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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Using iDANCE in Student Teaching

This Friday, April 27, Professor Yang allowed me to borrow the iDANCE system to bring to my student teaching placement in State Street Intermediate School in Skaneateles, NY.  This school is grades 3-5 and the class sizes range from 18-48 kids in one class.

Having the opportunity to use this system took a lot of planning and plenty of time training with the materials.  Going to Boston, MA with Professor Yang in March to present the Exergaming systems was the start to this opportunity.  This was followed by many days in the Exergame lab using the system and getting used to how it works and how to set it up.  After it was all over, the only way I could describe the success to this program was "It couldn't have gone better".  I have never seen students so engaged in activity dealing with music.  As soon as they stepped in the gym, their faces brightened up and I knew I had their attention.  The best moment of this lesson was having one student who never participates, dancing like crazy with a smile on his face.

The plan for the day was to only use the iDANCE system with my two smaller classes of 18 and 24 students.  However, it was so successful that I ended up having the all of my classes using the program, recess classes, and teachers all coming in during the day to use it.  The largest class I used it with was with 38 kids and was still a success.

My host teacher has been interested in purchasing one of these systems for his school for a while now but has never got a chance to use it and present it to the administration.  I had the principal come in for about 20 minutes during the lesson and within 10 minutes he had my host teacher bring out a catalog to see how much it was worth.  The principal, both P.E. teachers, and all other teachers thought this program would be great for the school district to use within the four Skaneateles schools.

I have found out that it pays to take the extra time and do different things within the P.E. program.  Anything that you do can lead to something greater.  This experience that I had was by far the best in student teaching yet.  Yes, the amount of planning and stress before the lesson took a lot out of me, but by the time I was teaching, I was in the best mood and was having a blast.  So, if there's any advice that I would have to give, it would be to take chances and ask for things that may be out of reach because you never know the opportunities that could arise.   



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