apart each food for you, telling you how much of what was in which food. It even graphed it out in a nice pie graph so you can easily view your daily calories and where they come from. Although it doesn’t go into as much detail with the nutrients like finding all the vitamins and minerals, it did have a lot of other great aspects that the Nutricalc system did not. One of these great features is that it was very activity oriented. Unlike Nutricalc it had a lot great workout options. First off it was easy to input your workouts, than you could also find a training plan or exercises that worked for you. But that’s not all! You can find challenges, motivators, or groups. All different ways of getting you off the couch and on the move. Challenges create a goal for you or a group of people to attain, and motivators are groups or friends you can join up with, see each other’s progress, and work together. All these great workout options plus food options make it a great site to use. For food, you can even plan meals, grocery lists, recipes, etc. With all this going on, one might wish they could access it from let’s say their iphone. Well now you can, it is now also an app for the iphone, making this program more easily accessible than ever. With all these great features, I would definitely recommend this program for either a physical or health education class. If you are in need of some ideas for physical education, I have provided you with a lesson plan and block plan below which you are free to use.

Out of all three programs, I would have to say this ranks last. It was more difficult to use then the other two. And upon entering the site it took my quite some time to find the area to log in my calories, and once I did find that, I had to pay for a monthly fee (there is a free trial for only a short amount of time). Besides that, when inputting the foods it would come up with weird suggestions, and inputting activities was strange as well. Although I personally did not like it, when compared to the Nutricalc and Daily Burn programs, there were some positives about the site. Alike the Daily Burn, I found that it did have an iphone app as well, so it is easily accessible. And like the other programs it has the ability to graph out your weight and activity progress. As well as break apart your foods into calories, sugar, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, etc. Some other features that were unique were the blogging. This program is very blog oriented, in fact that was the first thing I came upon once I entered the program. This can be a great tool for people to get ideas from each other, motivate each other, and know that they are not alone. They have a bunch of different blog categories such as diet, motivation, exercise, and off topic. While using this program, I found it to be geared specifically towards weight loss. The other two sites were more towards living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight. This is perfectly fine, but if using it in a PE or health classroom, I would give the students a choice of either the Daily Burn or Traineo, and explain that the Traineo is more geared specifically towards weight loss. Nutricalc I would save for health classes only, which is why it is not located in the lesson plans below.

Once again please feel free to look at and use the lesson plan and block plan below, to incorporate the Daily Burn and Traineo programs into your PE classrooms.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Daily Burn
1.      I really enjoyed using the daily burn program. I thought it was great in that it not only tracked what you were currently doing but it gives you goals, motivators, and suggested workouts. I do currently use another online tracker. In my nutrition class we were required to use Nutricalc. It’s a program very similar to this one, except that you have to pay for it, with the textbook. I also like the features in the daily burn a lot better. In Nutricalc they don’t have as many options when you type in your food. Also I don’t believe that they set goals or motivators for you and they don’t give you that nice graph. Some aspects of Nutricalc that are nice, but aren’t on the daily burn is the single nutrient reports. In these single nutrient reports you can pick from any nutrient consumed, and find out all the details about it. How much you consume, how much you should, the percent of calories it makes up, which foods are giving you the most of that nutrient, etc. Both programs have tons of nice features, but after this week I like the daily burn better. It has cool features, and it is just more fun, which may make others want to try it as well.
2.      This program would be great for a physical or health education class. Especially when it comes to learning standard 1b, knowing how to create a personal fitness program. In a classroom students can use the program, learn how well they are doing both with diet and activity, and then with the help of the program, create a fitness plan for them self. This site has many cool features and students can play around with the program, test it out and see what motivates them and helps them the most whether it is cardio, weight training, etc. And in doing so it may inspire them to want to make that fitness plan as well as stick to it and continue it. To establish a group goal, I would go to the challenges section of the program, and select one like cardio distance challenge, goal based. In doing so the class can aim for a distance goal to achieve. Also there is a motivator section in the program where you can sign up a group. I find this to be really great for the class! The teacher can even include herself and it can be a fun experience for everyone.

