Here are some easy steps to keep the hype.
Every year most states, if not all, states have a weekend long physical education conference. In these conferences you get to see keynote speakers and awesome workshop leaders. By the end of the weekend everyone is pumped up, ready to go back to their schools, and teach like they’ve never taught before.
You’ve learned all these new great skills and you want to implement them into your classes right away. This is great!
It is awesome to see teachers going to conferences learning and trying new activities in their classes, but what happens when the conference is over? You’re 3, 4, 5, 6 weeks past the conference and things start going back to normal. What can you do to keep the hype? What can you do to not get the workshop blues?
PERSONAL LEARNING NETWORK
This is a great question for all of us! I even have the workshop blues this year. That’s mainly because I didn’t get to go to my state’s annual conference. So what do you do? This is where your personal learning network (PLN) comes into play.
Hopefully you have a person or two in your PLN that are in the same state as you. They may be even went to the conference that you went to. You got to meet your PL in member in person for the first time. If you are able to connect and share and collaborate with your PLN post conference, that hype that you came away from the conference with will hopefully not disappear.
Even if the members of your PLN are not in your state or did not go to the same conference as you, you can still debrief with them about it. Tell them the highlights. Tell them the things that you heard that you didn’t quite agree with. Anything that can help you grow is shareable.
I know throughout the years I have learned things from teachers that I thought were excellent teachers and I’ve learned things from teachers who do things a little different than I do. You have to think back to that conference, take that one big idea that you really learned, and implement it.
Like I’ve said in a previous post, don’t try to do too much all at once, you’ll get overwhelmed. Then like a lot of people, you may even give up. And that’s what we don’t want to have happen. You have to be proactive in finding that next mountaintop experience.
From conference to conference and in between conferences you are on Twitter, Voxer, reading blogs, and listening to podcasts.
You are connecting with your PLN whether it’s through telephone calls, emails, Google hangouts, conference calls, whatever it might be to keep that fire going. After conferences and in between workshops, that is where your PLN is crucial.
These are the people who keep you motivated. Who keep you accountable. Who encourage you! This is why it’s so important to build your PLN.
I hope everyone at CAHPERD had a great time this last weekend. And I can’t wait for San Diego next year!
BUILDING YOUR PLN
If you want to learn how to build your PLN check out these blog posts; Taking thing into your own hand!, Are you serious?! Why should I do that?, My phone can do that?, Blog, blog, blog!, and Have you ever heard anything like this before?.
A great way to end things…
Over the past several weeks I have shown you for tools to help you grow your personal learning network (PLN).
This has been a great learning experience for myself as well! I have gone on a personal journey, discovering how I have really learned and grown as a professional. These tools have become a part of me. When I have an extra minute I just turn to one of them and the learning starts.
I hope over these past several weeks that you have been able to put some tools in your tool belt as well. I, especially, hope you are implementing these tools at a slow and manageable rate. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed. I want to see you growing professionally and personally as well.
This series has been my best series of blogs that I have written over the past year and a half. I’ve had more interaction more sharing and more compliments than before. Because of all of the great comments I will be putting the finishing touches on an e-book that will be free that goes over these tools and much much more on growing your PLN. So be on the lookout for that!
If this series has helped you grow in your professional journey I would just ask that you would share this content with colleagues and friends who are beginning their learning journey as well. I want to see as many people as possible getting better at their craft, teaching.
After writing this series of blog post I really and truly believe that I have been able to define exactly what it is I am supposed to do in education. I believe that I am supposed to resource educators. One thing that I have done over the past few days for high school physical education teachers in California specifically is created a standards bass lesson planner that high school course one in high school course two teachers can use to create their lesson plans. Is available right here if you just click on the link. I based this Google form off of the one that was created by Justin schleider out of New Jersey. His lesson planner is based off of the national standards for those of you who do not have state standards.
This is one of the most effect ways of professional learning…
We are in our final post of our four-week series talking about building your personal learning network (PLN).
This is a really exciting topic for me. I love to do this whenever and wherever I can. It’s easy to do. What is it, you might ask?
Listening to podcasts!
Why do I like podcast so much? They are packed full of information in a short amount of time. You can listen to them just about anywhere.
