Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everybody! Now you may be asking yourself, what exactly is earth day? Back in the 1970's during the hippie and flower-child era, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry was releasing smoke and sludge into the air without a second thought about the consequences of their actions. Environment was not a word you saw very often on the evening news but the problem was already being brought to people's attention due to the publication of Rachel Carson's New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. This book raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and pubic health.

So, the idea of Earth Day came to founder Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. Wisconsin Senator, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. He was inspired by the student anti-war movement, he came to realize that if he could use that energy to show the public about air and water pollution, it would then force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a "National Teach-In On The Environment" to the national media and as a result on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

Since that time Earth Day as grown and helped create over 5,000 environmental groups in over 184 countries. But how can you relate this to physical education?

Click here to see one lesson plan from PE Central on how you can celebrate Earth Day with your own class. It's important for us as educators to not only teach the physical but also teach through the physical! We as educators want to mold well rounded individuals that are competent and proficient in physical skills but also relate our work to other subjects they learn and teach them about things they may not know about. We need to look at our students as a whole and not just where they are physically!

So today go out of your way and be a little eco friendly to do your part this Earth Day! Maybe not go on your computer tonight or go for a walk instead of driving your car... it's little things like this that when we all do our part, make a big difference!

For more information on Earth Day, click here.

To see animals that are currently on the endangered species list and see animals that are discovered every year, click here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Under Armour's New Innovative Technology

Technology has certainly come a long way and as days turn to months and months to years the technology only gets more and more advanced. I happened to stumble across a friends Facebook page and found an article about a new innovative technology from Under Armour. This new technology is the first of it's kind! 

It's called the E-39 and is the world's most innovative athletic evaluation and improvement tool that measures accuracy and precision. It's an electronic compression base layer that tracks your heart and breathing rate, G-Force and horsepower gauge as well as body positioning. The data stored in the heart of the shirt transmits to a computer or handheld. It's a great way for anyone to look at the data and use it to create your next work out. The E-39 will not be released until sometime in 2012 but the E-39 has already made an appearance at this past years NFL combine. 

I feel like this will be a great asset to any athlete because as an athlete who wouldn't want to see how they're performing? Also who wouldn't want to get better? The information athletes and coaches can see from this little device can help direct which way to take training and practices. The only thing I am worried about is how much this product will cost. Under Armour typically usually runs around $50 before tax. In addition to that you need to bring a computer outside which how many places to you know of that has Wi-Fi outside? Also the program will no doubt cost some sort of money, so I'm interested to see how much this will cost the average consumer. What about the rain? Is this product water proof? I would love to be a test subject for this product and I'm super excited to see the possibilities for sport performance and enhancing sport performance from this product. 

For more information and receive updates on Under Armour's E-39 click here.

To see the E-39 at work, watch the video below

To see a look inside the technology, watch the video below

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New York Health Officials Refuse To "Legislate Fun"

Today, New York State health officials backed down from a proposed plan that would place new regulations on classic children's games such as tag, Wiffle Ball, Dodgeball, etc. at day camps within the state. Lawmakers stated that such activities "pose a significant risk of injury". The department said it would continue to gather information until May 16th, and would formulate new safety regulations that are much broader.

The New York State Department of Health created a list of risky recreational activities in response to a state law that passed in 2009. The law was supposed to close a loophole that legislators said "allowed too many indoor camp programs to operate with oversight". Under the new regulations, any program that offers two or more organized recreational activities (with at least one of them being on the risky list) is deemed a summer camp and subjected to state regulations. 

The List of Games/Activities on the "Warning" List:
- Capture the Flag
- Crab Soccer
- Dodgeball
- Flag Tag 
- Flag Football
- Ga Ga
- Kickball
- Nuk- em
- Red Rover
- Steal the Bacon
- Tag Game of all varieties

The games are not banned at camps, but do they do pose a "player be warned" attitude. Camps that want campers to play the games will be required to pay a $200 registration fee and have medical staff on hand. There are about 2.300 regulated summer camps in New York that are required to be under permit and be inspected twice a year by the state's Department of Health. The state claims that this has resulted in markedly low levels of serious incidents. State statistics also claim that of more than 640,000 children who attend camps, less than two-tenths of one percent are injured in any manner. 

Isn't it our job to teach children not only skills to use throughout their lifetime but teach them games they can use outside the classroom so they can socialize and have fun? I believe "play" is a crucial part of children's development and if they're taking away time in phys. ed and there's no phys. ed during the summer... where are these kids going to learn about being active and learn new games to play? I remember going away to summer camps and wanting to teach my friends all the cool new games I learned while I was away... children can't learn when supervisors and camp counselors can't teach them games just because they could potentially hurt them. Children can get hurt running down the block! In addition to that, children are really going to get hurt because the obesity rate is just going to get higher and higher. Play is something that is a necessity for children... who are legislators to put a price tag in play? 

For more information on this, please click here

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April Is National Youth Sports Safety Month

The month of April has been proclaimed as National Youth Sports Safety Month! The national health event was initiated by the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, Inc. in 1993 to help promote safety in sports organizations. It is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to reducing the number and severity of injuries youth sustain in sports and fitness activities. This foundation is the only organization in the country solely dedicated to this objective!

