Sunday, March 27, 2011

What Are You Up To?

What type of physical activity or exercise did you do this week?
For me my weeks consist of about 90% physical activity. Being a physical education major at SUNY Cortland most of my classes keep me physically active. At this moment i am taking Football, Softball, and Soccer all were you participate in game play and learn how to become better educators by learning advanced ways to teach the skill. On top of my daily activities classes, which their called i work out at least 5-6 times per week for about an hour. Maintain strength is very important considering i play lacrosse for Cortland. This adds about two hours each day, 6 days a week for even more exercise, between practice and games. Fun filled week right? As i said 90% of my week is exercise and physical activities. All which are going to better my health and help me live and long and healthy lifestyle.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

What Type of Learning Works Best?

There is new reasearch that shows starting to directly teach children at young ages can backfire in the long run. In the article, "Why Preschool Shouldnt Be Like School", by Alison Gopnick two studies are conducted in order to find out what works best, direct instrucution or discovery based instrucution. One of the studies was from MIT and the other at UC Berkly, both very prestigeous universities. An overview of the studies was that "In the first study, MIT professor Laura Schulz, her graduate student Elizabeth Bonawitz, and their colleagues looked at how 4-year-olds learned about a new toy with four tubes. Each tube could do something interesting: If you pulled on one tube it squeaked, if you looked inside another tube you found a hidden mirror, and so on. " "With the other children, the experimenter acted more like a teacher. She said, "I'm going to show you how my toy works. Watch this!" and deliberately made the tube squeak. Then she left both groups of children alone to play with the toy." The children who were taught how to use the toy simply knew just what the toy could do in that one instance. The children who discovered the toy on their own found out other capabilities of the toy. The children who discovered what the toy coudl do on their own were much more successfull. They werent just shown what they were shown and left it at that, they discovered the other capabilites of the toy through their own discovery. I believe it is good for teachers to teach directly in some matters but in other matters they must let the student discover information themselves. Letting students learn through discovery can make the children more creative and expand their imagination through their own experience.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Truly Amazing!

After watching the video on Gallaudet University women's basketball team, i was truly amazed by these athletes. In any sport verbal communication is a key to success, but for this team they rely on anticipation of one another and cohesiveness to be a successful team. Gallaudet University is a university for the deaf or hearing impaired so the amount of women basketball players with these impairments are harder to find. This doesn't affect this team though. Coach Cook has backed up his coaching philosophy and continues to work very hard to coach these players. This is a man who didn't know sign language and has faced the challenges of teaching an all deaf team. He has worked hard to learn sign language and can no almost have a full conversation with his players.  After two years of taking over the program, Coach Cook turned a team with 63 consecutive loses to an NCAA Division 3 team in the national tournament. His hard work and his players hard work have truly payed off. When people say that the hearing impaired are incapable of participating in sports or cant be good at sports, they need to look at the Women's Basketball team at Gallaudet University. The video can be seen here

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tenure or Renewable Contracts?

After viewing the video from NBC regarding teacher tenure i leave with a somewhat confused view about teacher tenure. I believe tenure is a great way to make teachers feel secure about their careers and not have a looming consequence constantly on their shoulders but i also feel some teachers take advantage of tenure. As they said in the video many teachers see tenure as a way to relax and this may cause teachers to not put in 110%. But many states now are seeing that many teachers aren't performing at the correct levels so a few states are adopting "renewable contracts". These renewable contracts offer teachers a two year contract, but the teacher is subject to performance evaluations. I feel that this is a great way to make sure teachers are on top of their game and are making sure they put in 110% at all times. Although this is a great way to make teachers become more consistent with their teaching i feel that without job security for teachers they may go into work with a bad attitude reflecting it on their teaching then the students suffer. Also the video states this costs even more money and documentation then before and the overall reason for this is to save money. As future educators what do you guys think? Should we use renewable contracts or tenure?  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You Kidding Me?

