Thursday, December 22, 2011

Highland High School Experience

Today in Highland high school was eventful to say the least! First period I worked with a student on shooting the basketball, he was shooting the ball improperly.  This was affecting the flight of the ball; he was not making any shots.  I worked with him for a few seconds and he practiced then the students started playing knock out.  He listened to my advice and won second place!  This student was not use to winning and was so happy.  The other students could not believe he was winning either, I told the students to not judge anyone because with practice anyone can become skilled.  This made me feel great that I helped a student; I hope he remembers my advice and enjoys playing basketball. During all my study periods my host teacher let me stay in the gym and observe the other physical education teachers lessons.  They were doing the same unit, basketball, ping pong, badminton but it was a new set of students which I enjoyed.  Third period was my host teachers planning period; I am way ahead with my work so I decided to sit in on a physical education class.  The period started off normal and I was shooting around with a group of girls.  About half way through the period out of the corner of my eye I see two girls arguing and getting very close to one another.  I walked over to see if they were just joking or if it was serious.  This was serious the two girls were about to fight!  I couldn’t believe this, what were odds a fight was going to happen within the five days I was there and happen right near me.  I did not want the two students to fight so I stepped in between the two students and told them to calm down and relax.  The entire time I am waving my arms to get the coaches attention but he doesn’t see me.  I was yelling for him but no one could hear me over the Christmas songs playing in the gym. Finally he saw I what was going on before the students began to fight; I was still acting like a barrier at this time.  When the coach came over to me they went at each other, they were punching and scratching, the coach grabbed one girl as the principals ran into the gym. This was very intense and I think I handled it correctly. Although I would never want anyone to fight, this was a good experience for me and I learned a lot from this situation.  If that was my class I would always be watching, if I wasn’t in the gym these girls would have been fighting for minuets before he saw.  Also having a whistle at all times is important, if I had my whistle I could have gotten the teachers attention quickly.  Always have the walky talky on hand also, the coach called the principal as he was running over, this cut the time the principals got to the fight in half.  I am glad no one got hurt and I was in the gym at that time. The next few periods I switched things up and worked with the badminton group, this was fun because I love that sport.  I was teaching them the concept of hitting really far then hitting it very close.  Also hitting it in different corners of the court really helps.  Many do not know but there is a lot of strategy in badminton, luckily I had the opportunity to take racquet activities with Mr. Fuchs who is one of the best.  I am sad tomorrow is my last day and I will miss the students and staff.  

Albert A. Mercado     

Highland High School Experience

Day Three

Period one was health class; we were finishing up watching the last of the presentations on mental illnesses.  We watched the presentations on amnesia, hypochondrias, autism and multiple personalities to name a few.  Cursing was a problem today the students had to be talked to multiple times about their language.  Period two the students had an assembly, this was a former student talking about the military.  The speaker touched on his back ground, starting from high school on.  He went to the air force academy and is very successful.  He is a positive influence on these students and I think everyone benefited from his speech.  After his background he talked about life and three lessons to follow.  Lesson one is mind over matter, do not mind the things that don’t matter.  His examples were drama and high school stress; he was explaining that what to wear tomorrow and who kissed who is not important in life.  Focus on school and family which will always be very important. Lesson two, Appreciate tomorrows memories today.  Tomorrow is another day to really succeed, do not stress over today’s failures because tomorrow is a success. Lesson number three use present to prepare the future, work hard today and tomorrow will be a success.  Working hard now will pay off, and the future will be bright.  I enjoyed his speech and thought they way he present was great for a high school setting, he joked a lot and still had a positive lesson.  I think teachers should have more life long talks with students and really influence positive thought.  During lunch I was introduced to an adapted physical education teacher from the Boces program.  His name was Roy Spieling; he was here to work with a few students.  Instead of lunch I chose to observe and work with him.  He seemed really passionate about physical education and I knew I could learn a lot from him.  We worked with a student who was visually impaired, we played basketball.  She was amazing; she was making shots left and right.  I was very impressed and with her skill level.  We were playing around the world. I enjoyed working with this student because she was so grateful and really listened to every word we said.  I would really love to get involved with the adapted community.  I am going to keep in touch with Mr. Spieling and hopefully have to opportunity to work with him again.  This week is flying by and I am trying to make the best of this experience while it last because before you know it I will not be at Highland high school.    

