Tuesday, December 14, 2010

EDU 255 Final

After watching this video I was able to respond to questions related to it. 

Part 1B
1 )  The web-site is from Toronto ON, Canada.  The school is located in Southern Saskatoon, Canada.  There is also another school mentioned which is in Naperville, USA (near Chicago). 
2 )  I thought this news piece was extremely interesting.  Like the teacher says in the clip, that it’s hard to believe that this actually works unless you are there to witness it, which it is.  Seeing that one of her students increased in the comprehensive area by 400% is incredible.  There is always a lot of talk about how exercise stimulates thinking in the brain but I have never actually seen where the results are so obvious.  The teacher even says that the four months before the exercise program even started there was no increase in academics at all until this program.  It’s amazing how just one simple thing of exercising at a certain heart rate for 20 minutes can have such a benefit on young children who have never had the interest or ability to do school work. 
3 )  We probably don’t hear about this experiment because school is based around the academic portion o f learning.  If there is exercise in the classroom, people will not relate that to the academic success of the school but the ability of the teacher to have the students comprehend what she is teaching.  I will make sure that my PE program will benefit the students and faculty of the school by going outside what I already know and find out ways to help students achieve what they want through physical activity.  This could be not only doing physical activity during the class but also incorporating subjects such as math, science, and history in order to stimulate the brain.  It obviously works when putting physical activity and education together as one and this is my first step in making sure that my PE program is effective. 
4 )  The benefits of this program, I thought, were incredible.  One of the students increased his comprehensive level by 400% along with increasing other areas.  These students were also proven to have increased an entire grade level, which for these students is a huge success when they were starting at a grade 4 level.  With one of the students, when he first came into the program he sounded like he had many life issues and had a bad set path for the rest of his life.  After this program had occurred, this student was starting to think about his future and did he really want to be one of those drug addicts that he’s used to seeing.  One of the other students that cursed a lot and didn’t like many people also made quite a turn-around in his attitude about the material being taught to him.  So the program has proof of shaping students and increasing their academic ability.  I wasn’t really surprised by their findings because I have heard from previous experience that exercise can change a person intellectually and as a person.  These changes relate quite closely with PE Standards, such as for Standards 1A and 1B, students are now able to do basic movement skills and create a fitness plan outside of class to continue their progress.  For Standard 2, there was an obvious change in the student’s attitude and behavior in school in a positive fashion.  These students made the first step in changing their lives around just by using this plan.  For Standard 3, the students took their knowledge outside the classroom to home where they convinced their parents to eat healthier and exercise more. 
5 )  BDNF is a growth factor for the brain which acts like a fertilizer on parts of the brain.  It also helps preserve the nerve cells, make them stronger, and deals with stress.  To increase BDNF, you have to exercise at a certain level for a specific time.  One of the books mentioned in the clip that supports these findings is called “Spark” by Dr. John Ratey.  The other book that supports this thesis is “The Kinesthetic  Classroom” by Traci Lengel and Mike Kuczala.

Part 1C
There are plenty of skills listed in the packet which students should be able to be recreational competent in 6 activities and proficient in 3 in 3 different activity categories.  With all of the activities listed, students should be able to find these activities/skills that they can strive in and that interests them.  If students aren’t finding these activities/skills then we as physical educators are not doing our job.  We need to relate the activities/skills to the person specifically.  I feel that’s what Professor Yang did in our EDU 255 class where in Lab C he allowed us to pick an international sport and for Lab D he gave us something we probably never would have thought we were going to teach in the class.  I think the recommended regents level for NYS Learning Standard 1A should be 90%.  There is no reason that at the 12th grade level cannot achieve these standards.  The only reason that this is not 100% is that some students just can’t do the skill/activity.  They have their reason’s but most others should be able to do this. 
I feel that when looking at NYS Learning Standard 1B, 100% of 12th grade students should be able to be competent in creating a fitness plan.  Maybe students can’t actually perform all of the skills needed but they need to be able to create a fitness plan specifically to their own needs which they can follow.  Students need to be able to see their weakness’s and know how to strive to increase that ability.  They also need to realize how to make themselves healthier and skillful by making set plans to increase that level.  This is a skill that will hopefully never end and people will strive to make these self-specific fitness plans for the rest of their lives to continue to stay healthy and enjoy a better life. 

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