EDU 6526 Video Analysis #2

Video Analysis #2-Middle Level P.E.

During my time last year as an Instructional Aid, I provided support during a period of P.E. for the students in my self-contained classroom.  For this reason, I chose to watch the video on P.E. instruction.  This video was a training video targeted for P.E. teachers. The instructors overall goal was to help teachers elevate P.E. instruction in order to ensure students leave the room each day feeling more “confident and competent”.

There were four objectives that the conference was highlighting for all teachers. The teacher was also asking the participants to think about them as he was instructing them: model respect, setting expectations, opportunities for success, and fostering social interactions.  All schools have some set of rules or expectations that they are trying to include building wide.  It was great to see these also be incorporated into the P.E. department.

One of the first instructional strategies we learned about was setting objectives.  The teacher in this video was very clear about the importance of doing this for the students for each activity.  In addition to the purpose/objective being clearly defined, the teacher also linked this together with formative assessment.  There was a form that he would use to assess students for a given activity.  For one of the activities that we watched, the teacher was having the other teachers participate in an activity in which providing support was the objective and area of assessment. There was a rubric that was provided for this activity that could be used to assess the students and give them feedback.  This is an excellent way of utilizing a strategy from our text of; “Provide students with an explicit guidance about what it means to expend effort” (p25).  Students will know exactly what is expected of them, how they performed, and how they can improve.

The teacher did an excellent job in this video of stopping play and requesting, “high five opponents and say well done”.  On another occasion, the teacher asked the participants to acknowledge their teammates for doing good work.  This was a great way to strengthen the community, foster positive social interactions, and keep things positive.  This acted to provide feedback, reinforce effort, and also provide recognition.  I thought it was great to have the students do this for each other in addition to the teacher.  The teacher also stopped the play at one point and commented on the effectiveness of a participant’s ability to provide support, the objective, through hand waving.  This was a great way to provide quick formative positive feedback specific to the objective.

Cooperative learning is necessary in P.E. in almost all activities.  This teacher placed a great emphasis on how he grouped the students together.  The groups were established with the intent of making sure that each student would have “opportunities for success”.  This was also how the teacher would be able to differentiate the instruction for the students. Depending on the activity and purpose, different rules could be set for the different groups that would allow everyone to succeed.  I really liked the idea of taking the time to group students together.  Groups could be made that would also ensure that the whole class would end up interacting with one another that would serve the purpose of fostering good social interactions.

In conclusion, I thought the instructional recommendations within this video would be great assets to any P.E. program.  From our text Classroom Instruction That Works, there are several strategies that are used in the video.  The most visible of these are setting objectives, providing feedback, reinforcing effort, providing recognition, and cooperative learning.  P.E. can be a place where only the athletic will leave having a boost in self-esteem.  I love that the instructor’s goal of ensuring that every student leaves his gym feeling more “confident and competent”.

Dean, C. B., Hubble, E. R., Pitler, H. and Stone, B.  (20012). Classroom Instruction That Works.

2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.



EDU 6120 “All Things Considered”

“All Things Considered”

In the lectures for this week we learn about Horace Mann and his thoughts on a universal education.  I also enjoyed the provided reading by Horace Mann.  Mann writes about class distinction and distribution of wealth in his age.  He reaches the conclusion that the best way that the class distinction can be abolished is through education.  The education will provide the means for the lower class to be able to rise up out of the lower class. “Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of the conditions of Men” (Horace Mann). I think that what Mann was saying back then is still very relevant today.  Education is becoming more accessible to all.  Unfortunately, area codes and education still share a troubling correlation.

Included in this week’s readings was a portion of Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Exposition Address’.  I found this selection to be an interesting choice.  Mann on the one hand is talking about getting rid of any sort of class system and Washington is talking about making the working class be seen as more of a respectable place to be in society. “Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labor and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life” (Washington).  It is my understanding that during this time period W.E.B. Du Bois was also an influential figure of the time with a very different idea of education.  Du Bois wanted to see black people educated to have occupations that went beyond the labor class and would be considered to be upper class occupations.  I also believe that Mann, writing from Massachusetts, the North, would think that his idea of universal education would also apply to black people.


“On Achieving Social Equity” selections from Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Address (1895)

“On Education and National Welfare”1848 Twelfth Annual Report of Horace Mann as

Secretary of Massachusetts State Board of Education (1848)

EDU 6120 Learning Illustrated

“Learning Illustrated”

For the fourth week in EDU 6120, we are asked to write on the following prompt learning illustrated.  This week’s learning covered some of the major thinkers of the Roman era and included readings by the historic figures Plutarch, and Quintillion.  We also had a reading, Educational Reform, by Arthur Ellis.  After completing the readings and listening to the online podcast, the terms classroom management, building relationships, and school climate were brought to mind.