- while you’re shaving
- while you’re brushing your teeth
- out exercising
- waiting in line
- driving in your car or
- while on your conference period
Another reason for my fascination with podcasts is because of the many different topics you can choose from. I like to listen podcasts dealing with…
- physical education
- business and
- just for entertainment
The one detriment to podcasts is the lack of interaction between pod casters and listeners.
Podcasts, for me, are pretty much content absorbing only. You can, however, comment on a podcast if you’re at the podcast website. I know for me and the people I know that listen to podcast we listen on an app and I just put the podcast feed into the app. It makes listening to much easier. I rarely go to the website that the podcast is coming from.
The power of a podcast comes from being able to hear content spoken, rather than just reading like we do for blogs. You get to hear the voice of the person pushing out the content. It feels more personal and you can hear the passion in their voice. A pod caster can cover a lot more ground than a blogger. One 30 minute podcast episode is probably 4-6 blog posts of information. Most people don’t take the time to read that long. They like short manageable bite-size chunks to read. People don’t mind listening so much because they can do many other things while listening, like I mention earlier.
Some of my favorite podcasts to listen to are…
Another one is the #physed podcast. This is a podcast by Joey Feith and Nathan Horne talking about general physical education topics.
Another great one to listen to for physical education research is the PEPRN podcast. This one is by Dr. Ash Casey out of the UK.
My favorite one to listen to is the Voxcast podcast. This podcast is recorded by Jorge Rodriguez out of Houston, Texas. He interviews people through the Voxer app and then puts those interviews into podcast format. It’s always chock full of great information by his guest and his interview team.
How to listen?
I use the stock podcast app on my iPhone 6. It works for me. I have found that a well known android app that you can use to stream your podcast is Pocket Cast. Not sure how it works, but it looks like a quality app.
Hopefully you were inspired to try out a podcast. Again, just like all the other forms of building your PLN, start slowly and work your way up. Before you know it, you will be learning more and doing more than you ever thought possible!
If you enjoyed this post, I’d asked that you would comment below, tell me what podcast you like to listen to and share this with a friend.
Remember this: physical education – where mind and body come together!
I bet you’ve never read anything like this before…
There’s so much information in the world today, it’s very hard to determine what is good and what is not.
There are so many people in the blogosphere that claim to be experts in their given content, so you have to be good at telling the bad from the good and the good from the great!
We are in week three of developing our Personal Learning Network (PLN). This week we will show you how to pick the right blog(s) for you to read and give you a few good ones to begin with.
I’m also going to share with you my favorite app to organize the blogs I follow into one nice, neat, place.
What’s a blog?
A blog is a short piece of written content. People use blogs to provide information and to sell products. It’s usually written by individuals or companies and in normally written in conversational style. They are usually updated very quickly.
Why should you read a blog?
Blogs should be read because they are fairly short reads and packed full of content. Blogs can be read pretty much anywhere:
- In line
- On your conference period
- In department meetings (to discuss the content)
- At home
- On your computer
- On your tablet or phone
These are some of the best in the field of physical education. If you need help finding one in your area of content let me know! I’ll find a good one for you.
I encourage you take a look at all of these different blogs. There is so much to be learned by these educators who have been teaching for a long time and sharing for a long time.
To keep up with these blogs it is very respectful to subscribe. Plus, if you subscribe you will be alerted to when the next blog is available by email.
Also, a lot of bloggers give out extra incentives to subscribe and subscribers are also given extra content for being loyal. Bloggers may produce email or video courses, ebooks, and other downloadables for their subscribers.
Now I know you can’t subscribe to everyone and I don’t expect you to, but for your favorites I highly recommend it.
I do want to show you an incredible little app that I love to keep track of all of my blogs. It’s app that keeps them all in the same place and makes it incredibly easy to look for updates.
The app is called Feedly.
Give it a try!
I not only want to encourage you to read blogs, but I want to inspire you to write a blog. So many bloggers start out by blogging just for themselves as a way to reflect and share what they are doing in their classes.
Reflecting is a great thing that all teachers should be doing. I know most of us do reflect in our minds, but it’s much more powerful and life changing if you write it down and get feedback from your PLN.
