Thursday, May 14, 2009

Professional Portfolio Presentations

Last Monday, May 4th the Physical Education department hosted it's presentation of the best portfolios from the senior class of 2009 at Park Center. This was a great oppertunity for me as a Physical Education major, who is early in the program, to get a good look at what I should model my professional portfolio after. The presentation was from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm which gave me enough time to look at multiple portfolios. I didn't, however, have enough time to look at all the portfolios, but I did have a chance to look at some of the best ones.

I was able to look at portfolios from: Alicia Thomas, Richard Rolo, Caitlin Cruschow, John Fresetch, Jonathan Billing, Kevin Tripp, and Mallory Cogen. Every portfolio was impressive but there were some aspects of different ones that I liked. For example, Alicia Thomas' included many pictures which really added and showed that she had experience. It's one thing to just have a resume that says you have experience but to show pictures of yourself teaching really adds to it. I also liked how Mallory Cogen put time into making creative dividers for each NASPE/NCATE Standards. I liked how John Fesetch color coded his Standards with different color card stock so that you easily knew what section you were in.

Also, Kevin Tripp had a very impressive resume that caught the eye with a red border and Cortland logo. If I was an employer with an opening and was going through resumes to narrow down the candidates, Kevin's resume would catch my eye and make me take a second look at him. Finally I really liked Jonathan Billing's portfolio. You could tell that he took the time to make the graphics for his dividers and his cover art. It really put his portfolio above the others.

What I learned from talking to the different students who were presenting their portfolios was that I need to save everything. I need to save not only hard copies but also back up the computer files as well. Richard Rolo mentioned that I should create a folder on my computer for pieces of work that I want to put in the portfolio and keep everything organized by what semester I took the classes in. Luckily I already do this, but I still need to make a backup copy by burning the files onto a cd and keeping them seperate.

Overall it was a good experience for me observing the portfolios and I will attend future presentations so that I can continue to develop my portfolio and hopefully be presenting mine to faculty, staff, and students when I'm a senior.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Spanish Infused PE.. Olé!

Last week I took advantage of a free workshop that was offered on campus. It was infusing the Spanish language into your PE class. I found this workshop very informative and useful. Spanish is a language spoken by many children in our education system. I'm sure at some point in my teaching career I will run into some student who does not speak english, especially if I work in an urban school. Most likely the student will speak Spanish so this workshop was very helpfull.

The workshop was taught by Dr. Luis Columna with the help of some Physical Education students, some who spoke Spanish and came from a different cultural background, and some who spoke very little Spanish. It showed how we could play games and use activities that we already will use in our class, and incorporate some simple Spanish in it.

The first activity we did was working with a parachute. We learned 4 colors (Red - Rojo, Green - Verde, Blue - Azul, and Yellow - Amarillo). We also learned some basic movement words such as Running - Corre, Jump - Salta, etc. The object of the activity was for the caller to call out a color and a movement. Then everyone lifted the parachute up and if you were holding on to that color you had to do that movement to a different spot underneath the parachute. It was fun, and a great way to start developing the colors and movements we would use again in the future.

The next activity was a dance where we learned how to count to four and directions (left and right). It was also a cultural dance which was interesting. The next station was a type of human board game with many different activities to do. It again inforced the movement skills in Spanish. Next was a handball game and then a modified baseball game. These taught us how to say overhand and underhand throw (por arriva and por abajo respectively).

The following activity taught us movement concepts such as circle (cirulo). Finally we ended by playing Omnikin ball in spanish using the colors again. It was a great way to get everyone involved in the final activity as because of numbers many people weren't able to participate in some of the activities.

The most informative part of the workshop was at the end when Dr. Columna put everything into perspective for us. He said it didn't matter what language the student speaks that's in your class. If you learn a few simple words, it's not that much work, and it will mean the world to the student. It must be hard not speaking english and by just including a few simple words the students see that you really do care about them learning and about them fitting in with the class.

Finally I found the handouts that came with the workshop helpful. They not only included more words in spanish but also mentioned about deaf students in the classes. I have already taken ASL at my community college, but it is still interesting to learn about the impact of just including a few simple words and spending minimal time doing so, has on these students.

It's definately something I will keep in mind in the future as I begin teaching.