The foundation's mission is to promote the healthy development of youth and to keep them physically active in sports for life!

This organization is just one of the ways to bring about the importance of keeping children active but also keeping them safe! Now you may be thinking to yourself... what can I do as an educator to help promote youth sport safety? Here is a small list of things you can do to help educate your students as well as others.

- Celebrate National Youth Sports Safety Month in your classes

- Create a list of your community's sport fields and playgrounds. Check them for hazards and let someone know of these dangers.

- Write letters in support of youth sports safety to school boards, athletic directors and administrators of youth sport programs. Encourage them to have an emergency plan and an immediate first responder in case of an injury.

- Hold a sports safety event for your community!

- Offer to speak at PTA meetings, schools, health clubs, recreation centers and youth sports groups about sport safety.

- Invite local professional athletes to talk with students regarding conditioning, training and sports safety.

This is just a small list of things we as educators can do to showcase the importance of youth sports safety! It's our job to inform students of issues regarding safety, so let them know about Youth Sports Safety! For more information please visit the National Youth Sports Safety website by clicking here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

UCONN Wins Dog Fight!

NCAA basketball came to an end tonight with UCONN winning 53-41 against Butler before 70,376 to secure UCONN's third national title in 13 years. For a recap of the game click here.

Surf's Up Dude!

With temperatures in the 80's, we decided to take a trip to the beach for the day! We slept in, had breakfast and made our way to the Ferry. We just missed the first ferry and had to wait an hour for the next one. During our waiting time we walked around the Naval Park and were able to see the sights! After seeing the  sights we finally got onto the ferry and walked to Coronado Beach! The beach was beautiful! There weren't a lot of people which was great! The sun was shining bright and the water had gold flakes in it! It felt so good to be with friends in the sun! We played a big game of Ultimate Frisbee and then decided to try surfing! I've always wanted to learn to surf ever since I was in middle school and today I got that chance! It was tough to get up because the board was made of foam but I got up on the board once which was a huge accomplishment! It was an awesome feeling riding the waves! The salt water didn't taste so great when I fell into the water but it didn't stop me from trying! After a long day of surfing, frisbee and laying out on the beach we walked back to the ferry and took a shuttle back to the hotel. After a long day in the sun, we all took a nap to recharge to get ready for the rest of the night! I'll never forget my first experience on a surf board and I can't wait to get back to the beach and try again!

More of the National AAHPERD Conference!

Day 2 of the National AAHPERD Conference was an all day experience! I woke up extra early to get down to the Convention Center early enough to catch a session on how to get unmotivated students motivated. I was a little disappointed because this session was more of a sales pitch but the idea discussed I believe has some real potential. The product was called a Zamzee.

visit for more information
The Zamzee is an online rewards program for teens that helps promote physical activity. You wear the "Zamzee" which is like a high tech pedometer and it records how much you've moved around. You can walk your dog, jump, run, dance because it all can be recorded. Next you connect your Zamzee to your computer where you can track your activity, which powers your online account. You can convert your activityto currency that you can spend online at the Zamzee store. I feel this has great potential to get teens active but I still would need to more information and do more research on the product.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Getting Up and Getting Active!

Today was the first day of sessions at the National AAHPERD conference here in San Diego. I started off my day at a session called Imagination in Motion: Guiding Active Play Through Children's Imaginations. 

This session was all about having students use their imagination during activities to help teach them words, shapes, animals and most importantly locomotor movement patterns. This was a fantastic lesson! I've never sweated so much during an hour and half session like I did during this one! The presenter was enthusiastic and really made things interesting. We all know how hard it can be to come up with new games and new ideas... after being in this session I acquired 12-15 games that I could use and make variations for! 

For more information on these and other games please click here.

After this session I sure had worked up an appetite! I headed down to the Exhibition area and explored what they had to offer! 
If someone were to ask what they had on display at the convention I would tell to them ask what they didn't show at the convention because it'd be a shorter list!

After lunch there was one more session I wanted to attend that that was Bringing Disc Sports Indoors. This was another active session that involved learning what Frolf is and how to play! The session started out with learning the different types of frisbees used in Frolf. They're very different from Ultimate Frisbees! So after learning about the different types of frisbees used we watch the World Champion Frolf player for men demonstrate how to putt using the putter disc. We learned how to shift our weight and not really rotate as much like you would playing frisbee. From there we were given the opportunity to actually use the putter disc and practice putting. It's a lot different Ultimate and it took me some time before to get used to snapping my wrist more. After this we went over some basic throws in Ultimate (backhand, forehand, hammer throw, etc.) After we learned how to Disc Lacrosse! Now you may be thinking to yourself, how in the world can somebody play disc lacrosse? Well you need disc golf cages and then you mark off 9ft around that cage. Students use the same rules as Ultimate only they can only score by getting the frisbee in the cage. The trick is they can't pass the cones! They also can't take 3 steps once they obtain possession of the disk. Again, the rules except for these little details are just the same as Ultimate rules. 

Overall it was a great first day at the conference! I was able to network with others and introduce my self to other professionals! One lady even told me to come to her school in WI because they love Cortland students! It's truly an experience that I wish everyone could experience! I can't wait to see what the conference brings my tomorrow! Can't wait to get Breezy with Drew Breeze tomorrow too!

