Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Longboarding PE

"How many of you have ever ridden on a skateboard or Longboard before?" I asked my class of 25. Two students rose their hands.  Many of the students looked at me like I was crazy when I told them that they would all have the ability to ride a Longboard by the end of the unit.  Day one was an introduction day with demonstrations on what riding a Longboard looks like with the help of my colleague, Kyle McManus. The two of us stressed the importance of safety and covered the basics needed to become a knowledgeable skater.  By day 3 we had covered safety rolls, Spooner Boards, riding positions, and balancing on the boards. By lesson 4 the students were able to use paddle boards and hear an introduction to the kick push and turn. By day 5, the last day of the unit, the students were riding without a partner, excelling their own speed, turning and stopping using all of the skills taught throughout the unit.  I am extremely proud of my class that never could ride on a board and can now ride as competent skaters.  It just goes to show that even the craziest of ideas may be the best ones.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My First Time Teaching to Individuals with Disabilities

Last week I began my first lab in my Adapted Physical Education and Sport class. During these labs I am responsible for developing and implementing games and activities as well as assessing and developing IEP's for a physical education program for students with individuals. Last week I was given two students to work with during the second session of the program which is located in the pool at SUNY Cortland's campus. I was given two female adults who both have MR and one of which is also impared with blindness. I knew that this would be a challenge for me since I have never worked with an individual with a disability. Because both of these individuals, Abby and Sammy, are new to the program The only knowledge I had while creating my first lesson plan was their disabilities and that they both wanted to get more exercise. I decided to begin with water aerobics. This would allow for me to pre-assess Abby and Sammy on their health and skill abilities. After getting Abby and Sammy into the water Sammy began to yell and complain that the water was too cold. I was definantly being challenged. I did not know how to use behavioral management on an adult but I chose to use the same management that I would use as if she were a child. After a few minutes of calming Sammy down I was able to begin the lesson. We were beginning the first task of the lesson when Sammy started to act out again. I realized that this lesson would be a learning experience for me and that I would have to learn more about my students in order to have successful lessons with them in the future. It began to be aparent to me that my lesson I had prepared was not going to be a successful one and if I had chosen to continue then my students wern't going to get the exercise and experience that they deserve from the program. I decided to scrap my lesson and work on swimming. I had them both begin by tredding water and from there I decided to teach them how to swim the side stroke. They enjoyed using the noodles to assist their upper body while practicing kicking. I made sure to stay an arms reach from Sammy but to continue giving instruction to Abby as well. They were very encouraging to each other and we were able to converse over what their interests were. They enjoy yoga, bowling and singing. I left the lesson feeling challenged but motivated. I knew this wasn't going to be easy for me but I also know that I may come across challenges similar to this when I have a classroom on my own and I need to be able to educate these individuals through the physical reguardless of their disabilities. For this weeks lessn I decided I would focus on yoga and also touch up on different swimming strokes as we progress through the program. I also developed a game that I would use as a closing activity. Durimg this game I will have a portion of the pool sectioned off and Abby and Sammy must assist each other in hunting for floating pbjects in the area and then bringing them to the treasure box on the side of the pool. I am excited for this weeks lesson but I am also prepared to deal with any obsticles and challenges that Abby and Sammy throw at me. As a volunteer opportunity given from my professor I also decided to help another student durimg the first half of the program. This portion of the program is located in the gymnasium. I was fortunate enough to have my own student instead of just assisting another college student with an individual. The student I was given, Mike, is 11 years old and has muscular distrophy. I used this first lesson to assess his skills in various actovities. I was told that he had trouble being active after a short period of time because his muscles wouldn't allow for him to do intensive exercise for a long period of time. However, I made sure to give Mike plently of breaks and to vary the skills that I was assessing based on which muscles were beimg used. I noticed that he was competent in many of the skils I had assessed but was having some trouble with his hand-eye amd foot-eye coordination. For this weeks lesson I decided I would work on these two abilities of Mike's. I am going to use progressions to educate him on how to play hacky sack, juggle and cup stacking. I will implement some cardiovascular exercise into this lesson but allow for breaks following the more intense parts of the lesson. I am excited to see Mike this week to work on his coordination because I believe he will enjoy the lessons I have prepared for him.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I See You Summer

