Friday, September 23, 2011

Lab A2

        In Lab A2 the students were given the opportunity to re-teach his/her lesson from Lab A1. For not having any of the supplies to assist with the demonstrations or activities the class did well making the best of what he/she had. I think everyone did a great job and has already made progress in becoming an effective teacher. 

        My reaction on my performance in Lab A2 is definitely more positive than A1. I felt a lot more confident going into the lab and I believe it showed in my teaching. There were many things I improved upon from the first lab and hopefully I continue to make progress throughout the semester. I was able to come into Lab A2 more prepared than the first lab because I had the chance to plan out the lesson. Having the ability to plan it out helped me in all of the areas related to teaching as I knew what was expected of us. My energy was much higher and I seemed to be more enthusiastic in the material I was teaching to my "students". Energy and enthusiasm are important because it certainly helps me project my voice and the tones I used in my voice varied during the lab. Remaining relaxed helped me express clear thoughts to my "students" because they all seemed very understanding of how to engage in the task. Another way being calm helped was it reduced the amount of times I said words like "uh" and "um". The last part I believe I did well on was my hook because I thought it was creative and different for the younger students to remain interested on the class lesson.

        As teachers are aware no lesson will ever be perfectly instructed. While I did many positive things throughout the duration of my lesson there are still negatives, which need improvement. At the beginning of the lesson I should have rearranged the "students" so their backs were to the other class. Now, the "students" were probably less focused on what I had to say and more concentrated on what the other group was doing. Having the students face the wall is a good way to keep all eyes on the teacher. Next, I forgot to mention a safety statement which is vital because students must know to be aware of certain situations. I did remember to follow the acronym DEAD (demonstrate, explain, again demonstrate). The only thing wrong was I forgot to show the demonstration from more than one angle and for most students he/she needs multiple angles to understand correct technique. During my activity I was giving positive feedback, but I should have pinpointed one person who may of had trouble. At the end, instead of asking the whole class to answer how to properly pass a soccer ball I could have purposely asked one individual specifically to give me a cue on the skill.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chapter 4 Questions: Effective Teaching Skills

2) What are some things teachers can do to improve communication with learners in task presentation?
         There are eight different approaches a teacher can take to improve communication in task presentation. The first is setting an introduction, and a successful introduction has the ability to grab the learners attention to the criteria of the presentation. In a typical introduction the speaker wants to talk about something interesting, like a story that ties into the lesson. The teacher should cover what he/she will be doing, how it will be done, and why it is being taught over the course of the introduction. Second, the material being presented must be organized, so the teacher does not confuse any students. It is logical to go in chronological order because the material will be easier to follow and the concept makes the most sense. Presenting in chronological order has proved to be successful, so don't fix what isn't broken. Third, individuals learn well when the examples are given throughout the presentation. For some reason, people understand concepts when examples and non-examples are provided. Examples help people gain an understanding what right from wrong is. Fourth, the teacher can personalize the presentation because it gives the feeling everyone is involved. Providing the audience with personal experiences about yourself and/or between the teacher and students helps maintain interest in the material.
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        Fifth, repetition is a key facet of task presentation as it allows the learners to understand ideas which may be difficult to grasp. When the teacher wants to make a key point during the presentation it is important for him/her to repeat over and over for clarity. There is no moving forward until everyone understands the main focus of the presentation and the key ideas expressed by the speaker.  Sixth, it is important to relate the content to the personal experiences of students because it keeps the students engaged in the presentation. The teacher needs to be capable to bridge together old experiences with present experiences occurring in class. Seventh, the teacher must check for understanding because when students are asked if they know the material no one will raise his/her hand due to possible embarrassment. It is important for the teacher to gather feedback from the students because it will ensure the teacher his/her students grasp the material being presented. The teacher can either call out a specific student or create a list of questions the students must answer throughout the presentation and review the questions at the end of the presentation. Lastly, the ability to present the material in a dynamic fashion is important. Instead of speaking in a monotone voice the entire presentation it is vital to switch up the volume, pitch, and tone between teacher and students. Teachers must understand to utilize his/her voice dynamics to be effective and have a presentation the students stay attentive in.

