Saturday, December 19, 2009

iDance in ACTION

Instead of having to go in during finals week and write for about two hours on what I have learned throughout the semester in 255, we were all sent individualized final exams that we had to finish. Since iDance was my last teaching lab, for my exam I was supposed to write up new activity progressions as well as a block plan and lesson plan. I also wrote a letter to the superintendent of the school of my "dreams" about why iDance would be an excellent unit to add to our cirriculum. Lastly I wrote out two assessments that I would give if I had taught the unit to see what my students had learned. I actually enjoyed writing about the system and pretty much creating everything I would need to teach an entire unit of iDance. It seems to me that having this as a final exam is more authentic then having a written exam. I was able to get a taste of what I would need to do to get ready for a unit if I were teaching. Click below and you can see everyting that I accomplished!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


On Friday December 11th I was able to attend the 2nd annual exergame expo in the dance studio at Park Center.  There were a variety of games that could be played, including the iDance which I taught for Lab D.  There was also an older version of Dance Dance Revolution, a game where used used a bike to drive a car on screen, and a game where you fought your opponent but used feet pads and something to hit.  All of the games were fun to try out as well as watch other people do.  There ended up being a pretty good turn out of people and it seemed like everyone that came had a good time.  I even got to write a letter to Santa for Macy's.  Overall it was a very nice way to end my last day of classes for the semester.  I really liked being able to relax and just have a good time with my friends for a few hours.  It was definitely a great way to end the semester!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dancing Like a Star!

For my final lab I got the chance to teach a brand new system called iDance. It is like Dance Dance Revolution, just more advanced. All of the pads are wireless and the system gives the results of each pad after each dance. Every student is able to see what percentage of steps they got right, and which steps they were too late or too early on. Because there is more to the system, it is more appropriate for teaching, and it makes it easier and more interesting to learn how to use the system. There is a wireless remote that controls the system, and you can help the students by turning on a or a "ticking" sound for when each step should be done. Luckily I was able to put in time during class and outside of class to learn how to use the system properly before I had to teach.
The theme for my lesson was "dancing like a star". All the students had a chance to practice a testing song that they would be tested on in the next lesson. The goal was to get a 50% or higher on the easy setting of the song "The Message" in order to pass with the judges and go on to perform in a dance competition. For my first task I had all the students get a partner and get a peer practice sheet. On the sheet were the five cues given in the lesson and a rubric. While one person danced, the other student gave them a number from one to four on how well they performed each cue. After that they switched roles. This activity was done to help the students get to know the cues better as well as figure out what they needed to work on in order to pass the test. After that I had all the students get on a pad and practice "The Message" on the easiest setting. At certain parts during the song I paused and went over the next couple of steps for them and had them practice before turning the music back on. After that activity I wanted to play a few fun songs for the students and allow them to pick different levels of difficulty to see what they were could do with the game, but I did not have time in my lesson. I thought that allowing the students explore with the different songs and levels would keep them motivated and interested in the game, and want to learn more.
Overall it was a fun lesson and I really enjoyed teaching it. I found the new iDance system very interesting and I definitely like it a lot more then Dance Dance Revolution. It has more aspects to it and I think it is more user friendly. I think the students had a good time during the lesson as well. I think it would have been more fun for them if they were able to explore a little more with the game itself, but because it was something new, I think they found it interesting and exciting. It was also very cool to know that we were some of the first students to use this system to teach, and it will come in handy in the future to know how to use this system.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Trip To the Outback

For Lab C, Stephanie and I decided to teach a little bit about the game of Netball.  The sport actually originated in the United States but made its way throughout the world.  It came to Australia in the early 1900's and is now one of the most predominant women's sports in the country.  It was very interesting to learn and teach a sport that is not usually taught in physical education, and then be able to teach it.  All of the different games that were taught by other groups in the lab gave me some pretty ideas for when I get out into the field.  This lesson was different then the first two labs we taught because we had to teach with someone else, as well as make visual aids, lesson plan, and task sheet.  I was the second person to teach within my group and I focused on the different kinds of cutting.  I taught the front cut as well as the cut back, where the offender uses different tactics to get away from their defender in order to catch a pass.  To end the lesson I had groups of five get into a game-like situation and play 3 on 2.  It was interesting to be able to see how much of the students picked up on what Stephanie and I taught during our lesson.  In addition to watching me teach my lesson on Netball, you can also take a look at my time coding sheet and my feedback analysis sheet as well as my activity progression sheet.  Enjoy!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

APEM Mini Conference!