-Albert A. Mercado

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Highland Experience

                                                     Day 2/Highland high school

The second day at the Highland high school was great; I am learning a lot from this experience and grateful for this opportunity. Period one was Physical education and I did a C-9 assessment on the lesson. This assessment checks for the essential elements of instruction, teaching style and strengths and weaknesses of the lesson.  According to my host teacher, the week before the holidays they allow the students to have kind of a recreational physical education class where they get to choose a sport and just play.  I do not know if I agree with this so much because it is basically recess and this is vital time that can be used to learn.  So there was not much to assess during the lessons throughout the week.  The students pick from basketball, ping pong or badminton and play for the whole period.  Period two was health class; we were still watching the student’s projects about mental health. This was the last day; the students had to hand in their packets with all the definitions.  They also had to write two paragraphs on the mental health unit. Fourth period was another physical education class, this time I was not filling a assessment out so I was able to interact with the students.  There were 16 students playing basketball and they were shooting for captains for one team.  This is where I came in and broke them up into four teams and told them to play half court.  This allowed more participation and no one was sitting out.  I kept giving the students pointers on how to create space and tips on how to succeed in basketball.  They really enjoyed my help.  I noticed on student was left out and not being passed the ball and standing in one spot.  In order to get him involved I made a rule up for the games, no one can shoot unless everyone touches the ball.  This increased passing and made everyone feel a part of the team.  This worked well because the one student was moving around more and even shot the ball. It felt so good to help a student out, I felt like I made his day.  After class I walked up to him and told him he did a great job and gave him a high five.  He smiled and I could tell he appreciated the help.  This is a great example of why I love to teach, that simple moment made this whole experience worth wild.  Seventh period we had another health class, we did the same exact thing as the period two health class, students handed in their work and the bell rang. The last period of the day was another physical education, once again the students got to choose a sport and they played the whole class.  This class was smaller and didn’t need my help with setting up a game, we just shot around and I gave some positive feedback to the students.  They seemed to enjoy when I commented on how well they were shooting, I don’t know if enough teachers do that.  The entire school is getting to know me and students come up to me and ask me if I can stay in Highland and be their coach.  It makes me feel proud that the students enjoy my company, I am affecting student’s life in a positive way and that is all I can ask for. I am excited for the rest of the week; hopefully I can have more great experiences.   

Monday, December 19, 2011

Highland high school experience

Day One
The first day of the field experience went well; I noticed a few things have changed since I was in high school.  The students are always on their phones, all day long! The students are also a little disrespectful to teachers, when I was in school when a teacher said something we listened.  Maybe it was because I was there and they were showing off, the host teacher Mrs. Bowman said they are usually like that though.  I was very surprised the way the students talked back and how much they were on their phones.  If I taught at the school I would go to the principal and explain a rule about cell phones needs to be in place.  First period I was in a health class with all juniors with a few seniors.  The class was watching the video/audio of their projects on mental illnesses. They used a program called photo story, this was a slide show they made with a recording of themselves in the background.  This was very interesting and I liked the project idea.  The students had to write every illness’s definition down as the projects were played; this was going to be collected for a grade later in the week.  Some students did not even write or watch the slide while other watched and took notes.  I observed four health classes; each class was watching their projects.  Every class a student was talked to about their cell phones, sometimes multiple students. The students did the reports on illnesses like Clinical depression which is a mental disorder characterized by all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self esteem, by loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities.  Another example would be Bipolar, mood swings, periods of very good or irritable mood depression.  Seasonal affect disorder, which is types of depression throughout a season, usually winter.  Other illnesses the students did their projects on are, anti-social disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, dependent personality, narcissism, histrionic personality disorder, dementia, amnesia, autism, ADD and hypochondrias. The periods I observed the health classes were 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 7th. 
            During my free periods I went to the main office and got a copy of the student handbook.  I asked Mrs. Bowman to print a copy of a lesson plan which she did.  I also asked her to print out of the grading policy of physical education and health. I am trying to do as much work in the begging so I do not have much work at the end of the week.  I felt I did a lot of work for the first day; I am on the right path.
            8th period I finally had a physical education class!  I was very happy to get out of a classroom and into a gym.  The students were finishing up fitness test and picking new sports to play for the upcoming classes.  The fitness testing was on sit-ups, curl ups and a pacer test. The grading sheet I copied also had pull ups and mile run on there, but I don’t know if they were actually tested on those.  After the students picked their sport it was free play basically, students grabbed basketballs and footballs and played.  The teacher walked around and tested the students who still didn’t test their fitness.  I played horse with a student for awhile, and then played knock out with a bunch of students.  We were having a great time! I noticed the students were much better behaved inside the gym then inside the classroom.  All the students enjoyed a new face and were asking me questions all day long, they really like young teachers. The class flew by and before you know it the bell rang and they had to go change, I talked with my host teacher and she told me a lot of students do not like to dress out.  She pointed to a student on the bleachers and explained he is one that never dresses out.  I knew I had to do an interview with a disengaged student and I asked Mrs. Bowman if I could ask him a few questions.  While the other students were changing I was interviewing the student on why he doesn’t like to change. The interview went well and I felt accomplished. Tomorrow there are three physical education classes so I am excited to be in the gymnasium more.    

