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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dream The Art of Possibility

Benjamin Zander at Pop!Tech 2008: How Fascinating!

Benjamin Zander is indeed a Maestro in every sense. As the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, he lives and breathes his mantra of "The Art of Possibility" which opposes the tide of negativity, conformity, and the downward spiral. The question is, how will you "move" people into the world of "Possibility" and "take them to a place they couldn't reach without you?"

Describe in detail which "Rockstar" essential teaching elements that Zander demonstrates in his motivational speech? Be sure to include: a) at least five elements, b) with each element describe what Zander said or did, and c) what the effect was on the audience or the student.

Compare and contrast your teaching style and technique to Zander's. Can you describe in detail two elements you covered in your Lab C or D and three of Zander’s teaching elements/techniques you want to be able to do by the end of your 256 experience. How will these changes in your teaching affect your communication style, student learning, overall growth towards being an outstanding leader, and reduce student misbehavior?

[Via Presentation Zen, TED Talks, Benjamin Zander, ]

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Motor development skits (Part 2)

Here is the second batch of class presentations from Motor Development - infant development (reflexes, fundamental motor skills, and perception).

Skit #1 "Push It" by Bart, Efraim, Mindy & Julie

Skit #2 "Fresh Prince" by John, Matt, Matt, & Rich

Skit #3 "Monster Mash" by Russ, Kaitlyn, Amanda & Andie

And here is the rest of it.

Alphabet Re-Mix

Teaching well requires you to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. The alphabet serves as a perfect example of an activity you can do to make it extra spicy. Even on Sesame Street, the simple alphabet plays an integral part of the overall mission of the TV series. And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Motor development skits (Part 1)

Here are the class presentations from Motor Development on infant development (reflexes, fundamental motor skills, and perception).

Skit #4 "ABC" by Julie, Brittany, Eric & Joe

Skit $5 "Every breath" by Care, Ryan & Sarah

Skit #6 "ChaChaSlide" by Melissa, Dan, Jason & Kris

And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

No Limits - Hardcore Sitting

Abigail Branson sees not limits in what she can do. As a teacher you will have to find ways to help your students learn no matter what their level of ability. Listen how positive she is and how compelled and inspired her parents are to help and advocate for others with spina bifida SB. Where and how are you building your students competence (perceived or real), self-confidence, and above all self-concept. Are you providing motivating environments and engaging tasks that are developmentally appropriate for your students or is everyone supposed to do the same thing? Which is the better way to help your students? It takes work. No one said that teaching is easy. You have to have heart, dedication and be willing to put the time in to find ways to reach your students. It's all about them. No go out and find inspiration, be inspired, and most of all be inspirational. Carpe Diem!

Aaron enters the Guiness Book of World Records. Congrats Aaron!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Taking time to be with or remember our loved ones is the essence of Thanksgiving. As teachers, we should also be thankful of the plentiful resources available for all levels and disciplines. Some of the free resources and online guides that I've neglected to feature include: Lifehacker - most popular top 10's of 2008 - Persuade people subconsciously, Chris Brogan - social media master gives you 50 ways to take your blog to the next level, send text messages via e-mail, Think Anatomy, Zamar, Gizmodo's post on video formats, NYT article on reaching teens with autism, GTD-free is a personal TODO/action manager inspired by GTD (Getting Things Done) method by David Allen (see David Allen & Co. official site), Pazera - audio extractor, Audicity - free open-source all-purpose audio editor, Gmail Drive Config - mount more than one Gmail account as a remote disk drive Excel Chart Advisor, Busuu , Frengly, and Mango - language learning sites. Given the plethora of free resources and the ease of online tools and social networking sites there really is no excuse for not learning new skills to help you become a Rockstar PE Teacher. To see previously featured resources that can help you and your students just click on the "resources" label in the right-hand column of this blog and you'll find stuff for nutrition, physical activity, disability awareness, and many more topics.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Reading this short post further supports our hopes for you to become effective and powerful communicators as teachers and leaders. In Nagesh Belludi's blog you can find more tips on how to make an impact in all that you do.
In personal communication, the words of a speaker are just a part of his efforts to communicate.The pitch and tone of his voice, the speed and rhythm of the spoken word and the pauses between his words may express more than what is being communicated by words alone. Further, his gestures, posture, pose and expressions usually convey a variety of subtle signals. These non-verbal elements can present a listener with important clues to the speaker’s thoughts and feelings, thus substantiating or contradicting the speaker’s words.
As a teacher candidate/beginning teacher, you will need to communicate positively and clearly with many people. From your mentor teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, athletic directors, university supervisors, vice-principals, other faculty members, students, players, other coaches....the list goes on and on. Remember that communication not only involves the face-to-face encounters, but written documents, phone conversations, e-mails, faxes, text-messaging, instant messaging, and posts to social networking sites, websites, and blogs.
And here is the rest of it.
[Via Right Attitudes]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Just Trying to Fit In" - Standup Comic with Cerbral Palsy

