Sunday, December 4, 2011

High School or Elementary?

            For the longest time I have always wanted to become a high school P.E. teacher.  But after my field observations at the Freeville and at the Cassavant Elementary schools, my mind changed.  Elementary school is so much fun and little kids made my day so much better after I spent time there.  I would go into class feeling miserable, but then I would leave in the best of moods.  While at both of these schools I observed my host teacher who taught me more than just ways to teach elementary students, I learned how to act in front of the students.  The number one thing my teacher told my partner and I, was the more goofy we are with the students, the more they will love you. These journal entries are my reflections on what I saw during my time there. 
Journal: Day One                                                                                         
            Today was the first day that I went to one of my host schools, Freeville.  The teacher was very good with the students.  The students really listen to him; he has very good class management.  All the students know where they need to go when they enter the gymnasium and how to enter the gymnasium correctly.  If they run into the gymnasium then he tells them to go back and walk.  The students know what to do when he blows the whistle; they all sit down immediately and wait for further instructions.  At the end of class the students all line up quietly and wait for their classroom teacher to arrive.  My host teacher’s classroom management is very good and he knows how to work with the students.  From what I saw there are no students who have any special needs in my classes.  But he has mentioned there are students who do have some special needs and they do receive help. 
When my partner and I arrived it was the day that he was talking about Jump for Heart.  So after he talked to the students, he just had them play Chinese Temple Tag.  From what I saw the students learned things in every domain.  Cognitively they learned about their heart and how to keep it healthy.  Psychomotor wise, they learned about how to jump rope and they learned about how to play Chinese Temple Tag, running around, can also help their heart.  Affectively they learned about working together in some jump rope activities and also raising money as a group can help other people.  The students all learned about ways to help their heart and how to keep it healthy. 
            I noticed that my host teacher is fairly close with all the other teachers.  The classroom teachers come right into the gymnasium with their kids and talk to my host teacher about what is going on with the kids that day or who is absent.  Then after class, he does the same to them when they come to get the kids.  He tells them who had a problem or to look out for one student who doesn’t feel good.
Journal: Day Two                                                                                         
            Today the students were working on Jump roping for Jump for Heart.  The students really loved the idea of it.  They were able to win awards like the “Best Jumper” or the “Best Trick”.    I thought it was great that they loved the idea of jump roping for the whole class; they all seemed to really enjoy it.  The teacher made sure to check for the students understanding of the lesson.  They were asked about why it is good to jump rope and what part of your body it helps.  He made sure they understood what the heart does for them, and that they need to be active in order to keep it healthy.  The students also worked on their affective domain.  They had to do group jumping or double dutch.  They all seemed to work decently well with each other but at some points they did not.  And of course they worked on their psychomotor domain, they had to find new ways to jump, they had hula hoops they needed to jump with also so they had to figure that out.  The students had to learn the best way to jump the longest and see how long they could last.
            When looking at the students dealing with this lesson I can see that they are able to work within the skill themes.  They are mostly working with their nonmaipulative and their locomotor patterns when it comes to jump roping.  They of course worked on jumping and landing, but some of the students would jump rope while running or hopping on one foot.  A way that my teacher assessed student learning today was by checking for their understanding in the beginning of class and to check all the students tricks or who could jump the longest.  In the beginning of class he asked the students questions about the heart and then he asked some more at the end of class.  After giving the students practice time he checked every student to see if they had a trick not just the ones who did.  During a competition to see who could jump the longest he assessed at that point also.  I would have assessed the students about the same way cognitively.  But psychomotor wise I may have actually had a chart or some sort of written assessment with me to look at.
            So far I have noticed that there is one student who has a behavioral issue.  My host teacher told my partner and I that he has a behavioral problem.  There are some students in the school that have disabilities but none of them are in my classes.  My teacher handles this one student just like any other student.  If they are doing something wrong then he makes sure to correct him.
Journal: Day Three                                                                                       
            Today the students actually began their lesson with field hockey instead of jump roping.  First the teacher had the students play Chinese Temple tag to get them warmed up then he moved into stretching.  All the kids knew what to do and they all did it.  After that he got the students working with floor hockey, which consisted of working with their stick work and then had them play Clean Up your Room. 
            He works very well with the students, he also makes sure to work on their domains.  He checks for their understanding regarding the class before and whatever he teaches them that day.  He always checks in the beginning of class and then again at the end when they all line up.  The students are also learning about how to play floor hockey and how to control the ball.  They all work together whenever they need to, like in the Clean Up your Room game. 
            Whenever students seem to be having behavior issues he always confronts the students about it and calls them over to talk to him.  He does not really embarrass them in front of the class; he takes them aside and talks to them.  My teacher also uses time-out.  He tells the students that they need to sit on the side, think about what they did wrong, and when come to him when they are ready to explain what was going on.  Today a little boy was misbehaving and my teacher called him over to have a chat with him.  After he had a time-out the student was fine.  My teacher also does not put up with whining or drama.  I have seen that if someone is upset about them not doing well in the game he doesn’t care that they are sad and tells them to deal with it.  It works, the students listen to him, and they deal with it and then go back to playing. 
Journal: Day Four                                                                                        
            Today the students did not do much; my host teacher had them run the pacer test.  He told me that it is good to mix things up with the students and that he does this from time to time.  He made sure to push the students and tell them to do their best.  He also mentioned if they remembered what their number was the last class then they wanted to try and improve their number.  My host teacher kept telling the students to go further and further into the numbers and what he expected of them.  I thought it was good to see the students doing something different than what they are used to doing every day, and that can get to be boring after awhile. 