As I look at the life sized schedule on my wall for this summer I realized that summers are not at all what they used to be. I remember just a few years ago being able to look at the months of June, July and August only to have the days coated in two words: SUMMER VACATION. I think to myself, what did I ever do in those three months? I remember being outside all of the time and playing games with my friends. I went to lacrosse and wrestling camps during the week days and traveled on the weekends here and there with my lacrosse team for tournaments. I would go to a camp on a lake and just relax. "Those were the days." Now my summer agenda has warped from tiny empty calendar boxes into boxes the size of my hand and filled to the brim with color coated lists of important "to-do's" and deadlines. I am busy every day of what used to be three long relaxing months and I bring it upon to myself. But like many people, I like the challenge and the feeling of being productive and accomplished.

This summer I have chose to be productive in as many ways as possible. Although there is much on my plate to juggle, I have to remember to put aside a few hours each week to take care of me. Finding time in a busy schedule to do something that isn't in your schedule is extremely important. Whether it be going for a run, seeing an old friend, or watching a movie before bed it is important to let your mind be at rest. It is important to keep up with your fitness life and to stay on top of work and your studies but it is just as important to take a few hours away from your week to enjoy you. Through every thing that I have going on this summer I am always sure to find the time to do something that makes me happy and lets me escape from my schedule for a little while.

Don't forget to take the time out of your busy schedule to go do something that gives you that breath of fresh air. Do something that makes you smile or laugh at least once a day. It is easy to become burned-out when you are going non-stop from day to day. Be careful to not become buried in your own schedule. After all, it is summer so enjoy every little moment you can find!

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." -E.E. Cummings

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Let's Move in School Week

Last week (May 1-7) was Let's Move in School week. The organization "Let's Move in School" has a mission to improve every students health and academic performance in every school across the nation. Let's Move in School " ensures that every school provides a comprehensive school physical activity program with quality physical education as the foundation so that youth will develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime" ( Over 4,000 schools adding up to more than 3 million students had signed up for the Let's Move in School event. Through out the nation there were countless students, physical educators, parents, teachers, school administrators and faculty that participated in the movement all in the same week. Not only was the organization "Let's Move in School" promoting an active climate, so was First Lady, Michelle Obama and singer/song writer Beyonce Knowles.

In this wave of movement was a popular "flash dance" that united students and educators alike to participate and be active. There are many versions out there but there is nothing like the original Beyonce had filmed. She took a visit to Harlem, New York City to surprise a school in part of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative to fight childhood obesity. Beyonce and the students danced to her "Move Your Body" hit that she recorded as an exercise video that was distributed to the public and the schools participating in the Let's Move in School week.

Here is the video of Beyonce dancing with the students from Harlem, NYC:

Here is the actual music video of "Move Your Body":

Not only did Beyonce get out there and participate in the event but First Lady, Michelle Obama participated as well.

There's no doubting with a movement like this that SUNY Cortland Physical Education wouldn't get involved. It was a no-brainer that we had to be a part of this great fight against childhood obesity and improvement of academics through physical movement. With the help of Professor Yang and many of the SUNY Cortland students and aspiring physical educators we made a flash dance video of Beyonce's, "Move Your Body" in our very own Park Center (physical education building on campus). Enjoy!

This month is Physical Fitness and Sport month so get out and be active with your friends, family and classmates! "National Physical Fitness and Sports Month shines a spotlight on the important role physical activity plays in our Nation's health and wellness. Participation in sports can strengthen both body and mind, and all kinds of active pastimes can help improve physical and mental well being. During this month, we rededicate ourselves to educating, engaging and empowering Americans of all backgrounds and abilities to live a healthy lifestyle" [FavStocks Reference]

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Do you Freebord?

If you love snowboarding and wish you could do it year round your not alone. There are many boarders out there who wish they could hit the slopes every day of the year. The boarders that realized packing up their bags and leaving their beautiful homes wasn't an option came up with something called the Freebord.