3) What are guidelines for using demonstration effectively?
        To produce an effective demonstration the teacher must follow seven guidelines. The first guideline is double checking if the information from teacher to student is accurate. Students rely on the teacher to provide him/her with the correct technique. So, it is important for the teacher to fully demonstrate the motions more than once and from an array of angles. One child might learn better when seeing the body movements from a specific angle. Second, if a student is capable of demonstrating as well or better than the teacher have the student perform the demonstration. Now, the teacher can turn his/her focus on the students watching to stress the important aspects of the task. Third, the teacher needs to be able to demonstrate the task exactly how the students will be performing it. For example, if the class is covering volleyball and the ball has to be tossed over the net during the activity the teacher should present the task in this manner. Children need correct visual examples because it helps the students understand organizational format of the activity. Fourth, a quality demonstration has to emphasize the important information about the activity. The essential parts of a skill needs to be highlighted several times, so the students can comprehend the critical points. When a teacher highlights the vital information it is important for him/her to express it verbally and visually. To express it visually the teacher should try and freeze during the demonstration of the key points of the task.
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        Fifth, information should be provided for why the skill being performed in a certain manner. For some instances it is performed to follow the rules of the game or to properly follow the principles of movement. When demonstrating the skill it is important to perform the skill at a slow speed, so the observers can understand the motion. Sixth, teachers check for the students understanding on the newly learned skill. A teacher can ask a question immediately after the demonstration was given, but it is incorrect to let the students practice without checking for understanding. There are several ways a teacher can check for a student's understanding. Lastly, the demonstration must occur more than once for the students to properly understand. Every time the demonstration is repeated the performance should be shown at an alternate angle. It is difficult for students to grasp the motions of a skill after one demonstration.

5) What are the characteristics of good learning cues? Design a set of learning cues you would use with young beginning learners and then for older advanced learners for a closed skill, open skill, and movement concept.
        The characteristics of good learning cues consist of accuracy, critical to the task, few in number, and must be appropriate for the age and skill. A learning cue is a phrase which communicates as much information about a specific skill efficiently. The teacher must teach accurate skills because students should not be misinformed. When a student is mislead he/she may develop bad habits that become difficult to correct. If a teacher is unsure how to properly demonstrate a cue he/she should receive the correct information from a reliable source. The teacher being capable to selecting cues has high importance as it provides the learners with good visuals on how to perform correct technique. Demonstrating cues should highlight the critical points of the skill. While providing information to students the teacher does not want to overwhelm the students with too many cues. Performing cue after cue will cause the students to forget or lose the attention of the class. A teacher should work with a few at a time until the cues are mastered. Cues should be appropriate for the age and skill level the teacher is instructing. The educator does not want to introduce a complicated cue to beginning learners because the cue is to difficult to understand or complete. It is important for the teacher to remember the age group he/she teaches and the ways he/she can modify cues for the different skill levels within the class.
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        For young beginning learners I would have them dribble a basketball stationary for a few minutes as a closed skill. I would have them concentrate on having the legs shoulder width apart, head up, and bouncing the ball off the finger tips. Next, the open skill would consist of a defender playing at 80%, so he/she is not stealing the ball away from the dribbler. The dribbler needs to become accustomed to having another player attempting to steal the ball. Keeping the head up would be greatly stressed, but the student still needs to remember the basics of dribbling a basketball. A movement concept would be incorporated by having the dribbler to try to dribble from baseline to baseline with a defender trying to steal the ball. The player has to keep the ball close to the body at all time while being guarded. For older advanced learners I would have them begin with shooting free-throws as a closed skill. The student needs to focus on feet shoulder width apart, eyes on the basket, and perfect follow through. Then, the open skill would progress to the three point line where he/she will receive passes from all around the arc with a defender running at him/her and they would be asked to shoot. I would tell the student to stay square to the basket with arms up and ready to catch. When the student catches the ball remember to follow through and pump fake if needed. The movement concept would have the student on the run around the three point area where he/she will quickly catch and shoot. The player must keep his/her head up when dribbling, ready to catch the ball, square up before shooting, and complete the shot with following through.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

To Allow or Disallow Dodgeball?

