Friday, December 17, 2010

Daily Burn vs. Traineo, The Ultimate Battle

Daily Burn vs. Traineo

Daily Burn


The Locker Room
A place you can call home, a one stop shop where you can put all of your workouts, nutrition etc into the database. It's so simple, right there for you, do not need to go searching the site, it's right in front of your nose.

iPhone App
Nowadays absolutely everyone is on-the-go, smart phone in hand, using technology to its fullest to make life simpler, why wouldn't Daily Burn be any different. With the iPhone application, Daily Burn allows users to update their progress from anywhere they can get Wi-Fi. Best of all there is a food scanner app that allows you to scan the barcode directly into your food log.

Workout Videos
Daily Burn has the best visual aids imaginable. For those fitness challenged individuals who are unaware of workouts or skills to help lose weight, Daily Burn has videos of users demonstrating the skill. What more can you ask for? For those workouts without a video, there is almost always a photo or a link to more information. It gives you no reason to get up and start working out.

Daily Burn keeps track of everything, the distance travelled, calories burned, push ups done, so you can set goals. If you want to run 100 miles in less than a month, Daily Burn can assist you in your dream. If you want to do 10,000 pushups in two months, boom, Daily Burn has your back. Tracking your own statistics can be tough and you will probably lose count, thus, Daily Burn is really helpful.


Daily Burn forums, a place where users can interact, talk and help one another, as far as I am concerned does not exist. The Daily Burn community pages are extremely hard to find and seemingly dead. There is no chitter-chatter amongst users, sure makes it tough for people to achieve fitness.

All About Going Pro
Okay Daily Burn we get it you need money to thrive, but us users do not need to be reminded every two seconds of all the perks we can get when we go pro. Daily Burn sure does make it enticing to join the land of Daily Burn Pro, but they are very annoying about it. Can't I just log in my nutrition, sleep and workouts in peace?



Inclusion of the Wii
I have a Wii myself, and when I found out Traineo was smart enough to involve the Wii, I got a little excited. Wii in and of itself is a great tool alone, but along with Traineo now you can track calories burned amongst many other things. How can you not get pumped up about this?

Custom Logs
Traineo users can create their unique trackers of their custom data, whether it is inches, pounds, calories or so on. The custom logs generates a graph over time and helps you reach your goal.


Activity Tracker
It does not even have push ups! Push Ups! Come on, give me a break, I'm sure about 80% of our country has at least done one push up in their lifetime, and you do not include push ups in your activity tracker? Give me something to work with, come on people!

Food Tracker
It does not let you enter individual foods just a section for calories and another for diet quality. Yes you can argue that is what is really important, but entering the individual foods is so much easier for everyone. So in general, I'd say Traineo's trackers are not up to par.

In the end, Daily Burn is definitely the way to go. You get more bang for your buck, you will definitely see results in no time. Traineo just does not stand up to Daily Burn.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


My first impressions of Traineo were not the best. I was not happy with their program, it was hard to follow and not very effective. Simultaneously, I am using Daily Burn which is also an online exercise and nutrition program. I like Daily Burn a lot better because there are not nearly as much restrictions. With Daily Burn I can track my sleep, nutrition, workouts, distance travelled etc. without paying a dime. On the other hand Traineo asks for money before I can do anything. Traineo allows me to get tips on how to lose weight, be fit, be motivated and so on but nothing really helpful. I'm sure if I paid the fee Traineo would be a great tool for me and anyone, but I'd prefer Daily Burn otherwise.

I can see myself using Traineo to accomplish LS 1B, as long as the entry fee for all my students are within the budget. Traineo by itself will not help my students accomplish LS 1B, but if the school budget covers the costs it will be very helpful, I would not expect my students to want to spend their money on Traineo. In a perfect world it would be in the budget, and I'd use Traineo to allow my students to create a fitness program thats fit for their needs. I'm aware that Traineo is much better when the student is open to use TraineoPLUS, students will learn lessons of how to become physically educated people, enhance their muscular strength, endurace, flexibilty, balance and more. I know that with TraineoPLUS students can integrate the Nintendo Wii which is phenomenal. The Wii by itself is great tool but with Traineo I can only imagine how great it could be. I would love to see this used in classrooms, in the curriculum and a part of the NYS Regents Level Objectives.

