Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Letter to the Superintendent

To Mr. Superintendent,
I am a physical education teacher at this school and want to improve our Physical Education curriculum. I am writing you today in regards to a new technology system called iDance that I think would be very beneficial to our curriculum. I believe that this system will help the students in the Physical Education classes by increasing their heart rate and daily step count.
In today's society, technology, and video gaming, is a very popular activity with students of all ages. Like Dance Dance Revolution, iDance is a gaming system where kids play on mats, and try to complete songs by stepping on the right arrows at the right time. If you would like to see a short video of iDance, click here.
As you can see from the video, this system gets almost all students involved on the mats, and keeps track of their individual scores. As a teacher you can record these scores and track their improvement over the dance unit. You can also see from the video how much the students enjoy this system. I would like to bring this system into the school because it is something new and exciting for the students to experience.
Not only will the students learn how to play the game, but they will improve their locomotor movements by working on jumps and steps. Over time the students reaction time will increase because they will learn how to time their steps by learning to keep beat with the song in their head. I participated in a study at SUNY Cortland, using Dance Dance Revolution, which is like iDacne, on what and how to assess students during this dance unit. We found that heart rate increases 15% from the resting heart rate, which is a great increase. As a physical educator, it is important to me that students be active and get their heart rate up. Along with the increase of heart rate, the students daily step count increased as well. Not only are students learning about the physical aspect of PE, they are being active and involved in the affective domain of PE. In this study, I saw an increase of the positive feedback and encouragement given by students to their peers.
Dance is a lifetime activity that all students should get to experience. During this dance unit, students will not only play on the iDance, but they will also learn classical dances and other level dances, taught to them by the teacher.
iDance can be expensive, but I have already started fundraising. I could write a grant, or even try to get involved with surrounding school districts to purchase one. I know of a school near by trying to get iDance in their schools, and if I talk to them, we could figure out a way to get the system and share it with the community and school districs. We could hold "open dance" where the community can come in and pay a small donation, where teachers teach them dances, and use technology to get them involved in physical activity and dance.
I would love to talk more about this and give you more information and background on the system. Please feel free to contact me at mgradype@gmail.com. I truly believe this system will benefit our students in a very positive way.

Thank you,
Michelle Grady

Monday, December 21, 2009

Professional Portfolio

The Following is the beginning of my Professional Portfolio. It includes the NASPE Beginner Teacher Standards with artifacts included by me.

Standard 1: Scientific and Theoretical Knowledge
Physical education teacher candidates know and apply discipline-specific scientific and theoretical concepts critical to the development of physically educated individuals.

This artifact will include lab write ups from field experience done at an after school program in Dryden NY.

Standard 2: Skill-Based and Fitness-Based Competence
Physical education teacher candidates are physically educated individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate competent movement performance and health-enhancing fitness as delineated in NASPE's K-12 Standards

For my artifact for this standard I have chosen my personal activity record which shows what activities I participate in.

Standard 3: Planning and Implementation.
Physical education teacher candidates plan and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences aligned with local, state and national standards to address the diverse needs of all students.
This standards artifacts will be filled in after field experience in EDU 356, where I will write a top down plan and an IEP for the student I work with one on one.

Standard 4: Instructional Delivery and Management.
Physical education teacher candidates use effective communication and pedagogical skills and strategies to enhance student engagement and learning.
For this Standard I am using a Lesson Plan created for a dance unit as my artifact.

Standard 5: Impact on Student Learning
Physical education teacher candidates utilize assessments and reflection to foster student learning and to inform instructional decisions.
For this artifact I chose a presentation a group of students and I did that helped show assessment of students using Dance Dance Revolution in the classroom. (Weblink currently not working. Please be patient as I try and fix it. Thank you).

Standard 6: Professionalism
Physical Education teacher candidates demonstrate dispositions essential to becoming effective professionals.
This artifact will be completed once I receive a form filled out by a host teacher from a school I observe.


Learning to Ice Skate

Over the past semester I have had the opprotunity to help kids out on the ice rink. Every Saturday at a local community college in Binghamton, I would go for two hours and help younger kids learn to ice skate. This was a great experience.
The kids I helped ranged in age from 5-13. A few of these kids had experience while others had none. Starting out with the kids who had no experience I had them use bars that they could hold onto and get use to standing on the skates. I had them work on balance and the glide for a long time. They would start at one line and push off and glide as far as they could off of one push. As time went on the kids became more stable and a little at a time I would ween them off the push bars. After being able to move around the ice without the bars, we worked on continuously moving around the ice. Later in the semester I had them working on stopping and turning. These kids improved a lot over the time I spend with them. As a treat for their success in their time with me the last day I treated a couple of the kids to some snacks from the snack bar
I enjoyed this experience because it gave me a sense of accomplishement. I could see the improvement in a lot of the kids and it made me feel great that I was the one who helped them improve on the ice. I think they enjoyed their time with me me as well. I could see a lot more smiling by the end of their time with me. I can't wait to spend more time with these kids and teach them fun games and activities they can play on the ice.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

iDANCE! Do You?!

