Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lab D - Ice Skating: The Perfect Date

For our last 255 lab, I was chose to teach the ice skating unit.  When I first saw this lesson up on the board, I immediately paniced.  Since I haven't been on the ice in about 5 years, this made a ton of doubt through my mind.  The next thing that gave me a headache was trying to incorporate technology in to this lesson.  I then realized that this is what teaching is all about; getting a lesson thrown at you and running with it in order to keep your boss happy as well as keeping your students involved.  This lesson took by far the most preparation compared to our other labs.  With a bunch of help from our T.A.'s and Professor Yang I got a little inspiration on how to make this lesson really flow.  Since ice skating can be considered a lifelong activity compared to a sport, I used a life theme in "dating" and hoped to get a few laughs along the way.  Each time I went to rehearse this lesson, I owuld constantly have new ideas pop in my head making it more interesting but more confusing as well.  Due to skill level and confidence, I had to make sure this lesson was appropriate for everyone because like myself, some students may not had the experience and practice as others. 

To start this lesson, I used my progressions sheet to figure out what skill I wanted to start with.  Since ice skating isn't everyone's strong point, I started with the basic steps of pushing, gliding, stopping and turning.  But before I could do any of these main skills, I taught the class how to properly fall and get back up for safety reasons and to limit the embarrassment as much as possible.  To start class, I used a congo line going around the gym with everyone "connected at the hip".  I thought this would be a lot of fun with the music and teamwork but it seemed as if the string skaters kept pulling away from the group.  I also had to really consider the safety concerns with this lesson because if one person fell they could have made a pile-up collision which could of been dangerous.  After the warm up we went back over to the boards where I had my visual aid set up.  This is when I mainly got into my skit about the students future date coming up and how we were going to prepare for it.  I saw a few laughs and smiles so this was a first indicator that I was on the right track.  We then partnered up and started going through our skating drills and on the way back, I gave each group the option to link arms or hands to incorporate teamwork and communication.  For some students, such as Ben, assisstance was needed so he choose to go both ways with his strong skating partner.  While the students were practicing, I did notice that my feedback was not completely as loud and clear as I would have liked.  This, along with a few butchered words, were the few things during my lesson I feel i could have improved on. 

One major factor in this lesson that was building stress was incorporating technology.  Professor Yang gave me the great idea to use heart rate monitors which sounds as complicated as it is.  After a few hours playing with the program and monitors in the lab, I got the hang of it and all this technology talk started to sound a lot less like a foreign language.  I was really excited to use these HR monitors because no one, up to this point, used anything technology advanced to this degree.  Even though some students may not of fully understood the reason for these, I believe they enjoyed being able to look up at the screen and to see how hard they were working.  Preparing for this lesson included signing out a TV, borrowing monitors, renting out the ice time, obtaining helmets and setting up the music to make the ice rink complete. 

Overall I had tons of challenges preparing for the ice skating lesson but by the end it all paid off.  I never thought I would chose a theme as I did but sometimes in teaching its about being creative and appealing to the students.  I feel I grabbed their attention from the beginning and hopefully kept it till the end.  Even if I missed a cue or two or forgot to give feedback here or there, I saw a ton of smiles and heard laughing from all the groups which is the best reward I can recieve.  I now know how to handle a challenege such as this when its thrown at me in the real world.  Thanks to our T.A.'s and Professor Yang for helping me through this because without a few ideas here and there I may have went a completely different direction with this and I couldn't have asked for this lesson to go any better.

Here are my attachments for all to see:
Task Progressions
Feedback Analysis
Content Development
Time Coding
Lesson Plan

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