Kevin Renzo Is Burning

I was pleasantly surprised with the Daily Burn program. I am currently using Daily Burn and Traineo, two great online exercise and nutrition trackers, personally I enjoyed using Daily Burn better. With no surprise there were restrictions with Daily Burn and Traineo, those restrictions can be lifted if I chose to pay a certain amount which I did not. However, Daily Burn, with the restrictions and all allowed me to do so much more than Traineo. Traineo was hard to follow, barely let me do anything without paying while Daily Burn allowed me to do so much! Daily Burn is a great program and tool for all people to use, along with their motivators, fitness plans and all, and if it were in my budget I would pay the fees and continue to use it. However, I will continue getting my exercise how I have been.

Along with Daily Burn, students can use Picasa. Picasa is an image organizer and image viewer for digital photos and the best part is that it is free! Students will be able to take screen shots of their progress in Daily Burn and enables the student to show the teacher all the hard work they are doing. With the aid of Daily Burn, Picasa can be a great way of reporting progress towards the learning standard 1A. The screen shots can be feedback for the student and teacher and will show what areas the student needs help in. I have taken plenty of screen shots, it is simple, effective and very helpful. If you look above at the first picture, you can see that I was recording my sleep for the night and that I only received 2 hours of sleep that night. It was a rough night for me and my finals, I felt I had to share that in my blog. There is no reason why any Physical Educator cannot do the same.

Physical Education in the NYS Regents

Physical Education is a vital part of every students education, K-12, and therefore should be integrated into the Regents Level Objectives. All high school seniors in every district across the nation, after more than 17 years on our beautiful planet and for most students 12 years of Physical Education, should be proficient in Physical Education. For NYS Learning Standard, I would recommend that at least 75% of the Senior class should be competent in 6 skills, proficient in 3 skills and across 3 different categories. That might sound it is asking a lot but it really is not, as long as you have motivated and involved Physical Educators. Of course there are those students who are not as gifted athletically as everyone (environment, task, learner) but it is our job, as Physical Educators that we adapt and modify what we can to ensure the success of everyone.

When it comes to the NYS LS 1B, I feel that 90% of the Senior class should be competent in creating a Personal Fitness Plan. America is one of the most obese countries in the world, I would prefer a student who cannot score a lay up and can still create a Personal Fitness Plan over a student who cannot. Students will learn tricks to improve their muscular strength, endurance, flexibility and so on. These lessons are priceless and it is vital for it to be in the NYS Regents, information that they can learn and use for a lifetime.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brain Gains

CBC news, home of Canada's latest World, Entertainment and Business news ran the story of Brain Gains. Brain Gains is a program that strived to get unruly students, students who have had extreme difficulty succeeding educationally, to do well in school. Taken place in City Park Collegiate Schools in Saskatoon Canada, students have went from school to school to finally arrive at Saskatoon, a place where they can finally feel comfortable and safe. The news piece was very interesting, especially from my point of view, I learned a lot after reading and viewing the story. I always knew exercise and physical activity for the body, soul and mind but I never knew the science behind it. With all of the endorphins, the hippocampus, brain cells expanding it really opens your eyes. I always knew Physical Education is important but now I know as a future physical educator I have a responsibility to my students. I was upset during the video when they took you into the physical education class and talked about how the students were not really moving and getting the exercise they need to stimulate their minds. Rather, the students got their exercise in the classroom, with treadmills and other machines. Personally, in my Physical Education I will make sure of it to see that most if not all of my students are getting the exercise they need to stimulate their minds and be successful in their other classes. When I was in high school, my Physical Education class was the same way as the one in the video, kids standing around, not participating and it really bothers me, there is no reason why it should be like that.
The program was able to take students who have almost never succeeded in school, students who could barely read and write at grades 8 or 9, students who act out, curse at their instructors and completely flipped the table. The program took the students 180 degrees from disobedient kids to learners. I was not surprised because that is the beauty of exercise and activity, it is stimulating, exciting and allows for people to excel in other realms. The program is very similar to our NYS Standards because goals were set for the students. The students were expected to produce results and they did, and it is the same for Physical Education and it's standards.
BDNF is a protein known as Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, it helps to support the survival of existing neurons and encourage the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses. BDNF is active in the hippocampus, cortex and basal forebrain which are all areas vital to learning, memory and higher thinking. Physical Education is supposed to stimulate the BDNF and as a result students should be able to exceed in the classroom. BDNF is activated through exercise and activity, thus proving the importance of Physical Education in the classroom. There are two books that outline the benefits of exercise and learning, Sparks by John Ratey and The Kinesthetic Classroom by Traci Lengel and Mike Kuczala.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Look Back at Second Semester at St. Mary's