Josh Blue says he's not naturally funny but he certainly doesn't look uncomfortable delivering his routines. Bringing awareness to people with disabilities is one of his main missions and I think he does a wonderful job of delivering his message. And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Utterli Utterlicious - Podcasting for health

Ate a cup of whole-wheat spaghetti and chicken marsala.

Mobile post sent by ExergameLab using Utterli. reply-count Replies.

Podcast your dining experiences! Upload photos of your meals and share delicious descriptions of the foods consumed.

If you enjoy your food, you'll be more mindful when you eat it. If you're mindful when you eat, you'll be conscious of what you're putting in your body. If you're conscious of what you're putting in your body, you'll be likely to choose healthier foods (most of the time, anyway.)
My exergaming colleague Biray Alsac (Befitt with Biray) showed me this website that allows you to upload audio, video, photos, and text to your Utterli account, which you can in turn share with your friends. Always the fitness "Maverick" of social networking, Befitt teaches her students how to use technology to assist their fitness and wellness plans. She created the Utterlicious month long podcast challenge to help us all be more mindful of what we eat. There have been many past research projects that made participants photograph everything they eat and many of them showed a change (at least in short-term) in eating patterns. But, isn't that what most of us in the health, recreation, wellness, fitness, physical activity, physical education, and therapy fields want for our be more mindful of our actions, bodies, thoughts, food as well as our impact on others and the environment.

Wouldn't it be nice (channeling some Beach Boys here) to have all the food you eat tracked using something like Utterli or one of the other mobile device. Once the meal is loaded to a website like CalorieLab, (featured elsewhere) the nutrition values would be added to your daily intake. For example, you eat at PF Chang's and order the Chang's Chicken in Soothing Lettuce Wraps (thanks Julie), all of the info including the calories (energy intake) would be collected. And since your mobile device probably has a heart rate monitor, GPS, accelerometer, or pedometer assessing your physical activity levels (See miCoach, GameBullet, Sony F305, iPhone, Flaik, Sportio, Bones in Motion, Loopt, Motion Based, PerDiemco or others featured in an earlier post). - your energy expenditure would be tracked. The intake and expenditure would be automatically calculated and it would really show you what you're doing or not doing to your body. Hmmm...
[Cross-posted to Exergame Lab]

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Handigo for People of All Abilities

In what is the first cross-blog post between this blog and my Exergame Lab blog, Ubisoft released a free online game called Handigo The Game. Actually there are three mini-games (Sensory handicap,  Motor handicap, and Mental handicap) and their objective along with handicap International was to play games that puts you "in a disabled persons's shoes."  Of course I must take issue with that phrase as we all know the importance of using first person language, i.e. "person with disability or "person with a handicap."  

Friday, September 5, 2008

A2B Tricycle

Shabtai Hirshberg from Hadassah College (Jerusalem) designed this tricycle to encourage physical activity among kids suffering from neurological or muscular disorders. And here is the rest of it.
[Yanko Design: Trike for Disabled Tikes... and Project page: A2B trike...]

