Thursday, August 21, 2014
School is underway and as we go through the school year I know I will be reflecting back on my experiences at this summers institute remembering what it felt like to take on the role of a student. I will be implementing some best practices I learned this summer into my science classes as we study ecology in our life science unit. I plan to incorporate lots of documenting with picture and video on iOS devices and brining that back to the classroom to integrate very closely with our curriculum. Bringing video, photography and writing all together to teach scientific topics will engage students and reinforce learning at a high level.
A huge Thank You to Maxx Judd and the Apple team for an awesome experience!
Monday, July 29, 2013
I am fortunate in that I get to transform the way I teach my elementary PE classes with Apple technology. In addition I also teach two periods of 8th grade science where the opportunities for technology infusion are plentiful due to our students' 24/7 access to MacBooks. They definitely extend the learning outside the school walls. We also have several carts of iPads for students to use. Similar to last year, I plan to have my 8th grade science students create Multi-Touch books with iBooks Author and create their own content while learning what needs to be taught to them. So in a sense the student will drive the learning much like when you integrate CBL into your curriculum. I am excited for a new year, and much of that excitement comes from my opportunity to have my teaching spirit once again revived at the ADE institute in Austin, Texas. Thanks to Apple and the team that makes these events happen! They truly are career changing events and I will continue to work hard to experience this process again in the future.
Megan Adkins, an assistant professor in the Health and Physical Education department at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, co-presented a 1-in-3 session with me at the institute. We had three minutes to deliver our message to an audience of around 400. There was timer running for the audience to see and when your three minutes were up the spotlight went off and the sound was cut to your mic. At that time a new 3 min preso started across the stage at the other podium. I was extremely nervous, and for me to do something like this really takes me outside my comfort zone. This kind of thing is not the norm for me. But when the format came out and I was given an opportunity to deliver a message I knew needed to be heard, I knew I wanted to submit a proposal. I know taking risks is what makes us grow and looking back I'm glad I did it, but man was it nerve-racking!
I want to thank Apple for hosting these great events and giving me an opportunity to grow and mature as a educator. Living where I do and growing up as I did (which I would not change for anything) I never knew opportunities like this could be so life changing.
ADE Institute 1-in-3 Nebraska High Five Warmup
Megan's And Kevin's Message
Friday, November 4, 2011
Awesome day! Thanks for your terrific insight into our uses for technology in this district. You have given me a reason to be connected and learning this tech stuff. I wasn't so sure before.
Our PE session with Kevin Morrow was valuable and he did a great job of communicating to us what he has done. Looking forward to using some of his ideas.
Thank you for including us in the tech day. Physical Education often gets left out.
Physical Education Teacher
Hi Scott, just wanted to say thanks for setting up Kevin Morrow as our presenter for physical education yesterday. We got some great ideas that we will be trying out over the next few weeks in class. In fact we already had today's classes stretching to a podcast we generated through garageband. Cool stuff. It was nice to see our department get selected for a private session. Thanks again!!!
Hi Kevin, just wanted to say thanks for the presentation yesterday. We started our warmups today with a podcast generated through garageband and it went great. Just thought you'd like to know that your ideas are already being put to good use here in Downers Grove. Thanks again for sharing.
Just wanted to let you know how much the elementary pe teachers enjoyed the skyping with Kevin Morrow. He had some great ideas! We are all pretty fired up about trying some of them. When we met during the unconference session, we came up with some thoughts as to where we would like to go as a department.
1. We were hoping that all the elem pe teachers could get an iPod touch or an iPad 2
storage of audio podcasts that we will be creating
music for transporting to multiple schools
recording fitness scores and other assessments (this might mean that Matt V might have to recreate our fitness document so it could be recorded on this device)
video taping of skills and activities
still shots that could be placed on a web page or blog
2. We would like to do some video podcasts but would need the following equipment:
computer - we all have a district laptop
LCD projector in buildings that do not have any that are not mounted on the classroom ceilings
any cords for connecting purposes
cart to house the equipment
outlet in ceiling so students don't trip on cord on floor in gym (this was Paul Z's suggestion)
3. There is a free app for bowling that TY Dunham found. We are still hoping to be able to use iPads for bowling scoring.
4. Our DDR is becoming pretty ragged - any possibility of writing a grant to obtain a Wii Fit?
5. There is a Fitnessgram Fitness test that might be something that we could change to for fitness testing in the future. It is a computerized fitness program.
We would be glad to meet with you if you would like to talk to us about how we plan on using the above items. We appreciate your listening to our requests and hope that we can bring more technology into the PE department.