Coming back to St. Mary's this fall was one of my best decisions of the semester. The best part of the experience was the different lens that was on the 'camera' so to speak. Going to St. Mary's as a Lab Assistant rather than student I was able to look at the experience completely differently. Within my group was three rising Physical Educators, Jon, Daniel and Nicole. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed working with them. They looked at me for guidance and assistance, I never thought people would look to me for help like they did. Then it hit me; this is exactly what I want, to help students in the area of Physical Education. Now yes, Jon, Dan and Nicole were not necessarily my students but it is as close as I can get. The four of us kept good communication with each other, I gave them advice based on the previous knowledge I had from 201 in the Spring. I hope I made an impact on them and helped make an enjoyable experience. If I can find the time I would love to be an Assistant in 201 again or even 255. Below is a picture of myself during an intense, and I mean intense game of checkers, it ended in a tie, referee called it on account of time, but it was one for the ages. Working with children always reminds me how much I miss being young, well younger.

Homework 1, A Long Overdue Blog

What is meant by the idea that teaching is a goal-oriented activity?

For a goal-directed coordination of instructional activities and teaching methods, firstly we can define goals for education in terms of the ideas and skills we want students to learn. Next we must design activities and teaching methods that will provide opportunities for experience with these ideas and skills, and help students learn more from their experiences. Lastly, these goals must fall within the nation, state and local standards. Without any of this there is no sense of direction and fairly will surely ensue.

Why is the process that teachers choose to use to teach content important?

The decision process instructors choose is so important because it helps them identify and meet their goals and objectives. There are a variety of processes you can choose from and there is a method for everyone. Instructors need to be prepared to teach their students in a variety of realms and it is vital that they have a process. Also, there are multiple processes teachers can choose from to teach content, if one way work well, that's good, but teachers can change it every now and then to keep students interested.

Why is the movement-task student response unit of analysis so important in physical education?

Movement-task student response unit of analysis is so important in physical education because it allows the teacher to asses the students, give feedback and it also allows the students to develop their motor skills. Physical Educators have to keep their students moving as much as they can, physical education is a vital part of every school and in order for it to thrive, movement-task student response should be optimal.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Circuit Training: What a Workout!

This past monday, the 29th of November I continued my peer teaching in EDU 255 in Lab D. I was given Circuit Training to teach and at first I was a bit skeptical, anyone who knows me will almost never see me in the gym working out and if you took one look at me you'd probably agree. In addition, the class had to incorporate a form of technology into our lesson. Technology is a key piece of every classroom and is vital for myself and my peers to be comfortable with it.

When I sat down to write my lesson plan I was determined to make Circuit Training fun for everyone. Circuit Training is a form of high intensity aerobics and resistance training designed to be easy to follow and targets fat loss, muscle building and heart fitness. The best part of Circuit Training is how easy it is, anyone, anywhere can perform a full circuit with little to no equipment. However, Circuit Training is an intense workout that will have you sweating and gasping for breathe if performed properly. Therefore I really wanted to make this fun for everyone.