To see more from today's conference please visit Amanda Caloia's blog here

Monday, March 28, 2011

Great Times in San Diego!

Well folks I'm writing from poolside. No I'm not talking about Poolside in Park Center at SUNY Cortland but actual poolside in sunny San Diego, CA. It was a long day yesterday filled with great adventure! We went for an early run yesterday and explored parts of the convention center and parts of downtown. After coming back to the room and getting ready for the day we set off to find food! We ended up stopping at this little restaurant called "The Local". The food was fabulous! It was the first time I had fish tacos and I loved them! The people were so friendly and it was just a great experience! Next we went shopping for groceries and finally made our way back to the hotel. The rest of the day it was just laying out by pool trying to get some sun and get some color. The sun zapped us of energy so then we all ended up taking a nap. When we awoke we all went out to dinner in preparation for our best friend Edwin's 21st birthday! We ended up going downtown again, but it ended up taking us a lot longer to find a place to eat. We finally stumbled upon this little gem called "Fred's Mexican Cuisine" With stomachs full we made our way back to the hotel and just spent the rest of the night a food coma! The first day in San Diego was truly epic! It was so much fun! I can't wait to see what the rest of the week brings!

Friday, March 25, 2011

California... Here I Come!

Hey everyone! Keep your eyes peeled for videos, pictures, etc. all from sunny California! Why am I in California? I will be there for the National AAHPERD Conference! So let the fun begin! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Grab Your Broomsticks, It's Time For Quidditch!

Today started the first day students from Professor Yang's EDU 255 class would begin teaching their Lab C. I was involved in a lot of really activities like Cricket and Krumping, but the one activity that I was really excited about being involved in was Quidditch!

Now most of us probably have seen at least one Harry Potter film or read at least one Harry Potter books. Quidditch is the fictional sport that they play at Hogwarts which is described as being a extremely rough and semi-contact sport. Since 2003 many teams from over 200 colleges are affiliated with the International Quidditch Association. This game not only appeals to Harry Potter fans but many college students in general.

For a list of rules and a guide book on everything you'll need to know about Quidditch click here.

Now I had to admit when I heard there was a club team here at Cortland all I could picture was a bunch of kids in capes riding around fake broom sticks getting hit with soccer balls. Since my experience today I have a new found respect for these individuals.

Not only in this game unique it's a bit challenging! Most people have a hard time catch a ball and throwing a ball, now imagine holding onto a broom stick that is stationed between your legs and trying to catch that same ball! Sounds difficult right? It took me a few tries but eventually I had the hang of it. You couldn't just try and catch the ball one handed, if you did chances are the ball just bounced off your hand, you had to give a little in order to catch the ball. It was so much fun just running around with a lacrosse stick (normally it'd be a broom) between your legs trying to dodge people and catch a ball. Another thing you had to look out for was the bludgers! In the Harry Potter world bludgers can break bones and give people concussions this however is not the case for actual players, although getting hit by a soccer ball will hurt! So as you're trying to run with a stick between your legs, catch the "quaffle" one handed, you have to keep your eyes peeled for "bludgers". It's really something every college student should experience! So once you dodge the bludgers, your objective is to score the quaffle into a net to score points. Now usually games can last a while but whatever finds the "golden snitch" is the winner and the game ends. Now sadly I didn't get to participate in a full game and be put in a game like situation due to time but I'm sure playing in a real game would be an incredible experience!

It's important for us as future educators to break out of our comfort zone because sometimes we may shy away from something that looks "silly" or is different from what were used to. If we don't experience new things then we can't grow as people and as future educators. So what are some things that you tried and experienced lately? What were your opinions prior? How did you feel afterwards? Leave a comment below and share your stories! Let your voices be heard!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WRUP - What Are You Playing?: Wiffle Ball

Now many of you might not be familiar with this logo but this is the official Wiffle Ball logo. 
Don't know what Wiffle Ball is? Wiffle ball is basically the same thing as baseball only players use a ball with holes in it and a plastic bat. 
For official rules click here

It started off sunny with temps in the high 40's yesterday in Buffalo, NY so my friends and I decided it was time we start bringing out the bats and wiffle balls and get our season started. We started our game at 5PM at Como park. The field was moderately dry but mostly wet with patches of mud. This wasn't going to stop us though. We played for a solid two hours! Towards the end it was freezing cold and everyone just wanted to go home. We decided that we couldn't let the game end without a winner. The score was 0-0 at the top of the 3rd but then Team A scored 1 run. With two outs following the score, my team took to the plate. My friend Brian hit a single but was tagged out, and my friend Max was intentionally walked to bring me to the plate. I had two strikes right from the start but then caught a break with 2 balls, the next pitch was thrown and hit it right into right field where nobody was standing. It was only a single but it allowed for my teammates to make bases loaded. My friend Brian was up next and hit a homer all the way to center field helping us win the game! It was a glorious day for Wiffle Ball! 

Now we love Wiffle Ball as much as the next person, but some people REALLY love Wiffle Ball
Click here to watch a video about people who loved the game so much, they built their own stadium in their yard! What are some sports or activities that you are playing over break? Leave a comment below and let me know! Also let me know some crazy things you've done for sports and activities you liked to do. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

SCOPE MEDIA: Historical Figures In Education/NCATE

Hey everyone check out the latest webisode from SCOPE Media!

