Monday, December 1, 2008

Practical Experience

A requirement of the class is to apply teaching and communication principles through volounteer work. To do this, I gladly helped coach my younger cousin's soccer team while home on break. My cousin, Rebecca, is eight years old and all of the girls on the team are around the same age as well. The league involves the girls playing on a smaller field, with games that are shorter in length. Since all of the girls are very young, they are still unfamiliar with proper strategy and the role of each position. We held practices with the focus on enjoyment along with learning and experience. We had them do shooting, dribbling, and passing drills, as well as a little gameplay. During both regular games and practice, we had the girls try out various positions including goalie so that they could become familiar with each. Each time they were put in, they needed reminders of cues and how they should defend the goal. At this level, the children forgot about strategy once gameplay was in action and played the typical beehive soccer that young children do. They all just ran towards the ball. This experience was rewarding. I thouroughly enjoyed being with the children and helping them improve their skills while having fun.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Korfball Lab D- Gameplay

My final lesson of korfball was okay. I improved my visual aids greatly from all of my past experiences teaching, and created aids that were pleasing to the eye and able to be seen from a distance. Another aspect of my lesson that I did better with was my attention to the time. This was the first time that I stopped the lesson and did my closure without a signal from a teacher letting me know that I needed to wrap it up. Something that threw off my lesson from the start was my inability to have everything set up prior to teaching. Korfball is a game that required baskets that I make myself using volleyball posts. I had to wait for a teacher to be present so that I could obtain the posts with a key. I was rushed for time and was told to start the instant activity while I continued to set up. This did not work very well, as while I continued to get ready a student became injured. I feel that I handled the injury fairly well and under control. Also, later in the lesson some of the students did not listen to the rules and kicked the soccer ball. I tried to get the ball back and had a little difficulty having the boys follow orders but after a little persistence they complied. Like other lessons, I have to work on talking loudly so that everyone can hear me. I feel that in the beginning of the lesson while I discussed the class rules I began talking loudly but once activity began I was drowned out. It would have helped my lesson greatly if I would have talked louder. Things would have went much more smoothly i feel. Another thing that would have been more effective prior to the lesson would have been creating the teams before hand so that less time was wasted. Again a student was absent which messed up the even teams, but luckily the girls in the group were behaved and didn't mind playing 3 vs 2. And finally, I still need to continue working on proper feedback. I need to focus on saying students names each time, and provide more specific and congruent feedback relating to the cues given.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Explorer Scavenger Hunt

The scavenger hunt activity was an interesting idea. I enjoyed the idea of leaving the gymnasium with a group, while still remaining in contact with the teacher. It was nice being able explore new scenery with out small groups in order to accomplish a task. Another aspect of the lesson that I liked was the incorporation of imagination and creativity, with the teachers wearing accessories and refering to each other with different names in order to go along with the theme of the lesson. This is something that would be really cool to include in future lessons. Interdisciplinary teaching is a benefitial strategy in developing a student's educational potential. Students learn best in different ways, and many would understand concepts better if also taught through the physical in fun and interesting ways. Faculty should work together to provide a variety of opportunities for students to learn. While the effort to include technology in this lesson was commendable, I feel like it may have taken away from the activity. Many times it took too long for the groups to receive the text message giving them their next clue. Too much time was spent standing in wait for the next message, and because of this I think the heart rates of the class was lower than expected. Also, there was no incentive for the groups to put as much effort in completing the tasks as they could. It could have been better if we knew how many clues there were and tried to be the first group back, or a competition of some sort.