It was tough to make my lesson fun, especially considering my peers are not to thrilled to be working out so intensely and sweating when I am sure they would rather relax. After much contemplation, I decided to incorporate fun activities at each station that I hoped my peers would enjoy doing. For example, at one station I had my peers run on a 'treadmill', so to speak. A treadmill was not within my budget therefore I modified it a little bit. Rather than have my peers run on a treadmill, I had them do the 'Running Man.' Those not familiar with the Running Man, it is a dance move that was popular in the 1980s. Also, if my peers were not happy with the Running Man, I allowed them to perform a different dance, if they so wished.

For my lesson, I had seven stations set up in one half of the gym that included the treadmill, burpees, planks, jump ropes, step ups, dumbbells and sit-ups. I had modifications at each station if the workout was too intense for anyone. For example, if sit-ups were too strenuous my peers could have done crunches instead. After all of this, I felt that I made my lesson plan as fun as possible.

At the beginning of the lesson I had my peers record their resting heart rates in order to compare them to their heart rates after the workout. After brief viewing of the numbers recorded you can tell instantly once everyone starts working out. Viewing the chart, I can tell those who are working out intensely and those who are not. Heart rate monitors are a great way to see the intensity of my students, those who are and are not working hard. Some students were exhausted after the Circuit Training and their heart rates are so high that they needed to stop in order to get some rest. As seen below, Mark was out of breathe and needed to take a break, which just goes to show how intense the workout really is.

Technology like the heart rate monitors should be and are an integral part of every Physical Education class. Very easy to set up there should be no reason why it is not a part of the curriculum in Physical Education. After becoming familiar with it I feel very confident to do so again in the future.To the left you can see the heart rates of the class. The heart rates are linked to a program on a computer, each heart rate is assigned a number and therefore each student can see their own heart rate.

Going into my lesson I was very confident with my lesson, I had rehearsed what I was going to say and I think everything went well. I had activity progressions laid out and I was ready to go! Of course nothing ever goes according to plan, nonetheless, I feel like I did a good job. On paper however, when I developed the content, I got the impression I did not do a great job with the cues and tasks. Also, looking at my C-9 form almost all of the realms were covered, but not cues. I had a hard time with the cues because there we just so many! With seven stations the cues were countless. Looking back at it now I should have just had universal cues for each station and went along with that. It was a great learning experience though and I am glad I had this opportunity and look forward to the next time I can teach. In addition, I set up a 12 day block plan that can be very helpful in the future as a physical educator.

My feedback was really well, the best it has been. I was able to give feedback to more than 50% of the class and help them with the cues and tasks. As seen in this picture I was helping Jeremy and Greg with the 'treadmill' or Running Man. I was very pleased with my feedback because prior to Lab D it has not been up to par. I made a point of it to give feedback and will do the same with all future teaching experiences. And I feel I used my time wisely as you can see in this Time Coding Form.

Dr. Yang always has tricks up his sleeves, and during my lab D I had to deal with some unruly students. Under orders from Dr. Yang, my classmates Ben, Laura, Nicole and Anthony were told to make it very hard for me to teach. In every classroom there is always one or more students who give the teacher a hard time and it is to be expected. Thus, I understand why Dr. Yang does so during Lab D and I'm grateful for the learning experience. When my classmates began to get out of hand I handled the situation pretty well but I certainly could have done a better job. I should have broken the trouble-makers up to eliminate the problem immediately to avoid it from the start. This picture will show the trouble they gave me, and I say trouble but it was pretty funny and I enjoyed the challenge.
As I mentioned previously, I was very nervous to teach Circuit Training, but all in all I think I passed with flying colors. I had a lot of fun and I hope my classmates did as well. Below are the videos of my teaching and links to all my documents.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Who knew teaching Kabaddi could be so much fun?