After reading the post, License Plate For Your Bike?, i was stunned with the desperate way New York is trying to gain money. To put a price on riding a bike is the most ridiculous thing i have herd in a very long time. As said in the post, "The plates would cost $25 for the "family" version and $50 for the "commercial" tags", I want to know the reason why bikes should be registered and licensed. For the sole purpose to gain money? Many people use cycling as a great way to exercise with out the pricey gym memberships, and the confinement of being in doors on a treadmill. In my community on Long Island, many families go on family bike rides after dinner on a nice summer day. Its a great way to get the kids exercising and the family to bond. NOW these people have to pay to bond and exercise with their family?! These legislators say, " Bicycles are considered moving vehicles in New York and more bike riders are using public thoroughfares and someone has to pay. "  I want to know what they are doing with the money they receive simply from tolls every morning when people from the Island have to make their morning commute to the city everyday, and the constant hike in MTA and LIRR fares, just to use the train. Charging $8 to go over a bridge per vehicle i think is insane and now they want to charge people who want to leisurely ride their bikes around their own neighborhood. What are police going to pull over a kid on a bicycle or an adult on a bicycle for breaking the law? Whats your opinion on this?  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

12 Hours a Week....... FUN!

After watching the video of Sam and his mother and the commitment they both put in to the sport i do not in any way oppose to what they are doing. At the young age of 11 i do not believe a child needs that much training but in Sam's case he enjoys his gymnastics. Many parents force the sport on their child and the hours of practice along with it. This type of parental pressure can drive the child away from the sports when they get older. I also agree with what Sam's mother said about how gymnastics is not as easily accessible than football in the neighborhood. And that its something they use to bond with each other.   Another thing I really liked was how Sam stated, " I like it a lot, it takes a lot of work, but after your done with a competition it feels really cool." That type of mentality is going to take Sam very far in his future gymnastics career and it really supports his decision to put in the time he does put in. The video shows how Sam is interacting with his friends and coaches and the ability of these young kids. I feel Sam isn't being pressured and he has the support of his family so the 12 hours of work is not a bad thing. What do you think?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Should Athletes Get Drug Tested?

As said by many student-athlete's are seen as role models for many young children. These are the students who are putting in 30 plus hours of school a week, on top of 15 plus hours of athletic practice,  5-8 hours team lifts, and then study time. They are the people who represent your school in some of the best ways. So why are these the students who get drug tested? Shouldn't these students be looked at as good students who are doing the right thing instead of being scrutinized for drug use by random drug testing. We should see these people as people with hard work ethic, determination, and respect. How do they get respected when they are being drug tested by their own school? Many of these athletes are forced to sign waivers saying they will comply to these tests, either they sign it or they don't play.

Whats your opinion on drug testing? Is it an invasion of privacy?


How Much PA This Weekend?

Tough Coaching...

After viewing the video of the coach being "too rough" I feel as though the coach shouldn't have handled himself that way. The coach was out of line with the way he tried to toughen his team. Although no coach should ever handle themselves in this manner i feel as though many athletes go through this all the time. In high school there was many times that coaches would grab me by the jersey or the helmet in order to set a point across. I feel as though the athlete should have toughened up, like a man and either accepted it or talk to the coach about it face to face before running off and telling his mother. Many of these coaches are with you more than your with your own family; You go to school from 7-3 and all of your coaches are your teachers then you go off to practice for 3 hours with the same coaches. They become like a parent figure/family member. Sometimes they get carried away and lose their cool, as an athlete you need to realize things may be tough and overcome this. I feel the coach shouldn't have done what he did but the student shouldn't have made it into a big deal.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Schools cut lunch options"

Great article on nutrition inside the schools.  One particular school in Florida is in a debate what to do when students dont have money to pay for lunch. What do you think they should do?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Title IX