This lesson mostly worked on their psychomotor domain more than anything.  It was what they were able to do and how far they wanted to push themselves.  And it mostly hit NYS Standard 1; it was more about the physical fitness compared to the other two standards.
By doing the pacer test the teacher was also able to assess the students.  He was able to see who has improved or who hasn’t.  He was able to assess their physical fitness, since the school is so small he knows how well each student does.  So if a student is not doing well then they get lower mark than what they should have gotten.  My teacher also asked the students what their number was before they ran and then ask what it was after they ran.  This way he was able to see if they had improved any.
Journal: Day Five                                                                                         
            Today my partner and I went to our other school, Cassavant, and we did our pre-test for our curriculum project.  We decided to work on self space and dodging skills with the students.  We had them play Oogity, Boogity Tag.  They seemed to really enjoy it for the most part, it makes people feel really silly so they were a little sketchy about it, and especially considering it was our first day there.  But the lesson went well and we were able to gather our data that we needed.
            Our host teacher just sat back and watched us do everything.  He would step in when the students seemed to get a little rowdy or they weren’t trying.  When he stepped in, the students listened to him more and followed through with everything we needed.  A little girl was having an issue with being tagged, she came up to me but she wouldn’t really listen to what I had to say, so he dealt with her because there was no point in her crying.  After she sat out and stopped crying she was fine.  He also gave us some tips about what to do and what not to do, so that was helpful.  From what I can see he does not have as close of a relationship with the teachers as he does in Freeville.  But I have only been there for a day.
            When the students came into the gym, they had a set routine.  They had to come in and do all the fitness components that were written on the board and after they were done they had to sit on a shape that was on the floor.  This works really well for him.  The students know what to do and they do it right away.  He also uses the whistle in this school.  As soon as the students hear him whistle they sit right down and are quiet.  His class management techniques for both schools are very good they work very well for him. 
Journal: Day Six                                                                                           
            Today we went back to Freeville.  The students were still working on Floor Hockey.  This time they repeated the same thing they did the other week with working on their stick work and playing Clean Up your Room.  He also had them play another game that consisted of the students protecting pins and they had to throw balls at the pins, whoever’s were all knocked down lost.  It was quite interesting and the kids loved it.  The students worked on all their domains with this lesson.  He checked for their understanding in the beginning of class, they worked on their stick work and on their throwing skills.  The students had to work with each other in order to get all the pins down or to protect the pins.
            My host teachers curriculum so far sort of works with the NYS Learning Standards.  At some points it does and then sometimes it doesn’t.  It mostly works on standards 1 and 2.  The students are always working on their skills and they are working on their physical fitness.  Then the students are always being told about safety and about how to treat each other.  The only time standard 3 is really touched on was when the students were doing Jump for Heart.  He asked the students if they had a jump rope and if they did then to work on their jump roping.
            I am not really sure how he was assessing the students for floor hockey.  I would assess them by how well they are controlling the ball or working with a partner when doing defensive skills.  I would have a sheet of paper saying elementary, initial, and mature then have descriptions under each stage.  I would assess the students based on that chart.  For the affective domain I would assess them on how well they worked with each other.  And then cognitively, I would check for their understanding at the beginning and end of class.  My host teacher does check for their understanding at the beginning and end of their classes.
Journal: Day Seven                                                                                                  
            Today my partner and I did our teaching lesson over at Cassavant.  Our lesson went rather well I thought, the students really enjoyed what we did and want to do it again.  We took a lesson out of the Children Moving book.  We worked on their dodging skills and on their space awareness.  We also made sure that they understood how important space awareness really is and that dodging happens in everyday life.  Our host teacher stepped in at some points to help when we first did it, but the second class went a lot smoother.
            We made sure to hit every aspect of the domains.  Psychomotor the students had to dodge the parrots and the lizards and still maintain their own space awareness.  The students learned about the jungle and the beach, but also about space awareness.  Affectively the students needed to be respectful to each other and to the equipment.  Our host teacher also added in some “homework” that the students need to do.  He wants them to practice dodging outside of class and then come back and tell him about it next class.
Journal: Day Eight                                                                                       
            Today we were back at Freeville.  The students started off with Turtle tag and then moved into Capture the Flag.  Turtle tag really wore them out; they were all very tired after they played it.  It was interesting watching them play Capture the Flag.  They all seemed more interested in crossing the line while taunting each other rather than going to get the ball.  It happened in both classes which was the more interesting part.  The second class was a little better about going after the ball than the first but they were still interested in crossing the line.  My host checked for the students understanding rather than telling them the rules.  He would mention a rule and then the students would correct him if he was wrong.  The students really seemed to enjoy this lesson.
            This lesson hit mostly in the psychomotor and affective domain.  The students learned skills on how to play Capture the Flag and they had to work together as a team to protect the ball or go get the ball.  They also got a very good work out in throughout it all.  The students are rather good at the skill themes and their locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills.  I also saw a lot of aspects of dodging, which is what my partner and I are teaching at the other school.  It was good to see them doing that, I watched the students dodging skills and even assessed them in my head.  They have a little trouble with throwing and catching.  Some of the students are fairly good at it but not the best at it.  With practice and more teaching on it then they would improve.
My teachers second class was a little out of control today.  They were all wired and not listening to what anyone had to say.  Their classroom teacher even came in and talked to my teacher about the student’s behaviors and one student in particular (the one student that has behavior problems).  My teacher had to blow the whistle quite a few times to get the students under control and go back over the rules.  He told them that they were not listening and they would not play anymore if they continued the behavior.  It worked for the most part, the students followed the rules and played better.  At the end of class they went back to the same behavior as before and he had to give them another talk.  When the students left I believe he told their teacher how they behaved.

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