-Albert A. Mercado

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Prezi about my low and high times in my life, in relation to movement.   Click the link to watch!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Last St. Mary's Experience

This was a very sad day, this was the last time our class would be visiting St. Mary's school.  Our theme was Christmas! For the second time in a row my group was the "gym" group and we did the first few activities with the children.  I am so thankful for being the gym group twice, it was such a great experience and I had a blast.  For my game, I tweaked a game I learned at a mini conference here at Cortland.  I named it Santa's run away present.  I used a huge medicine work out ball as the present, of course I spiced it up a little and wrapped the ball in wrapping paper and but bows all over it.  This was the runaway present!! The story behind the game was Santa’s sleigh was very packed this year and one present fell off this year. The present was a massive ordainment for a huge Christmas tree, so if this present hits the ground it will break.  Santa needs everyone’s help to make sure this doesn't hit the ground and it gets the proper house.  After the explanation and story behind the game I demonstrated the game. After the demonstration I partnered the students up and showed them where the starting point was.  How you play the game is, partners lay on their back feet touching.  Two more partners lay on their back feet touching right next to the first partners, so on and so forth. So we have all the students paired up and laying down making a path.  Now the tricky part, I roll the present over the student’s feet, once the present rolls over one group’s feet they have to get up and run to the end of the path of students and lay down again and wait for the present to come.  Basically they have to make a never ending path so the present doesn't touch the ground.  I used partners in this activity because we had so many students; usually each student just lies side by side. This is a great game because it really gets the students moving, it always works on teamwork and flexibility. There are many adaptations a teacher can do to this game, allowing the students to push the ball along themself and time how long it gets from one side of the gym(Santa’s sleigh) to the other side (home where present is going to).  This allows them to use communication skills, saying speed up or slow down the present.  If a teacher is working on a skill like skipping, the teacher can say once the present rolls over you, skipping is the only way to get to the end of the path.  I would use this when I know the students can do the skill because they will be rushing so you want to make sure they have the proper form before.  This will challenge them because it is a race against the clock; the ball rolls fast so it is fun.  Also changing the theme up is a possibility, saying runaway train is a great idea, say the breaks went out on the train and we need to make sure it gets back to the station safely.  There are endless opportunities with this game, just use your imagination.  The students at St. Mary's loved this game, the only problem was the first time the ball went a little fast and it got a little crowded at the end of the path, so start very slowly so the students understand and learn a nice flow to their movement.  Using props like a present really works wonders; they are so drawn to anything I make.  It is very simple to do and allows the students to really get into the game.  Their imagination flows when they actually see a huge present or see a turkey hanging from the basketball hoop. I cannot wait to have my own gym so I can make stuff daily, I would love to dress my gym up so the students just enter a whole new world when they come to my class. I am sad we will not be back to St. Mary's this semester, but I will definitely be visiting next semester. This winter I will be observing at Highland school district, I will be in the middle school for a week and then the high school for another week. I am so excited to see another district and watch how these teachers run their class; I will be taking a lot of notes and have a binder full of work to do about this experience.  Thanks for reading about my St. Mary experiences!