Korfball Lesson 2- Shooting

I was really nervous about this lesson. Before class, my partner and I made Korfball baskets by duct taping plastic baskets, with the bottom cut out, onto volleyball poles. I was certain that, with my luck, the baskets we made would fall apart after a few times shooting. Fortunatly, this was not the case and every basket managed to make it through the entire lesson and, overall, I feel that the lesson went well. A nice element that we included, which helped get the students into activity, was starting off the class with free shooting. The students had the opportunity to try shooting on the baskets in any way they saw fit before we taught them the proper techniques. It also let them get a feel for the basket, as well as allow us as teachers to assess the students initial level of skill. Another aspect of our lesson that I thought worked well was the incorporation of the affective domain, asking students to encourage one another and give high fives. Although it may seem a little silly, the students seemed to get into it and I feel it made the activities more enjoyable. In the end they each received a reward for their good behavior. I feel that this lesson was my best performance in teaching and giving feedback to the students. A reason for this is because I was teaching and helping the students with a skill that they have never done before. I was a little nervous prior to teaching because my lesson plans for the day was changed last minute, and i had to teach activities that I didn't expect to teach. Also, our length of teaching time was increased so we had more time to fill. The activities went well though. Something I need to work on, however, is speaking loudly so that my instructions can be heard by everyone in the gym. When I did the activity of the race for the first team to make ten successful shots, I should have specified that I would be the person to announce when the race began. At the time I thought that the class would understand without me saying, but it was not the case. Another improvement that could be made is, although I hate to say it, my visual aids. In the future, my classroom rules should have a larger and more easily read font. Furthermore, I feel that I would benefit from using names more when I give feedback.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Korfball Lesson 1

For lab C, we were assigned partners and given the task of choosing a sport with an international background to teach. The sport that we chose to teach was Korfball, which is a game that is similar to basketball. Korball differs from basketball in a variety of ways, yet one of the main differences is ball movement. The ball can only move up the court through passing, and because of this . Because of this, my partner and I decided to begin our series of lessons by focusing on passing skills. Reflecting on our lesson, I feel that there were several elements that could have been improved. We had a safety statement planned yet forgot to say it to the class prior to activity. Also, I realized that having the class gather closer each time I speak is a waste of class time. Instead, I should tell the class to freeze and speak loudly for everyone to hear. Another thing that needed improvement was the visual aids that we made. They needed to be larger for everyone to see, and in color so that they were more appealing to the eye. Furthermore, a difficulty I noticed that I have when giving feedback is that I often forget students names on the spot. I know the names but my mind goes blank on the spot. Because of this, I often don't say names when giving the feedback.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Frisbee Lesson

My Frisbee lesson did not go very well at all. Prior to teaching, I felt that I was prepared for the lesson and was excited to teach the class. However, when I got to class, I found out that I was not teaching in the environment that I predicted. Rather than teaching in the gym, I was to teach in the field house. This change threw me off completely, as I was not prepared to make the adjustments necessary for the difference. I had to create different goal areas than I had originally intended to with only the materials that I had reserved. This improvisation was very difficult for me, and I was not prepared to control a class that was more spread out. On top of this, some students were absent and as a result my plans for even groups was ineffective. I could have done 2 on 2 games rather than 3 vs 2. Furthermore, I was overly conscious of the fact that my voice was being recorded. I was so worried about saying extraneous words such as "um" and "uh" that I actually said them more. I wasn't very natural in my interactions with the class because I was nervous about what I would hear on the recording. With this lesson I realized that I need to not over-think things and be prepared for anything. I can't rely on things going exactly as I plan.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Second Time Teaching

The second time we taught in class, each of us kept our same partners and repeated the same lesson as our first. With this, I feel that I improved but not as much as I would have liked to. Taking what we learned from class, my partner and I decided to change the activity that the students would be doing. Rather than having the students shoot on a basket, which might illicit self consciousness, we had them each take a basketball and shoot against the wall. This way, they were all active the entire activity. We also improved by giving only a few cues for the students to focus on. We wanted the students to first focus on proper hand placement on the ball, and a proper stance. Then, when shooting against the wall we had them focus on following through. A problem I think we had with the lesson was that the activity was very simple and did not allow for much constructive feedback since each student was able to easily perform the task. The activity sort of became boring rather quickly. Also, my partner and I wound up on opposing sides of the gym and because of this did not have communication for when to stop the activity. I didn't know how much time he needed in respect to the students that I was dealing with. With this lesson I realized that I had difficulty giving feedback to students, especially when they all perform the task with ease. I found it difficult to pretend that my peers were my students.