Friday, December 17, 2010

Final Part 1

TJ Crosby
Brain Gains
Part 1b
i.   This web-site is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The Story comes fro two different places, one school is in Southern Saskatoon Canada and the other is in Naperville, Chicago, United States of America.
ii.  This piece about activities relation to the brain was eye-opening.  We have been stressing "learning through the physical" in EDU 255, this piece was the first time I was able to see it in use outside of our classroom.  I found this article to be very interesting.  The book "Spark" about neurogenesis is directly about "learning through the physical."  The exercise helps with many different things, mostly it seems to help with behavior and helps studens to stay focused.  It is very interesting to see how physical activity can improve subjects other than just physical education.  One eye-opening fact was that when students were tested before and after beginning the program, they gained a full grade level in reading, writing and math.  This piece makes you want to learn more on the subject.
iii.  I don't think we hear anything about the PE teacher being involved is because there are athletes in the class that can do the activities.  PE teachers usually get into a curricullum that the school already uses.  The programs have never used anything like this before, they may have thought that this wouldn't be useful in PE since they are already supposed to be active.  I will be able to ensure that my PE program will be a benefit to the students of the school by using techniques from "Spark."  I will adjust my program accordingly to how the students respond.
iv.  The main benefits of the program were the ways it changed these students' lives.  There were obvious outcomes such as improvement in grades but I tihnk it was the way the program changed the behavior that was most important.  One student, before the program was always angry and wouldn't participate.  After, his grades improved and he was more involved in the class, without anger.  Another student had been smoking since age 8 and drinking since age 10 and he could not read entering 8th grade.  After going through the program he began to turn down his bad habits.  He also saw a 400% increase in his comprehension.  I was very surprised to see how much of an improvement had been made in many different areas.  These outcomes are similar to our New York State PE Standards.  Standard 1a is met when the teacher is shown having the students try different movement on the treadmills to stimulate different parts of the brain.  Standard 1b is met because the students are told to stay keep their heart rates at a certain level and they know how to do so.  Students meet standard 2  because this program causes the students to behave better.  Standard 3 is met because these students knew what they had to do from the program, so they can do the same in their community.
v.  BDNF stands for Brain-derived neurotrophic factor.  BDNF occurs during physical activity and increases ability to learn.  The book mentioned in the video is called "Sparks" by John Ratey.  Another book is "The Kinesthetic Classroom" by Traci Lengel and Mike Kuczala.
Part 1c
There are many different categories that one can be proficient in.  These categories include team passing, net/wall, target, striking, fielding, aquatics, dance and aesthetic, outdoor, personal performance, and fitness.  The recommended regents level for NYS Learning Standard 1A should be atleast 90% of the senior class should be competent in 6 activities and proficient in 3 across 3 different categories.
I think that it should be the recommended regents level of 100% of the senior class for NYS LS 1B, reaching competency in the personal fitness plan.   This will allow students to know how to improve their health related fitness.

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