Its the end of the semester and I got to teach a lesson on the iDance System. I must say its quite fun! To view my lesson plan click here.
On this system it allows more students to be involved, compared to the two mats that DDR allows. With the iDance all the mats are wireless so there are more activities that students can participate in. Also with the iDance there is a setting that allows the teacher to pick two different levels that the students can compete on and they are allowed to pick what level they compete at.
iDAnce is a great way to incorporate dance into a PE curriculum. Many students these days are into video games and technology. And iDAnce is just that. With iDance, teachers are able to assess students on different levels. I came up with multiple assessments for iDance. First would be to take their heart rate throughout the lesson and final step count. With this information a teacher can see the progress students are making and how active they are being during class. Other assessments I would use would be to give a cues quiz on the 4 main cues given in the lesson. The second assessment I would use at the end of the lesson would to give the students an assignment to write a page or two on what they learned during this dance unit.
I think this is a great way to get students involved in dance. In the week that I got to use this system, I improved my percentage of hitting the arrows from around 20% to around 60%. iDance has helped improve my footwork by doing harder levels with more arrows and task to complete. I really enjoyed every minute of my time while using this system and would suggest any school to invest in one of these systems.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lab C - intenational lab

It was international week here in 255. For my lesson we visited Holland where a type of clogging came from. Mindy and I decided to do clogging and give our class a little lesson on how we Americans gave this dance a little more pizazz.

With dance, students range from a variety of different levels and I don't think I was very well prepared for that. Although I did add some intra-task for a couple of groups, it wasnt much of a more or less difficult task. Keeping the attention of a large class while doing a dance unit is not easy at times. Some students don't have much interest, and because its not a very active environment its a little more difficult to keep them going.

If i were to teach this again I would set up stations for the class so they could work at their own pace. I think this would keep them more interested because they wouldn't have to be rushed and if they knew certain parts well enough they could move on to more difficult levels.
I would also use different types of music with the same beat, for the students to dance to. I think the different types of music will allow for them to understand beat and rhythm and how dances can be used in different types of music.

I think that the visual aids really helped some of the students. Having different colored feet for the left and right foot made it a little more easy to understand and remember steps. To change this I would have broken down each part and made them into separate stations.

It was a little difficult for me to teach this lab because I don't have much background in clogging. I had to learn the short dance in a week, which I was able to do. I think having to teach a lesson I'm not completely comfortable with is a good challenge. You never know when you may need to teach a lesson and you only have a few days to learn the material. After a few moments of hesitation in the beginning of my lesson, I think I improved my attitude and hopefully the students enjoyed it.

Lab B - Ultimate Frisbee

During this class I had the opportunity to teach a drill to go along with our Ultimate Frisbee unit.
Want to listen to my lesson? Just click here

To read my Transcript click here

In this lesson I had the students split off into groups and work on the drill I taught them, called the Double Boulder Drill which is a different kind of stacking drill . In this drill the worked on making cuts and hooks to get to the frisbee, instead of just making the left and right square cuts. I also had the class work on transitioning in this drill. Ultimate is a fast-paced game and transitioning, and communication, are very important in this game.

I gave back positive feedback, but a lot of it was not congruent. Most of the time I was saying good job. or keep it up. I need to work on giving back positive congruent feedback. When giving feedback on things that a student needs to improve, I used my cues to help them remember and learn the correct way to make the cut.

I need to work on not calling the students guys. Professor Foley from my Stats class has been drilling us on that, and I need to start to think about what I am calling the entire class.

Overall I think I am improving on my teaching skills. I was a little more organized in my teaching than I was from the past two short labs. This was a great lab to teach because it was something I really enjoyed, and I think that helped me be more enthusiastic about my teaching. I'm realizing that the more I am excited about the activity were doing the class will be more excited and willing to participate.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lab 2a

We're a month in and it was that time to do another teaching video.

In this lab I chose to continue with my lessons on soccer. On this day I went over how to make a quick cutting move with the soccer ball. Going into this lab I felt comfortable and confident in what I was about to teach. After watching my video I see I still have things to work on.
After reviewing my time coding sheet I realized I spent a lot of time with instruction. I think this is because in the 4 minutes that we get I want to get everything out. I now realize that its unnecessary. If I spend more time on activity I can give more information with the feedback that I give to the students.
My feedback wasn't great this time. I didn't get the chance to get around to everyone, and when I did give feedback it was not congruent with the cues I had given them in the beginning of class. It was more of a "good job" type of feedback.
I think these videos are really helping me with becoming better at teaching in my labs. After reviewing them I know what mistakes I am making and try to work on them. I hope the next lab goes better than the last two and I correct the mistakes I have been making in the past.