When Professor Yang instructed to the class that we will have to be teaching an international sport, admittedly so, I was nervous. Next, when my partner Greg and I decided to teach Kabaddi, the national sport of India and Bangladesh, yes I was very nervous. I was not sure if I would be able to learn a sport quickly, and well enough to teach it to a group of my peers. Nonetheless, I was up to the challenge and I did pretty well I think. It is very hard to squeeze so much information into such a short period of time but I did my best. I was able to include the native language of Bangladesh, that is Bengali, having the students counting from 1-10 in Bengali. Thus, I was able to get plenty of the culture into the lesson and it felt accomplishing to teach through the physical. I found it difficult to give feedback to my students, but I did the best I could, which truthfully was not all that spectacular. The skills I taught in Kabaddi were so simple that it was tough to give feedback because all of the students excelled in them. However, one can argue that I can simply give positive feedback to the students, so that is definitely an area I need to work on. Ultimately, I am really liking the way I am progessing as a teacher. Below are links to all of Kabaddi documents.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Teaching, Ultimately Take 2

I was very happy with the outcome of Lab B2, I can see myself improving. This time around I had a great hook, signal for attention and safety statement. I had a great challenge to go along with my task that I instructed the class to do. I kept the instruction short and sweet and got the class moving as fast as I could. There is still one flaw that I know I need to work on, as I was walking around observing the students, I was not assessing the task that I had instructed them to work on. I gave comments on the fundamentals of basic frisbee throwing, rather than the pivoting, ducking and juking that I taught. Lastly, next time I teach I will be sure to demonstrate in game-like speed, most likely with a student in the class to give them a better idea of what I mean. I did not do that this time and the class seemed a little confused at what I was asking of them, thus I will be sure to fix my mistake next time.

Throughout the lesson, there was a microphone attached to my collar, recording everything being said and here is a transcription of just that. After transcribing it, I was happy with my performance, but there were a few things I still need work on. I lost count the amount of times I said 'Okay,' that has to be fixed and fast. Also, my assessing, can hardly be called assessing. Instead I just gave general feedback of basic fundamentals of Ultimate. In addition, there is a time coding form and a feedback analysis form I've filled out that breaks down the lesson completely so you can better understand how it went.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Teaching, Ultimately

Lab B1 was by far my most successful lab teaching. Granted, there are still things I need to work on but I still feel confident. My demonstration was poor, to say the least, I had a hard time thinking of a way to explain how to pivot, deke and duck and certainly could have done a better job. In addition I lacked a safety statement and a signal for attention, both very important in their own realms. On the other hand, I had a great hook and introduction. I liked how I never had my back to any of the students walking around giving advice to them on technique and what have you. Next lab I will definitely make sure that it is in my lesson, just a few kinks I need to work out.

New Youth, Hitting Bingles

This past weekend my softball team, New Youth, was granted right to participate in a tournament of the best teams in the league. Having won our division in the regular season, we were put into a bracket of some of the best teams all across Long Island. We made it to the semi-finals but fell short in the last inning losing by only a couple of runs. However, we may have lost but it was some of the most fun I've had and I'm glad I went home for the weekend to participate. Playing softball with my team, my friends, is always a great way to spend your Sunday morning. After all the inside jokes, double plays, bingles (singles), home runs, put outs and much more it was a very successful season. Pictured below is a picture of the team after the championship game of the regular season, above is a picture of me from the 2009 season, in a tournament New Youth entered in and won.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Teaching, Take Two

Given another opportunity to teach I was not going to take it for granted. It was certainly better than my first teaching experience but there is still much I need to work on. I liked how I demonstrated, explained it again, broke it down into parts, and demonstrated it again, better known as D.E.A.D. (Demonstrate, Explain Again Demonstrate). In addition, to demonstrating, I explained a common mistake when swinging a baseball bat, which I feel definitely helps students when beginning to learn to swing a bat. Along with my strong points there were things I need to improve. I really must start to literally yell, it is better than the first lab, but with all the background noise and distractions I must begin talking louder. Also, my body language suggests I am not comfortable, I'm nervous and I don't have the presence I should have. I'm sure with time that would change. Lastly, I cannot blog without addressing the Greg-Jen mishap, it was pretty embarassing but I can laugh about it now. Honestly, I have known Jen for almost three years now, I know her name, it was just one of those things that happens. I was looking at Greg, it seemed like he was going to say something, answer my question, and then Jen caught me off guard. It won't happen again though.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An Orientation to Teaching Physical Education

