Monday, November 16, 2009

D Lab


On Monday November 9th our 255 class met at Cort-Lanes bowling alley to begin our last teaching for our Lab D.  The other two teachers and myself had reserved ten lanes for our lesson so we could have two students per lane to increase activity time for the students.  Unfortunately, the men’s bowling league ran a bit longer than expected and we had to wait for them to clear out before we could get in our lanes.  This allowed an opportunity for our students to get their bowling shoes and a bowling ball.  I taught second so I was able to set my worksheets that I had created for the lesson under the bowling ball retrieval stations (for a closer look at these sheets check out the links at the bottom of this post).  Our lessons were intended to fill 15 minutes but we had to shorten them by a few minutes to allow all three of us to teach.  This meant eliminating the Wii bowling from the lesson as an option for some of the students.  I began my lesson by showing a poster that introduced my cues that I was going to cover for the lesson. 

In case you are unable to read my cues from the photo above, my four cues for the lesson were:
         1. Low release 
         2. Foot swings behind 
         3. Fingers to shoulder 
         4. Hold your pose. 

I felt these were important to cover to help a beginner bowler or to improve one’s bowling form.  To help my students stay on task I created a worksheet that they would fill out to help improve their form and to remember my cues for the lesson.  I also adapted this worksheet to suit the needs for left handed students in my class.  I feel that it is important to do this rather than telling these students to do the opposite as what the directions tell them too.  This will help them learn faster by reducing processing time that would be needed to figure out what is opposite for them to do.

Next I allowed the students to work on their cues as they went to their lanes to practice rolling the bowling ball.  I visited the students and gave feedback by either walking in the approach area making sure not to get in anyone’s way and looping behind to see their progress on the worksheet.  In the picture above I am asking Frank what cue he was focusing on for his next roll.  I was glad to see that students had been following directions and giving their partners high fives like worksheet had asked of them. Below Amy and Jack celebrate by giving a high five, while Frank and Brad look on.

I felt that I had been doing well spreading my attention to all my students but soon realized that my numbers seemed to have gotten smaller.  I scanned the area as I had expected Dr. Yang to throw a loophole in my lesson.  Sure enough a few of the students had ventured of to the dinning area and were about to get an early start to lunch.  I headed in their direction keeping my body facing the rest of the class to ensure I did not have any other students wondering off.  I addressed the students by saying I was aware it was almost lunchtime but the lesson would be over shortly and they would be able to eat soon enough.

One of the students, Mike Putnum, seemed a little reluctant because he had been frustrated that he had been rolling gutter balls.  I encouraged him that I was not focusing on where the ball went rather the form of releasing the ball properly and told him we would be working on aiming in the upcoming units.  I talked him through the cues, had him watch his partner, then watched as he executed well on his turn.  I asked if there was anything else I could help him with before working my way back down to the lower numbered lanes.
I brought the class in towards the middle lanes and explained the modified game of 3-6-9 bowling.  This is a game to help encourage less experienced bowlers because it allows them to get an automatic strike on the 3rd, 6th, and 9th frame.  The papers were all ready at their lanes so they did not have to waste time waiting in line to get a sheet.  The class seemed to be enjoying themselves but unfortunately the limited time cut the game a little short. I gathered the students one last time to do a closure to the lesson asking about the cues and to remind them that we are in a public place and if we would like to maintain our privileges we have to be on our best behavior and not allow any other instances of wondering off task to occur.

Overall, I felt confident and comfortable during my lesson even being short on time and having little experience bowling.  I felt it was fun to be in a new environment other than the gymnasium and felt the class enjoyed my lesson.  I hope to build from this and keep making my lessons fun and creative. 

Take some time to check out different components of my lesson.  Note I need to use a PC to update my audio.  When I am able to do so my other links will be updated as well.
            Lesson Plan
            Right Handed Progression Sheet
            Left Handed Progression Sheet
            3-6-9 Bowling
            Bowling Task Progressions
            Time Coding
            Feedback Analysis

C Lab or International Lab Poland Team Handball


On October 23, 2009 Mr. Rob Krowiak and I teamed up to teach or Lab C or International Lab.  The previous week we had decided that Poland would be our country due to our Polish ancestry.  However, we had a rather small dilemma that Poland is not known for much other than their Kielbasa (sausage) and their success in The World’s Strongest Man competitions.  We decided to focus on European Handball, as it is something that most students here in America have not had much experience and would be new to a majority of our class.   We decided to discuss some of the basic rules of handball but opted to focus on the different throws or passes that could be used in a typical game.  Mr. Krowiak taught the first half of the lesson including the instant activity of blindfold tag (you can see me leading my partner in the picture below).