I dare you to leave a comment. Tell me which blogs you read and tell me the link to your blog so I can subscribe to you.
If this inspired you to give reading blogs a chance feel free to share this post with someone else who could benefit!
Remember: Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!
Have you ever had a conversation with 30 people at the same time on your phone? Look at this…
Last week I ranted and raved about how good Twitter was. It still is great. I love it! It’s really my to go to social media site for professional development. But guess what boys and girls? Twitter has a big brother and it’s name is a Voxer.
Voxer can do everything that Twitter can do, but there’s a cool twist. You get to actually hear the voice of the teachers that you have been collaborating with on Twitter. Also, you’re NOT limited to 140 characters. You can talk pretty much as long as you want. But there are unsaid Voxer rules. No one wants to really listen to a 10 to 20 minute vox. So we try to keep them to 2 to 5 minutes at the max.
Voxer is a different kind of beast. You can get into several different Voxer groups. Such as:
- secondary education
- elementary physical education
- Google Classroom
- standards-based grading
- SOLO taxonomy
- general PE group
- Hack Learning
I’m sure I’m missing some. There are groups for pretty much every content area.
Outside the group
You can also do what they call a side-vox. This is basically when you want to go more in-depth with a single person from a group about a certain topic or lesson and you just want to vox them alone, one-on-one outside of the group.
The craziness of Voxer
Being in Voxer can be very overwhelming at first, especially if you’re in a lot of groups. If you miss a day or two you could easily be a couple hundred voxes behind.
I know when I first joined Voxer it made me want to quit. I wanted to hear the whole conversation, but I just didn’t have the time. I had to learn to just join in where the chat was at and go on from there.
One of the nice things about Voxer is that it seems people respond a little quicker then they do on Twitter. I think this is because people have their phones on them and they can just throw out a quick message whether they’re in between classes, in the gym, or whenever they have a free moment.
Your phone is basically turned into a supercharged walkie-talkie.
How to sign-up
The screen shots I’m going to show you are from a phone since this is the main way you will use Voxer. There is a desk top version which allows for a few extra options, but using only your phone works just fine.
1. Download the Voxer app from either the app store or Google Play.
2. Here’s what the app looks like from the front.
3. Allow Voxer to access your microphone.
4. Then sign up.
click “create account” after filling out all of the information.
5. You can set up alerts if you would like.
6. Next you can setup your profile by uploading a picture and customizing your username.
7.Your opening screen should look like this. The Voxer people have left you your first three voxes.
How to get into physical education Voxer groups
The best way to find all of the physical education Voxer groups is to use this QR codes created by Spencer Barfuss @physed on Twitter. His website is voxerpe.com After you have the Voxer app on your phone all you have to do is scan the QR code with your phone and you are pretty much added automatically.
Closing things up
Turning your phone into a walkie talkie is the cool thing to do! I highly suggest you get involved with one Voxer group to start out. Get a handle on it. Then join another.
If you were encouraged to join or you know someone who would be interested, please share this with them.
Make sure to comment below to tell me about your Voxer experiences. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Remember: Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!
So many people just don’t understand that there is a trick to it…
It was two years ago when I discovered that I wasn’t as good at teaching as I thought I was. I got onto this little social network site and started searching for physical education. Come to find out, there are a lot of physical education teachers and teachers in general on this amazing social media site.
What site am I talking about? None other then Twitter!
A little history
Before Twitter, I was only smart enough to get on pecentral.com or just Google a certain game and rules or skills, things like that to get any new information. I would also just create my own materials.
I got on Twitter when it first came out. I wasn’t too interested in it. I could only type 140 characters and no one really read it. It seemed it was mainly for celebrities back then. On my original account I still only have 52 followers. Most of them I don’t even know. My family doesn’t even follow me.
For some reason though, I decided to give it another try, just to see what would happen. And the results were amazing. I got so much more than I ever expected.
You might be asking yourself, why is it so amazing now and not when you first tried it? To tell you the truth, I just didn’t give it enough time.
I saw all these amazing pictures, videos, and links to websites and blogs. I didn’t know you could do all that.
So when I got on for the second time, I was really nervous about typing anything in case somebody actually saw what I typed. So, I just looked at what other people were tweeting.