3.      A great electronic tool that can be used to capture the data is simply taking a screen shot of their results. By doing so they can keep a folder of these pictures in Picasa. It creates a very visual tool of how well they are doing. By doing this, the teacher can keep an accurate record of the students for each day spent in the daily burn, and each student can keep an accurate record of themselves, something that would be especially useful in a high school setting. These pictures can be put on a blog, or google docs, depending on how willing the student is to share his/her information with others. This may be used to meet requirement 1a- to perform basic motor and manipulative skills and attain competency and proficiency in a number of these skills (6+3 across 3). In the workouts section they have a number of different exercise ideas as well as logs to keep track of them. So a student may participate in whichever motor skills interest them, and easily keep track of those skills and how well they affect his/her personal nutrition. In using the daily burn they may be more aware of their fitness level, and skill proficiency/competency; thus helping them and their teacher see where they have room to improve.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

255 Final- Part 1B and 1C

Part 1B
1.      The website is from Toronto, ON Canada. The school is located in South Saskatoon, Canada. There is another school later on in the film that is located in Naperville Chicago, USA.
2.      I found this news piece to be extremely interesting. I am actually doing my honors thesis paper on how physical activity improves cognitive ability. So I was very intrigued by the new facts I acquired such as, Nero genesis-growing new brain cells. There is nothing out there that they know of that can do it better than exercise. It affects behavior as well, allowing people to be sharper, more attentive, and less distracted. So a child with ADHD which largely benefit from simple daily exercise. They had great support to back this up with too. Naperville high school for instance incorporates a lot of fitness and movement in the class room. And in the world competition for math a science they came out on top! I also learned that raising the heart rate, turned on the front part of the brain that has to do with controlling impulses, which is why exercise is so great for managing behavior in class.
3.      We probably don’t hear anything about the PE teachers in this program, because they were probably just the standard PE program that most everyone is used to. The old style of PE, which is why it became so beneficial to incorporate movement into the classroom. If physical educators got in on it too, in using other subjects in their class as well, it would create such a strong overall cognitive ability. When I become a physical educator, I will make sure that students will constantly be working out the mind and body. That as well as including the affective domain is the best way to go.
4.      The outcomes of this program seemed very beneficial. That most students were able to go up a whole grade, which is significant since they started off at about a grade 4. This did not surprise me, there research seemed very strong, and I found their evidence to be powerful. This idea has been something I have always believed in, and I have felt that I personally have reaped the benefits of this same concept. These outcomes are similar to the NYS standards. For example, this program definitely met with learning standard 1a and 1b. Allowing the students to become competent and perform basic motor skills and I am sure in doing so they were able to attain the knowledge in creating their own fitness plan for their individual needs. Standard 2 was met, because using this program has allowed the students to manage their behavioral issues. They improved their social behavior while in the program using physical activity. Standard 3 I am glad to say was met as well. Yes, the equipment was donated their school but the students seemed knowledgeable in how to get good physical exercise outside of the classroom. In the final interview at the end the teacher had explained how some students were able to convince their parents to go on walks around the neighborhood, etc. That is great, how the students were able to transfer the information they learned in the class room, to real life and outside situations. Demonstrating the ability to continue in lifelong fitness.
5.      BDNF is a nuero growth factor. It’s like miracle growth for the brain. Its helps preserve the brain cells, makes them stronger and more pliable. Overall making your brain more effective. Something that becomes very present with continuous aerobic activity such as running, walking, swimming, or jumping rope. One book that supports these findings and was mentioned in the clip was called Spark, by Dr. John Ratey. Another book that supports these ideas is called The Kinesthetic Classroom, by Traci Lengel and Mike Kuczala.

Part 1 C
There are many different activity categories one can be proficient or competent in. Such categories include, team passing, net/wall, target, striking fielding, aquatics, dance and aesthetic, outdoor, personal performance, and fitness. With such a wide variety of activities students should be able to find ones that peak their interest and inspire them. Although it should seam simple to get students involved and active at least at a regent’s level (6+3 across 3), not many schools are run this way. With the old style of PE very much alive, schools and faculty are slacking when it comes to the ruling of being competent in 6, proficient in 3, across 3 categories. One school I researched even stated on their site that students in grades 11 and 12 may be except from PE if they are in a sport at the time! That is definitely not meeting the physical education regent’s level. Without taking the physical education class, how are they learning the wide variety of other possible skills. Also how much are these students learning about creating a personal fitness plan. This is NYS learning standard 1b, but I am doubting this school that considers sports to be there PE class includes that aspect either.  In order to achieve a mandatory regent’s level, as opposed to the recommended regent’s level, schools are going to have to step it up a notch. Out with the old and in with the new style of PE. In today’s world physical education should be fun, innovative, creative, and exciting. I believe that the percent of students that should be passing phys education at a regent’s level by commencement should be at 90%. I feel that this is a very ideal number, easily attainable yet somewhat challenging. With a new and improved physical education system out there all students should be aiming to achieve a passing level for both standards 1a and 1b. By creating our lessons to be in this new light, students will be able to see and understand the importance of physical education. By doing this, more people will be growing up knowing how to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.