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Monthly Archives: February 2013

It’s Not Entirely Innovative to Include Technology in PE Apparently (EPE)

Upon beginning this technology journey in an EPE class, I thought that it was the least likely subject to include technology in! However, I have come to value not only the benefit of technology for teachers teaching Physical Education, but in this blog post on Participaction, I found the value that technology can have for students in Phys Ed, too!

Photo Credit: Daveblog via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Daveblog via Compfight cc

Reflecting on my own physical literacy, physical activity, and self-education of all things exercise, I came to realize that I use technology frequently. Whether this is a video to learn how to safely execute a movement, digital plans that help me create a healthy workout plan for my body and current fitness level, networking through web pages to find a dragon boat team, or an app on my iPhone to keep track of the distance I’ve run, there are many ways that I use technology. So why can’t students?

The article that I mentioned earlier is great at including apps that can be used with students in a Physical Education classroom. I believe it really allows you to imagine the possibilities that you could incorporate into Phys Ed that make the learning truly lifelong and meaningful for students. The apps are awesome, and would absolutely engage students. Check it out! However, I question how practical some of these might be, and especially in early elementary. Do you agree or disagree? How might they be adapted to use in these younger grades, if they are not entirely appropriate for young students?

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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in EPE 310

 

Handy-Dandy University Items (URG)

Welcome back, fellow students! I hope everyone is rejuvenated for the last quarter of your year! I don’t know if it is just me or what, but with the sunny weather, I am beginning to feel the spring fever setting in! I am planning a unit to teach my Grade 2 pre-intern class, and have optimistically inserted a few days of lessons out in the playground!

Photo Credit: Shereen M via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Shereen M via Compfight cc

However, now with this springy weather, I have started thinking about all of the high school grads coming up and gifts I need to purchase. I had no idea where to start and could not clearly remember what my best gifts had been when I graduated. I decided to share some of the ideas at a variety of prices that I have come up with. If you don’t have all of these things, maybe think of investing in them! They are super practical!

  1. Large Ziploc bags (SO versatile—leftovers, take to school with school supplies or lunch, store receipts, and so much more)
  2. USB sticks (If you’re anything like me, you can always use these. They have neat animals and cartoon characters and everything in between. I have two in my desk, one in my backpack, and one for work.)
  3. First Aid Kit (Get a little creative! When you go home next, go through the medicine cabinet and pull out bits of everything you might need. Medicine is expensive, and as I’m sure you’ve already found out, Mom isn’t around to go get that Gravol for you anymore, so it is nice to have a few pills on hand when you get sick at 2 AM so you don’t have to venture out. Besides, you don’t need the whole bottle of Ibuprofen or the whole box of Q-tips or Band-Aids. Just snag a few from home!)
  4. Keurig or Tassimo machine. (Yes, I always claimed I wasn’t a coffee drinker, too. University tends to change that…)
  5. Fan (If you live in residence, you know it can be boiling hot and you have little say in the matter. Or, you may have noisy roommates and a fan is a great way of drowning out the noise.)
  6. Gift cards (coffee shop, your favourite store, Wal-Mart, university bookstore, etc. While these are great for new high school grads, they are great for you, too. When you have a surplus of money after holidays, birthdays, or summer employment, consider purchasing a few gift cards for yourself so that you have them when you are running low on cash and need a little treat. Don’t go crazy– $20 will suffice!)
 
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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in University Success

 

February Break- Enjoy! (URG)

Yay! It’s that time of year! Are you heading off to a hot locale? Or a ski holiday? Home-cooked meals? Or sweats and catch-up homework time? Making some extra cash?

February break is a week in which each of us does something slightly different. Thus, it’s a time to prioritize and customize! You’re not going to be able to do everything. So, what do you think is going to make the biggest difference and de-stress you the most going into the rest of the semester? Is it to be caught up (or ahead) on all

Photo Credit: 96dpi via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: 96dpi via Compfight cc

of your homework? Or is it to finally take a breath and re-energize with family and friends? You need to make that decision. Oftentimes it’s a mix of both. But the main goal is: come back ready for the rest of the semester.

My best suggestion:Go through all of your course schedules and syllabi and make a list—when are all of your assignments, exams, meetings, commitments, and other assorted things due? Whether that’s in a list or in a calendar, write them down. Don’t forget to put the percentage of each in brackets beside it (so that you don’t stress over an assignment worth 5% when you have an exam later that week worth 40%– you shouldn’t necessarily be prioritizing by date). Now you can see the rest of your semester and know for certain what needs to get done when.

Happy holidaying!

