Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dear Superintendent

I am writing to you on behalf of the Physical Education department and our fellow students. Our wish is to incorporate non-traditional activities and units in our curriculum. As we advance as a nation and as Physical Education evolves more and more, we feel that Physical Education class is not just about throwing out the balls and telling the students to have fun. We must apply incorporate life skills as part of our class. It has come to my attention that more than 80% of my students want to experiment in non-traditional activitites. I have taken a survey and found that most students have grown tired of basketball,volelyball,soccer,softball,football etc. There is a unit called Project Adventure which i wish to use in my classroom. Project Adventure uses many skills such as communication, teamwork, trust and other useful life skills to help complete certain tasks and objectives. Most of these skills if not all of them are taught within other classes such as social studies, science, and english. Some of these activities provide brain stimulating objectives that help students expand their thinking and problem solving skills. We feel that by adding this unit into our curriculum we can help develop necessary skills that these students need to attain to become succesfull in everyday life. Students seem enthusiastic about the idea of starting this unit. Blindfold games, tag games, trust falls/runs/dives are being talked about amongst the students. Throughout my time at SUNY Cortland I became certified in PRoject Adventure and I am ready to teach these kids safely and responsibly. I have created a presentation that I would like to share with you to help my cause of addidng this unit to the curriculum. If you have any questions at all please I encourage and would like you to contact me via e-mail or contact me at 845-555-5555. Again I thank you for your time and really look forward to seeing you Tuesday night at 8pm in the Hall of Fame Room. We feel this presentation is enough evidence to convince the board to allow this unit.
Thank You

Harris Seletsky

Part 1

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.

The web-site is from CBC. This is a Canadian broadcasting company in Canada. Saskatoon is the name of the province that it takes place on. The story also talking about a high school that is using a fitnees program to improve students academic performance. The location of that high school was Chicago.

I thought that the article/news piece was very interesting. When i was in high school it felt that I was doing better in my classes during sports seasons. In the news piece it was interesting to see how much all the students improved. I think the entire class improved 1 whole letter grade, which is pretty incredible when you think about it. Most students have trouble improving a third of a letter grade and these students were improving by the whole grades. A program like this really helps to improve students education and it has strong evidence to support it. The troubling thing about this is, why dont more schools incorporrate this into their budgets/curriculum. Physical Education seems to be at the top of the list when it comes to making budget cuts.

The video showed most students standing around not being active, not participating in physical activity. It is sad that most Physical education teachers do not care whether their students participate or not. It appears that the teacher feels as long as he is getting paid then he is doing his job. This is a terrible attitude to have as a physical educator. Now a days schools should be looking into finding teacher candidates who show compassion, energy, knowledge, enthusiasm for physical education (Cortland students). when it comes time for me to teach, my physical education classes will be beneficial and helpful to all my students. I will take my passion and energy and apply it to my lessons which in turn should make the students want to learn. Faculty/co-workers would greatly benefit from this program because all physical education classes if taught correctly help students release stress, and helps get ride of all that unecessary energy they have stored up. When it comes time to return to their classes they will be calm relaxed and ready to participate and learn. The faculty should have an easier time getting their lessons done, and they will even have a higher successful passing rate when it comes time to do grades. Physical education shouldnt be looked at as throwing a ball on the ground and telling the kids to have fun. It should be viewed as a unique learning tool that can help improve the lives of everyone physically and mentally. When people work out it gives them endorphines, endorphines make people feel good.

They were positive outcomes they showed benefits to having the program in the schools. Reading, writing and math comprehension all seemed to improve. There was a student who improved his comprehension by 400%. The kid also suffered from having some academic problems and some behavior issuses. Another student ran on a treadmill and it helped him control his emotions, and focus in class. I can relate to these results because I can remember having English class after my physical education class and i found that I had a lot of energy released and when i got to my class i was ready to learn and was more focused on what the task was. As stated above the entire class averaged one letter grade improvments. The students seemed to want to come to school, it appeared (and i agree with it) that the students gained motivation to do tasks. This program is similar to our NYSLS. The students are increasing their personal health, which is congruent with NYS LS 1A, they are given options to what type of activity they want to engage in NYS LS 1B. NYS LS 3 was the only one I think was not covered. I dont think i heard anything about where the students can go within their community to continue their physical education.

BDNF is a neurochemical that helps the brain function and grow. This is associated with physical education and learning because the more you engage in physical activities it increases the amount of the particular chemical. Eating the right way and taking in fewer calories a day can also be a beneficial way to increase the levels of BDNF.BDNF acts of certain neurons of the CNS and the PNS helping to support the survival existing neurons, and encourages the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses. Two books that discuss BDNF: "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and The Brain" by John J. Ratey. Natures Ritalin For The Marathon Mind by Stephen C. Putnam.

I am not the biggest technology guru, in fact I really do not know how to do certain tasks or commands on a computer. I found that Daily Burn was fairly easy to use. It took a little getting used to like finding where everything was and how to set it up, however i found it to be easy. I like keeping a log of my daily nutrition intake. It was interesting that you can design an entire plan for the week to help you reach your health related goals. However I do not like going on the computer everyday and feel that we are too technology dependant. I personally feel that when we go on the computers we get side tracked and start web surfing and doing other things other then the task at hand, I am old fashion and feel that a simple journal log and keeping a notebook is the exact same thing that can produce the exact same results. I will still be part of our Rockstar group.

I would use this website to accomplish our recommended regents level for LS #1B by having the students set up their own personal fitness programs. You do not know the exact reason a student is using the site. There are many different reasons such as losing weight, gaining muscle, gaining weight etc, so each student will produce an individual one and keep their logs daily. I would just have them write down their goals to what they want to accomplish at the begining of the unit.

I would use Excel in order to capture the data and reporting for the recommended regents level LS 1A. Excel is a great tool and has many functions to use in order to sort data and graph data.
Plus i know in my high school we had to take a computer class and be familiar with how to use excel and microsoft word so students should be familiar with it they have to take it in their schools. The students would have to list the activity that they did and keep log of their HR for the lesson and how many steps they took. The only problem with having students do this is since computers arent readily accessible in the gymnasium the students have time to forget their data. also the data could be invalid and not trustworthy because students might not take it serious and just write down whatever they want just to complete the task. Plus they already take a math class so I do not think they would enjoy calculating data and recording it. However maybe if there was a way to work with the math teacher and have them set up this information when they have math that day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Semester

Over the past semester I feel that I have grown and have made a lot of improvements in my teaching methods. This semester was a very interesting one. When we first started I was a little nervous to be teaching in front of my peers. But as the labs kept coming so did my progressions. As the semester kept going I learned from my classmates TA’s and professor. My classmates were great. We were composed of a bunch of great individuals. We helped each other and had fun. I can remember when we first started how low my voice was, and how I had tendencies such as grabbing my hands and stuttering. However as we moved from lab to lab I fixed and improved a lot of my mechanics. After 255 I feel that I am a better teacher candidate then I was the previous semester. I learned that specific feedback and even constant feedback is vital to a child’s learning and development. Another useful piece of information I learned is to have a good hook. Grab their attentions right away from the start of a class and the rest of the lesson is a piece of cake. The blogs and groups that we have joined on facebook, twitter, blogger etc are very helpful for the future. Networking and meeting great new people (such as spring 2010 255 class) is key for when looking for a job. I had a great experience this semester. I wish everyone well have a great summer, and we will continue our journey next fall.