Friday, October 28, 2011

Learning While Exercising

As I was watching some t.v. the other night, this commercial came on and caught my attention.  During my time at SUNY Cortland I was introduced to a new way of exercising, and that's through video games.  It's the newest way to incorporate the casual video games of sitting down and using a remote, with exercising like your actually playing the game.  Over the past years, exergames has become more popular, and able to put together more devices for schools and teachers to use.  During my 470 class, we were introduced to about 5 different video games that make the player exercise at the pace they would like, almost like a treadmill.  The first one that caught my eye was the boxing game which was similar to dance, dance revolution.  The game is the same, but instead of touching the floor board underneath you, you are connecting with the boxing bag on either the top, bottom, left or ride side.  Another game which caught my eye was the PlayStation bike.  The actual game in the PlayStation was a racing game, so as the bike peddles faster, the car moved faster.  After three laps, people were sweating and saying it was definitely a good workout.

The reason I posted this commercial is because it directly relates to what I have been doing in some of my classes during college.  Being able to let students try these new ideas and activities are great, but I feel like we need to do it at a younger age.  This young boy is learning new letters and numbers while riding a bike.  As he gets older, maybe exergames will be more attracting to him because he grew up playing games like this, rather than the classic sitting down video games.  With the obesity problem rising in this country, parents need to recognize what is better off for their kids.  Introducing these games at a young age could set them in the right track for the rest of there life.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bullying in schools

A major problem in today's school system is bullying. Students who are bigger or popular, think it's OK to make fun of another student. It's not just the high school setting where this is taking place, middle and elementary schools are having to deal with this as well. In some cases, it's in the younger age's where the students are most out of control. Playgrounds, hallways, parking lots, are all places that bullies can be which puts a lot of stress on that student who is being bullied. As teachers in that school, you need to be aware of what is going on between your students so they all can have the same chance to succeed academically. Along with bullying, there is now cyber-bullying which is the newest form for kids to torment other's in there class. Personally, I know about cyber-bullying from my little sister. While in sixth grade, she had students sending her messages on AOL and through e-mails saying harmful things about her and our family. Of course my mother printed out the messages and took them to the police where they handled the situation. It's little situation's like that, that can get out of control to the point where parents have to get involved because there child is being made fun of by classmates. At that age it is terrible to see how kids can act and treat other's just for joy.
Unfortunately, bullying is not a new issue, it has been around for decades if not longer. All over colleges (fraternities/ sororities), there is hazing and bullying as part of 'rituals' for students to be accepted. (Something I've never understood, but people do it) At the high school level, student on the varsity squad can pick on younger freshman in most cases. In this short video below, the news reporter shows two young men who were on the Valencia High School Football team, who sexually assaulted another teammate who was younger than them.

Why anybody would want to be harmful to there own teammate is beyond me. A team is supposed to be a unit, as in all together for the same cause, to achieve the same goal. Apparently this team had some issues, on and off the field that should have been recognized earlier from either coach's or faculty in the school. Once again, this is not only happening in this school. All across the country kids are being bullied, and adults are turning their head the other way. Another video that I came across was done from a middle school called Long Branch. I think it's neat how these kids got together to make a music video for something they believe in, and something that can definitely make a difference for young kids.
Schools across the country have to stand up and make a difference together, rather than trying to do it individually. Personally, I have seen bullying in schools first hand while doing my 255 experience at a high school in Putnam County. The child being picked on was a quiet kid, but while I was there, I made sure this student had a fun time in class and was not bothered by others. In that situation, students cannot concentrate to their full potential because they are constantly thinking about what the bully is going to do next. As a teacher, having the power to do something about it and not look the other way is part of our job. Hopefully in the future, bullying and hazing will be a rare occurrence if any at all.

Obesity in America

The hot topic for the American culture is now obesity. It has gotten so drastic that 9 million American students, which is around 30 percent of all children, are overweight or obese. The number is rising every year, yet the problem can be lessened with ways we already know such as exercising and eating healthy. Schools are a major issue with obesity, especially because less schools are beginning to not require physical education. According to the textbook, Teachers, Schools, and Society, only two percent of schools require physical education at the high school level. The pressure students have with test scores, getting into a good college, homework, etc, they need to be running around and getting out of there seats. Adding more classes to there schedule is only making it worse. The average person's sustained attention span is about twenty minutes. Having hours of classes, back to back cannot be helpful without the child mixing in some lunch, recess or physical activity. The problem is not the child, rather what they are taught growing up such as what to eat, wear or how to act. At a young age, commercials, dolls, action figures, toys and lots more, are attractive to kids because that's what they want to be. They give off an appeal that kids want to become or look like, which can have an effect on them later in life.
While watching the movie Super Size Me with Morgan Spurlock, they went to a different high schools and examined the types of food in each school cafeteria. The first couple he went to, they served all kinds of unhealthy foods, and a wide variety of snack foods and ice cream's that these student's could choose from. As most young kids would do, they choose the unhealthy foods that taste good to them. One of the last schools they went to, had an amazing cafeteria for a high school. The foods were all made fresh daily by the people working there, and there were limited unhealthy choices for the students to make. When interviewing teachers and faculty, they said there was a change in the students attitudes and even there school work. This isn't the case for the rest of the nation, but if one school can do it, i believe the rest can too.
Below is a video that discusses some of the problems with obesity in this country. It also discusses a way that neighborhoods can make the right decisions by eating at healthy places such as the one in this video.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I know it's a little late, but I wanted to do a post on breast cancer awareness month. Over the past 10-15 years, the color pink has become more known for breast cancer than anything else I can think of. I think it's very important for people to realize how much of an impact this disease has on people in this country. Breast cancer is the most common source for women in the United States, aside from skin cancer. "According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States this year." However, in today's society, there are approximatley 2.5 million survivors from breast cancer. The advertising they do for breast cancer is everywhere, which is why I believe they are so many survivors. It's neat to see how sports teams supports it as well such as football. Players wear pink gloves, socks, shoes and more to show their support. The picture on the left is reggie bush wearing pink wrist bands and gloves. The picture on the top right, is a New York Giants football player getting tackles is the end zone. During the game I noticed that the end zone was outlined in pink which was interesting because not many teams in the league do that, if any at all.
Breast cancer is a deadly disease that is divided into two main categories; noninvasive cancers and invasive cancers. The noninvasive cancer does not spread to the surrounding tissue, while invasive does spread. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death to women, behind lung cancer. As a male, my chances are significantly lower, but it does occur in men around 60- 70 years of age. The movement that the NBCAM (National Breast Cancer Awareness Month) has done to promote awareness and educate the public is amazing. Most of the information I have talked about is from Support breast cancer awareness month!

