Friday, December 5, 2008

Working with the basketball team

For my ten hours of community service I spent a week working with the girls varsity basketball team. This was a very valuable experience, not only did I get to learn great coaching tips from an excellent coach, but I was able to see what worked and what didn't with the players. In 255 you learn that you have to have control and everyone needs to hear you, in the gym with the boys playing on the other side being loud was very important. I also learned in 255 to make sure that my cues were clear, for example when I incorrectly told the class to dribble with their finger tips, instead of finger pads. When I was working with the post players know what I wanted, and giving them exact directions helped move the process along quicker. The players all responded well to my directions and by the end of the week they were performing the moves with correct form.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

255 is almost over...

I finished my Lab D project today... here it is.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Taylor Mali

I just wanted to expose everyone who may look at this blog to a great poet... actually the only poet I truly enjoy hearing Taylor Mali

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lab D - Self Defense 11-14-08

I should have added NO FIGHTING!
Lab D Self Defense
For me lab D was on Friday, I had decided to stay with the topic of self defense I taught for my lab C activity. I was nervous for Friday... I was not sure if my lesson plan was right, I wasn't entirely sure how the students would react to the activity, I felt like it wasn't really enough of a lesson, and I was worried about how it would effect my grade. Once my lesson started I began to relax, I adapted freeze tag to fit with the grabs we did during the last class that the students would need to use to break free from their attackers during the lesson. I think everyone enjoyed the tag game, I had Russ and a few others be the taggers, Russ had really high energy and I think was one of the reasons the game was successful. After the first round everyone wanted to play again so I had Russ be the tagger by himself, it worked great! Russ tagged everyone and then we moved on the the next activity... or most of the class moved on at least. Two students began "making out" in the corner. I went over and separated them and then finally got everyone on task with the "bad neighborhood activity" when all of a sudden Chris and Mike started fighting... o boy. After I finally got them to quit Eddie joined in and the fight restarted! :( It was very frustrating, here I am trying to explain a concept and a fight breaks out. I did my best to break up the fight and get the class back on topic but the class didn't remember what they were supposed to be doing. I had to explain the activity again and try to get the class motivated for the activity even though I could tell by the look in the student's faces that my activity was not as interesting as the boys fighting was. The class kept looking back to the guys to see if another fight was about to break out. The class did the activity for a little while, then I gave them a quiz. As the students were taking a quiz I though O NO!!!! I realized that my camera was still in my pocket! My technology for lab D was taking pictures and having the students post them to their websites... not taking any pictures would equal no technology. So I improvised. I had the students come back out onto the floor and go through a few more moves and then the cool down routine. Doing this ended up killing my time coding sheet. The end part where they were doing a few more moves and then the cool down breathing exercises counted as instruction, rather than activity which made the lesson contain too much instruction time and not enough activity time. Another thing that upset the time coding was the fight, it took a minute and 45 seconds, which was counted as management time causing an unbalance in the time coding.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Explorer Scavenger Hunt Assignment

Step count: 1048

Explorer Scavenger Hunt!

Our first clue was my favorite, it was "she's not a nickel, dime, or quarter, go find the clue and take a picture" Nickle, dime, quarter... Penny! So we went and had our picture taken with her.

We were all excited that we knew the answer to the question and raced down the stairs to find Penny. I think the thing I will take away from this lesson was the ability to change track quickly. The fire alarm went off and we were all outside DJ and Freddy kept the hunt going... way to think on your feet guys!

I can't really see myself doing this type of lesson because I think I the environment we were in students would just quit and not do the tasks. We did something like this when I was in ninth grade and the whole class left school and went to the park. Interdisciplinary instruction is important because it reinforces the material over and over again and the students end up taking more away from the experiences.