WRUP - What Are You Playing?: Mario Kart Wii

Now I'm sure you're wondering... Mario Kart? How can anyone be active playing Mario Kart? That's what ordinary people may think but my friends and I are no ordinary people.

My friend Jay is a physical education major at Brockport and we started talking about what we were doing in classes and then I started telling him about technology and we intergrade it into our major. He loved the idea! So all my friends are home now and we all got together at a friends house to play Mario Kart Wii. (It's a little tradition we have) So I started talking to my friend Jay as we were playing and I asked him "Jay, what could we do to make this game more active?" Immediately the ideas started pouring in from not only Jay and myself but all my friends. We decided on rules and wrote them down a piece of paper... we all agreed to follow these rules and we began to play! I'm always Bowser because he's big and bulky and when push comes to shove, he does both!

So we can up with a way to incorporate physical activity while playing Mario Kart. The rules we came up with were very simple.

Mario Kart Movement Rules:
-Game must be played on 150cc circuit
-Before the race the player must be doing push ups. When the light turns green the player may stop, grab his controller and start the race.
-While the kart is moving the player must be running in place until the race is over.
-If you were flattened any time during your race you had to sit in the squat position against a wall until you returned to normal size.
-If you spun out, you had to do 180 jump turns until you returned to normal.
-If you lost you had to 30 jumping jacks.
-If your performed a special jump, you had to perform a special jump in the air as well.
-If you were hit with a green shell, red shell or blue shell you had burpees until you returned to normal.
-If you fell off the track on Rainbow road you had squats until you returned back on the track.
-All players must cool down with a 50cc two race minimum.

So as you can see this got pretty intense! We were all dead tired after the games but some of my friends said that it was the best workout they had in a while. You don't Wii Fit or any of the new dance games to get a sweat going, all you need are rules for the game, a goal you want to achieve while playing and little imagination. We took a well deserved rest after with some ice cold water and went back to playing again. Needless to say my Sunday night was a blast!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Historical Figure in Education: Jean Piaget

Click the video below to find out what historical figure, Jean Piaget, had to say about education and what he contributed to education today!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spending Too Much Time On Sport Too Soon?

In a recent news broadcast, 11 year old Sam spends 12 hours a week practicing gymnastics with the Ohio State University Kids Club. On top of the countless hours put into his practice, his family spends about $5000 on travel, uniforms, events, etc. just so Sam can participate in something he loves.

Click here to view the story 

After watching the story on Sam I began to think about my own career as a young athlete and the amount of time I spent on athletics. 

I first started athletics when I was in 6th grade which would put me around the 11-12 age group. I would have practice from about 4 or 5 until 6 or 7. Some nights I had practice from 7-9:30. Now average that out for the week and you'd a total of about 10-14 hours a week. Also we had games on Saturdays which took up about 5-6 hours of time. So is spending 12+ hours a week on athletics too much for an 11 year old? I would have to say no. I say no because I had fun playing football and socializing with my friends. Sam appears to be having as well, so can you really say that there is too much time spent doing something you love? I would say the only time when something becomes too much is when academics begin to suffer. If you can't balance school with athletics then you need to put more time into one thing and less into another. 

National Outdoor Track and Field Meet 2008 at University NC A&T

Also think about this, when students get older, sports become a critical aspect of their lives. I remember countless hours I would spend working on block starts and hand offs for our sprint relays. Some people thought we were just wasting time but for me I saw it as time to better myself. Think about great athletes for a moment. Aren't the best athletes the ones that put in the most time practicing and perfecting skills. They're the ones that "Eat, Sleep and Breathe" the sport right? I feel it's almost necessary to put in a solid amount of time towards your athletics because if you want to go somewhere in that sport you have to be the best. You get what you put into it. 

Sam might not appreciate it now, but his parents are making huge sacrifices for him by spending the money on travel, uniforms, etc. I always felt grateful for my family and how supportive they were. If I needed new spikes or new spandex, they'd run me to the store and buy whatever I needed. This occurred about every year from the time I was in 7th grade. I would say that my family spent anywhere from $800-$1500 on just track things alone. (I also did football and they also had my brother to worry about) My parents knew the importance of having the right equipment because they knew it would help me be the best. They knew I couldn't win if my spikes were all beat up and heavy. They wanted me to be the best and provided me with the newest and best equipment. I am so blessed to have a family like mine that would provide me with new equipment and take off work or get out of work early to come see me run or get up at 5:30AM in sub zero temps, to drive me to the school so I could get ready for away meets, which they would attend too! Some kids aren't as lucky and I feel bad for this kids. There were some kids on my team that parents would just not provide them with the money or show up to the meets. I would always get super nervous about my parents being at meets because I never wanted to screw up or fail in front of them but looking back on it now, I'm glad they were there to see me fail because they also had the chance to see me win and sometimes win big! Other kids could have run the best race of their lives and nobody was there to see it and cheer them on. 

How many hours did you spend on sports when you were 11 years old? Did your parents support you during your athletic career? Leave a comment below and explain what sports were like for you at a young age! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

License Plate For Your Bike?