Through Twitter I learned that I was doing a lot of things correct, but I was also needing a lot of improvement. I was using portions of the sport and model, the teaching games for understanding or (TGfU) model, and the fitness education model. I didn’t even know these were models that were already out there invented. I was just piecing stuff together.
Being able to find resources through Twitter I became more effective in my teaching strategies. I do, however, still combine the different models of teaching together. I’m just used to it that way and I feel it’s really effective.
I also started to learn more about standards-based teaching, lesson planning, and assessing.
I also learned about a new assessment model called solo taxonomy. As one of the greatest tools ever invented for education.
Most importantly though, I was able to make friends on Twitter and have a great deal of collaboration. I’m doing things now that I know I never thought I would be able to do. Now all I do is throw a question out on Twitter and within just an hour or less I have answers waiting on me.
To put this all in one short sentence, Twitter is the best professional development I’ve ever had!
So where do we go from here?
Here is where I challenge you, if you’re not on Twitter sign-up for Twitter. Right below I’m going to show you exactly how to sign up for Twitter and I’m going to give you the top 30 names to follow on Twitter to get you headed in the right direction.
1. Go to Twitter.com and sign-up.
2. Fill out the following form.
3. You can then either enter your phone information or skip it.
4. Choose a username. You can change it later.
5. Click “Let’s Go”
6. Check off what you’re interested in and continue.
7. Follow the 40 suggestions they have for you if you want. You can pick and choose from the list.
8. You can add a photo for your profile.
9. You can use your email to find friends on Twitter.
10. There you go! You are all set-up.
OK, now you’re signed up for Twitter. That’s the easy part!
Week one – sign up for Twitter, follow top 30, make tweet to @mrphysicaled, look at what other people are posting.
Week two– ask a question on Twitter on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Week three – keep asking questions, reply or comment to at least one tweet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
#1 mentions – @mrphysicaled
What that means is you are you putting in the Twitter handle of the person that you are wanting to tweet too. By doing this it will send that person a notification that someone has mentioned them in a tweet.
#2 hashtags – #
If you want more people to see your tweets you have to use mentions and hashtags.
Another handy tool in Twitter are the list. You can put people into a list that you want to follow. That way you could just go to that list to see what those people are tweeting. This little trick gets you around the clutter of your Twitter feed. You might not want to see what everyone is saying. But you may want to focus in on what a few people are saying. And it list is a great way to do that.
People to follow on Twitter
@mrphysicaled @pewithmrt @physedapps @physedagogy @andyvasily @joeyfeith
@mradampe @mrrobbo @bodepe @alicekeeler @kymmballard @thepespecialist
@jcouvy @ncpe4life @terridr99 @rizzutoed @sarahdateechur @imsporticus
@mrhorne101 @arit_choke @coachpirillo @markbarnes19 @smartintahoe @johnjonespe
@mrpicha_pe @mrhairphysed @schleiderjustin @drashcasey @physednow
@physed_pomeroy @physedreview @rickwormeli @adamphowell @misshartl
@ghsaysrockchalk @movelivelearn @mrmetcalfpe @penathan @lovephyed
To end up!
I hope this story of my Twitter journey has inspired you to sign-up. I hope to see you in the twittersphere soon!
If this post inspired you, please pass it on to a friend. Make sure to tell me about your Twitter story in the comments.
Remember: Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!
Mindless meetings! Required attendance! No relevance! Take professional learning into your own hands.
Do you have a vision for your professional learning?
I know I sure do! I’m on a quest. Not only do I want to become better at my craft, but I want to inspire and encourage others to be their best as well.
My dream is to teach teachers, to teach leaders, to teach people who want to grow! Most teachers these days love teaching for the fact they get to see those ‘aha’ moments in their students eyes.
I get that same joy, in my heart, when I am able to help a teacher experience that same type of learning. It’s great to get opportunities to help a teacher learn a new concept or show them how to use a new ed. tech. tool. When their eyes light up, it’s amazing!
What made me this way?
As I think back to when I was in school I remember the teachers that I had.
- Mrs. Cunningham
- Mr. Hart
- Mr. Jones
- Miss Behrens
- Mr. Swift
- Coach Shaw
- Mrs. Walsworth
and many more.