The Freebord is a specialized skateboard that acts as a snowboard. One distinguishing feature of this Freebord is its six wheels. Four of the six are conventional wheels and the other two are located more toward the middle of the board acting as the central wheels which rotate in unlimited directions. By putting pressure on the edge of the wheel the boarder can maintain control of the board. The center wheels mimic the deck of the snowboard as the four outter wheels act as the steel edges allowing the rider to slow to a hault or cut a sharp edge to make a turn. The rider also has each foot in a binding to give more freedom to ride faster and to allow for more tricks or jumps to be executed.

Freebording isn't just a recreational activity although it can certainly be a recreatinal activity for everyone and anyone. There is a pro team called CHoE. This team travels around the nation together sharing their love and passion for the thrill of the ride. These 'adrenaline junkies' are filming themselves as they succeed in heart stopping rides with fanatical tricks. These pro Freeborders include Arnaud de Bluze (Vars, France), Nico Gaillard (Lyon, France), Laurent Brondel (Lyon, France), Mike Hoppe (Oakland, CA), Corey Lucero (Ellicott City), Tom Macfarlane (Perth, Australia) , Justin Oliver (Radford VA) and Richie Verost (Hamburg, NJ). All of these boarders are to end up in San Fransisco later this year to ride together. San Fransisco happens to be the favorite place to skate for many of the riders.

A member of the pro team from Perth, Australia, Sam Trowbridge passed away on April 21, 2011 from a Freebord accident that occurd the 20th late in the afternoon. He was riding without a helmet and caught a heel edge where he was immediately knocked unconscious and later the next day pronounced (brain) dead at the hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. His riding abilities, video editing skills as well as passion for the sport was spread throughout the world and admired by all.

It is important to recognize that reguardless of your age you are prone to serious injuries, Freebording is a dangerous sport to partake in and should be attempted at caution and with the proper safety equiptment. Never let your fears keep you from trying something new. Life is meant to be explored. Develop a new skill you never knew you had. If you like what you see, do what these guys did and order a Freebord designed to your own needs. Don't forget the helmet! You can find one your own size and at various designs and colors through the following longboard website:

Do you Freebord?

Visit the Freebord Official Page to learn more!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Edutaining in a House of Physical Education

Last week SUNY Cortland's APEM Club had the privilege of being the audience of a SUNY Cortland doctor from the Health Department who calls himself an Edutainor, Dr. Trunfio. "An Edutainor", he explains, "is someone who can incorporate humor and learning into the classroom...or is it a house of education because I know you physical educators are touchy with your terms". This was the moment in the session I began smiling and laughing for the next 60 minutes of his session. He says, as an educator you must "engage your students through entertaining them in education" and this is the key to holding their attention and keeping them on the edge of their seats. He encouraged us teachers to reach out to the masses and teach to the student. In your classroom there will be a multitude of ways that your students learn and it is your job to teach to each individual learner. To sum the different ways that your students will learn can be found in Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theories. These theories include linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily kinesthetic, spacial, interpersonal, intrapersonal intelligences as well as the later added, naturalistic intelligence. Without edutaining to all of the masses, not everyone in your class will learn. It is your responsibility to educate everyone in your classroom. Dr. Trunfio stated, "Without entertainment, it's just information". So how do you incorporate this entertainment in your classroom and still educate your students?

To engage all of these different learners that could be in your classroom, Dr. Trunfio has developed something he calls the Laugh First Project. In this project he has created the acronym GOTCHA. GOTCHA stands for, Games, Openness, Tickets, Chaos, Humor and Abracadabra.

  • GAMES: Dr. Trunfio encourages to present the students with a challenge, game or (as a physical educator would put it), an instant activity to get your students roped into your lesson and engaged in what is going on in your classroom. During the session Dr. Trunfio had a few volunteers stand in the front of class to create a balloon animal following his instructions.

  • OPENNESS: Being open with your students and sharing your stories allows for them to see that you are human, just as they are. It brings you all to the same level and allows for your students to open up to you. Dr. Trunfio shared his embarrassing story of waking up late for a final exam on SUNY Cortland's campus and running to the classroom only to then realize he was taking the test in his underwear and coat. The idea of waking up late and having to get from the dorms to a classroom at SUNY Cortland was something we could all connect with at one point in time.

  • TICKETS: As soon as we walked into the classroom Dr. Trunfio was there to present to each of us a raffle ticket. My immediate thought was that we were all going to win a prize. This is what Dr. Trunfio wanted us all to think. He later told us that the tickets were to hold our attention and to keep us in the session until the end because we all expected to win a prize. He then told us we were not going to win anything but then gave away a t-shirt to one winner.