Everyone loves riding a bike during the summer! It's a great way to stay and shape and get a breath of fresh air! But what if you had to pay a fee to have a license plate on your bike? Would you still want to ride your bike? Law makers in Albany are desperate for cash and are considering legislation that would require license plates for all bikes. This idea has people all over New York furious!

This legislation would require bikes to be registered, licensed, and pass inspection. One bill will apply to privately owned two-wheelers. The other bill will address commercially-operated bikes and require insurance. The plates would cost $25 for the "family" version and $50 for the "commercial" tags. The $25 license plates would produce nearly $2 million for the state in the first year, and with annual renewal fees, about $300,000 each year after the law becomes effective.

The author of the bills, Queens Assemblyman Michael DenDekker says that bicycles are considered moving vehicles in New York and more bike riders are using public thoroughfares and someone has to pay. The bills would also exempt riders 18 and under.

I personally feel that this is a horrible idea! How can someone put a price on being active and put a price on the enjoyment that others get from riding bikes? I personally ride my bike all over my town during the summer and have bills and shool/books to pay for, and now I'm supposed to give more money to NYS? This is outrageous! A lot of people train on bicycles during the summer and often will take the reflector off the bike. Make them put a license plate on their bike and that might start a riot! If the bill does pass, what comes next? Do we charge people to put a license plate on a skateboard? Or make people wear a tag that says their name and contact info when they run?

What do you think about the idea of this law? Answer the poll and leave a comment below!

To see more on this topic click here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Good Coaching Or Over The Top?

Matt Kravchuk, a sophomore at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, was knocked on the ground and kicked by his coach during a basketball practice. Kravchuk was involved in a rebound drill when his coach confronted him physically. His coach cursed him out and then kicked him out of the practice while Kravchuk was bleeding.

The video can be found by clicking here

Now as a former athlete I'm sure that we have experienced some great coaches and some not so great coaches in our athletic careers. For me it seemed I knew more not so great coaches especially on the Rugby team. One coach in particular that my family and I will never forget. For privacy let's call him "Coach Wittenberg"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Choices: What Kind Are You Making?

                  Did you ever take the time to stop and think about the choices and their impact they've had on your day? Did you wake up early or did you wake up with just enough time to catch the bus? Did you eat breakfast or are you going to wait because you have a test study for instead? All of these little choices may or may not have a dramatic impact on our lives but still play a role in our everyday lives. Now think about big decisions you've made in the past week. Did you start your paper or early or did you spend all night working on it the day before it's due? Did you tell someone something and it's still having an impact four or five days later? Again, the choices we make have crucial impacts on our past, present, and future.
                 As future physical educators we need to be aware of the choices we make but more importantly the outcomes associated with those choices. The choices we will be making will not only affect us but our students. What choices are you making to help yourself become a better physical educator that will ultimately affect your students. I made a choice Spring semester of my sophomore to be try and better myself everyday! Everyday I would pick one thing from the day previous that I could improve on and try to better myself. Then I made the choice to become more involved here at SUNY Cortland with clubs, volunteer work, the program, etc. I understand everyone has their own agenda and everyone has about a million things on their plate but your making the choice not to do these things because of other commitments. Your choices don't have to be to join clubs or do volunteer work but just think about the classroom. In PED 201 or EDU 255 what ways can you make yourself better? For me, I would look at everything I did right and then made a choice everyday to work on something that I found not up to my standards. I made the choice that I would work hard and give 150% effort to becoming the best physical educator that I knew how to be. How many people do you know that once they fail at something they give up? Or they don't even try something new? That's their choice... but how many people try new things and if they fail want to try again to succeed? If your a physical education major you should never say things like "Oh I can't do this!" or "Man, I hate doing that, I'm doing that" I wanted to become a better person, a better learner to ultimately help me be someone that stands out in the phys. ed program. With 800 phys. ed majors alone how are you going to make yourself more marketable and unique? Or are you not going to do anything? The choice is yours...

Someone that I would call a friend and an idol once told me a story and he said "There once was a old wise man that lived at the top of a hill. Everyone that lived in the village always consulted the wise man. Well one day a small boy thought to himself that he was going to trick the wise man to see if he was really as wise as he claimed to be. The boy caught a sparrow in his hands. He would bring this sparrow in his hands to the wise man. He would ask the wise man if the bird were dead or alive. If the wise man said it was alive, the boy would smother it and kill it. If the wise man said it was dead, the boy would open his hands and release the bird. So, the little boy walked up the hill to see the wise man. The wise man was waiting for him. The boy then called out "Hey wise man is this bird dead or alive?" The wise man then said "The bird is in your hands, only you can make that choice" 

So the moral of the story is that we all have a choice. We have a choice to get better, and work harder and do incredible things! But nobody can you do anything. The choice to be proactive and an agent of change starts with you. Choose to inspire greatness with your students, peers, family members, etc. Make the choice to be the very best person you can be everyday! because if you're not doing or being your best, then your wasting your abilities and your time. Everything you do should be with passion and should be done for a purpose. Leave a comment below on things that you did great today! Things you want to improve on! and some choices you'll make to help you become a better person, physical educator, etc. Just remember... if not you, then who?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What is Family and How Does it Affect Us?