From the Plutarch reading, The Education of Children, I enjoyed reading about his thoughts on the treatment of children.  Plutarch suggest that we should encourage children in a positive manner, yet this encouragement should be based on reality of their skills.  He also mentions that it is best to lift a student up when they are down and make sure to bring them down or utilize this time to correct them if they are too high.  Interacting with students in this manner will assist us in trying to create the Plutarch ideal of a student that might be able to be a “master of his passions”.  I want to make sure my interactions with students are overwhelmingly positive in nature.  I want to do this by building up their skills and enabling them to have success in the classroom by providing instruction that is at their current level.  I would like to celebrate success with them as well but also let them know that there is more to accomplish.  I also really like the thoughts of remaining balanced to the high’s and low’s that we all face, not just in the classroom, but in life.

From the The Institutes of Oratory (sel.), by Quintilion, I also found some of his comments related well in regards to classroom management and building relationships.  Quintilion suggest that teachers should have a “parental attitude towards pupils” and the majority of our talk should be “discourse on what is good and honorable” (Book II).  This also aligns well with my desire to be focused on what students strengths are and building them up accordingly.  Finding out my students’ strengths, and interest, and utilizing these in instruction will allow me create the positive environment that students will enjoy being a part of and put forth good effort.  The relationship will also be firm yet caring with high expectations.

The Arthur Ellis reading, Educational Reform, highlights the importance of creating learning environments that have good order and control of discipline problems.  The overall school climate can be a gauge in the level of success of the students.  Establishing rules and procedures with the students and being consistent with enforcing these rules will be at the forefront of my interactions with students.  When presented with challenging disruptive behavior, I will need to be able to quickly deal with this behavior in a positive manner.  I can do this by making sure that I am commenting on the good behaviors of students, yet, I must ensure that I am also making corrections that will allow my students to know that I am doing so based on the high expectations that I have for them.  I will make sure to build strong connections with students that are struggling and encourage and support them by sharing my belief in their abilities.


The Education of Children” by Plutarch (46-120 AD)

The Institutes of Oratory (sel.), byQuintilion (35-95 AD)

Educational Reform, by Arthur Ellis

EDU 6120 “Clear and Unclear Windows”

“Clear and Unclear Windows”

This week in EDU 6120, was titled Judeo-Christian Knowledge and Teaching and Learning in the East.  After listening to the podcast and doing the readings including one involving a tribute to a truly amazing teacher, I am left with a very clear window as to my obligation and duty to facilitate my students in developing a personal well-being that will help them to understand the importance of participation in their immediate community with pro-social attitudes towards their culture (Scheuerman Podcast).  Likewise, all students are still trying to develop or gain an understanding as to the nature of their being.  From podcast 1, Scheuerman discussed how the modern era of personal development has changed.  It is now more of a rarity that students have strong familial generational presence in their lives that was historically responsible for providing for a complete education for personal well being.  Today, most children will spend more time with their peer group, spoken in the lecture as the “tyranny of the peer group”.  Children begin learning from each other by watching and playing with one another from very early ages.  However, children also need to have a presence in their live that will help them to build a strong sense of identity and support in making the right choices through-out life.

As a teacher, I will strive to create a positive supportive climate that inspires participation in the classroom and encourage active socially engaging lives.  One of the ultimate goals of education is to inspire and prepare our students to participate in our Democracy.  In order to be prepared to do so, they will need to have a skill set that will enable them to be good learners but they will also need to be able to interact with one another, voice opinions, share thoughts, debate merits of one particular view point over another, and use good evidence in order to back up their beliefs or the perspective they were asked to represent.  The common core will help guide us in some of these areas.  The climate and culture will also need to be created. How can I design lesson plans that will allow my students to actively participate and socially interact with the knowledge and subject matter?  This is something that is always on my mind during lesson planning.  I would like to try and create authentic interactions for my students around the content.  I loved the examples from the lectures of rethinking assemblies for Veterans Day.  These sounded incredibly powerful and memorable for everyone involved.  I too was moved.  From Morning Stars, I love the teachers comment about discussing the classroom as an extension of the family.  I hadn’t thought of looking at the classroom as such but it would be a great way to work on establishing the social and moral etiquette that is expected in the classroom.  It also sounds like a great way to build a bond between the students and their families.  I am particularly interested in utilizing techniques that will strengthen the teacher, family, student bond.

Just as I need to create an interactive participatory classroom, I can also steer my students in the right direction outside of the classroom.  I am looking forward to communicating with family about students learning but I will also encourage them to become involved in other areas of the community if possible.  I can do this by filling the families in on the extra-curricular activities that are happening at school and in the community.  By establishing good relationships with the students and finding out their interest I could also connect different students that have similar interest to one another.  I will also seek to involve myself more in extra-curricular activities in the learning community that I become a part of.