Thanks again for a great day!!!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I first heard about the contest from my school administrators when they forwarded on an email with the information. I may have seen it online, too, but I thought we were already doing things at O’Neill Elementary that might double as a good content entry if we were to share them in the form of a video. Most of what I have learned about the Recess Rocks program has come along since being announced a winner. They have had a statewide organization since 2003 and just this last year launched the national campaign called Recess Rocks to try and prevent childhood obesity. They offer curriculum materials online for free encouraging teachers in both the classroom and the gym to incorporate fun movement and dance activities. So the video contest was to get the word out about their organization and it offered prizes in both group and individual categories for three age divisions.
This all began with a desire for my students to get more active. I realize the growing crisis of sedentary lifestyles in our country’s youth. Research proves that fit children have significantly larger brains. And yet, schools across our country are threatening to cut back on physical education programs in hopes of raising test scores. This is counterproductive, in my mind. I have an already limited amount of time that I get to spend with students as I teach nearly 400 students every two days and I didn’t want to take away any more movement time within class to teach health concepts. So I decided to use Challenge Based Learning to engage my students into truly doing something about their health habits. I had used Challenge Based Learning during the previous school year with the PEPCO group (Physical Education Production Company) and saw how when you challenge students and put learning in their hands they can really make it their own and take it further than being solely teacher-directed. In addition, I have found that using technology in P.E. class also engages students and allows me to more productively use my time. So, at the beginning of this school year I brainstormed with my wife, the technology integration specialist in our district, and we came up with the Healthier Habits Challenge. The basic premise is that students go home, discuss with their families their current health habits both good and bad, choose one unhealthy habit to change, create a solution for doing so, and implement that plan with their entire family for four weeks. All students then gave a presentation to the rest of the 5th graders about the overall results of their challenge. So the video entry for Recess Rocks was a class compilation of the highlights of the first group of 5th graders to do this project.
Every fifth grade student shared their solution, but in varying ways- some with videos, some with posters, some with reports, photoessays, etc., etc. My wife came over from the HS and video interviewed the kids. Together we wrote a script and the students in Mrs. Kloppenborg’s homeroom all helped produce it along with the highlights from the project. Since we
This is my third year teaching Elementary P.E. at O’Neill Elementary. In that time, I have wanted to change the misconception that P.E. is just for athletes or just glorified recess. Physical education of today needs to focus on lifelong fitness as well as educating the whole body and mind of each and every child. Starting at a young age, students need to understand that physical activity is something that needs to be practiced for a lifetime. Technology is often blamed for being a large part of today’s obesity epidemic-- contributing to kids’ sedentary lifestyles. However, my goal is to show how the opposite can be true-- that technology can be part of the solution. I use technology in my physical education classes in a variety of ways. I create interactive audio and video podcasts, which when projected throughout the gym, lead students in a variety of creative movement activities. Music is incorporated throughout nearly every activity. I have used iPod touch devices with students using fitness apps as well as self-created scavenger hunts. These activities allow students to get ample exercise as well other critical communication and collaboration skills. Students in my classes have created videos demonstrating skills and encouraging their peers to stay fit. Pedometers along with Google maps and Blogger motivate kids to move more while they are in class. Finally my website shares all the learning outside of the classroom and helps us connect with others doing similar things around the world.
Families have shared positive feedback with me about my P.E. curriculum and especially about the Healthier Habits Challenge. Parents said that they were more apt to participate since the students were driving the change at home. One family turned off the cable TV for the duration of the challenge and the student and his siblings got outside and played more- proving success. Other families changed snack habits, planned healthier meals together, earlier bedtimes, more exercise, and even better dental habits, to name a few. Even though the challenge assignment ended after four weeks, many many students continue to talk about their families health habits and their solutions.
PEPCO started two years ago. Several teams of students met before and after school and during lunch to work on various projects promoting fitness to their peers. Some previous student projects include a student-produced website with how-to videos, a student-directed skit at an all-school assembly, and a student-led exercise group open to any 3-6 grade students who choose to come to the before-school sessions. This year, PEPCO is led by about a half-dozen 6th graders and approximately 20-30 students attend the twice a week before school exercise sessions. The PEPCO kids plan the sessions and lead their peers in stretching, exercises, and games to encourage fitness.
Kim led the P.E. classes on Monday through a variety of Recess Rocks “Celebration” activities. These promoted whole body movement (encompassing flexibility, muscular strength, and coordination) and utilized brain gym activities as well as dance. Brain gym means that different parts of your body cross your body’s midline which stimulates both hemispheres of your brain which is good for learning. Students enjoyed the fun of these activities and the moves that incorporated music. Kim presented the big check to the 5th grade class at an all school assembly at 1:00 and then had an additional “celebration” class with those students following the assembly. Emily was also honored at the assembly for her 2nd place finish in the individual competition for her PEPCO video. She had received her prize, a Wii and Wii Fit Plus, in the mail. The $2,500.00 prize will most likely be used to purchase additional equipment and materials to further develop my P.E. program.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
The winning videos may be downloaded at http://recessrocks.com/results.php.