I was able to attend the APEM Mini Conference on October 9th in Park Center. First I listened to Judy Rink's opening speech in which she spoke a lot about accountability in physical education. I also attended her other session on effective ways for teaching physical education. Just by listening to her talk, I learned all kinds of different ways in which to make physical education better. It is amazing how simple little things can make PE more fun and in the end more valuable for the students. My favorite lecture was the Polar Technology lecture where I learned more about assessment. They talked a lot about utilizing heart rate monitors and how they help assess students. It was mainly geared towards improving cardiovascular fitness, but they can be used in other ways as well. This lecture also had to a little bit with accountability as well. By assessing the students with the heart rate monitors for the mile run, there was data that showed how much the students improved from the fall to the spring. I really like how the heart rate monitors can be used to assess students in PE. It is something that I would love to use once I get out in the field to help students work at their full potential individually. Once you have a good idea of a students physical ability, it is easier as a teacher to help that student improve individually. Students can also figure out where they are physically in certain areas and work on those areas that need improvement. It is easy to tell students to job for the first 15 minutes of class, but how can you make your students work to their fullest potential and WANT to be physically active outside of class?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pick It Up...

Lab B was the ultimate Frisbee lab where everyone taught a different part of ultimate Frisbee. I taught the pick up, pivot, and pass technique. It was easier to get everything I wanted to get in and have a good amount of activity time with more time to teach. I had the students start out by just pivoting and passing with the backhand throw and then moved on to the forehand and overhand throw. Once they mastered that, I started a new activity where they got into groups of three and had one person as a defender. It was easier for the students to see why having good pivots were important in the game of ultimate Frisbee. This lab was longer and had a little bit more involved in the teaching, but I found it much easier then teaching the first and even the second time. I was able to use what I have learned throughout the semester to make my lesson more organized and more effective then the past two times I taught in class. I have a transcript showing everything I said during the lesson, a time coding sheet that breaks up the lesson into different parts, and a feedback analysis sheet showing who I gave feedback to and if it was positive or negative.

Click here to listen to my lesson!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mini-Skill Lesson Part Two Reflection

I felt much better and way more prepared for the second round of lab one. Unlike the first day of class we knew that we were going to have to teach that day which gave everyone a heads up and time to prepare. I decided to teach the forearm pass. It was much easier to figure out how to go about giving the lesson since we had some time in class to learn the different parts of a lesson. It helped a lot with managing my time and how and when to give cues and demonstrations. The lesson felt a lot more organized to me and I had more structure then my first teaching experience. I gave instruction and then a demonstration, and then had them get partners and gave them a "challenge". First I had them throw the ball to their partner who would pass it back, and then when they were done with that they could go on to passing it back and forth. I also gave the more advanced students a way to keep them interested. I told them they could move farther apart if they had control close together. That way they don't get bored of the activity and start misbehaving. I have provided a time coding document so you can see how my lesson is divided up between activity time, management time, and so forth. There is also a form and a transcript so you can see who I gave feedback to and exactly what I said throughout the lesson.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lab A

I was a little nervous at first because I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to go about doing everything I wanted to. It is hard to hear what I am saying on the video partly because I had my back turned most of the time and I definitely could have spoken a little louder. I think you can see at least some of the excitement when I am teaching. I did smile some and introduced myself at the beginning to be sure everyone knew who I was and what I was going to teach them. When teaching children, especially young children, it is very important to act excited about what you are teaching. Students pick up very quickly on how enthused you are and if you are having a good time, they are more likely to be interested and in turn learn more and have a good time as well. Simple things like smiling and even laughing can make all the difference fro your students. Also something like being well prepared and having lots of props can give you the confidence and excitement that will show through in the students learning and understanding of the skill or skills. In order for kids to want to come back and participate you need to make things fun while they are learning. Sitting them down and explaining rules is not going to want them to come back and learn more. Keep them moving, try different things, let them make mistakes and learn from the mistakes they are making. Sometimes just something as simple as follow through all the way while throwing a ball can make all the difference. Most students also like things hands on. Having a lot of props of equipment can make a skill easier and more fun to learn. If the students are having fun while they are learning they are more likely to participate!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

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