Friday, August 29, 2008


Wow - now this is what we've needed for a long time - CalorieLab. One place to find out the nutritional values meals from fast food joints and restaurants. And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

America Supports You

Walk with us... Celebrate Freedom... and Remember
The America Supports You Freedom Walk is a national tradition that calls on people to reflect on the lives lost on September 11, 2001, remember those who responded, honor our veterans past and present, and renew our commitment to freedom and the values of our country. Each year the number of walks held throughout the nation grows, as more people are moved to participate.

The tradition was born when Pentagon employees, seeking a way to honor the victims of the attack on the Pentagon and their families, and pay tribute to those who responded to that attack as well as those who serve, organized a walk from the Pentagon to the National Mall. Nearly 15,000 people took part. Now, America Supports You Freedom Walks are taking place in communities across the nation. Last year 255 communities participated, and every state was represented, along with eight nations overseas.

Grammy-Winning Oak Ridge Boys to Perform After Freedom Walk - Video

It's in the eyes!

In less than two minutes, the dancers have to get your attention, let you know what the 'scene' is, and go about articulating a clear and cohesive story, and makes you want to see more at the end of the dance. Check out what EW has to say about the 7th Greatest Dance Routine from SYTYCD Season 4.

7. Mark & Chelsie's Hip-Hop
Season 4, Top 16, June 25, 2007

Readers of my SYTYCD TV Watch this season already know about the warm, well-upholstered spot in my heart for Mark, and this is the routine that put it there. Which is actually kinda odd, since it's really quite bittersweet: A heartsick woman (Chelsie) tries to keep her workaholic (Mark) lover from leaving, but instead he steals her heart and then walks out the door. One of the biggest complaints about season 4 is the time the judges spent heaping endless praise upon the choreographers rather than discussing the dancers, but in the case of hip-hop choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo (i.e., NapTab, just 'cause), that praise was well deserved. The couple brought a lyrical storytelling sensibility to their routines that transformed hip-hop from hard-hitting abstract steps to something far more emotionally engaging — along with Mark, they're my favorite SYTYCD discoveries this year

Emoting before starting dance

It was amazing to watch this summer's So You Think You Can Dance Season 5. I liked it last season, but I was really drawn to the dancers' back stories, the choreographers' vision/message but most of all the high quality of the dancing. This was the first dance of the season and for new partners Joshua (popper) and Katee (modern), but it was hard to tell that Katee was dancing out of her element.

Entertainment Weekly voted this performance as the Greatest, but you could have also taken any of a handful of other Joshua and Katee dances. Enjoy!

1. Katee & Joshua's Hip-Hop
Season 5, Top 20, June 11, 2008

After clicking through clips of dozens upon dozens of routines for this list, the one that moves and impresses me most of all, even after repeated viewings, is easily this hip-hop number from the illustrious NapTab. A perfect match of story (a soldier telling his girlfriend he's going back to war), music (the Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown duet ''No Air'') and, most of all, the two dancers performing it — it ain't even a contest. Katee brought her technical finesse and deep feeling, and Joshua his preternatural talent and strength, and together they created a number that felt all of a piece, that transcended its steps, imbuing the movement with an uncomplicated humanism that is doubly impressive considering it was their first ever full performance on a nationally televised dance competition show. It's no wonder these two dominated so much of the season (and, in Joshua's case, this list), and in truth, their final routine together — an evocative Wade Robson number about a reconciling couple — could've made this list, too. But I figured two slots, including the very top, was a fitting recognition of this couple's accomplishments, and besides, nothing they or anyone else have done on So You Think You Can Dance has quite equaled the agile, eye-misting power of their earliest routine.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fitspott: Spotting PE teachers

Cortland Alumni David Gise (1991 - BS Adult Fitness) created Fitspott, a new social networking platform for anyone interested in health and fitness, a robust platform to meet, communicate, exchange ideas and more. Fitspott also wants to organize the very large and convoluted health and fitness industry into easy to navigate sub-communities of members with similar interests, goal, skills and needs. Currently they are in Beta testing and they will be launching mid September 2008.