STUDENTS IN O’NEILL AND VALPARAISO NAMED WINNERS IN
NATIONAL RECESS ROCKS VIDEO CONTEST
Contest challenged children and teens across the country to
share ideas for preventing and reversing childhood obesity
CONNECTICUT (February 3, 2011) – A group of fifth-grade students and a sixth-grade student at O’Neill Elementary School in O’Neill, Neb., as well as a sixth-grade student in Valparaiso have been named winners in the national Recess Rocks video contest for their ideas for combating childhood obesity. The fifth-grade students at O’Neill Elementary, under the leadership of physical education teacher Kevin Morrow, placed first in the group category, while Emily Morrow, a sixth-grader at O’Neill Elementary placed second in the individual category and Drew Trembly of Valparaiso placed third. The contest is part of the nationwide Recess Rocks childhood obesity prevention campaign launched by Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) in September 2010.
The video contest, which ran from September 8 to November 30, invited children and young teens in grades 2 through 8 across the U.S. to submit a two-minute video featuring a speech, song, dance or commercial that answers two questions: “How do you feel about the childhood obesity problem?” and “What can you do about it?”. Children could enter individually or as part of a group from a public or private school or youth-focused community organization or club. Entries were judged on overall impact, creativity, memorable content and delivery and a clear message on how the problem can be solved.
The students at O’Neill Elementary won $2,500 for their school, while Morrow won a Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit Plus and Trembly won a Flip Ultra Camcorder. A complete list of winners in the individual and group categories is available at RecessRocks.com.
“We decided to hold this contest, because few people were asking children and teenagers—those directly affected by the childhood obesity epidemic—for their ideas,” said Mark Masselli, CEO and president of Community Health Center, Inc. “As we suspected, they offered a wealth of creative solutions. Though the contest is over, we hope they will continue these conversations about preventing and reversing childhood obesity, voice their ideas and become leaders in their schools and communities who advocate for healthy changes.”
The fifth graders at O’Neill Elementary created a news segment about taking on the Healthier Habits Challenge to change a habit to make their families healthier. In their video, the students share the habits they and their families changed, including eating more fruits and vegetables, running three times each week and reducing soda intake.
Morrow created a news-like segment about PEPCO, the Physical Education Production Company at her school. This group of kids is working to improve fitness in its school through a student-led morning exercise group. Through interviews with students and a physical education teacher, Morrow shares the importance and benefits of exercise and shows how “putting the power of change in students’ hands makes them see the importance of being healthy.”
Trembly’s video featured a song he wrote with two classmates that included healthy tips such as drinking water, eating healthy, nutrient-rich food and exercising.
The second part of the Recess Rocks campaign was the national launch of a program that brings fun, creative movement to schools across the nation. Also called Recess Rocks, the program started in Connecticut to bring movement to sedentary winter recesses and into the classroom. Since then, it has evolved into a program that is used year-round to increase students’ activity levels and create life-long, healthy habits. Since the campaign launch, more than 230 schools in 26 states have requested a Recess Rocks implementation manual to learn more about beginning the program in their schools.
Visit RecessRocks.com to learn more about the Recess Rocks program, request a free program implementation manual or to get details on CHC’s many programs and interventions to prevent and reverse obesity.
About Community Health Center, Inc.
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary health care system committed to caring for uninsured and underinsured populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 130,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Currently, CHC delivers service in 173 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. For more information, visit chc1.com.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Link to PE Central best practice.
Recess Rocks individual contest winner: My before school/after school group called the Physical Education Production Company (PEPCO) which promote the importance of fitness in our school and community won a Wii and Wii Fit Plus game. Check out their winning work here!
Recess Rocks Group Entry 1st place winner $2500.00!!! My Fifth grade class participated in a Challenged Based Learning Unit. The name of the the challenge was the Healthier Habit Challenge. Students were challenged to take an unhealthy habit their families have and find a solution to replace or alter that habit with something healthier. Here is the winning video!!!
Nebraska Educational Technology Association. (NETA) I was the 2011 winner the ISTE Trek contest which Means a free trip to Philadelphia in June 2011 to attend the National Educational Technology Conference (ISTE) to further advance my knowledge and skill in the area of educational technology and its power to transform and engage me and my students!!!