When I took over the lesson, the students had been working on over hand, bounce, and jump pass, along with a trick behind the back pass with their partner.  To make things a bit more challenging for the students I began my section of the lesson by introducing a defender.  The students could only use the overhand and underhand pass and the defender had to use shadow defense.  This type of defense is basic and used to help the offense transition to having a defensive player involved.  The defensive person would simply raise their arms to force and overhand pass or put their hands down low to force and overhand throw.
After a few minutes of this task, I brought the students in to tell them they could use all of the throws that Mr. Krowiak had taught but now the defense would be playing at 80% so they had to be a bit more careful or smart about what passes to use.  After a few minutes of working on all the throws with a defender it was time to bring in the students so they could work on a new task of shooting.  I described their new task of going one on one with a partner to attempt to score using the jump shot, but also letting them know they could use the other throws they had learned during the lesson.  I had placed some goals on the sides of the gym prior to class and used the big red mats on the wall as goals for the groups to spread out the groups and to allow all the students to be active and prevent waiting in lines.

Before sending the students out I reminded them of the close space and not to shoot when others are retrieving a ball.  The students seemed to enjoy this section of the lesson and I could see some competition rise as students attempted to score.  Before long it was time to end the lesson so Mr. Krowiak and I brought the students in to ask about some of the different throws they had learned.  I offered extra credit to the students if they could correctly spell my mother’s maiden Polish name of Strojnowski for the next class. 

            I felt more comfortable in this Lab compared to the previous lessons that I had taught.  It was fun to work with a partner and liked how we each had our own areas to teach.  Best of all, I felt that the class really enjoyed the lesson and were disappointed when we had to end the lesson. 
       Unfortunately I am having some technical difficulties with the video clip from this lesson (the pains that come from being a Mac lover in a PC world) so some of the links below will be updated at a later date.  Thank you for understanding. 

Verbal Transcription
Feedback Analysis
Time Coding

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cortland FC CHAMPS!

On Saturday October 24th Cortland FC avenged early season setbacks to claim the CCSL playoffs.  CFC found themselves behind in the standings after starting their season 0-1-1 after their first two games.  Playing a man down for much of the second half CFC was content with a 1-1 tie against ESF.  A week later more disappointment as Ithaca prevailed 4-2.  Eventually CFC got back on the winning track with home wins against Oswego 3-0 and a narrow escape of Cornell 3-2.  To clinch the regular season championship CFC traveled to Syracuse on a cold and rainy Saturday morning and climbed from an early 1-0 deficit to triumph a 3-1 victory on perhaps one of the sloppiest field conditions the players ever have faced.  In the semi-finals of the tournament CFC continued their winning streak by seeking revenge for their early season loss as they once again overcame and early deficit to beat rival Ithaca 2-1 in part 2 of Cortaca.  Redemption was on mind for the Championship game against ESF.  CFC had been winless in their last three meetings (0-0, 1-2OT, 1-1) including last years early exist in the semi finals.  CFC found the back of the net within the first two minutes of play and never looked back as they went on to rout ESF 4-0 and continuing their 138 straight minutes without allowing a goal.  This was a great way to end the season with a 5-1-1 record in front of a home crowd for CFC, as they repeated as League Champions and won the CCSL playoffs. 

Lab B

On Friday October 2nd we continued our Ultimate (Frisbee) Planning Unit in 255 as we taught Lab B.  My topic was while players pass and move and in a defender.   I felt what all I could do was improve from my previous experience with Lab A.  However, once again it seemed like my nerves got the best of me.  I tried to relax before class and up until I taught but felt like the material I was going to cover had been covered by previous students when they introduced intra task variations into their lessons.  I felt that I should not be repeating previous information but knew I had to stick to my topic and adapt the best I could. 
            After analyzing my teaching from Lab A2 I had caught myself saying “you guys” so I went into the lesson trying to eliminate that phrase from my vocabulary.  After listening to my audio I did in fact improve by not saying this phrase.  However, at times I did fail to eliminate it completely, with only audio to refer back to, it may be possible that the groups I referred to were indeed all guys. Even so, I know I must work on cutting out this saying completely.  To see what was said during my lesson, check out my transcription

            One aspect I realized I did much better on was the amount of activity time in my lesson.  In Lab A2 I fell short on the amount of time that students participated in activity during the lesson.  Being active is the key to Physical Education so it is important not to cut this time shorter than it all ready is for a lesson.  As I listened to my audio clip I completed the time coding sheet.  This breaks my lesson into ten second intervals and I describe what those ten seconds were spent doing.  I fill this for each of the ten seconds until the lesson is over.  I improved from the first time coding lesson and scored a 3 out of 4 up from a 1 out of 4 I had during Lab A2. 