This week in review 7/6/14

This week in EDU 6120 focused on studying the Greeks and the notion of Paideia.  We had a reading from Arthur Ellis that pointed out the distinction between education and schooling and also writings by Plato and Aristotle. After reading the essay Schooling and Education, by Arthur Ellis, there is further proof of the importance of collaborating and working with all individuals involved in a student’s life in order to promote an education that will extend beyond the duration of the short school year.  Education begins the instant we are born and continues through-out our lives.  The major purpose of school is to promote citizenship (podcast 1).  We need basic skills in order to be good citizens as well as numerous other skills that can’t be measured by a test.  What is meaningful?  This question was posed by Professor Scheuerman at the beginning of the first lecture and served as a guide for this week’s learning.  To answer this question, we looked towards the system the Greeks had in place and some of their best thinkers, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.  The Greeks lived their lives in very segregated fashion of a class system that only allowed those of the higher echelon to participate in this process of the “public square”.  We are fortunate to be living in a time period when every child is granted a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).  As a special education teacher, I find myself entering a field that is relatively new and very much still evolving.  Special education teachers are able to set educational goals that can be specific to math, reading, and writing.  However, there can also be goals that will lead students in the direction of becoming meaningful participants in society, or the “public square”.

How will I as an educator try and operationalize teaching students’ skills that will promote citizenship?  I will serve as a model for my students by making sure that I am fully participating in the community that I am involved in.  I will also work very hard to establish classroom rules and procedures, with my students, which will promote a positive supportive learning environment for all.  This type of learning environment will foster growth towards students’ educational goals and even more importantly growth and understanding towards the 5 pillars of responsibilities that we all need to strive for in society: Service, Honesty, Civility, Kindness, Participation, and Commitment (lecture notes week 2).  The classroom is a microcosm of our society where students area able to work on developing these skills.  I will be on the look-out for students that are portraying these qualities and praise students accordingly and in the moment.  I can also write goals in students IEP’s that will promote good citizenship with the long range goal of promoting citizenship in society.


ISTE Standard 5 post

How can I keep up with all of the demanding requirements of the teaching profession, and still continue to find new tools to enhance my students learning with technology?

I came across a great blog that combines the use of technology and collaboration.  Collaboration and technology are becoming ever entwined.  Through reflection and great effort, I can continue to enhance my collaboration skills both as a digital citizen and with the community that I will be teaching with.  This site provides excellent descriptions of the various roles that we will need to be comfortable maneuvering in and out of, if we are to meet the necessity of collaboration and technology.

A classmate of mine shared a link to a site that promotes teachers to be lifelong learners.  There are ten ideas that are meant to inspire us.  Reading this list, three of the ideas have on-line in their titles.  With this being our last blog post for this class, I find it very fitting to have my final bog for this class include advice that advocates for more time spent on-line to further our learning.  I have included a link to the sight below.

I have been participating in online learning for quite a long time know.  I have not ever participated in any kind of twitter activity.  After watching the Vialogues video for the week, it is clear that twitter can be a place to keep track of what great teachers are doing in the classroom.  This was very nice to learn.

I found it interesting to read about the National Education Technology Plan for 2010.  To say that technology will be included in education would be to put it mild.  Every step of the educational process will be linked into using technology.  The report mentions the term connected teacher.  The connected teacher will have access to all sorts of programs that will allow them to be better teachers.  Assessments, lessons, discussions, will all be able to be held online.  The word connected implies hooked, plugged in, or an on-line teacher that will be aware of all the available resources.

I will need to work on becoming more efficient at navigating the various teaching tools that are available.  At the same time, I will need to remember to do so with proper etiquette that I aspire to use while having in-person conversations.  In engaging with the world, via the web, I also need to remember the ultimate purpose will be to enhance my students’ growth and learning.

Reference and Links


Atkins, D.E., Bennett, J., Brown, J.S., Chopra, A., Dede, C., & Fishman, B. (2010) Teaching:

Prepare and Connect from Transforming American education: Learning powered by technology. National Education Technology Plan, 39-50.

EDU 6132 Social Phobias

Students with social phobias will be extremely challenged in the school setting. They will be incredibly withdrawn from the rest of their classmates and any activities that are happening in the classroom.  The resulting effect of a fear of social situations will have a great impact on a student’s live “these fears are quite debilitating and impair healthy social, psychological, and educational development” (p375).

What can we do for a student that suffers from social phobias?  Smaller classroom size if at all possible would probably benefit this student.  Obviously this is hard to achieve, but the social phobia will most likely impact their learning to a degree where it might become more realistic the older the student gets.  Allowing this student to get to and from classes when the majority of the other students are not in the hallways will also benefit this student.  This might mean showing up to class late and leaving early to avoid the crowds.  Creating a safe positive climate in the classroom will also help.  Being extremely positive with all students and allowing them the option of passing if you call on them to answer a question.  Avoid drawing attention to this student, yet making sure to have very warm personal interactions with them. Trying to make this person as comfortable as possible in the hopes of allowing the student to put their social phobia to the side and learn.

I would connect this to the HOPE standard H1 – Honor student diversity and development.  To me this standard means recognizing that each student is unique and is progressing along different lines of development.  As a special education teacher, I must be able to see each student as a unique individual in order to figure out how I can be of best service in helping them meet their educational needs. This will often times require thinking on my part that goes beyond excellent lesson planning.

Pressley, M. & McCormick, C. B. (2007). Child and adolescent development for educators. New

York, NY: Guilford Press.