Whenever I would learn a new concept, a new Spanish word, or learn how to develop a picture in the darkroom, or run a faster time in the mile, my teacher’s faces would beam. I want to give that same joy to teachers.
Research has shown that teachers need continuous learning opportunities to stay on the cutting edge of education in order to keep our students learning at the same pace as the rest of the world.
As teachers we should be a learning, growing, and developing each and every day.
We need to be setting the example for our students. If we expect them to learn new, difficult content, then we should be as well.
My dream, is to resource, mentor, provide staff development at schools, lead workshops, and be a keynote speaker.
I have an unusually tough vision to reach though. I don’t want to necessarily reach those who are already on the right track. Those people who are already in their own personal learning that works(PLN’s). If they want to learn from me thought I won’t deny them.
I want to reach those who think they “know it all” already. Or those who don’t realize what they’re doing just isn’t as good as it could be.
I don’t have these goals to make myself look good. I just want to reach the hard to reach teachers and help them grow and get better. I know from experience that someone has to be out there to help those teachers.
I was once a teacher who thought I was doing all the right things. I thought I was the best physical education teacher in the world. I thought too highly of myself.
Then I found this awesome little thing called Twitter and saw that there are thousands of teachers just rockin’ it in the education world and kicking my butt!
Since my goal is to make teachers better, I have to share what made my professional growth journey take off and lead me in the direction I am in now.
The most influential thing in my life as a teacher has been my Personal Learning Network (PLN).
This is the beginning of a series. “How to Develop your PLN”.
You’re going to learn the importance of your Twitter account. Then explore it’s big brother Voxer. Next I’ll talk about how to find quality blogs to read and podcasts to listen to.
So we don’t get overwhelmed, we will take this step-by-step, inch by inch, and make it as painless as possible.
After we discover how to develop our PLN we will apply those principles to our learning and growth and put them into action so you can become the best teacher that you can be.
I dare you to come on this trek with me. If you know someone who might benefit from this please pass it along.
What do you do for your own professional development? Why did you choose your path?
Remember: Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!
So, my students are supposed to be active, I’m going around the room putting out fires and I see this…
A student standing in the corner not doing anything.
Ok, maybe not like this.
But, students standing around in class happens almost daily in in my classes for a variety of reasons.
I think to myself, “What’s going on”? My students know that I want them to be as active as possible during the class. I also try to plan activities that are engaging and fun. So, what do I do? Do I let them stay in the corner and not engage them? Do I wait to see if they get on task? Do I approach them and see what’s going on?
It all depends on who the student is and what their disposition is.
Most of the time I do approach the student. I want to know why they are not taking part in class activities. I want to know if they are having a bad day, not interested in the activity, if they’re tired, or what?
This is key!
If students are not participating they are not getting better at the skill being practiced, gaining knowledge, and we, teachers, are not able to assess and give feedback for improvement.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen teachers not really care about those students. They think to themselves and tell their colleagues, “well at least they are not causing any problems”. This type of attitude is NOT acceptable. If a student is not participating in our class we as adults need to get to the bottom of the problem.
Just because they are “old enough” to be responsible for their behavior doesn’t mean they really are. Age doesn’t determine responsibility or situations students are going through.
We as teachers need to be proactive with these students and try our best to get this situation solved. ALL students need encouragement to do their best and to find activities that they will enjoy doing for a lifetime.
Standing around, not participating shouldn’t be an option. Our lessons should be so well thought out and jammed packed with activity that students are running to our class. We should be getting comments from parents and other teachers about how students love coming to our class.
Learning should be and can be extremely fun.
What do you do the the “stand around students” in your class?
Make sure to comment below. Discussion is where learning really takes place! I can’t wait to hear from you.
Make sure to share this with your colleagues so we can see where all of us stand on this topic.
Remember: Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!
You’ll never believe what I’m going to do in 2016.
Winter break has been a great time off. Time to spend with family and friends and time to reflect on the past and gear up for the future.
I have some goals that I would like to achieve this year and some that are more long-term. I believe it’s important that we do this so we can be good examples for our students.
Something I’m going to do that’s a little different for me is to use the SMART Goal formula for myself just like I teach my students.
