Monday, October 29, 2012

...And the Learning Continues

It hardly seems that 2 weeks have passed. Needless to say, we have been extremely busy.

200 Block began peer teaching last week in the coliseum activities for our second unit.  They researched and developed games, skills, strategies and ideas for teaching elementary and secondary dance, softball, volleyball, racquet games, and striking skills.  Monday proved to be challenging for them.  They did not come to class with creative or age-appropriate games...(all part of the learning curve), so they "took it on the chin" and stepped up their game.  On Wednesday, they returned for the remainder of the peer teaching unit, and not just stepped it up but rocked it out!  We were so extremely proud of their ability to accept constructive criticism and to meet our high demands for excellence in physical education!

400 Block's week began by learning parachute games and peer teaching these elementary games to one another.  I must admit, these kids came to class armed with some very fresh, creative, and innovative games!  They taught games I had never even seen before - which makes me very happy! Secondary methods students wrapped up peer teaching state mandated LIFE course lessons with a phenomenal, over the top unit that exceeded the expectation going above and beyond the requirements for exemplary status.  

Last Thursday, 400 Block kicked off our "PE Tour" by heading to Talladega to Alabama School for Deaf and Blind to teach tinikling (a rhythms and dance unit) to the deaf school physical education students.
This was a day full of blessings, friendships, learning, excitement, and humbleness!  WE were the minority - WE could not communicate with them - WE we uncomfortable - and WE found out what an amazing group of kids attend these schools.  Our 400 Block students were able to get down on their level, learn some sign language, learn to teach almost completely visually and non-verbally, learn to communicate with autistic students, and even learn some new dance moves!  This day continues to be one of our "most favoritest" days of the semester as it teaches us what it is like to be diverse learners. 

This week has flown by....literally!  We have been "on tour" all week with both classes.  200 Block was at Wellborn Elementary/High School on Monday, teaching volleyball/softball/striking skills to the students.  While peer teaching provides a willing audience to practice leading, managing & instructing, supervised practicum experiences provide a better representation of behaviors, struggles, and various adjustments necessary to age appropriate instruction.  Yes...they were able to put into action all the games, skills, and management tips they learned the previous week while peer teaching.

Our paperless, 21st Century class is also working like a charm.  While students are teaching, we are grading them on our iPads from the app, iAnnotate.  We mark up the document just as if we are writing on actual paper, log the grade into our gradebook iPad app, then send the document directly to each student's Dropbox folder.  Most days, students are assigned to teach more than once, so this allows them to review their graded rubrics, read our notes, and reflect on what was marked off, and improve their next teaching experience. This also eliminates the need for countless copies, ink, bulk of paper and "forgetting" to either turn in an assignment or return a graded one.  The convenience of having assignments available at our fingertips and always in the right place is ideal for us as non-traditional, always on the go facilitators of learning.

Tuesday, we were at Kitty Stone Elementary with our 400 Block students.  This was their first day of supervised, graded teaching since 200 Block, so they were a bit nervous.  Even with the large number of students at KSE, our JSU kids stepped it up and taught some creative bowling/rolling/outdoor leisure lessons.

Also on Tuesday, 400 Block had to submit unit plans for HPE 409 (Elementary) and HPE 410 (Secondary).  Instead of having piles of paper in different places of the gym, having lost lesson plans, having lesson plans in the wrong pile, and even forgetting to put their lesson plans in the pile - the paperless system was once again a WINNER!  All students submitted their unit plans before 9:00 am that morning in their Dropbox folders...the end!  NO PAPER = AWESOMENESS and EFFICIENCY!

On Wednesday, we travelled out to Ashville Middle School with 200 Block to observe their students participate in an archery unit and to teach their favorite unit of the year......DANCE!  (haha, just kidding!)  Needless to say, our kids were extremely nervous, apprehensive, and even kind of clueless about teaching dance to middle school kids.  However, as the morning progressed, each group became more and more comfortable "letting loose" and interacting with the students.  By the end of the day, we were sweating, smiling, laughing, and realizing what a fun and exciting unit dance can be!

Finally...we finished out this week with 400 Block at Weaver Elementary/High School teaching large group games.  This day also was "real life in action" as we had to think on our feet and roll with the punches because the Weaver Elementary PE schedule had changed since we scheduled who and when would be teaching their students.  At first, our students were "freaking out" because they were not teaching at "the exact time and to the exact grade" as the schedule dictated....but they soon realized that "life happens" and they just need to breathe, chill out, and deal with it!  Needless to say...all students at Weaver High School and Weaver Elementary were taught Physical Education that day - and all our JSU students were able to teach a lesson (maybe not what they originally planned, but effective, nonetheless!).

21st Century Classroom.  Paperless.  Learning in Action. A day in the life of a quality future physical education specialist. 

JSU Physical Education...and the story continues.

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