Sunday, September 23, 2012

We Finally Made it to the Gym!

This week seemed more like "normal" in our PE classes; meaning, we did not spend all of our time in the classroom!  We FINALLY were able to be in a GYM (our nice, comfy place!)

The week began with 200 Block learning how to teach a bowling/rolling/manipulative unit to Kindergarten - 9th graders.  Students came to class equipped with a pre-made lesson plan consistent with each grade level's content standards and developmental appropriateness.  As they peer taught these lessons - we took students' raw ideas and created a quality PE lesson.  We discussed modifications, corrections, classroom management strategies, before, during and after their teaching of the lesson.  We believe that learning is accomplished by doing and the best lessons at times are learned by letting them flop a bit to give them the opportunity to modify their lesson on the spot.  We discuss the importance of researching and developing a quality lesson complete with many modifications, however the best reinforcement of how to truly put great ideas into workings is to try them out on actual people.  Peer teaching provides our students the opportunity to gain group instruction experience with the unique advantage of having an Instructor to assist in ensuring their ideas successfully form into quality lessons.

On Tuesday, 400 block students changed gears slightly...their brains took a break and enjoyed Guest Speaker Day.  A "who's who" among JSU PE graduates including: Terrace Ridley (Piedmont Elementary), Rayshaun Edwards (Adams Elementary, Gadsden), Oscar Bonds (Piedmont Middle), Todd Gable (Fruithurst Elementary, Heflin), Dia Bean (Wellborn Elementary), Leslie Salter (Cleburne County High School), and Michael Jaggers (Southside Elementary) all spoke to our students. They offered real life advice, funny stories (that just CANNOT be taught in class!), classroom management tips, interviewing advice, how to KEEP a job,  how to manage the rigor of coaching while teaching, and the importance of technology knowledge and implementation in public schools.  Their sentiments regarding how fortunate our students are to be learning how to implement technology into their future programs reiterated how vital it is to keep current in implementing effective teaching and constant learning strategies.

While students enjoyed hearing tips and tricks from the trenches, they were not given the day off from their devices.  Reflection and evaluation strategies were implemented after each speaker by means of  a Google Doc form embedded in their Edmodo Library.  Class discussions have included the importance of evaluating the effectiveness of the various components of their PE programs, so what better way to teach that than to put it into practice. This data helps us as Instructors to continue to seek our those professionals who will meet the changing needs and interests of today's students.  The general consensus of student feedback was positive and After reviewing students' comments, we were pleased to find that the day was a success. The goal of this day is to provide students with a variety of interpretations from up and coming teachers as well as seasoned veteran teachers about how to effectively shape their craft.

On Wednesday, we ventured out to Wellborn Elementary School with 200 Block to observe Dia Bean's quality program. Scheduling for 200 block is unique in that students are taught content in small manageable chunks to ensure understanding and try not to overwhelm. This schedule allows for supervised practical teaching experience in local schools, so after their guided peer teaching experiences, we feel it is good for them to see how an actual PE class runs before turning them loose to teach these students.  Dia was introducing her rock wall unit, a new unit to her program - one she has been raising money to purchase for several years.  Our students were very fortunate to see not only the importance of strict, and consistent classroom management, safety, precise instructions, but also how imperative it is to fund raise!  200 Block was able to interact with the students as well as co-teach a few lessons.  Once again, our students did not put away technology just because we are out of the classroom setting.  Students had to complete a Google Doc Reflective Form located in Edmodo's Library that asked specific questions about Wellborn Elementary's program based on JSU's Conceptual Framework Model.

Thursday's classes with 400 Block finished up a fun week with a bang!  In HPE 409 (Elementary Methods), students came to class equipped with a K-5 Jump Rope Lesson that they peer-taught.  Not only was I enlightened by some new games and skills, students learned a lot about how to manage, progress through, and age-appropriately teach a Jump Rope unit to all elementary ages.

I also introduced them to Tinikling - an African based dance using poles, music, and rhythm.  They learned how to progressively teach 3rd - 5th graders the basics of Tinikling and Jump Bands.  By the end of class, these kids were whooped!

Technology, again, was not given a back seat.  For each unit taught, students have to complete an assignment in Edmodo.  They must complete a Google Doc Form and list 5 Teaching Tips (classroom management, progression, age appropriate skills, modifications, etc) they learned from my instruction.

In HPE 410 (Secondary Methods), tstudents presented the findings of Case Study assignments (students interviewed a Secondary PE Teacher of their choosing to find out information such as rules, routines, tips, tricks, curriculum, planning, roles, responsibilities, grading & behavior procedures, and the best & worst of the job.) Information from interviews were creatively displayed and presented through Infographics. This assignment was especially exciting to watch their creative juices flow in their interpretation of the specifics of the assignment. Programs such as, MS Word, Wordle, Piktochart, Educreations were used to creatively bring to life the pertinent information that students shared with each other. After presenting their Infographics, students were to choose ideas from their peers' presentations that they could utilize in their own programs and posted it to their blogs.  This semester, in keeping with the theme of "progressing with technology", these Infographics replaced basic powerpoint presentations of old. This activity provided students with the ability to create an innovative picture representation of ideas, not limited to a single assignment but open to a multitude of PE lessons, themes & ideas for future use. Finally, students were given the specifics of their next technologically savvy assignment...their chance to apply the "flipped learning" idea to a secondary LIFE course lesson. I anxiously await seeing the fruits of their labors in this peer teaching assignment. Stay tuned...

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