        In today's society, many schools around the country are debating whether or not to ban the game of dodgeball from their curriculum. The game has become a very controversial topic within physical education classes as dodgeball has already been cut from school programs. Dodgeball is still an integral part of many physical education programs because teachers view the game as enjoyable to many. There are arguments from teachers who would like dodgeball to remain in the physical education curriculum, while many others would debate the danger the game entails.
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        Personally, I began in the middle of allowing or disallowing the game because I see both sides of the argument. Now, I am starting to lean more towards not allowing the activity in any class setting. I feel there are countless cons to the game, and only a handful of positives the game can produce for the child to benefit from. Dodgeball is considered a very aggressive game which can induce violence among the students. If dodgeball is played at an early age it can teach the student violence and aggression is alright; later becoming violent in life. The game often does not allow the less athletic students to enjoy class, which tends to be the children who need the exercise the most. These students are typically the individuals who decide not to participate and sit on the sidelines twiddling his/her thumbs. When a student feels uncomfortable or can not perform the activity as well as others it is detrimental to his/her confidence and encourages him/her to despise physical education more. It is unfair for the children who do not possess the motor skills to be effective in the game because his/her self-esteem is affected. In most cases, the more "athletic" students who possess the skills to successfully play the game frown upon a less "athletic" student being on his/her team. Negative energy is then shown and feelings become hurt and it leads to children skipping physical education often. Children want to be a part of games with other classmates, rather than having to perform a different activity because he/she is uncomfortable with dodgeball. Nobody wants the feeling of being left out of a game. There are a countless amount of other safe and inviting activities which incorporate the same motor skills as in dodgeball.
        In conclusion, one could see the problems why dodgeball has become a controversial issue in physical education classrooms. The game is a favorite among many students, but the risk to preserve dodgeball in school settings might be too high to be involved with. No matter what state an individual is from there will always be people who are for and against dodgeball. It is an on-going debate, which may never be put to rest.

***Update (9/22/11) Based on a 2006 position statement by NASPE, dodgeball has no place to be played in any physical education class. The statement explains why dodgeball is inappropriate for physical education programs and should be excluded from all schools. Follow the link below and scroll down to "Position on Dodgeball in Physical Education" to view the stance NASPE takes on the game of dodgeball.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chapter 2 Questions: Understanding the Teaching-Learning Process

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3)        There are five different requirements for an individual to learn a motor skill which include prerequisites, a clear idea of the task, the implication of the teacher, motivational/attentional disposition to the skill, practice, and feedback. The prerequisite stage requires the learner to possess previous related skills to assist in the understanding of the motor skill. In most cases, the individual must master similar abilities related to the motor skill/s being learned. Physical ability also has an effect in an individuals development in learning a motor skill. For younger children, physical abilities come from the process of maturity and may prove to be more difficult to learn a motor skill. A clear idea of the task comes from a great instructor who facilitates a plan to accomplish the task. The instructor must be able to provide good demonstrations for the learner to completely understand the correct body motions. Many individuals do not have a clear idea of a task because of previous false information, so he/she is performing the skill incorrect. Sometimes the body can do the skill right, but the mind second guesses the movement of the body and the end result is wrong. Motivation/attentional disposition to the skill relates to how motivated the leaner is and how willing he/she is to listening to his/her instructor. For a person to learn the individual must be motivated to take part in task. The more motivated an individual is he/she will be pay more attention to detail, and later become more effective in the task. In order to stay motivated he/she must have a good instructor who alters activities constantly, so the learner does not lose interest in the task. Practice is an important factor to learning a motor skill because it helps the consistency of an individual's performance. The more practice one does the more he/she will understand the basic body motions involved in the task. Everyone benefits from practice because it positively refines skills related to the task. Nothing is more true than the saying "practice makes perfect"! Feedback is extremely important to develop a motor skill because it allows the individual or others to critique a performance. Providing feedback to someone is crucial and beginning with something positive is crucial as well. The feedback from others and yourself can be beneficial because the learner can improve upon the skills connected with the activity. Some people do not like feedback, but it is a stepping stone to become better. Others respect feedback and use it for motivation to work harder.