-Albert A. Mercado

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Experience

This was the day I was waiting for all semester.  Finally I was designated to teach the gym group, which is the largest group and the rest of my class assess the children’s skills. All eyes are on you and I love a challenge so this was one of my favorite days.  I was all prepared and ready to teach and I look around and notice more children then usually.  Here comes the curve ball, usually there is only 15 students to teach, the day I had to teach there was 40 students ranging from kindergarten to 5th grade! My professor walked up to me and asked me if I can handle all these children, without thinking twice I said without a doubt! Like I said before I love a challenge and I knew this would be a great experience for me.  Not only was there 40 children, girls basketball practice was going on and we only had half the gym!  There was also a pie sale on the gym which just added to the chaos. Going outside of your comfort zone is how you learn; everything can not be nice and easy all the time.  I had such a cool game planned for these kids I was ready to start. A few days prior to class I made to turkeys out of one huge balloon and one small balloon, I wrapped these balloons in brown felt and made feathers out of index cards.  These look very cool and when the children laid their eyes on them they couldn’t wait to play.  Our objective in today’s class was to analyze the students kicking and dribbling (basketball dribbling) with proper form.  I made up this awesome game in my head one night.  I hung the turkeys from the basketball hoops about 6 inches off the ground.  One turkey on one side of the court and one on the other, I placed polly spots in a semi circle around the turkeys and placed a ball on each.  Not knowing there were going to be 40 kids I set up for 20, but thinking on my toes I paired an older student with a younger student and we did the same drill.  Being located in upstate New York I knew a lot of these children were exposed to hunting, so I designed a hunting game.  We were going to hunt this turkey and our weapons were our feet.  We had to kick this ball at the turkey, then run after our ball, and dribble it back to our partner who kicks it and repeats it.  The students had to count how many turkeys they have hit.  In my head this was a perfect game, but with 40 kids it was a little crazy, balls were flying everywhere! They were having a great time and really working up a sweat.  Then I started thinking, lets do a game where they have to retrieve the turkeys, I wanted them to work on dribbling more because they were so excited to hit the turkey they were skipping the dribbling part.  So thinking on my ties again, I blew my whistle and explained that now we have to go find the turkeys we have hunted and pick them up and bring them home. We are going to do this by dribbling up to the turkey, dribbling around the turkey and dribbling back to our partner. This worked well, and was a lot calmer.  If knew there was going to be this many students I would have made at least 2 more turkeys and made four groups but I think I did really well considering my situation.  The students loved the game and my costume. I dressed up as a Native American which really helped with their imagination.  I learned a lot from this experience and I was happy I was thrown a few curve balls.  I am very excited because I get to teach the gym group again next class and its Christmas theme so I am going to have such a fun game planned. Also I am going to think about variations of the game I have planned just incase I have anymore curve balls thrown at me.  I have such a love for teaching, I love standing in front of these children and teaching them skills and watching them have the time of their lives.  I love impacting people’s lives; a physical education teacher gets to see 30 children a class and multiple classes a day.  We are so lucky because we can impact so many children’s lives in one day, this is the best profession in the world and I can not wait to start!      

-Albert A. Mercado

Monday, November 21, 2011

Turn a negative into a positive

"Everyone has had the experience of sharing life long goals or even simple ideas with someone and being denied of your rights to dream.  These people will disagree and shun well thought out goals. Most avoid these situations and allow that negative experience to alter their perception. Unlike most I thrive off these people and consider it a challenge....."      -Albert A. Mercado