  • CHAOS: Movement is important for focus of your students. Dr. Trunfio was everywhere. He utilized every square inch of his floor/stage. He walked and ran up aisles as he was talking to us, reaching out to everyone in the class. It was hard for him to not put himself in the proximity of the students. He also created chaos in the room with his vioce being loud and upbeat. He was energized and used multiple props as if he were a clown in a circus. He eventually was wearing a rainbow curly wig holding juggling batons with a giant red ball for a nose.

  • HUMOR: The element of humor sets a curved line strait and is the shortest distance between two people. Humor was something that was always being incorporated throught his session. He told stories of what he has done in his past to create humor. One of which was how he has used caution tape on the door to see the students become confused and wonder how to get into the classroom. Eventually they figure it out but seeing their faces when they see you inside and the door taped off will instantly create humor for you as well as them. Another way Dr. Trunfio brought humor into the room was when he stood in front of the class with his juggling baton and told everyone that they had to stand up and applaud and yell as loud as they could and the louder everyone yelled, the higher he would juggle the batons. We all stood up and applauded and yelled as he threw one baton halfway in the air and let it fall. We all became silent as he confessed he didn't know how to juggle. He just wanted a standing ovation instead. He explained that laughing is all a chain reaction. As an edutainor, you only have to make a small handfull of your class laugh because when one person laughs, the person next to them usually laughs and so on. Laughter is contageous.

  • ABRACADABRA: Every time you step in front of your students you have the chance to create magic and not a minute of time should be wasted because when your having fun time flys. There is no reason why humor can't be implemented into each unit or lesson you teach. Dr. Trunfio demonstrated how laughter is a chain reaction by having 4 students lay on their backs with thewir heads on each other's stomachs as one laughed until they were all laughing uncontrolably. He then paused and told us how time flys when your having fun. As he pointed to the clock I realized that we had just finished sitting through his 60 minute session. He had fit everything that he wanted to say in only 60 minutes but so much had happened in that time and there wasnt a minute I wasn't paying attention or a thing that I didn't remember when I left the classroom.

Dr. Trunfio had utilized every minute that he had with us. He roped us in From the first minute and didn't stop edutaining until the 60 minutes was up. Educating through entertainment is something that I believe every educator should be doing. Given, there is a sense of professionalism and seriousness in educating but there are ways to make in memorable and fun for your students. To be a teacher that your students will always remember and to haave them rememebr all of what you taught you must capture and hold their attention. How will you bring your classroom to life? Dr. Trunfio brought his classroom to life through GOTCHA.. It is every educators job to bring their classroom to life. What are you waiting for? Start creating magic in your classroom today!

*Visit Dr Trunfio's website:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

ABDC Season of the Superstars

ABDC is another way to say America's Best Dance Crew. ABDC is a reality TV show on MTV that involves a selected 10 crews from all over the US. These 10 dance crews bring their own style of dance to the stage to entertain their viewers and to compete for $100,000. Every week the crews are given a challenge. Since the show has been up and running since February of 2008, this is the sixth season titled, 'Season of the Superstars'. It's titled 'Season of the Superstars' because each week the crews must choose from one of today's top artists and choreograph a dance to one of the artist's songs. This past week was the opening premier of season six and the top artist chosen was Lil' Wayne. The opening number was a hit and favorite from this season's judges as well as fans. This season's judges include an American rapper, songwritter and dancer Lil' Mama, former lead vocalist of the pop group N'SYNC JC Chasez, and a b-boy freestyle urban dancer D-Trix.

This week's season premier was an eye opener and really demonstrated many different styles of dance. For instance, the group I Am Me is a crew that is all about visualization and imagery. They use creativity from every day life and incorporate it into dance. One of their goals is to show America how they can take objects from every day life and turn them into a physical movement. This crew is one of a kind and absolutely a team to keep your eye on. But with so much talent this season, you may find it difficult to choose your favorite crew. Choose quickly because each episode a crew is voted off of the show to narrow the contestents down until America find's their favorite crew of the Season of the Superstars.

Stay tuned to MTV to see more of ABDC!