Fitspott will be collaborating with me and you to see how Fitspott might be used by physical educators. This will be great opportunity for you to get in on something new from the ground up. and will be just one of many real-life practical opportunities that you'll have. Please take advantage of it and really strive to be the best, most up-to-date teacher in your school, district, state, and country. No one will ever give you anything except maybe an opportunity, what you do with it is up to you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Adaptive Actions Sports

Adaptive Actions Sports was created by Amy Purdy (and two other co-founders) after having her legs amputated below the knee due to a complications from Bacterial Meningitis. AAS "creates opportunities for individuals with permanent physical disabilities to participate in 'action sports' and or the art and music scene that follows them."

Friday, July 25, 2008


A new brainstorming tool called Moodstream was just released by Getty Images. It has a really slick interface to allow you to choose pictures, movies, and songs that convey a particular feeling, or emotion. Their goal is to "help guide your creative towards inspiring and unexpected directions." I also love scouring their other stock photo site iStockPhoto for pics that convey real meaning and depth.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hi 1. Bye 2

A-O! Queen @ Live Aid = "Greatest Live Gig Ever"

In quintessential Queen style, singer Freddie Mercury's presence is so powerful there is no doubt who is in charge or what he's communicating. Watch to see how he leads the audience, all 72,000 of them at Wembley Stadium in London. It was at this moment for me as a teenager that music started speaking to me and since that time sparked a love for music and performing. Out of all the performances by all the artists, this was the one performance that would never be topped. I remember sitting up to watch in amazement as the crowd (not a Queen concert crowd, mind you) was so in to each song, each other and most of all the moment. Oh to have been there!! Pay particular attention at 5 minutes and 23 seconds, when you can really see the entire audience clapping to Radio Ga-Ga. I still get chills watching that performance and listening to others describe how pivotal this performance was to the success of Live Aid and catapulting Queen's legacy into the stratosphere. How can one person, singing one song lead so many? What would possess people half a mile away to sing and clap along to a song? What qualities does he and others possess to inspire his audience? What and who inspires you? How do they do it? What is their message and what is the medium?
You had your time, you had the power
You've yet to have your finest hour
Watch in full screen-mode and crank up the volume. With little transition between songs 'Radio GaGa' and 'Hammer to Fall', watch and marvel at how Freddie uses a couple of syllables to charge the crowd up even more.

Here is a great news piece on Queen's rehearsal prior to Live Aid.

Queen (set list) - "Bohemian Rhapsody" (part), "Radio Ga Ga", "Hammer to Fall", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "We Will Rock You" (part), "We Are the Champions"

"Having autism doesn't mean you can't live your dreams,"

By the now, the story of Jason McElwain from nearby Greece Athena High School in Rochester is well known. And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Work for the rest of your lives" to get better

Katee and Will nail this performance choreographed by COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet co-Artistic Directors Desmond Richardson & Dwight Rhoden. Nigel later states that the one little mistake in their routine should be a reminder to always work to achieve higher goals in your life.

L'il C (Guest judge)
“Dancers have the most difficult task because you guys are the mediators and intercessors to communicate and manifest what the choreographers see so that there is such a burden to have on your shoulders and I feel like you guys danced with SO much commitment, and SO much passion, and vigor, and fervor, just conviction all the way around that nobody cannot get it. Like it’s not oblivious. You guys delivered.”

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Murderball becomes Wheelchair Rugby

The loud thud of colliding chairs and the competitive juices of athletes battling for the Canada Cup...this is 2008 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament We want our teachers to look at their students abilities and what they can accomplish. This sentiment is echoed throughout this ESPN clip of the only full-contact sport for athletes with a disability.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Healthy Eating & PA: Addressing Inequities in Urban Environment

The Prevention Institute released a report in May 2007 entitled: Healthy Eating & Physical Activity: Addressing Inequities in Urban Environment. This document provides guidance for fostering the momentum for improving nutrition and physical activity elements of environments, particularly in socially and economically disadvantaged urban communities. Prevention Institute is a national center, based in Oakland, dedicated to improving community health and wellbeing by building momentum for effective primary prevention of illness and injury. The document can be found here

Monday, June 23, 2008

Physical Activity Guidelines 2008

On October 26, 2006, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced that the Department will develop comprehensive guidelines, drawn from science, to help Americans fit physical activity into their lives.