What is family? Some might say they're parents. If you have a mother, father, brother or sister and grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins then most would say you have a family. Things today are nothing like they were back in the 50's or 60's or even the 90's for that matter. The family is no exception. "Leave It To Beaver" was a television show from the 1950s-60s that depicted what a family should look like. They had a dog, a white picket fence and lived in a nice suburban home. The father went to work while the wife stayed home and kids went to school. In the year 2011, the word "family" can be seen as many different things. A person's family can consist of two dads, just one mother or just a sister. The term family can also be used in many other different arenas. 

I remember the days when I used to play high school football and high school track and field. I remember my teammates and how close we were. Many times we referred to ourselves as "family" Now it obvious none of us were related but we shared a camaraderie because we were together almost everyday practicing, playing games, and attending the same school. I was able to e-mail one of my old teammates from my track team and let's call him Mike. I asked Mike what family meant to him and he replied with "family can be your mom and dad, brother and sister but for me a family are people who I can trust and people who I know will get me through tough times. They don't need to be blood related they need to show that they care for you and are willing to give you the shirt off their back for you." 
Many of us probably have played a team sport sometime in our lives and consider those people "brothers" or "sisters". Why? Because they posses traits that we like or practice ourselves. Spend enough time with those people and eventually you consider them part of your family because you see yourselves as one unit, accomplishing goals and looking after one another. I e-mailed another friend of mine from high school and asked her what she believed the word family meant and she replied with "I consider my best friends as part of my family. Yeah sure I have a mom and dad and brother along with extended family, but I feel as though me and friends were separated at birth almost lol You're bonded by beliefs and morals/values and common interests. You don't have to be blood related to be a family. Love is the glue that binds us all together and I love my friends and would do anything for them" 

My Brother and I New Years 2011
People everywhere have different opinions of what a "family" is. But how does family affect us in school? Think about this... can you remember the first day of school? How nervous or excited you were? Who was with you when you got on the bus or walked you into class? Chances are it was someone you consider family. If you had trouble in school with homework or a bully or trouble in a sport who did you talk to? Probably someone you consider family? I believe family is the back bone for students! Why do you think there are parent-teacher conferences? Because family members have a direct role in the attitude students have about school and their values, morals, work ethic, etc. I know my parents are very involved with what I do and are probably reading this right now! (Hi mom and dad) Other students however might not be as lucky to have someone who cares and look for people that care for them. We as educators need to be aware of students that need a role model and be that role model and backbone for them, pushing them and instilling a positive attitude and good values to help over come any problems they may face. Many students may not have a good home life and it affects school work, sleep, and attitude. If nobody steps in by the time they enter middle school or high school they're ready to drop out because nobody cared. I have a best friend in the NAVY and I also contacted him about the importance of his "family" and what role they played in supporting him during tough times. He replied with "My family and friends are like crutches, they're always there for support. I wouldn't consider many people apart of my family but I have my mom, dad, sister and her husband along with my nieces, in addition to six friends I can truly say I'd do anything for and I know they'd do the same in return. I have faced many obstacles while in the NAVY and sometimes it's hard because I miss everyone and I want to just come home, but my family is always there for me pushing me to be the best I can be. I can honestly say I don't know what I'd do without them. The love and support I receive from them in indescribable."  

So after reading this I want you to ask yourself these questions... what does the word family mean to you? and who do you consider family? and where would you be in your life without that "family"as a backbone? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Controversy on the Wrestling Mat

I was skimming across the news online today and one article in particular really caught my eye. It appears that an incredible Iowa wrestle, refused to compete against a girl at the state wrestling tournament this past Thursday. Why didn't he wrestle you might ask? The young athlete stated that wrestling a girl would conflict against his religion. This topic has created a lot of buzz in the world of athletics because it raises the grand old question of "should girls be allowed to compete against boys, in a boys sport?" Many people feel the young male athlete was scared to wrestle the girl in fear of losing. Other readers feel the young man did the right thing. He believed in something and didn't go what he went against.
In my personal opinion I feel the athlete did the right thing. My family has always taught me never to lay my hand on a female. When I was younger, I was enrolled in a karate class. In this class was one girl and one day I had to spar against this girl. The instructor told us to fight and I just stood there. I couldn't hit her because it went against everything I had ever learned from my parents and I felt if I hit her that I would be disobeying my parents and my values/morals. This young athlete made a decision based on his values and morals, so how can someone be criticized for what they believe in? How might this relate to physical education?
Like I stated previously, this young man is considered “scared” because he didn’t want a girl to be him at sport where men are dominant. This shows the stereotype that men are supposed to be strong and women are weak. Men can’t lose to girls because it will make them look weak and if a girl beats a boy at a sport she is seen as a tomboy or someone who doesn’t belong with the men. We as physical educators need to stop the reinforcement of these types of stereotypes. We should encourage all students to do their best and do whatever activities bring them happiness. We need to let students know that there is no dominant gender. In a perfect world all these ideas would be accomplished, but I will leave you with this question… What types of things will you teach your students? Will you teach them that everyone is equal? Or will you continue the trend of categorizing boys versus girls and limiting students potential? A wise man once said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” So be an agent of change and find the true potential in yourself and in your students.