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2013 in University Success

 

G.Y.M. Explorations (EPE)

This week I attended G.Y.M. nights and figured it would be the perfect inspiration for a blog post. I was not mistaken! The children had stations that they worked through with their parents this week. There were a couple of things that I noted by playing with especially the youngest of the children:

  1. It’s neat to watch children interact with their parents. You learn a lot (granted, not everything, so I tried to refrain from making judgments or jumping to conclusions) about a family’s dynamics and the way they raise their children.

For example, two children had both of their parents actively participating with them. Their parents encouraged them to throw the balls in creative ways and challenged them to try new movements. The kids were entirely engaged and evidently developing in their movements to a great extent. This makes a huge difference in how these children will grow up and develop as movers.

  1. The youngest of movers do not lack confidence! They still believe they can do everything! Emily and I were showing one little guy how to throw a Frisbee at the tin pie plates. We both missed. A few

    times..! Anyway, he says, “Oh, that’s easy! Watch how I do it!” He was just as close as we were, but I don’t think that would have mattered one way or another to him. He was just determined to do it. That attitude is contagious, and exactly what we want to see from our little movers.

  2. On the contrary though, one of the older children, no matter what she did would say, “I just can’t do it. I don’t know how.” It didn’t matter what she did (or what I said or did for her), she had no confidence. She was just as capable as the other little boy I was working with, but was having a terrible time because of her outlook. I don’t know about her experiences in Phys Ed or with physical activity, but is there any way we could change this child’s negative perspective? What would you do for her in a Phys Ed class? My thought would be to provide situations for her that ensure she is successful to start with, as well as create a very safe, open environment that accepts mistakes as good learning.

I think we have a lot to learn from these little movers. Have you learned something truly inspiring or helpful from a child that you’d like to share with us to lighten everyone’s day?

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in EPE 310

 

Summer Employment (URG)

Hello everyone,

So, we’re close to the final stretch before February break! How crazy is that?

Anybody starting to think of summer yet? After this last month of freezing weather, I’m going to think you’re lying if you say no.

If you’re in your first year of university, this will be your first stab at applying for extended summer employment for May through August. A couple of things that I’ve found to be important to keep in mind during this process:

  1. Start hunting now. The Government of Saskatchewan, many camps (Salvation Army Beaver Creek Camp and Camp Easter Seal, for example), and other organizations have posted jobs already at this point.
  2. They get funding to hire you as a university student, so there are good opportunities. Keep searching. You don’t have to babysit for the summer to scrape by (if you don’t want to! Personally, babysitting sounds awesome, but..!).
  3. Network. Go to the Spring Career Fair. Talk to the adults in your life (parents, profs, mentors, etc) to see what kinds of positions they have available for summer students. Many jobs are unlisted or difficult to find if you’re just searching online.
  4. If you don’t know where to start, try the Job Searching Career session. It’s a good start.
Photo Credit: dhammza via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: dhammza via Compfight cc

I worked at a camp for the last three summers and loved every minute of it. My predominant consideration for a summer job was for it to be something I loved, was meaningful for me, was fun, outdoors, and was great experience for my future career. Money was less of a concern, so that’s how I chose my job. However, realize what your priorities have to be, and work around that. It will be unrealistic to apply for everything, so make some criteria for yourself before you start.

Have fun and enjoy the images of sunshine and no homework! Or maybe you’re taking summer classes…? 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in University Success

 

Welfare Cuts Unless Your Child is Succeeding in School? (EPE)

Today I wanted to blog about something not directly related to Physical Education classes, but hugely influential for teachers, students, and parents.

I listen to an American radio station online and this week one of their news stories was about the fight to pass a bill that would tie welfare payments to student achievement in Tennessee. It is a controversial bill, to say the least.

Republican state Sen. Stacey Campfield claims that it would not be excessive—parents would not be penalized if their child was merely struggling. The student only needs to maintain a D. The purpose is to encourage parental involvement in their children’s lives and schools. We do know that this helps students succeed. They could lose 20% if their child does not attend school and 30% of their welfare amount if they are not making “satisfactory progress.” This satisfactory progress requires success on standardized testing and advancement through the grades. The challenges of standardized tests for students from lower socio-economic families we are already too aware of. Is this the best route? Tennessee has one of the highest populations for welfare recipients in the U.S., so this would certainly affect many. This article concludes that, “Campfield does not have children.” Maybe his perspective would change if he did?
What do you think of this bill? What could be a solution to encouraging more parental involvement without threatening to take away welfare payments? If the bill were passed here, would you be tempted to give your students higher marks just so they could receive welfare if you knew their families were in those situations? Or would it merely challenge you to work harder to help that student learn?

Here’s a news clip of a school superintendent and the Sen. Stacey Campfield that presents both sides of the argument.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in EPE 310