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

St. Mary's Halloween Experience

This week was Halloween theme!  All the students really enjoyed seeing people dressed up in costumes.  I was a boxer, I had boxing gloves draped over my shoulder and I made a heavy weight title belt around my waist.  The students thought this was funny because the belt had flashy colors on it and it really stood out.  When all the students were lined up waiting for the first game to start a few students yelled, “Your Mr. Fit right?”  This made me very happy because the week before was super hero theme and I dressed up as Mr. Fit. They really remembered my costume! I was so excited when they said this and that feeling is why I love teaching.  I love impacting student’s lives, even if it is by dressing up as Mr. Fit and educating students about being fit.  I can’t wait to graduate and have my own gym and affect children every day! Some teachers don’t realize everything you say students really listen, you have to be positive and always be a role model.  After I did my game, I was playing football with a few of the students.  They were all on the football team and were very skilled. I noticed they had a lot of football knowledge; they must have a great coach.  Their record was 6-1 this year; I wish they were still in season so I could watch a game.  I was running some plays with them and informing them on some information that would make them better.  Simple things like a receiver’s foot closet to the ball should be on the line and the other foot, away from the ball should be back.  So if you line up to the right of the center and qb, your left foot would be on the line.  I told them this information once and then ran plays, they got it first try.  I even switched their sides to see if they fully got the concept and they did.  I was very impressed and I am looking forward to coaching football in my future.  St. Mary’s experience is very helpful to me and I can’t wait to go back, I wish we went every week.  Next week we go is thanksgiving theme and I have a great game ready for the students.  We are going to work on kicking and dribbling during my game. 

(click Lab Assesment to veiw the data I took on two students)
Lab Assesment
 -Albert A. Mercado

Friday, November 4, 2011

What Would You Do? Remix.

An informational video we made about stages of a baby from conception to an infant.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

St. Mary's School, Cortland New York

This is our third week visiting St. Mary’s after school program.  The theme for this week was super heroes; I dressed up as Mr. Fit.  A super hero I made up myself, I had a red mask and my weapons were healthy foods and exercises and stretches.  I drew these items and tapped them onto my belt; Mr. Fit kept the world healthy and enforced physical activity.  My costume worked well with the activity I played with them.  I used an activity I found from, I started off by introducing my character and explaining I just came back from a meeting with all the super heroes. We discussed how children were watching too much TV and not getting enough exercise.  I was here to promote healthy living, and I needed some sidekicks to help.  These sidekicks were Kid Cardio and Miss Muscle, they had to help me “tag” all the students and show them how to exercise.  If a student was tagged by Mr. Cardio they had to start in the hula hoop outside the tag area, and run to the cone and back pedal back to the hula hoop.  Then the student can join the tag game again.  This keeps everyone moving and no one is ever sitting out.  If a student is tagged by miss muscle they had to start in the other hula hoop and slide to the cone and back.  We were working on sliding so I decided to use that skill.  Once they finish they can also join the tag game.  The students enjoyed this game and were very tired once I blew my whistle.  I noticed kid cardio was running for a while and was slowing down, so I gave him a pool noodle to tag with so it was an extension of his hand. This helped because people really had to avoid him. I told him it was his sword.  This game was amazing, it not only worked on Psychomotor skills of skipping and running , the students had to use cognitive skills to understand who tagged them and which hula hoop to go to. Overall this was a success and next time we are at St. Mary’s it will be Halloween! Click the link that says “Lab Assessment” to see more details about the day and see the assessment I wrote up about two students I observed.  Lab Assessment

-Albert A. Mercado

SUNY Cortland Mini Conference Flash Mob 2011

Motor Development Dance Skit- Mr. Saxobeat

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

St. Mary's Lab 2 (Wild West)