Leave a comment below and let me know your stance on the article. Was he right by practicing what he believes in? Or was he just trying to protect himself from humilation? You be the judge!

To view the full article click here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Student Profile: Gerald

      Diversity is something that we all have faced or will face in our life time. If you're a physical education teacher, cultural diversity is something you'll want to bring to the class. Incorporating games and ideas from different backgrounds will help students learn that there are other ways of living and other traditions other than their own. It didn't take my long to encounter my first taste of cultural diversity. It was back in the 7th grade when I met "Gerald".

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! 
Now everyone usually puts the symbol of flowers and chocolate together with Valentine's Day but does anyone actually know how this holiday got started?

Too Cold to Get Out and Exercise? Try Mall Walking!

        Have you ever just gone to the mall just to get a good walk in? Chances are you're saying no to this question but did you know hundreds of people just go to the mall to exercise? Mall walking is a great way to get up, get active and if you want, do a little shopping!
       Walking a lifetime activity that anyone of any age can do! "Mall Walking" is exactly what it sounds like, you walk around the mall! How many times have you gone to one end of the mall, walked to the other end just end back at the same end from where you started? Or how many times do you go to the mall and come home just exhausted? Well that's because walking the mall is a great source of exercise! One perk is people can either join groups or go by themselves and just walk the mall! Another benefit is that it's free! No gym memberships, no 6 month trial, just get up and go! You're protected from the elements and no tough terrain to face. Another big perk of mall walking is getting out and meeting new people! Socializing is great because it allows you to meet new people and everyone loves networking! Another great thing about mall walking is that if a person gets too tired. They can stop, sit down and catch a breather. When you feel rested get back up and start walking!
You might not know it but in fact many people across America are doing this and malls are loving it! Having people in the mall earlier has the potential for more business. Malls usually open their doors bright and early allowing individuals an opportunity to come in and walk the mall without there being a lot of shoppers and distractions. Some stores take advantage of the opportunity and have special deals for the walkers.
       There are many guides that a person can pick up to learn more but one key piece of equipment you'll want is a pedometer. This will come in handy so you can log number of steps taken, number of miles walked and even calories burned!
      So if you're interested if being apart of a club or organizations just search the internet or ask around at the local mall. It seems today we're so busy with things in our lives that working out and our health get pushed to the side! If you're one of these people, then I encourage you to just try something as simple as walking around the mall. You owe it yourself and your health! So get up, get out and get active! Happy Walking!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lancaster Central School District On the Higher Side of Educational Productivity

The Center for American Progress now has an online interactive map on their website that allows users to see just where each school district rates for educational productivity. Why is this important you may ask? Well just how productive was the school you went to? 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Get Active with Video Games!

Andrew DiRienzo (left) and Jake Knier (right) teach us how to "Jerk"
Video games have come a LONG way since the days of Atari. As technology and lifestyles changed, so did our video games! So it should be no surprise to see more and more video games incorporating fitness and movement onto their platforms. More and more people these days want to lose weight and become more active but some may find it tough to fit in a work out with busy schedules. Others may not want to pay an expensive gym membership fee and be surrounded by strangers looking at them while they work up a sweat. All gaming companies have some kind of movement branded to their name. Who ever says video games are a bad thing for children... well they're just looking at the wrong types of games!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

WRUP - What Are You Playing?

So it's the weekend! Classes are over, time to just sit down and relax right? Well not necessarily... This past weekend I went up to summer home in Jamestown, NY and although we were cooped up inside we got pretty active. My girlfriend Amanda showed this game to me a few weeks called Catch Phrase. It's a handheld game you pass around in a circle and you have say clues to teammates without giving away or saying the word on the screen. If you can't explain what the word is before the time is up you lose a point. First team to 7 wins! So change things up and make it more difficult we decided you had to act out the word on the screen. We choose sports but we didn't know there were so many thing associated with sports. Some of us had to act out push ups and lay ups while others had to act out dribbling and touchdowns. There's tons of categories to choose from but having each other act out the words really got the blood flowing because you want to do it as fast as possible so you can hand the game off to the opponent in hopes they'll hold onto it when the buzzer goes off. Catch Phrase is a game for the whole family and a great way to get active while being indoors! 

EDU 470 Reflection 2.04.2011

It happens everyday without us even thinking about it. When you look at someone or meet someone you already have an idea of how you will categorize them in your life. It isn't until you get to know someone and develop some type of relationship with a particular individual that you then change your perspective on how you see that person. Stereotypes are absolute beliefs that all members of a group have a fixed set of characteristics. Think of some stereotypes that people usually make about others such as all asians like math and all mexicans like taco bell or all african americans are good at basketball. These are all common stereotypes but stereotypes not only hurt people but they block learning. Stereotypic thinking obstructs a search for new information. The willingness to engage in complex thinking is what students need. It's important for us as educators to put an end to these stereotypes because stereotypes can lead to stereotype threats and bullying. If students think that one race or group is naturally good at something or naturally smart at something it lowers the students self-esteem. Teaching isn't just about subject matter but about teaching good ethics, values and character to the students so that they can be a more well rounded and well educated person, open the new things and new ideas. One thing we as educators can educators to help diminish stereotypes is build a curriculum that incorporates different ideas from different races,cultures, religions, and socioeconomic class. Also address the topic directly and explain stereotypes in the class and explore ways on how to stop it with students.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