"Physical activity is vital to promote and maintain health, but it's easy for many of us to overlook," Secretary Leavitt said. "The physical activity guidelines will underscore the importance of physical activity to America's health and assist on the journey to a healthier life. Good health—wellness—doesn’t just happen. Wellness has to be a habit."

On October 26, 2006, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced that the Department will develop comprehensive guidelines, drawn from science, to help Americans fit physical activity into their lives.

"Physical activity is vital to promote and maintain health, but it's easy for many of us to overlook," Secretary Leavitt said. "The physical activity guidelines will underscore the importance of physical activity to America's health and assist on the journey to a healthier life. Good health—wellness—doesn’t just happen. Wellness has to be a habit."

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans will be issued in late 2008. The Physical Activity Guidelines will summarize the latest knowledge about activity and health, with depth and flexibility targeting specific population subgroups, such as seniors and children. This effort is inspired by President Bush's personal dedication to physical fitness and his desire that every American have access to science-based guidelines.

The development of the Physical Activity Guidelines will use a Federal Advisory Committee process. Information related to the guidelines development process can be found in this site.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Popper turned dance Phillip Chbeeb - SYTYCD 4

SYTYCD 4 contestant Phillip Chbeeb made it to the Vegas auditions last year but was eliminated mainly because he wasn't really a dancer and could not adapt and perform like the other contestants. As an engineering student, he practiced all year on his dances (mostly footwork) with Marvelous Motion Crew in Houston. If he can combine his new footwork with the "boneless/fluid" moves and his popping and locking - look out!

Quidditch in schools

Enlisting your students' fantasies and things they already know and like. If your students know about Harry Potter and the game of Quidditch, why not use that fact to your advantage. Obviously, this means you really have to get to know your students and what they do OUTSIDE of the classroom. As I often tell you, you should be making as big of an impact on students outside of the classroom as you do inside the classroom and in the gym.

Michael Spriggs - Wrestling Blind

Michael Spriggs, a high school wrestler born visually impaired, made it to the Maryland State Championships with perseverance and complete dedication to achieving his goals. Focus on what the individual CAN DO and not what they can't do.

Teach the individual

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Telling a story through movement - Hok & Jaime - SYTYCD

Dance is a beautiful metaphor for teaching as it requires many of the same elements: 1) Performance - both are performance-based in that they are done in front of others. 2) Communication - communicating a message is the central goal to dancing and teaching, 3) Commitment - being passionate about what you're doing is so important as it can easily be seen by the audience/class. If you aren't excited and don't care about your subject...guess what...your audience will not either.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kudda Sports

Kudda is a comprehensive sports site with thousands of sports videos, practice plans, and even a way to keep your team organized with schedules and maps.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sport Skill Videos

This website ( has a lot of video clips of primarily sports specific skills.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Milk Matters

The National Institutes of Health released some new dairy resources as part of their Milk Matters campaign. As a new teacher, finding the appropriate resources should be one of your primary goals, especially if they are free to use. Beg, borrow, and deal.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fully committed & Articulating the Music

I love finding examples of performances that are totally inspiring in their own right, but also serve as a great metahpor for beginner teachers. The dance group JabbaWockeeZ , on this year's America's Best Dance Crew, is a prime example of commiting to a performance and it's fitting that they wear masks while performing. Another crew, BreakSk8 not only dance but perform on roller skates - come on, dancing is hard enough, but to do it on skates is another phenomenal skill. The performing arts, like teaching, must be done with full commitment to communicating a message to the audience.

Americas Best Dance Crew JabbaWockeez - MyVideo

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

1st post... Better late than never

Learning to be an excellent teacher can take a long time. However as I explain it to all my students, you should feel like you're being called to be a teacher. Don't become a teacher solely because you were successful in school/sports and you like working with children. The fact is the majority of your students will not be as competent as you were and your mission is to effectively teach to students of all abilities using developmentally appropriate practices. Not all journeys require travel as you will find out. Sometimes you'll be running to stand still (U2 lyric). Happy trails!