Why am I doing this? Again to model for my students. If I want them to do what I teach I have to do what I teach as well. There should be no, “Do as I say, not as I do”. Your students watch you and you should live a life that lines up with what you teach.
I’ll get off the little soapbox.
So, let’s look at a couple of the goals that I have for the coming year.
1. Create screencasts so I can use the flipped classroom model.
I just feel that I’m not able to get all the information to my students that they need to get. I also want my students to become more tech savvy. They need to understand that technology is not only limited to texting, social media, and games.
2. I want to try to use Google Forms more effectively, not only as a formative assessment tool.
I feel like I’m stuck in a rut when it comes to using Google Forms and they are so much more versatile.
3. I’m going to use a student survey at the end of the semester for feedback on how to make the class better.
I’ve done a lot of self-reflection, but I’ve never asked the students or parents for feedback.
4. I’m going to create, promote, and host a webinar.
There are a couple of topics talked about in social media that seem to get to a certain point then stop. I want to push the profession a little deeper.
Of course I have some personal goals as well, but let’s keep this on the professional side.
I think it’s important for everyone to set goals. I heard a saying once that went like this, “If your not moving forward, your moving backward”. We all need to move forward, if not for ourselves for our students. They deserve the best we can give them.
To put it bluntly, if your not trying to get better maybe you should do something you really want to do.
Let’s get a conversation going about this topic. Tell me what some of your goals are. Give people permission to keep you accountable to reaching those goals. Leave your comments below.
If you know someone who needs to hear about goal setting make sure to share this blog post with them.
Always Remember…Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!
You won’t believe what I stole…
When I was 11 or 12 years old my step-brother and I were in a grocery store near the apartment where we lived. I can’t remember the reason for going there, but he dared me to take something. I didn’t really want to, but he was really pressuring me.
So, I thought to myself, “How am I going to do this”? I noticed I had sweat pants on and we were in the hygiene isle. I looked around and grabbed a bar of soap and dropped it down the leg of my sweat pants. I knew it wouldn’t fall out because of the elastic at the bottom.
I couldn’t get out of the store quick enough. Looking back I still can’t believe I did this, but I just had to come clean with you.
What does this have to do with education? Let’s take a look.
Over the past few months I’ve come to find that I’m different than those I try to emulate my teaching after. I try to create the awesome lesson ideas that they do and I find that I get very frustrated with myself.
It’s easy to get frustrated when you compare yourself to those you look up to. You need to remember that you have a special gift that is only yours. Find out what that is and run with it. You will be happier and your students will benefit.
The people I enjoy following on Twitter and reading their blogs are the “rock stars” of the profession right now:
Andy Vasily Jo Bailey Adam Llevo Joey Feith Nathan Horne
These people are innovators and creators in the physical education world. I admire them for what they are doing!
I’ve discovered though that I may be the best thief in physical education. You see, I don’t necessarily conceive new innovative, creative, awe inspiring teaching methods, lesson ideas, or tech tricks, but I can implement like nobodies business and get others to do the same.
Look at what I have stolen:
- character education cards from Andy Vasily
- Jo Bailey encouraged me to become a Google Certified educator
- Adam Llevo inspired me to actually implement SOLO Taxonomy and some tech ideas into my arsenal of tools
- Joey Feith introduced me to Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU)
- My questioning ability has greatly improved by listening to Nathan Horne.
I’ve become more bold over the last two years because of the influence of these great educators.
In the first semester of this school year I have:
1. provided professional development to my department a. We no longer grade according to dressing out, participation, and behavior. b. We have started using standards based instruction and grading. c. We plan together. d. We waist no time in class since we started using instant activities in class.
2. provided professional development to my entire school staff a. Google Classroom introduction b. I was able to show the benefit of student led conferences and we will be using this model school wide in the spring.
So, what am I trying to say?
There is more than one way to be an effective teacher. You can create, innovate, imitate, or even misappropriate.
The most important thing is that you find the style that works for you and you do what’s best for your students. You can’t go wrong with that.
Have you been an idea thief before?
Let us know in the comments what you “stole”. If you know someone who has “stolen” a resource or an idea share this with them to get them involved in the conversation.
I always teach that the comments is where the real learning takes place.
Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!