Teaching is a goal-oriented activity, teachers must set goals for themselves and the students as well. Teachers need to set a bar of objectives they want to achieve. Physical Educators must set reasonable goals for their students to reach, like their motor skills of the psychomotor domain. Without goals, students will lose interest and have nothing to strive for in your class.
It is important for teachers to choose instructional processes appropriate to their goals and lesson. Teachers must have an idea of what they want their students to be able to do and enforce instructional processes effectively for a given activity and group of students. If a student is asked what happened in gym class today, as the teacher, how would you want yourself described? The teacher must control the environment, task and learner to the best of his/her abilities.
The movement task-student response unit of analysis is a vital part of physical education. Movement tasks are motor activities assigned to the student that are related to the content of the lesson. The movement task can vary from a teacher telling a student to bump a volleyball, and can range to the teacher using task cards or something of the sort. A class without movement task-student response of analysis is not a class at all.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My First Teaching Experience, Edu 255

A week ago, in the first day of class in Professor Yang's Edu 255, the class was asked to come up with a 3-4 min lesson on any basic fundamental skill. With no preparation my peers and I had to do our best with what we had. Below is a video of my lesson plan. I felt there are both pros and cons of my video. I was strong with my demonstration ability but there were some flaws with my presentation. Firstly, I can hardly here myself speak, whether it was poor video quality or what have you, clearly I need to speak up and expand my voice. Secondly, my introduction was sub par, I did not have instant activity to grab the student's attention, instead they were standing still, probably bored. Those are just two qualities of my teaching that I need work on, I look forward to expanding my abilities as the semester continues.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Pizza Time!

Everyone enjoys dressing up as someone or something they love, this past lab my peers and I were lucky enough to dress up as superheroes. My group and I, the Fuzzy Monkees, dressed up as your favorite crime fight turtles, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Donnatello, Leonardo, Rafael and Michelangelo took a break from fighting crime and helped the students at St. Mary's enjoy the last lab we have with each other. I could immediately tell the impact all of our costumes had on the students. The energy levels were up, and they were eager to get playing as soon as possible. Not only were they happy to see the superheroes in town to help them, but in addition, the parachute games had the children smiling from ear to ear. I will certainly incorporate little things like these when I am teaching physical education in order to keep my students interested and energetic.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Baby Got Crib

Way back when, upon hearing my group and I would have to make a music video to a song and relate it to class, I was very reluctant. I soon realized it was the most fun I've had in a while, in class or not. I was able to break inhibitions, let loose and have fun with it. I was able to get dressed up, look ridiculous, and loved every second of it. Every now and then Sir Mix A Lot's 'Baby Got Back' will come on in my shuffle and I cannot help but to sing my part. I hope my group and I can get to perform on the 1st of May so we can knock it out the park and show everyone what we have.

Looking Back

Looking back at the previous labs, the activities and game I chosen to use seemed very appropriate. The games never got out of hand, the students were always on task, very rarely was anyone ever standing around waiting. I made sure my games were always able to get the students moving, it is the basis I like to set. There is always limitations to every game. Whether it is the environment, the learner to what not, it is hard to assess motor skills at some times. I've noticed that the student does not attempt the skill or will not get a chance too. The learner may become distracted and off-task or the game was not well thought out enough towards the motor skill. In the past lab I watched and assessed a student practice her basketball dribbling and soccer shot. Student M performed the task beautifully, the games was set so well to assess the motor skill, and at the age of 5, she was so ahead of the curve I felt. She was able to contact the ball with one hand, not slapping it, at hip height with control of the ball as well. Also, her soccer kick was very nice for a girl her age. Rapid continuos approach to the ball and her trunk inclined. On the other hand, she lacked a forward swing of the arm and a follow-through. Overall, her motor skills were very impressive and the game was well balanced towards it.

