Friday, December 17, 2010

Education Through the Physical- Final Parts 1 and 2

Part 1: B.
i. The website is from CBC news. The story takes place in Saskatoon, Canada at a school called City Park Collegiate. The story also mentioned a school near Chicago called Naperville that was making great strides with their program.

ii. I think this news piece is very interesting. It helps to shed light on the benefits that physical education can have on children not only physically but mentally as well. It was interesting to see how much the physical activity really impacted student learning. The part that talked about all the success that Naperville School had experienced due to the 45 minutes of vigorous activity was incredible. Seeing students with very bad behavioral problems that affected their schoolwork agree to take part in the program which changed their grades completely was amazing. The story also showed me that as a physical educator I need to make sure my students are engaged in high physical activity for a continous amount of time to help them in my class and their other classes.

iii. The physical education teacher was not mentioned at all throughout the story. We don’t hear anything about them because it was a teacher by the name of Allison Cameron that started the program. The school seemed like they focused more on getting the students off of the streets and into the school to better educate themselves. I don’t think the physical education program is very big or successful in seeing as the school mostly stressed academic performance. Cameron was the one who started integrating the treadmills and the 20-minute daily workouts into her classrooms. In being a physical educator one must put all their efforts and time into helping the students benefit from the program. When I become a physical educator my program will do just that. I want my student to succeed not only in my classroom but in their other classes as well. My program will focus on getting students involved in their physical education classes and making sure they are being fully engaged as well as getting their heart rates up. This will help them to be successful in their other classes; according to the story it will help students to concentrate more, be less fidgety and well as try harder with their school work.

iv. The program had many benefits for the students that were shown and interviewed. One of the students that participated in documentary started using drugs at age 8 and drinking at age 10 and when he first came to City Park School he could not read or write. He agreed to participate in doing 20 minutes of physical activity. The story later shows the impact that the physical activity had on this particular student’s grades. His reading improved over twenty percent and his comprehension increased over four hundred percent! These results are incredible. This student also started turning his life around and thinking about his future. He did not want to end up like the people he saw everyday on the streets doing drugs and doing nothing with their lives. Another student, Desten, was a problem student for Cameron, he has ODD (oppositional defiance disorder) as well as ADD (attention deficit disorder). He often swore at his teachers and refused to do anything he was told. After participating in the program Desten was taking interest in his classes, he was less defiant, and ever had a better relationship with Cameron. Desten put a lot of effort into this program and is now reaping the benefits, he says is he feels more energized and even happy. Desten’s grades improved greatly; his reading increased by over twenty five percent, his math increased over twenty five percent and his comprehension increased over thirty percent. These two students are not the only examples of improvement Cameron says that most of the eighth graders moved up an entire grade level. This may seem normal and sensible for most students but for students that are at a fourth grade level when they are supposed to be at an eighth grade level it is a big achievement. These outcomes are very similar to the New York State PE Standards. For Standard 1A students are meeting this because they are engaging in basic movement skills as well as becoming competent in these skills. For 1B, students are learning about physical fitness so they should be able to put together some sort of fitness plan. For Standard 2 students are understanding the benefits and opportunities that physical fitness can have. Student’s attitudes towards others and school changed for the positive. Lastly, for Standard 3 students started bringing classroom ideas to their homes asking their parents to get active with them and to also eat healthier.

v. BDNF is a type of nerve growth factor that acts as a live fertilizer on the hippocampus of the brain as well as other areas of the brain. It is often referred to as a "fertilizer" that helps make nerve cells stronger, makes them more pliable and helps them withstand stress which is good for increased learning. BDNF is released when a person is engaging in sustained vigorous activity. So in physical education class students should be involved in enough vigorous activity to release BDNF. Two key books that outlines the benefits of exercise and learning/academics are: The Kinesthetic Classroom by Traci Lengel and Mike Kuczala and Spark by Dr. John Ratey.

C. Physical educators need to make sure students are following the 6-3-3 model. Which means they are recreationally competent in 6 categories, proficient in 3 in 3 different activity categories. The Recommended Regents Level for Learning Standard 1A, I believe that at least 85% of students should exhibit the 6-3-3 model. This is not too much to ask for seeing as there are a lot of different activities offered that students can chose to take part in. Each student should be able to find activities that they find interesting and want to increase their knowledge and skills in that area. As teachers we need to be prepared to teach most if not all of those activities because students have different interests and we cannot clump all students into specific activities. I believe that 85% is a good number because it is more than the majority of students and there will always be some students that resist the program or just can not physically meet the standards. Those students occupy the missing 15%, but if we can get 85% then I would say the program is successful. The Recommended Regents Level for Learning Standard 1B should include at least 98% of students reaching competency in their own personal fitness plans. Seeing as these students are high school seniors they should be able to develop a personal fitness plan that they can actually follow and become competent in. When creating their fitness plans students know which areas they need to focus and work on specifically to them. Students should not be incorporating exercises that they cannot perform. That is not realistic and it does not help them to follow their own fitness plans. Students will leave the classroom with an understanding of the importance of physical fitness and how they themselves can monitor and create fitness plans that will help benefit them throughout their lives.

Part 2:

i. I think daily burn is a great tool for those who want to track their fitness levels and for those that need help losing weight. It is easy to navigate around the pages and to keep track of your daily log. I am not using any other form of online exercise or nutrition tracker. I do not use any nutrition trackers because I keep track mentally. I don’t have much extra time to go log onto a tracker everyday and mark down exactly what I eat, how much, how long I exercise for and exactly what exercises I do. I can pretty much keep track in my mind how well I am doing with my eating and exercise habits throughout the day. I am not sure that I will stay apart of the rockstar daily burn group. It’s something that I think I will lose interest in quickly because I have my own fitness plan that I follow. I also know a lot about nutrition so I eat well and I can keep track of what I eat mentally.

ii. I do however think this would be a great tool to use in physical education classes. I would have students make an account and keep track of their physical activity as well as their eating habits. It fits right along with NYS Learning Standard 1B. Students can develop their own fitness plan on the website as well as chose a premade fitness plan. I would have students track their eating habits to go along with the fitness plan so they can keep track of everything as a whole. To modify this for individuals I would have them create their own fitness plan as well as keep track of their consumed calories. For groups I would modify this for a group of students to follow a specific workout plan as well as an eating plan. If students don’t have computer access or do not have the time to do an individual plan they can get with a group of students and do a group workout.

iii. For Learning Standard 1A I would have students use an excel spreadsheet to capture and report date. Each student would have to set up his or her own spreadsheet according to specific guidelines that the teacher would provide. They would have a spreadsheet to coincide with the unit being taught in class. Everyday they will update their spreadsheet and record their heart rates, if their skills increased from last class, by how much, if their skills stayed the same of decreased students would record that as well. Students will write a short paragraph on why they think their skills are increasing, decreasing or staying the same. They have will to track specific skills such as if students are engaging in a basketball unit they will track their lay-up skills, free throw skills, and game play skills. Each class day instant activities or closing activities will incorporate some kind of quick skill testing that can be done individually or within a group that students can use to record on their spreadsheets. This would work well with high school students because they will have to do this on their own time so not only will they learn how to evaluate their skills but they will practice independence and time management. An example of this can be found here.

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