Physical education is aimed to educate students about the necessary skills and values of living a healthy lifestyle from childhood to adulthood. This is true for everyone regardless of age, sex, or ethnicity, or so we think. In some instances woman can be victimized by having unequal opportunities inside the physical education setting. Female athletes of the 1970’s went through a completely different experience then the female athletes of today’s generation.   Today, we do not see these inequalities as much as we did approximately twenty to thirty years ago. Laws similar to Title IX have been issued in order to make major steps into making the physical education and sport settings much more equal. The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education enforces Title IX, prohibiting specific discriminatory activities; however, some men and women believe Title IX its self was discriminatory.
This act known as Title IX was an Equal Opportunity in Education Act which was enacted on June 23, 1972. The law states, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance”(Wikipedia).   According to a poll, from 1971-1972, the amount of female athletes in high school was 294,015; in 2007-2008 where there was 3,057,266(AAUW). These figures show an increase of approximately 940%. This increase has a direct correlation to the issuing of Title IX; the lack of increase in male high school athletes provides further proof in this theory.  In 1971-1972, the amount of male athletes in high school was 3,666,917 compared to 2007-2008 where there were 4,372,115(AAUW); this is an increase of only about 19%. In the NCAA setting there was also dramatic changes; from 1971-1972 there was 29,972 female athletes compared to 2004-2005 where there was 166,728, an increase of 456%. In conclusion you can see that the increase is in favor of females dramatically, with Title IX being the primary reason for this increase.
Although the issuing of Title IX, made drastic increases in the opportunities set forth for women in sports, it also could be said it drastically changed men’s sports.  Slashing programs was just one of the many ways men felt they were treated unfairly by the new Title IX law.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Nutrition in School: Do Students Have Choices?

Student Profile: Mohammad

Mohammad (From Bangladesh)
Mohammad is a very quiet but respectful student in class. His academic class work is done with great pride and he has very high knowledge of most subject areas. He prospers in Math and Science classes and really enjoys his studies. Mohammad is from Bangladesh, he moved here when he was 8 years old so he has been in the school district for quite a while. He is pretty fluent with the language because he was taught English in Bangladesh and has been here for so long. He struggles most with his listening because sometimes he needs the instructor to slow down. If he needs something repeated he just raises his hand and the teacher slowly reads it back.
During P.E class Mohammad remains very shy and struggles at some basic skills. His swimming ability is lower than all of the students and he has a lot of difficulty staying afloat. He needs an extra instructor to be with him at all times during his aquatics class. This may be due to his culture and traditions in Bangladesh where swimming is not as popular. Mohammad is a very motivated student who works hard at not only his swimming ability but in his academic studies. He has a great future ahead of him.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

OBESITY: The Real Issue!

Nine million American students, more than 30% of children are overweight or obese. With such a rate climbing higher and higher everyday why is it that physical educators are always seen on the low end of the totem pole. And the schools aren't helping! Schools are making the problem worse when they eliminate PE and recess in order to improve academic scores. We need to look at all of the life threatening consequences of obesity before we decide to axe PE class. Obesity is linked to health problems including; diabetes, heart disease and arthritis not to mention lowering a students self esteem causing possible depression. So with all these cold hard facts why is it that only 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools and 2% of high schools provide daily physical education?  Although the limited PE time there are outside organizations trying to help with obesity, "The Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) is working to reduce obesity and obesity-related conditions through state programs, technical assistance and training, leadership, surveillance and research, intervention development and evaluation, translation of practice-based evidence and research findings, and partnership development."  The NFL is also making some great progress with their new, "Play 60" initiative. They have various NFL players talk to kids about being physically fit and show them new and improved ways to have fun while exercising. Their mission is to get all kids to participate in physical activity for atleast 60 minutes each day. I feel there should be more outside organizations to show the importance of physical activity and schools should know the importance PE class has on children and their future.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stereotypes in the Classroom...

All African Americans are great athletes, all Jews are wealthy and all Asians are math geniuses are just a few examples of overwhelming stereotypes that hinder student learning. Stereotypical thinking affects the learning process by blocking out what students don't want to hear. Many times stereotypes are drilled in the back of students minds and make the student ignorant about a certain characterization of a group. This affects the actual complex thinking which students need in order to broaden their thinking.
According to the text, "Teachers, Schools and Society", about half of white Americans endorse common stereotypes about blacks and Hispanics, such as the belief they are not very intelligent. These stereotypes can be very dangerous to education. An example of how stereotypes can cause a negative learning environment is if a teacher asks a question the African American student may know, but he doesn't raise his hand in fear of getting the wrong answer and reinforcring the stereotype. Stereotypes can also create a belief that no matter what a student does he or she wont be as good of an athlete as the African American and not as good of a student as the Asian. This creates negativity and decreases motivation in many students. These are all examples of stereotype threats. Stereotype threats are a measure of how social context, such as self image, trust in others,and a sense of belonging, can influence academic performance.
Although I strongly disagree with any type of stereotype it is hard to banish them completely from our lives. They have been around so long that is is almost virtually impossible to get rid of them. What we can do is make students more aware of the dangers of stereotypes and show them all the positive things people have done regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity!  