We were pretty active throughout the lesson but I think that a couple of us had not locked our heart rate monitors to us. We were all waiting outside and took our heart rates... we were around the 90 mark but our watches were much higher. For the most part I think having the step count and heart rate monitor were a great tool to assess our activity.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lab C day one

For the Lab C teaching experience we had to pick a game or activity that did not originate in America, it was to be a game/activity that is not something we do every day like basketball, football, or soccer. My partner and I decided to teach self defense. I have never taken a self defense class but I figured we could do a good job. My partner, Eddie, was a teachers assistant for self defense and is very skilled and knowledgeable in the topic. Having someone who knew the activity so well as my partner really helped out. Eddie would teach me how to do the motions, and why it was important to do so in that way and then I taught the class. Most of the students in class had already taken the self defense class and already knew how to perform the steps. The first thing I did was to teach them the respect stance. The respect stance is very important to self defense because you must show respect for your self and others before you begin. In the respect stance you stand very proud with your shoulders back, feet are positioned like this \/ with heals touching and your feet out at 45 degree angles. After teaching the class the position we played respect tag! respect tag would be a great activity to use in the next class as an instant activity. After respect tag I taught the confidence stance, then into proceeding with confidence. Next we put all the stances together in the stance sequence and then it was Eddies turn. I felt nervous before I started teaching because I have never taken self defense before, and did not really know very much about it. However as soon as I started teaching the apprehension was gone and I had a great time showing everyone how to do the moves and walking through everyone making sure that they were in the correct stance. I got to help a few more people with the confidence stance, some people did not have their knees bent, others forgot to keep their backs straight.
All and all I felt confident in my abilities to teach the class a skill that I might not excel at but that it seemed a few of the students really enjoyed. My grade was a 15.5 out of 20 so I have some things to review and improve on before I teach again. Here is a copy of my time coding form

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lab C day two

Today we taught the second part of our lab C, it didn't go as well as I would have liked but there isn't anything I can do about that now except to do better next time. We were in the field house this time and Eddie went first. Eddie went over the classroom rules and then choking from the front and from behind. When it was my turn I was really nervous because today's lesson was on punching and I had not spent much time on it. I didn't go over the classroom rules because Eddie had just done so, and when I started teaching the polar guy was talking about the heart rate monitors and I got confused. I just stood there until he was done and then had to get my brain engaged. I talked with Russ before the lesson and made sure he was comfortable with punching and then had him volunteer to be my demo. Instead of me trying to show the techniques I wasn't completely comfortable doing, I picked someone who had done it before and had him perform the task and I simply told the class the important cues of his actions. Then I had the students line up across from their partners and punch switching hands each time... this was NOT what I had planned. My plan was to go through making a fist, and then one hand punching, then the five count punching, then alternating at your own tempo... I completely forgot the first three steps! As I was going through making sure everyone was using the right techniques I realized that a few of the students didn't quite understand, so I decided to back track. I wanted to make sure that I gave each individual person feedback but what ended up happening was everyone just standing there punching for the first five and a half minutes. Then I got out the punching pads. I should have skipped them! When you pass out the punching pads, you have each person come over and do a respect bow, this took too long, and once we got back out to the activities, time was up. It would have been a better use of time if I had just done my closure instead of getting them out... I could have used them as my hook for next class.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The Ultimate game! Part of our 255 teaching experience is working with others. Our class got together to teach an ultimate unit, this was a very interesting assignment. As a class We created on Unit plan, this ultimate, Ultimate plan was on google docs, so we could all access it and make changes to it. Then our class taught the lesson, the first person taught the easiest skill and then each person's task got more difficult as the lesson went on. It was really interesting to teach. just a part of the lesson, you had to make sure that your part fed off of the person before you and set up the next persons topic. I taught the class how to catch the disc on the tip of your finger, catch behind your back, and how to set up the stack drill. It was fun showing the class how to catch the disc in different ways, both ways can be used when your trying to outdo your opponent to catch the disc and move your team forward. The stack drill is very similar to the stack drill in soccer and basketball, and just as in theses sports... it works! The teams all understood the drill and performed it correctly but when they were playing against another team they didn't use the play which made me wonder if they truly understood the value and purpose of the drill.
A copy of the transcript of this lesson.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Teaching Dribbling again