                  Today was the second day we were at St. Mary’s school in Cortland NY.  We designated today as Western theme.  My group wore bandannas around our necks and had sticker sheriff badges on.  I think the kids enjoyed us dressing up and bringing them stickered sheriff badges so they felt they had a costume on also.  My group, “The Triple Nuggets” was with the pre-K group.  First we had play time inside because it was raining out.  The students were playing with dinosaurs and other toys.  I drew a dinosaur for a few children; they thought I was an artist.  After play time they had snack, they ate animal crackers and milk.  After snack Kristi read the children a book about cowboys, after the book we have everyone on sticker and went into the gym to start our games.  I led the groups in a tag game where the cowboys from the east had to catch the cowboys from the west.  I gave the cowboys from the east pool noodles, this was their lassos.  The cowboys from the eats had to lasso the other cowboys up.  I was getting the students to run around, after running I put little obstacles on the floor so they had to jump over them as they chased each other.  I was teaching them to jump off two feet or hop off one foot.  At this age it is hard to transition from running to hopping or jumping.  Most of them would slow down then hop or jump.  This is perfect as long as they are active and trying their best.  I noticed they really liked the fact that they had to jump over stuff so I quickly made up an obstacle course out of hula hoops and other toys around the gym.  I told them that in order to be the best cowboy you can be we have to practice all of our skills, so each obstacle had its skill.  The children loved this because no one was chasing them so they could go at their own pace.  Once we went in on direction for a while, I switched the direction so they can turn in another direction.  Overall I think the children really enjoyed themselves and definitely got a work out.  I am excited to go back in two weeks; I am running the big game at the end of the session with everyone! I am going to have a very unique and fun game prepared. 

 In the beginning of the day we had to watch a group do a few games and watch a few students and assess their locomotor skills.  I noticed that the group was really getting down to their level the students listened better when they got down on a knee. They also brought all the students into a corner which is a great idea.  The students can only focus on you and not the rest of the gym.  Some things that I would not have done were explain the game for such a long period of time.  Asking one question to see if the students understand is alright but asking a question after each direction is too much.  Also telling them you are breaking them up into two groups is a waste of time, just explain the game then just break them up into groups.  When the first thing you say is, “I’m going to break you up into two groups.”  The children are only thinking about who’s in their group not about the instructions.  Overall the group did great and the students were moving and had fun.  Again I would have done a game where there was less standing around, I tend to do games without lines.  I tend to use games were everyone is moving the entire game.  If there is a line, I would have the students doing jumping jacks or hula hoop while they are waiting.  Focusing on movement is more important than the flow of your game or who wins.  The students I was observing were very active.  I was watching a girl and a boy; I named them Joe and sue.  Joe was a little small for his age and less developed.  He had trouble with the hop; he could not stay on one foot.  He would change feet each time and never fully be on one foot.  The gallop was better but could only have one foot in front and his arms were not bent.  When he ran he was basically flat footed and needed to bend the trail leg more.  Other than all this technical observations he was active and participated just like every other child.  I think the more he grows the better these skills will get, a few games working on these skills might open his eyes to proper form.  Sue was more developed and one of the bigger children in the gym.  She could run fine and could basically gallop perfect.  I did not see her gallop with both feet forward but I think she was just doing whatever foot was more efficient.  The hop is what she needs to work on, she needed to bend the trail leg and use momentum more.  I think the children were playing a tag game so they were trying to go as fast as possible, when hopping fast it is hard to keep proper form.  Both students were enjoying themselves and could both do the skills just not at a very high level.  Next time we are at St. Mary’s it is super hero theme and I am going to have a great costume!
  Here is a LINK to my assesment for lab 2!

-Albert A. Mercado             

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rock Skipping

One of my many hobbies, rock skipping.  This was done first try at my friend Mike Brown's lake in Stormville NY.  Sorry for the video being sideways.  Hope you enjoy it!
-Albert A. Mercado

Should Dodgeball be in Physical Education??