Should Future Physical Educators Be Skill Tested?

As a future physical educator I personally know the importance of being proficient in a variety of skills. There are many future physical educators who may be passionate about physical education but may not exhibit the necessary skills in order to teach students how to perform these specific activities. Although many students may be great at test taking and book work are they competent in specific skills?  I believe prior to joining the physical education major students should be pre-tested. I believe there should be a set of standards that all future physical educators must make before entering the profession. There are many students wanting to become physical educators but aren't able to perform many skills necessary to do the job.
Looking forward into the classroom, how can physical educators who are not competent in a specific sport skill teach that skill and demonstrate it to the class. I am not saying you must be great at every skill but you should be competent enough to demonstrate it to a class and pin-point the correct technique. Inside the classroom students are much more likely to listen and follow the directions of an instructor who is proficient in the skill rather than a teacher who is not.
What is you opinion on this matter? Do you believe future physical educators should be pretested before being allowed into the major?   

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why Athletes are Good Role Models…

With athletes facing game-fixing accusations, Michael Vick accused of dog-fighting, and Barry Bonds' problem with steroids it now seems that professional athletes are the last to look up to.  In today’s day and age the media covers pretty much every aspect of every celebrity’s lives and nothing is kept secret. If the media stopped for a second and looked at all for the positive contributions athletes have made they would be enthralled, but instead they only show the negative situations. Professional athletes do much more then the things the media shows. They contribute more than just with their athletic ability.  For centuries people have admired and envied professional athletes and the success they have achieved. Many athletes are more than an athletic figure, they are reasons for kids to believe and dream. They can motivate children to stay on the right track and pursue their dreams no matter how big they are. An example of a great role model would be Lance Armstrong. Hard work and dedication made it possible for him to overcome cancer and accomplish the Tour de France. He instills faith in all people suffering from deadly illnesses to never give up and never quit. How about all the donations and volunteering most professional athletes do on a regular basis. This part of their lives is often overlooked.  I hope the media starts perceiving Athletes with the good they do in the community instead of all the negative aspects of their lives.    

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Is class time related to student achievement?

Waking up at 6:30 AM for that 7:30 class isnt a real motivating way to start your day. Many students dread waking up early for class, so the question is; do early classes effect student achievement? In my opinion class time can affect the students achievement levels. There are many factors that contribute to my theory. An example is; A student's alarm goes off at 6:30, he or she doesnt feel motivated to get up so they turn off the alarm oversleeping and missing class. The student wasnt in class so he doesnt recieve credit for pop quiz, recieveing a zero, and the teacher assigns an important assignment and the student doesnt hand it in the next day because he didnt know it was due. That one lazy act of turning off the alarm causes the student to lose credit on the pop quiz in class and misses an important assignment, on top of not retaining the information braught up in class. On the other hand a student has a 7:30PM night class. All of his buddies are going out on this beautiful Thursday night. The student may hesitate to even go to class and if he does go to class he wont be focused on the information being taught. The student may even leave class early to meet with his friends. These are just two factors that can contribute in a negative way on student achievement.
If you have any ways class time can relate in a positive way please leave a comment!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011


National Education Association or the American Federation of Teachers, Which one would you choose? First let me give you a background on both, then you can decide! The NEA was created in 1857, and is the largest professional and employee organization in the nation, containing over 3 million members. The NEA offers free legal services, training opportunities, and issues of NEA Today, a publication informing educators on current news. On the other side the AFT is a much smaller organization. Created in 1916, the AFT is exclusive to only teachers, for teachers by teachers. The AFT supports education reform, national standards for teachers, and induction programs that enable new teachers to work with master teachers. It provides similar services as the NEA but at a much smaller scale. So what do you think? Both organizations work to improve the salaries and working conditions for teachers, influence educational policy, and organize actions. Which is best for you?

If i had to choose an organization i would choose the American Federation of Teachers. I like how it is a smaller organization and can truly help the individual teacher. I also support how it fought hard in the 1970's to raise the status of teachers. And most of all i support how the AFT supports national standards for teachers!