            Giving congruent feedback on the cues for my lesson while using students names is another aspect I can improve on during my lesson.  Although I know all my students in the class, I am sometimes reluctant to use their names.  I know that this is important because it allows the student to realize that as a teacher I can tell when they are doing the skill or activity well.  At the same time I need to allow the student what it is exactly that they are doing proper rather than just saying “good job”.  While listening to my audio clip and looking back at my transcription I realized that I gave feedback 12 times to students.  Unfortunately only one quarter of the time or to four students did I use their name.  The other eight times I did not use a name.  Even more disturbing was the fact that I only gave two congruent forms of feedback.  Both to students whose named I used.  Perhaps using names will lead to more congruent feedback.  

            You can only improve by practicing.  Every time I can teach and analyze my experience I will find more of my strengths and weaknesses.  Then I can improve on my weaknesses to make me a better teacher.  I look forward to improving for my next lesson.  

In case you might have missed...
coding sheet

Reflection for Lab 2A

On Friday September 18, 2009 I completed Lab 2A during Dr. Yang’s Education 255 class. I went into the class more relaxed because I had time to think about what I was going to teach compared to the first day when we were told we would be giving an impromptu lesson. I anticipated doing a lesson in soccer focusing proper techniques of heading a soccer ball with cues, practice, and a quick drill. Unfortunately, another student did a lesson on heading prior to mine. I opted to teach another aspect on heading rather than doing a lesson twice. However, I did not anticipate an incident like this to occur. I had to think of a new technique to focus on minutes prior to teaching so even with my prior planning I still ended up doing a spontaneous lesson. I opened the lesson by having the students grab a soccer ball. Instead of bringing them in to talk about the lesson, I opted to have them get a soccer ball and start dribbling around the gym for about thirty seconds. I used this as my instant activity and it help reduce the amount of time standing around or waiting to get a ball. After this I brought them in to talk about the lesson. At this point I had worked myself up and was nervous because I did not have the time to put ideas together like I desired. Recalling the lesson and looking back at the video I can hear myself stumble to find the right words. I mixed skills focused on in prior soccer lessons and struggled to get the word “cues” off the tip of my tongue. Once I calmed down and took a breath to regain my composure I seemed to have more confidence in myself and in my lesson. I explained a couple of cues that I wanted to focus on: planting the foot next to the ball, pointing the toe down, and keeping your eye on the ball. Next, I had the class line up on the wall and practice the movement I had described and showed to them. At the time, and during the lesson it became clear that I did not properly explain myself as I saw students passing the ball against the wall rather than using the cues to help the movement. What I should have done next would be to practice this motion in full with out the ball. This would have given myself a better transition into actually shooting the ball. Again, I will criticize my action of lining the class up at the foul line to shoot at the red mats on the wall. The spacing and the size of the mats just seemed ideal at the time. I should have told those who were waiting to do the “foundation” or a basic skill of dribbling the ball between your inseam of your feet to keep them moving and to allow them to have more touches with the ball. Looking back I could have also allowed the class as a whole to line up across the gym at the foul line and have them act as a firing squad and tie that into the lesson by saying something such as: I heard in Mrs. Smith’s history class you have been learning about the Battle of Gettysburg, now we are about to do some shooting of our own, on my command aim, and fire! I feel like this would be more interesting way of working on shooting and I could focus on parts of the group as we did this a few times. 
I have found quite a fair share of criticism during my short lesson but what caught my attention while watching the youtube video was that during the drill, when I had the students line up and practice their form against the wall, I had walked behind the students to observe their form but had stopped to move basketballs that had been in the area from the previous lesson. I did not recall doing this in my lesson but looking at the video I felt like this was a good effort to keep a safe environment for my class by removing potentially dangerous situation such as tripping of the balls. I learned a lot during this lesson and now will be prepared with more than one lesson to teach in the future. Also, I know that learning is achieved by making mistakes and fixing them. I plan on reducing and eliminating the number of mistakes I make in the upcoming Labs so I strive to become the teacher that I know I am capable of being.

Take a closer look at my lesson by checking out the links below