After teaching the first day of class I felt like I knew what I was talking about and I was confident in my abilities. Then I watched the video and realized that I had a lot of things to improve on. I was very excited when I learned that we were going to be able to teach our first lessons again. I felt that Michelle and I could do a really good job if we got another chance. After teaching basketball again I realized that I was correct in my assumptions. It was more fun teaching the second time, I understood what was expected a little bit more and knew what things to focus on. The only thing that was worse than teaching the first day was the fact that all the basketballs were flat! How do you teach dribbling when the balls don't bounce? I'll tell you how, you improvise. I had the students use the few basketballs that would bounce and then I had the rest of the students use volleyballs.
I think teaching the second time around worked much better, the students were focused in on our instruction, and listened to everything we said. I also learned the importance of the meanings of the words. For example, the first time I taught I told the students not to let the ball hit their palm but instead to dribble with their finger tips. In reality that's not what you want them to do at all. The students need to dribble with their finger pads. Luckily the students in the class understood how to dribble a ball and it wasn't an issue. I could tell the was a big difference between my day one and day two teaching which made me excited to see what was to come.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

SUNY Cortland Mini Conference

Sepak Takraw

My first experience at the SUNY Cortland Mini Conference... All I can say is WOW!

There was so much enthusiasm and energy in Park Center during the mini conference! We started the day setting up D.J.'s Sepak takraw exhibit in the far gym then when to the main gym and met up with the rest of the 255 class. We had come up with a plan to enter the gym from the side doors, stomping into the gym with the Queen Rhythm stomp, stomp, clap, and singing: we will, we will, teach you. It was an idea our 255 class came up with the day before. After that we led the visitors in a warm up meeting all the people in the stands, and who can forget the sociables, and the standing ovations.

After the introduction speeches there was a really great key note speaker, who's speech left at least one thing with me... "There are no disabled people, we are all just differently abled". Then it was off to the activities. My favorite one was the cup stacking... Mainly because we got to keep the cups! But I also enjoyed the very informative polar lecture, and the exergames were pretty cool. The whole building had people running back and forth to all the exhibits it was really a fun experience and I look forward to next year’s!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Learning to learn differently

EDU 255
When you think about college and learning in general you think about, sitting at a desk, taking notes until your hand hurts, and trying to read everything to be confident in your content knowledge for the upcoming class. Usually you do not have to worry about this for day one, it is usually an easy walk through of what the class is going to be like. However in Yang's 255 class you better be ready to go! The first day we were video taped teaching our classmates a skill. This is panic mode for some... are we going to be graded? What are we supposed to concentrate on? We have to be videotaped? For me I was a little unsure, being in front of people does not bother me, but not knowing what to do does. Naturally I went right to the basketballs. I have been taped before but it was back when I used to play competitive sports, so it was completely different. When your playing a game your ready for it, you have worked hard and you know your skills are at there best. That day in 255 I knew that I was not ready for what was being asked. Can I teach someone how to dribble... yes, can I speak loudly and confidently in front of a group... yes, can I make up a public speaking speech and give it with out the teacher knowing I was making it up... yes. But, I am confident in my abilities to do so. Teaching is something I have not done before, and although I believe I will be a great teacher I do not believe that I have the skills to do so... YET. So teaching a skill to a class made up of my peers who already know how to do the skill (dribble a basketball) for some reason is difficult for me.
When you study for a test you know that you know the answers, but how do I know that I am teaching correctly? I could not stop wondering if I was doing it right, or if I was talking about the things I should have been.
Upon watching the video I realized that I need to stop worrying about all of that and concentrate on the task at hand, and be more enthusiastic about it. I also noticed that are many more things I need to work on to be an effective instructor.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More than gym


My name is Coach Graham! I believe that there is more to Physical Education than what the past "gym" classes have shown us. Physical Education is not simply about who can run the fastest, or hit the farthest. It is about teaching individuals to value being active.