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4)        Closed, open, discrete, and serial skills should be taught in different manners. A closed skill involves the conditions in the environment to remain consistent. An example of a closed skill would consist of a tennis player serving the ball to the opposition. Open skills refer to those variables which are not consistent with the environment and are expected to change. Passing a football in game-like situations represent an open skill because the angle from the quarterback to the receiver is constantly changing. Discrete skills are those skills making up the majority of the sport such as hitting and throwing. Serial skills are a series of motions put together to complete the purpose of the activity, like the triple jump in track. These skills must be taught to students differently because some skills are self-paced, while other skills are externally-paced. Self-paced skills need the conditions to be consistent throughout the lesson and externally-paced skills must be taught in environments with the likeliness of change. There is no reason for a teacher to teach a closed skill in an environment producing constant change, and instructing an open skill in a stable environment. All of the skills are best comprehended when the instructor uses various advancement within the task. The teacher must gradually advance the practices into game-like situations, so the students know what can be expected. With discrete skills the teacher needs to focus on bodily functions from the beginning to the end. A teacher has to break down the movements step-by-step for the students to understand and perform correctly. In serial skills the teacher focuses on how well a student transitions from one skill to the next. The teacher must prepare the students for the next skill by combining these skills in a teaching exercise. In conclusion, the skill being taught to the students must resemble similar conditions the students would face in a game.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Importance of Fundamental Skill Development and Assessment

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        There are many reasons why fundamental skill development has a high importance to physical education. Within every lesson plan a physical educator creates, he/she should emphasize on the students to acquire a new knowledge of skills related to the current topic. Fundamental skill development is most essential at the elementary setting because the teacher instructs the students on basic body movements. Also, learning basic movements at a young age helps the student because these skills will feel more natural as the student grows older.

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        Having the ability to develop the fundamental skills will benefit the child later in life as he/she can be competent in sports and physical activity. A child who grasps the idea on throwing a baseball properly will more likely succeed at baseball and any sport involving throwing movements. Children who are incapable of successfully performing such body functions will become easily frustrated. As a physical educator we need to possess the ability to clearly instruct our knowledge, so the students become competent in the three categories of fundamental skill development; stability, locomotor, and manipulative. If the student is not taught proper body movements it will be harder for him/her to break bad habits later in life when a coach or physical educator attempts to correct his/her technique. Three organizations who promote fundamental skill development are the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), and the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). All of these organizations devote time towards the physical activity of young children.   
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        Assessment is important as well because it allows the educator to see where the students stand with the correct knowledge and body functions on a topic. A teacher should assess his/her students three different times throughout the course of a lesson. First, pre-assessment is used to see where students are before the unit begins. Second, is the formative assessment which provides feedback during and throughout the unit. Third, post-assessment is given after the unit is completed to see what the students have learned from the unit. The assessment of a physical educator tracks the progress of a student from beginning to end. By assessing a class the educator is able to identify the students with good form, and in return be able to devote more time to the individuals encountering difficulty with the skill. Assessment of all the students provides the teacher to determine the effectiveness of previous programs and where to begin a unit.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