                The question of the day is should dodge ball be in Physical Education? I want to make sure everyone understands we are talking about Physical Education in schools not at camps or clubs.  This is a huge debate in my Motor Development class; most of my class was for the game of dodge ball in our schools.  To be honest I was shocked and disappointed, my class consist of all physical education majors who should understand what we are trying to do as Physical Educators.  I want to start by asking a question, and I want you to think really hard and be honest with yourself.  "Why did you like dodge ball so much when you were growing up?" Your answer is probably, "Because I never got out and I was the dodge ball KING!!!"  I know as a student at Kent elementary school I loved dodge ball; I was so excited to play.  The reason I loved dodge ball so much was because I was usually one of the last one standing, I could throw a dodge ball very fast and my agility was lighting.  The reason most of my motor development class is for dodge ball in a physical education setting is exactly that, they are all fit and active, they were just like me one of the last ones standing in the game of dodge ball.  They think because they had a great experience playing this game; all the students will enjoy it.  Well, they are dead wrong!!! As a physical education teacher I want to change as many lives as I can, for the better.  I do not want any of my students looking back on their physical education experience and saying that teacher was mean, unfair and didn't care about us.  I want my students to look back and say, Mr. Mercado was the best teacher I had; I want them to remember me for the rest of their lives. Playing dodge ball is setting yourself up for failure, there is going to be a handful of students who love dodge ball but then the rest of your class is going to be miserable.  That can ruin their physical education experience and which might change their lives in a negative way.  That little boy who got hit in the face that day might never want to be around physical activities again.  The big picture here is, if one student might be negatively affected by this game then why play it?  Teaching dodging and teamwork can be done in many other ways than students throwing balls at each other.  Games like tag, dodge ball, duck duck goose are on the hall of shame for a reason.  The students who are "out" are the students who are not as physically fit as the others and therefore shouldn't be sitting out; they should be the ones practicing the skills they need to improve.  All my students improving on the skills they come into my class with is a huge goal of mine.  I don't care what skills you walk into my gym with, all I care about is what skills you walk out of my gym with.  If everyone got a little better by taking my class then I did my job correctly. Another reason I dislike dodge ball is there is no way to change the game.  If I set up an obstacle course and one of my students is scared of heights, I can change that part of the course so he/she feels comfortable in my lesson.  Now he/she is having fun that day and I know what we have to work on.  I can plan the rest of that week on heights and slowly work on that weakness.  If a student doesn't like being hit by balls and is scared there is no way to say no one hit each other, its dodge ball that’s the only point of the game.  Physical Educators have to always be on their toes, no matter what you have planned you're always going to have to switch stuff around for each class; this is part of being a good teacher. I hope everyone can read this post and fully understand why I strongly believe dodge ball should be banned from schools.  Thanks for your time!

-Albert A. Mercado

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How bad do you want it?

                       "Reach for the stars and if you don't make it you're still on top of the world." 
             This video is true, most people are worried about what other people think and what other people do.  We are individuals, you are the only one who knows your path to success. Do not let anyone tell you how to succeed, you know deep down inside of you what the right thing to do is.  Stand up for what you believe in and fully believe in what you are doing and you WILL succeed. 
              I will tell you a personal story most do not know about me.  When I was in high school I KNEW I was going to become a Physical Educator.  The only school I wanted to attend was SUNY Cortland.  Mid year my mother and I drove 30 minutes to the next town over, to go to a college fair.  I was so excited to speak to someone who actually worked at SUNY Cortland.  I walked past every college booth looking for the Cortland one.  I finally found the booth and starting asking questions and was bragging about all my extra activities and volunteer work I have done.  The lady at the booth was not impressed, she looked at me and asked me my GPA.  I was stunned because we were mid conversation about my mentor program and how I effected these three young freshman's lives.  I answered her question anyway. To my surprise she simply answered that my GPA and SAT scores were too low.  She said I should look at other colleges and do not even apply to Cortland.  This was the lowest I have felt in my entire life, I thanked her for her time and walked away.  I walked around the college fair in a daze, I couldn't beleive she just shot my dreams down. On the car ride home I was talking to my mom about the situation, she pulled over and taught me a life lesson that will stick with me forever.  She said, "Your better than this, you're going to let some college representive who doesn't know ruin your lifes dream? You're better than this, you will overcome her negative enegery and you will get into college and become the best Physical Education teacher in the country!" From that day on worked I so hard on getting into the school of my dreams.  I was emailing everyone and anyone trying to get my name known, I was volunteering in classrooms every week.  I have always been an average test taker, I am not going to let taking tests determine my life.  The day I was looking foward to finally came, my mother called me home one day and said, "I have somthing to open with you." I came home and saw the Cortland envelope, I was so nervous.  My stomach was in knots but I was still very confident.  I opened the envelope and started reading, once I saw the words, "Happy to inform you" I knew my dream came true. I was proud of myself, I could have left that college fair and let that lady's negative comments change my goals in life. I could have said you know she is right, my grades are't up to par I will apply next year.  I proved her wronjg, it was a great feeling.  This is what life is about, overcoming these negative things and succeeding.  Now a senior at Cortland I have had many more moments like this, but all these negaitive things that I have overcome have made me the person/teacher that I am today. I have great experiences because of times like this. I can apply what I have learned throughout my experiences and change my students lives.  Exactly what my mother has done for me, I am the man I am today because of my mother!  She is the most intelligent, caring, selfless, beautiful person I know. I have a pretty long path to becoming a Physical Education teacher but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once I'm out of the tunnel and get a job I will start into another tunnel, I will always have goals in my life. I want to not only be a Physical Education teacher with my masters in special education, I want to get my administrative degree and become an athletic director.  I also would love to publish books on reasearch of my choice.  I am just excited about life and can not wait to see where God brings me! I hope someone reads this blog and it effects them in a positive way, my main goal in life is to positively effect as many people as I can.  Thank you for your time!