Monday, October 17, 2011

NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children)

After reading chapter 3, I decided to search the web for some more information on diversity in schools. The more I know about cultures in schools, the easier it will b for me to adapt my lesson's and really understand these students. I came across the NAEYC from a PBS website that has a few articles related to cultural diversity in the classroom. In these articles they try to give teachers and parents ideas that can help with different languages and finding a connection between school and home. I encourage others to read any articles that they find interesting because there are some great ideas there.

Once I read through the articles, I found a link which led me to the homepage for the NAEYC. Searching through this site, I found tons of resources that can be used if you are in an elementary setting. Whether teaching physical education or any other subject, learning about the way young children learn and some of there characteristics will help to teach them correctly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


As most people know, America has become an extremely diverse country over the past century. More schools are becoming diverse with children from all over the world. The question is, are schools adapting there ways to accommodate ESL students, and others so they can succeed? According to our textbook, 'Hispanic, Native American, and African American students score consistently lower on standardized tests than do their Asian and white classmates.' 'In Houston, Oakland, Cleveland, and New York, with large populations of poor and students of color, between 60 and 70 percent of the students do not graduate high school.' This problem can become worse as time goes on if schools do not start making their tests and curriculum to fit these students. There are several theories that explain why some students do good in school, and why others struggle. The deficit theory discusses how students struggle due to social or linguistic problems. Not all students speak English as there first language, so this puts them at a disadvantage for reading and writing. The expectation theory states that students do poorly because there teachers do not expect much from certain racial and ethnic groups. The teacher will teach these students differently thinking they are doing the right thing, but in reality they are making it worse. If the student does poorly on the test, the teacher believes it's because they are from a certain racial or ethnic group. The last theory is called the cultural difference theory which tries to explain how academic problems can be fixed it we study the cultural gap between the students home life, and their life at school. If I had to choose a theory based on which decreases the students chances to succeed, it would be the deficit theory. While doing my 256 field experience at Brewster High School in Putnam County, I got the chance to observe a former ESL student. Both of her parents were from separate, Spanish speaking countries, and raised their children to speak Spanish because that was the only language they knew at the time. She went on to tell me how it was hard growing up trying to learn a new language, and at the same time trying to learn what the class was learning. As a teacher, you have to be aware of the student's in your class, and adjust or modify the lesson so these students can succeed as well.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why I chose Physical Education

It's easy to say that Phys. Ed was my favorite class throughout middle and high school. Everyday it was the only class i looked forward too, other than lunch, of course. Many times, I would find myself in the gym during my free period, playing in whatever class the teacher would let me in. In my high school, there were usually 2-3 teachers per period teaching a different thing. Usually there was one teacher in the weight room at all times, and the two other teachers were doing different sports. For me, just playing sports and being in that environment helped my day's go by quicker. The time I had during my Phys. Ed classes definitely influenced why I want to become a teacher. Being able to make students days better, like my teacher did to me is something that interests me and motivates me to become a better teacher. Obviously there was one teacher who influenced me the most, but I had a great relationship with all of them, so whomever was my teacher for the year, it didn't matter to me.
Another person who I believe inspired me in my little sister. She was born when I was eight years old. She was born with a disability so the doctors always told my parents her physical activity would be limited. As she got older, I was able to help her improve her loco motor skills to the next level. Knowing that I was the one helping her (along with my parents and brother) made me feel good about myself. As she got even older, I was able to help her with the sports they were doing in the 'regular' physical education class. For years she was put in the adapted physical education class, but this year the teacher is willing to help accommodate her so she can participate with her friends in the class. All along I knew she was capable of being in the class she wanted, and I'm happy to see that a teacher is willing to work with her so that she can succeed in physical education. To me, that's a great accomplishment seeing my sister be happy, and be able to be physically active after all she has been through.
As a teacher, I feel like you have the ability to impact so many students lives. While in raquette lake this past summer, we were doing our night activity when our leader told us a story about his physical education class. He wanted to make a point to his students who truly influences there lives and there future. He had several questions such as: List the last five American idol winner, the last five super bowl, mlb, NBA champions, the last 5 winners on survivor, and a few other questions along those line. The last question on the test was list your teachers starting from kindergarten. What he found was that all of his students could name there teachers, and not answer the rest of the questions. His point was simply that teachers are the ones who influence our lives, and everything else going on around the world that we think is important, and influencing our life, is really not as important as we think. I thought that was the coolest was to prove to students who has an influence on there life, and definitely plan on using that at some point in my career.