Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Lost Boys - Cortland Club Gymnastics

Everybody has something in their lives that they pour countless hours into because they love it. They make sacrifices everyday just to do it and they miss it when it's not there.

For me, club gymnastics has been a place where I can express myself and continue my studies as a student of movement.

This year was the first year we had more guys attending practice on average then we did girls. For us it isn't necessarily about impressing anyone or even doing crazy tricks, it's all about progression.

We spent about a month filming this video and I can't believe how amazing it turned out! Everyone contributed so much to it that I can't thank them enough.

In the future I plan on writing a blog post on Parkour and how it could be practical to teach in a physical education classroom.

For now enjoy the video, The Lost Boys (Part 1 of Warriors Against Time)

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Journey Through Time With The Sommersaults


First off, what is a Sommersault?

The term was originated by SUNY Cortlands very own Jack Murphy in 2010 when he first met the now infamous David Sommer. Dave received the first ever Student Spotlight title in the Park Center Enquirer (Jack's newly created PE Newsletter)

After receiving this award Dave now became David Sommer Freshman Spotlight. (Which my Mom still refers to him as to this day) The problem was though that most people, including myself, pronounced Dave's last name incorrectly. Instead of pronouncing it like "Summer" the "o" threw every one off and made it pronounced more like "Homer" (Fill in the S in front of Homer)

After finding this out Jack was enraged and started making new nicknames for the Freshman Spotlight including David Sommersault. This quickly became one of our favorite spins on Dave's name and leads us into this past semester of 201.

The Formation

It was the first lab of 201 that we were at St. Mary's and Professor Yang asked us at the end to choose a group. Immediately Dave looked at me and I knew right away he would be in my group, but because Kyle and Hannon were moving to Wednesday lab we needed one more for our group. I didn't even know Mallory but figured I might as well ask her to be in our group because she looked just about as lost as we were. and...BOOM. The Sommersaults were born*. Sorry, this part of the story isn't very climactic but it gets better.

*Actually this is a lie. We chose the name Sommersaults at the first practice lab (Described below) and I will explain later why the Sommersaults was a perfect name, thanks to one of my favorite hobbies.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ice Cream Cones Found Their Place in P.E.

For the second week in a row my group, The Sommersaults, had the privilege of working with the preschoolers! I love working with the pre-k because they are so full of creativity and imagination. If you get them engaged they are willing to listen and to play. It's not easy, but if you get their attention and keep it I guarantee the experience you have will be positive.

This week I actually got to do my craft with the students. We become Pirates and built our very own treasure chests! (Compliments of Corey Union)

I tried to the draw the pre-k kids in by asking them a string of questions like this, "Does everyone know what a pirate is?" "Where do Pirates live?" "What do Pirates love?" After the last question I received the word "GOLD!" from one of the students, so I then asked the question, "Where do Pirates keep their gold?" Immediately all the students shouted, "their treasure chest!"

At that moment I brought out the treasure chest I had already made at my dorm room and explained what they would be doing. It was simple, I gave them each a certain number of Crayons and asked them to write/draw whatever they want wherever they wanted on the box. I was amazed to see how focused they were the whole time. Out of the ten students who made one there was only one student, who was sitting next to me, who didn't feel like participating. So instead of asking him to color his own I asked him to help me or give me ideas of what I should draw on my chest. This seemed to work a lot better and he seemed to enjoy himself after that.

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Adventure Through Lava...With Sunshine and Smiles

We couldn't have asked for a better day at St. Mary's for Lab 5! The sun was out and shining bright, the students were well behaved and ready to play, and all my classmates (from 201) had high energy!

At first we went right outside to the playground to play with the pre-schoolers. Personally, I think pre-schoolers are a lot of fun because their imaginations are constantly working and making up games to play, and scenarios to act out. For me, I love to jump in and use m imagination and start adding on to their games and playing with them.

 In this picture we were playing hide-n-go-seek.

Let's just say I was way to big to fit anywhere to actually hide.

As the time went by on the playground I was impressed by my peers as I watched them playing games of tag, hide-n-go-seek, princess, "Don't touch the ground it's lava", and many other games and scenarios. Everyone was smiling and laughing and having a good time and it is good to see that everyone was enjoying themselves and working well with the children.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It takes 8 to Tango?

This past monday we were able to learn more about the Exergaming lab here at SUNY Cortland. This was my first real experience with using the equipment, learning how it works, and seeing the benefit of it first hand. 

My experience monday makes me want to get back in the lab right away to develop ideas to use the equipment in the classroom.

One thing that I have seen in classrooms before, even in my hometown, is the use of DDR, or Dance Dance Revolution. But I have never seen a system like the one that Professor Yang has in the Exergaming lab. 8 Wireless dance pads are set up to a computer which plays a DDR like game that is projected on the wall for everyone to see! 

We played multiple different levels from Regular, to hard, to Expert. (Expert was not a good idea) After two or three songs I was sweating, smiling, and having a blast! I think that DDR would be a good way to get students engaged in class because is has upbeat music, enhances coordination, and provides a system of "Challenge by choice" 

Students can easily see a breakdown of how they played. Whether they stomped the pad late, early, or on time to the music, or how many notes in a row they hit. They can challenge themselves by seeing if they can better their high score on a song, or they can also try harder levels and more difficult songs. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Sommersaults: Head, Neck, and Body

The Sommersaults released their music video to their hit single "Head, Neck, and Body" and the response has been incredible.

Check out our Soundcloud and download the song for your iPod today!

The Sommersaults will be performing LIVE this week in PED 201. Stay tuned to see the live broadcast and video to follow.

Lay Ups and Hang Ups in Lab 4

Okay so it is safe to say that all the older boys at St. Mary's could play Basketball every day and be happy. I thought that by making a game that involved dribbling would be of interest to them. So I started off my lesson by saying that we were going to play a game "like" basketball but as soon as they realized that they wouldn't be shooting only dribbling one of the boys looks at me and says, "This isn't basketball at all."

I didn't know how to respond to that statement and that student ended up not playing the game. To me that was a huge failure because I had the opportunity to keep him in the game but I didn't think fast enough on my feet to draw the student back in.

Thinking on my feet is something I need to be more aware of, especially in the language I use when explaining a game to children. If expressed the wrong way they could lose interest, but it doesn't work smoothly all the time and now I will be aware of the fact that I need to re phrase my instructions.

Take a look at my Lab 4 analysis here.