-Albert A. Mercado

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why are fundamental skill development and assessment is so important to our profession and health of our students?

Fundamental skill development is learning the basic movements involving two or more body segments categorized in three sections, stability, locomotor or manipulative movements.  Examples of each would be twisting and turning, running and jumping, and striking and throwing.  Learning these skills are very important, they all lead to more complex movements used in sports and everyday activities to stay fit.  If a student doesn’t learn these at an early age he or she might feel insecure about activities that include physical e activity.  If a person doesn’t feel comfortable in physical activity and doesn’t participate in these activities they are more likely to be overweight and have health problems. 
                Assessment is how the teacher knows what level his students are at, during that activity or period of time.  A teacher can test in the begging of a lesson, the first day.  This will tell the teacher where his students have started.  Then the teacher will teach the lessons and let the students practice.  At the end of the lesson the teacher can test once again and show the students how far they have came.  This will keep their moral up and they will be more likely to take the next lesson you have planned with a positive attitude.  “It’s not where you start, it’s where you end.”(Dr.Jeff Walkuski) Teachers love to see progress, that’s all that matters, we do not want to see all our students make it to the NFL but we would love to see all the students get better and take what they have learned and use it in their life.
-Albert A. Mercado

St. Mary's Lab #1

St. Mary’s Lab Write-up #1
(Click the word Lab to open up the lab)
This was the first day we visited St. Mary’s when there were children there, it was a memorable day.  I was very excited to meet all the children.  The day went really well, the students were very polite and respectful.  They listen to all the adults when they would speak to them.  I was outside with the older group of children and one of the students ran up the slide, one of the adults watching told him not to walk up the slide.  The child said, “Ok, sorry.” I thought this was very mature for someone his age, I was really impressed. When I was inside with the younger group of children before they ate snack they said grace and when they wanted more milk they raised their hands and asked politely.  This is a great way to run snack time; they were all on track the whole time.  There were some differences when the children were playing, both gender and age.  The girl students played jump rope, in the big toy houses and “patty cake”.  The boys played with all the sport toys like footballs, basketballs and dodge balls.  I thought nothing of this because this is normal in most school settings.  When I was interacting with the students I welcomed all students to play in my games.  I was playing tag and a bunch of relay races with the young students.  They also really impressed me; they were able to run backwards.  Some faster than others but they were able to doing many skills, including hopping, running, running backwards, skipping and sliding.  There were a boy and a girl who really stood out to me in the younger group I watched; they were very fast and athletic.  Another boy stood out to me in the younger group, he was the smallest out of the group and was attached to me.  He would try all the skills and succeed just a little slower.   The older kids were into more in depth games like transformers and cops.  They were doing the same skills but without thought, they were jumping, running and hopping just to play their part in the imagery game.  I also noticed the older students like to make the games up and be in control but the younger students liked when I made the games up and told them what to do.  I like working with younger children because you can affect them in many ways because they actually listen and want to learn.  I was getting a younger boy line up as a running back and take a hand off and run into the ‘touchdown”, I also taught him how to spike the ball for an end zone dance which was pretty funny ! This just showed me how eager they were to learn and how they can be molded into healthy, active people.  I am really excited for the next time we go back and actually get to have games planned!
-Albert A. Mercado

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Blog

Today I am writting my first blog, I am not great with computers and technology but I am excited to start learning the "Blogging way."