St. Mary's Lab 1

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        My first lab at St. Mary's was one filled with many observations on the development of elementary students. The observations gave me a good idea on how each student in my group behaves and reacts to his/her surrounding environment. At St. Mary's my time proved to be very beneficial because it provided me with the opportunity to observe what to expect in upcoming visits. I really enjoyed myself playing in the different games and activities with the children, as it gave me the chance to know the age group I was assigned to. These young children look up to the Cortland students as role models and older siblings to play with. So, it is the job of the Cortland students to provide a fun and safe atmosphere, while maintaining the level of professionalism needed at an elementary setting. All of the children at St. Mary's are great students who possess strong characteristics, which will help him/her develop skill sets throughout his/her lifetime. Everyone at St. Mary's representing SUNY Cortland did an excellent job in a professional manner and I am looking forward to working with my fellow peers and the St. Mary's students. Let this semester be a great time for the children to enjoy our presence as all of us try to obtain more knowledge on child development!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Checking Your Understanding: Chapter 1 Questions

1) What is meant by the idea that teaching is a goal-oriented activity?
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        Teaching is a goal-oriented activity because as a physical educator the teacher must set course goals for the class or individual to achieve. Either way, having the class realize there are goals to achieve motivates the students to attend class and accomplish these goals appointed by the educator. When a physical educator creates goals for the classroom he/she should be concerned with three domains; psychomotor, affective, and cognitive. Teaching being goal-oriented, allows the teacher to assess the students to see where a student is at with a specific skill. All dedicated teachers want students to improve over the duration of his/her class and with proper instruction improvement should be seen in physical education. An example of an individual goal for a student would be running a mile ten seconds faster in the span of a month. For a physical educator it is important for him/her to make goals possible to reach, so the students do not become discouraged and unmotivated.

5) Why is the movement task-student response unit of analysis so important in physical education?
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        Movement task-student response unit of analysis is important in physical education because it allows the accomplishment of objectives through the progression of experience. When the students are engaged in the activity the task of the educator is to observe his/her students for body language and problems with proper technique. After the physical educator has observed his/her class he/she can now provide positive advice for the students to improve upon. As a teacher the movement task-student response can grant time for assessment. If the students are grasping the task and performing well the teacher can then advance to a more complex level of the task. For example, if students are successfully making 3 lay-ups consecutively the educator can then ask the class to attempt the lay-up with his/her less dominate hand. Another action the teacher can decide to do is switching the task and introducing an entirely new task for the students to perform.

7) What is the relationship between teaching functions and teaching skills? List two teaching functions teachers must perform, and describe two alternative behaviors teachers can choose to perform these functions.
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         A well-established teacher uses daily functions and skills without even thinking of it because over time the actions become natural. Teaching functions and skills work together providing teachers with valuable feedback on individual students. The more understanding a teacher has for the students he/she can become a more effective educator because the teacher can work with individual needs. A curriculum can be altered once the teacher understands the class better, as the previous curriculum may not of been the best route for success. Two teaching functions teachers must perform are the presentation of tasks and developing content. Content behavior and management behavior are two alternative behaviors a teacher can choose to perform a function. Content behavior can be used in a presentation because the educator will tell the class the type of presentation. Then, the students will engage in the presentation, like watching a video. Next, the teacher helps students answer questions pertaining to the video and later the teacher can modify any concerns. Management behavior can be used when developing content by allowing the students to get involved. The teacher may organize the class in groups and then the groups can give ideas to the educator on information the class would like to learn. Both content and management behavior can be used presentations and developing class content.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Verbal Transcript of Lab A1

        Here is my verbal transcript of Lab A1 for EDU 255. It was the job of each student to watch his/her video and type down every word he/she said to the class or individual. With Lab A1 being the first chance for me to teach the class I would certainly like to improve upon my ability to be an effective teacher. Click on Lab A1 in the first sentence to view the document.