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...

Monday, September 17, 2012


Please go to the correct  link below and complete this form if you are planning to student teach in Spring, 2013. 

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students  (5th Year Alternative)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Another Week Down...

As the sun sets over Jacksonville State University tonight, we reflect on the progress made this week in our 21st Century Physical Education classroom.  Little by little, our students are taking ownership and responsibility for their own learning.

Blogger...our students have a current and purposeful working blog that they are building and adding to daily. By the semester's end, they will be full of information that they will utilize when they begin their teaching careers.

Twitter...we have Tweeted, and Tweeted, and Tweeted this week!  Cross Curricular Physical Education games, favorite blogs pertinent to Physical Education, professional development & continuing education opportunities,  Educational Technology uses in the classroom, and elementary and secondary games are a few examples of how we are using social media to enhance learning. They've then posted this information to their active blogs.

You Tube...we have used planned You Tube videos for instructional purposes as well as for "on the spot" classroom discussions.  Students searched YouTube for examples of various physical education teaching approaches then shared them with the class.  This activity provided students with a clearer understanding of how to effectively implement these strategies into their instruction.

Socrative...its becoming a "bad word" in our class now!  (meaning...a quiz is coming!!).  We use Socrative as a paperless testing device and also as a classroom response system (similar to clickers) to provoke outward thought and discussion.  Socrative has been one of the best means of creating collaboration within our classroom.

Flipping...This was the pilot week for the "flipped classroom test" in our PE classroom.  Students in both 200 and 400 Block were assigned an Educreation video (created by us) on a lecture topic that we usually spend over 90 minutes discussing. (these lessons were "How to Write a Daily Physical Education Lesson Plan" for 200 Block, and How to Write a Yearly and Weekly Plan" for 400 Block).   They were to watch the flipped lesson videos (embedded in Edmodo) at their convenience prior to class.  To make them accountable and to ensure video lesson understanding,  students were given an assignment to go along with the video.  Like most other submissions, shared Dropbox folders were utilized for the transfer of information.  We also assessed them in class using a short Socrative Quiz.  Rather than spending the entire class period lecturing on a topic, students came to class with the basic knowledge, and also a rough draft of their lesson plans - and class time was spent addressing each student's individual needs instead of delivering content.  Our students LOVED IT and their work reflected it! Additionally, students were given the opportunity to "flip" a lesson themselves.  In both 200 and 400 levels, students as collaborative groups will create lessons then have class time for activity and reinforcement.  The Physical Education setting is ideal for the flipped classroom idea.  Providing our students and later their students with the ability to flip the traditional "lecture" portion of their content then utilizing class time for the "homework" portion (activity & reinforcement of content) will set them apart from their peers in their endeavors to fight for coveted jobs. 

Screen casting...Educreations....What an amazing FREE product!    We have used this to make flipped videos for our students, as well as offered it (among others such as Jing, Doceri, Explain Everything & Screencast-o-matic) to our students to create their own.  Students will spend this weekend creating a cross-curricular game with these tools.  We are anxiously anticipating the results!

Google Docs....GD, GD, GD for everything!!!  They are embedded in Edmodo so they are easy use.  Our students are using GD to check out PE equipment, to check in and out of schools they are observing for HPE 411 Practicum, and to complete a NASPE PE Checklist on Quality PE Programs during their observations at each school.  As soon as the students complete these forms, the information is instantly sent to us via a GD spreadsheet on our iPhones and iPads! Students will be creating their own GD that will be later used as an e-marketing tool to evaluate the effectiveness of their program and seek out the interests of their future students. 

Pinterest...yes, even the guys are pinning!  Our students have learned what a valuable resource Pinterest can be for education.  PE games, ideas, videos, and cutting edge technology can be found on Pinterest boards.  This week our students pinned several elementary PE games on their own boards to begin their collection.

And finally....we have burst out of the classroom walls and ventured into the GYM where we are most comfortable!  Our unit this week was elementary kicking/soccer games....and our 200 Block students were dumbfounded (as they are every semester) when they finally SEE that Physical Education soccer games are not even remotely similar to youth or organized soccer.  It is so rewarding to watch them as they learn, grow, and transform from college students to physical education pre-professionals.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Attention 400 Block Co-Teachers

Pairs Workshop
Cooperating Teachers
& Teacher Candidates
Relationship Building
Planning for Success in Co-Teaching

Thursday, September 27th, 2012
Jacksonville State University
Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor
12:00-3:00 PM
(lunch provided beginning at 11:30 AM)

Please bring:
Co-Teaching Manual
Lesson Plans and Unit Materials for
Co-Teaching Planning Session

Please RSVP to by Monday, September 25th

Sign up through STIPD #JSU15530-13 to receive continuing education credit

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Digital PE Class

Upon first glance, it may appear that our students are "playing" on their iPhones, iPads, and computers, however they are actually fully engaged in a Twitter class discussion about Elementary Physical Education Classroom Rules and Consequences.
For all of our current JSU PE students reading this blog, you are the STARS of this technology explosion!  We appreciate your willingness to make the change from the former system of paper handling of assignments and learning to our improved paperless, all digital world!  We realize you are somewhat overwhelmed currently, but your enthusiasm to embrace technology, as well as join the social networking research world (unfamiliar to some of you before last week), is very encouraging.  

For others reading this blog, this semester is a fun, technology filled, content driven, DIVE into 21st Century Learning.

The basis of every decision made has been, "how will this make life (everyday productivity as well as teaching effectiveness) more efficient?"  If "that app" or "that web program" will increase our productivity and allow for saving, organizing, and documenting in an organized fashion, we have implemented it into our curriculum!

Some of the Apps (and programs) we use every day are: Edmodo, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogger, Socrative, Dropbox, iAnnotate, Evernote, You Tube, Educreations, Google Drive, ScreenCastOMatic, Prezi, Slide Shark, Noteablility, QR Code Makers and Readers, Dragon Dictation, and

This project has not been an easy undertaking.  Andrea and I spent countless hours this summer at meetings, conferences, webinars, and in collaboration with educators around the globe to piece together a system that works for our specific need.  No one was doing exactly what we envisioned...making a higher education Physical Education Teacher Education Methods program paperless, digital, and flipped inside our classroom environment, in the university gym, and especially out in the public schools during practicum teaching. The beauty of utilizing technology in education is in finding what works for that specific program and implementing it to help be better facilitators of learning.

Every time we had an idea, we would run into a wall.  But, since we are both stubborn and persistent, we met each challenge head on & determined whether to continue or try a different direction.  We turned the wall into a door, figured out a way, and walked into the next room...which had another wall!  We were very determined to put JSU PE on the map --the technology map.   With a goal to better reach the students of today by using a venue of technology for learning and preparing tomorrow's leaders with the knowledge of successful implementation.

Naturally, we have encountered some bumps in the road, as is the case when technology is misguided by human error.  Things such as updating various devices, getting notifications set to send alerts, getting apps loaded correctly, creating blogs, renaming them, adding content to them, AppleTV login issues,  registering accounts and adjusting security on social networks and most importantly....guiding students through the ins and outs of USING all these apps!

This is a work in progress - a very exciting, yet tiring, escapade - but well worth it!  We are optimistic  about all the future of our endeavors and cannot wait to see where this "technology train" takes us!