Buzz and Woody Save The Day

This past lab, we were fortunate enough to have Woody, Buzz Lightyear and his gang stop by St. Mary's for some fun. Not only that, but we were lucky enough to spend the beautiful day outside! It was a whole new realm for me as a teacher and I learned a lot. Teaching within doors is a completely separate task from outdoors. The environment changes drastically, and as a teacher you need to adjust. I think it was a job well done overall by myself and my peers. Hopefully we can be outside on more time before the end of the semester to hone our skills more but we shall see.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Reflecting On St. Mary's

Looking back on my experience with St. Mary's I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity. The biggest challenges I faced was not being able to communicate and interact with the children as much as I would have liked to. I found it difficult to grasp the students attention, hold it, and communicate what it was I was attempting to, whether it be a game or what have you. The environment never became an issue because fortunately the gym was always available, only problem I've faced is breaking my inhibitions, letting my guard down and communicating. In order to improve, I will just have to work harder and lose the fear I have, raise my voice to better get my point across. I look forward to improving myself in the future at St. Mary's and elsewhere.

Easter Hits St. Mary's

This past monday the Easter Bunny arrived early to St. Mary's in Cortland. The children of St. Mary's celebrated Easter by participating in fun activities and having a great time. Students were simultaneous working on their motor skills, like throwing and catching, while having a great time. I loved to see the kids running around having a ball and knowing that I was able to help put that smile there. This past lab I really feel I was able to communicate to the kids better than ever before. I really let my guard down and began to 'teach' so to speak. I look forward to our future labs and hope to perform even better.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dinosaurs Attack St. Mary's

This past monday, St. Mary's was attacked by viscous dinosaurs. Contrary to popular belief, these dinosaurs came in peace, hoping to join in on various activities and to have fun. These dinosaurs wanted to practice their leap, horizontal jump and slide. I'm starting to have second thoughts on dinosaurs now, apparently our beliefs on them are wrong, they are very peaceful creatures. Now watching the dinosaurs practice their skills a lot was learned. First and foremost, who knew dinosaurs were so athletic? Secondly, the dinosaurs all develop at their own pace and have to be dealt with individually and carefully. With the right guidance these dinosaurs can become all stars. The teacher's responsibility is to first, make sure the students have the times of their lives, and look forward to physical education, and secondly to ensure that they develop into well rounded adults.
Throughout the lab, I noticed that those who came prepared with props, were much more successful than those who had not. Props are a great way to grab the attention of the student and hold on to it for dear life. The hardest part of teaching, in my opinion, is grabbing the attention of the student. At such young ages they can get distracted easily, thus, making this a vital part in teaching.

St. Mary's Goes Up in Blaze

After viewing the students’ movement patterns this past week, there was plenty of variability seen across the board. I noticed that sometimes age is not an issue, that perhaps, a younger student may be more advanced than an older student. This leads me to understand that different students progress at different rates and that there must be another influence in the students’ life that may be affecting this. There could be genetic reasons for example, or perhaps the environment itself could be another reason. I worked with two students, student A and student B. There was plenty of variability between the two of them for all of the movement skills of leaping, horizontally jumping and sliding. Student A had a hard time grasping the concepts of each skill and how to do them, while student B showed good progressions throughout the class. Throughout the day I used the teaching strategies that I was taught and thought were going to be most productive. I got down to their level, explained thoroughly, used demonstrations, did not ask questions I did not want to hear and so on. The effect went well, I was able to relay my message across and get the students running and playing in no time. In my opinion, the most effective strategy is getting down the students level, without doing so one can never expect to grab the attention of the students, the students will quickly divert their attention elsewhere and the teacher will have no effect at all. The most effective strategy to capture the children’s attention and keep them on task is to use props, props and more props. Props are such a good way to get them to listen to you, understand your activity and have them playing in no time. For example, when Blaze showed up at St. Mary’s all the students energy went off the Richter scale and started to have the times of their lives. Now I know I cannot have a real dragon every time, but it does not always have to be to that extent. As the teacher we have to be innovative and creative to optimize the playing time for the children.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Brief Overview of Developmental Physical Education

Children in this generation face many issues that previous generations did not have to encounter. Children these days have to deal with a rapid rise in obesity. Today’s children are less active and have poorer diets than their counterparts of just 10 years ago. In addition, the in-school and community violence among youth has been a growing problem and there is no reason for it to occur. Lastly, children are reaching puberty sooner that in turn has important psychosocial ramifications.

