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.