Monday – 1/23/2012
Today I was able to attend a request for special services meeting. This meeting was called for one of my second grade students by my host teacher and the student’s classroom teacher. In physical education class it’s easily noticeable that this student runs awkwardly and in the classroom the student often complains of back pain and stomach pressure. The student’s parents have also noted the same instances when the child is at home and had also contacted her teachers. Today the teachers gathered to discuss the need to evaluate the student for special services or at least figure out what maybe the underlying causes to these issues. It was great to see how the parents and the teachers could come together to get on board with each other in this request. From my understanding the process can be a long one in order to fight for the extra services but the teachers and parents are in it to seek what is best for the child. It was a great learning experience that has taught me that although parents can sometimes be a pain to deal with they are ultimately looking out for what is best for their child.
Today we incorporated new basketball stations for the third and fourth grade students. Since they have been working on their skills rather than game play we decided it would be the appropriate time to add in a small 2v2 or 3v3 game play station with myself as the referee. For the majority of the students this was their first experience playing a “basketball game” and they seemed to pick up on the game pretty quickly. We did have to modify the game, allowing for 1pt if they hit the hoop or backboard, and 2 pts if they actually got it in but either way students enjoyed playing. For the groups that didn’t understand the concept of playing defense as well playing together as a team, I just had to modify the game slightly so they would at least get the opportunity to get the ball back. With the transition to the new stations, I was able to learn today that modification is key. At the beginning of each new unit or activity there is always the possibility that students will not understand or will not enjoy the game. At that point its important to be able to think on your feet and either scratch the idea for later classes or modify to fit their needs.
Wednesday – 1/25/12
Today while doing fire stations with the kindergarten, first grade and second grade classes I realized that students at those levels have dramatically varying ability. I had students in Kindergarten struggling to get onto the cargo net, but also other students who could jump on and quickly maneuver their way up to the top of the net. This varying ability spanned across all three grade levels, as I had some second graders also struggling to move on the net and other flying up to the top and back down the rope with ease. All in all each and every student did try their best each opportunity they had, and I even had one student first struggle to get on the net but then in his last attempt get on and cross the net completely to the rope. Today’s lesson learned is that students skill level will also vary across units, some stronger with other skills and weaker in the new skills. The bottom line is as the educator its best to push a student to try to improve but only to their comfort level. If the student is able to achieve success it will persuade them to try to go further each time.
Today was the big day, as Mrs. Drumm and I planned out the units ideas for all of February. We have decided to go with a “Minute To Win It” theme for a fitness unit with the goal to have students be assessed, then have some time to work on their fitness skills through mini challenge’s, and then reassess the students before break. The idea came about because no student willingly loves fitness units, so we are hoping they will focus more on the challenges rather than the fact that they are working on their fitness skills for the post-assessment. If this unit can go well, it will be a great learning experience for myself as well as Mrs. Drumm because she finds fitness units to be so hard to motivate her students. If the students enjoy the unit it will be one Mrs. Drumm can use year after year and myself if I find a school of my own.
Friday – 1/27/2012
Today we were asked by the custodial staff to clean out the closet that we currently share with them. Due to the constant moving of our schedule from the “cafeteria-gym” to the playroom we have just bombarded the closet with equipment which has spread all over. Since we had just prepared our Unit yesterday we decided it would be the appropriate time to clean all three closets to round up the equipment we were going to need starting Wednesday of next week. What I took out of today was the fact that as a physical educator it’s a difficult battle to keep equipment organized when you’re forced to constantly change class environments, and class set ups. Mrs. Drumm said “the hardest part is always trying to find the equipment I need, and if I don’t have it in the correct closet then, I’m stranded without if I needed it during a class.” She said the best thing you can do in a situation like this is just over prepare and have all the equipment you think you might need and then some extra stuff just in case.