Physical Education aims to remedy some if not all of these problems. A physical educator seeks to teach skills necessary to perform a variety of activities and remain fit. In addition, a physically educated person, by NASPE standards, knows the implications and the benefits of involvement in physical activities. There are three factors that lead to the development of the whole child. Firstly, the biology of the individual, next is the conditions of the learning environment, and lastly the requirements of the movement task, or the task, learner and environment for short. Individual appropriateness is based on the central proposition that each child has his unique timing and pattern of growth and development. Thus, the movement activities children perform are geared to their stage of motor development. On the other hand, age-group appropriateness is based on both chronological age and grade level. The process of development moves from simple to complex and from general to specific as individuals strive to increase their competence in the motor, cognitive and affective domains of human behavior.

Fundamental skills, or basic movement skills, are developed when the student it young and is applied to specialized skills to a wide variety of games and to various sport, dance and recreational activities. For example, the fundamental skill of striking an object in an underhand, sidearm or over-arm pattern is progressively refined and later applied in sport and recreational pursuits such as golf, tennis and baseball. Patterns of stability can also be observed as axial, static and dynamic movements. An axial movement could be bending, stretching or twisting. While, on the other hand, static and dynamic movements could be rolling, starting, stopping or dodging.

Finally, physical fitness is defined as a combination of health-related and performance-related fitness. Health-related fitness is composed of muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, joint flexibility and body composition. However, performance-related fitness is made up of balance, coordination, agility, speed and power. These concepts can easily be achieved with the guidance and supervision of a physically educated teacher.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

St. Mary's Hosts the Winter Olympics

This past monday, in our most recent lab I was fortunate enough to be a part of a miniature winter olympics for the students at St. Mary's. The students participated in Olympic themed activities set up by my peers and I of SUNY Cortland. Throughout the lab the students motor skills were observed, from running, hopping to galloping. I noticed, as I'm sure my classmates did to, that the students were able to perform the task but not to it's highest ability. The students struggled at sometimes and were not able to fulfill all of the performance criteria. Critical elements were overlooked and the students certainly need some guidance to perform the task to its proper standards. In addition, although I was not able to get a chance to teach an activity to the students I did learn a few tricks. Music is extremely helpful to an activity, pumping up the students and what not. Also I learned not to ask questions I don't want the answer to, for example, Who wants to play this game? I should not give the students an option, simply act the right way and the students will surely play. I will take this thoughts to heart for the next lab.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

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Thursday, February 18, 2010


I have a mixed opinion about dodgeball. I always enjoyed dodgeball growing up as a child, but recently my eyes have been opened about the negativity surrounding the game. I feel that dodgeball could be useful if played properly. A professional physical education teacher should make variations to the game to make it appropriate and more of a learning experience as opposed to creating human targets, isolating students, hiding etc. In addition, the teacher should create an alternative to those who wish to not participate in dodgeball, dodgeball should be an option not a requirement for there are many negatives embedded in the game. If a student wishes to sit out it is because they know they will not benefit from the experience and vis versa.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lab 1 Reflection, February 14, 2010

With the first official lab behind me I feel as if I have to break my inhibitions and channel my inner kid. I have to get to their level and not worry about what my peers may think about me. I have to let loose and enjoy the time I have in lab to the fullest, not just by putting a smile of the students' faces but my own as well. The students look to myself and my peers to provide them with games and a good time. After a long day at school the students simply want to have fun and I feel it is our responsibility to make sure it happens. I am going to have to get down to their level and enjoy the time I have and not take it for granted.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

First Day at Saint Mary's

The first day at Saint Mary's was not what I had anticipated. I have had labs for other classes in the past and none have come close to the fun I had working with the kids in the program. I had not expected to have so much fun throughout the lab, and it was just the first day. I am really excited to get to know the kids more and more and to continue to put smiles on their faces.