PED 356 Breakdancing with "Lazylegz"

Luca Patuelli a.k.a. "Lazylegz" is a Canadian b-boy. He was born with Arthrogryposis, a muscle disorder that affects his legs. If you truly want to see something amazing then watch this video of him performing on So You Think You Can Dance: Canada. This guy will truly blow your mind! He shows everyone that no matter who you are, what condition you have or how tough your situation may be, everything is possible if you have the right mind set! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

EDU 470 Reflection 1.31.2011

Everybody is unique and different! What appeals to one person might not appeal to another. These ideas are true in almost every aspect of our lives. Think about a roommate you may have had at one point in your life. Did your roommate like to study with music playing in the background while you liked to study in silence? Were you better in subjects like art and music while he or she may have been better at math and social studies? If you answered yes to any of the following questions it's because we as students and future physical educators must know that students have preferred learning styles and that teaching to these styles will increase our educational success! There are three styles of learners that students commonly fit into and they are Visual Learners, Kinesthetic Learners and Auditory Learners. It's imperative that we as future educators understand that not all of our students will be the same and need to build our curriculum for students of all learning styles. Now you may be asking yourself how can we as physical educators encompass things in our lessons to meet the needs of all these different types of learners? Let's start with visual learners!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

EDU 470 Reflection 1.28.2011

          Whenever I heard somebody say "WOW, you learn something new everyday" I thought to myself do we really learn something new everyday? On this date I declared that I truly do learn something new everyday! It's important for all physical educators to know all there is about the job and that includes what organizations are associated with it. The National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are two organizations that all physical educators and/or all future physical educators should be familiar with. These two organizations work to improve the salaries and the working conditions of teachers. In your first few years as a teacher, you will find yourself without the protection of tenure. Teacher associations like the NEA and AFT can help by providing you with collegial support, opportunities for professional growth, and the security that one derives from participating in a large influential group. Now I'm sure you're head is probably spinning from all the information you're learning like mine was the first time I read it. I felt a little overwhelmed because I'm not even done learning all there is about the teaching part of a the job and now I have to worry about once I get the job all the behind the scenes stuff! But after reading the benefits of both organizations I feel if I had to choose right now I know which one I would choose.
           The NEA is the largest professional and employee organization in the nation. If you join the NEA, you receive free legal services and training opportunities on issues from technology to academic freedom. The NEA is very political in the sense that it works to elect pro-education candidates and to promote legislation that benefits both teachers and students. I'm not a very political person, although I do find debates and issues interesting. I don't feel as of now I know too much about academic freedom or what's involved with that topic so that wouldn't benefit me. So let's take a look at what the AFT brings to the table...
           The AFT is exclusively of teachers, by teachers, for teachers! This organization takes a leadership role in education reform. It supports national standards for teachers, charter schools and induction programs. I personally like the idea of teachers, by teachers, for teachers! I feel as though the NEA is just a major corporation and the more people that are in that organization the better for them. With the NEA I also feel as though I would just be another number to them, where as with the AFT I would be a much smaller number because it's a much smaller group. 
           Overall after reading this I felt as though I had a better understanding of what an educational organization is and how it benefits us as teachers. I still feel as though I need to do more reading and more research to truly find an organization that fits my particular needs once I get into the profession and have my own job! I find it's just crazy the amount of things teachers have to do as far as their job goes. Anybody who says teaching is probably not a teacher because it's a lot of hard work. As I read this I found myself asking questions such as "Why do I need to be involved with one of these groups?" I understand it's for salaries and working conditions but shouldn't that all be settled in some kind of contract or law by the state, at least for working conditions? "Aren't I protected by the school district I will work for?"These are questions I hope to find the answer to while I'm a student here at SUNY Cortland. I also hope this blog post finds it's way onto other future physical educators computer screens and gives them some helpful information that they can use for the future. It always helps to use the internet to find out more about these types of organizations because there are many more out there than the two I just mentioned. 

*I highly recommend visiting the website just click the link and it will send you to the sight. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

EDU 470 Chapter 1 Question #5

Why do I want to become a teacher? I've heard this question over and over again. Most people want to be a physical education teacher because you get all the benefits and holiday's off but I personally want to become a teacher because I love working with children! I love knowing that I have the tools and supplies to help build physically educated individuals. I love working with younger students because they don't know the right way to perform skills yet and I can show them to correct technique on how to perform a skill so they don't develop bad habits.I believe that we need to start instituting good habits and healthy ideas at a young age. Also the younger students say some of the funniest things I've ever heard! I love being active and learning how to be more fit and I want to be able to share my knowledge with the students. I don't ever think I could teach a math class or science class but I'm too animated as a person. If we can start showing students at a young how to eat right and exercise right then obesity should become a thing of the past. I believe students can accomplish great things but they need the help of teachers that are passionate about what they do. I believe I posses a passion and enthusiasm for physical education that I hope to spread to my own students one day. I love being in front of people and showing them things they've never learned before and seeing them accomplish things that they themselves see as impossible because everything is possible! As a student I feel I am still currently developing reasons why I want to become a physical educator but for now this are just some of the reason why I want to become a teacher!