QR Codes & How to Use Them

Teachers these days need an easy way to incorporate technology into their classrooms. One of the easiest ways to do this is with QR codes.

What is a QR code you may ask. It is in basic terms a bar code just like you would see at the market. QR codes are usually square instead of rectangular.

A QR code can hold all types of information. It can hold website links, pictures, and text just to name a few.

In this video we discuss how to make a QR code on www.qr-code-generator.com and I give you QR codes you can scan to give you over 60 different ways to use them in your class.

 

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Where did you come from? Where are you going?

Today I want to give you the background behind Mr. Physical Education and why I started it.

IN THE BEGINNING

At the beginning of my career I taught at a couple of different schools. At each school I was the only one in my department. I was young and I knew how to use the internet to look up resources to use in my classes. I also had a lot of my own ideas coming right out of college. What I didn’t realize though was the culture of each school. One school was a small country school. The other was a private Catholic school. Both schools had huge parent involvement and the students were incredible. I was able to teach whatever I wanted with no complaints from the students. It was like teaching in a lab school. I was allowed to take risks and fail and start again.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was developing an ego. I truly thought I was the best physical education teacher in the nation. I thought this because I knew what I was doing and I knew what a lot of other physical educators were doing. I was not just “rolling out the ball”. Most of the people I knew were.

After almost a decade of teaching in Missouri I had the opportunity to move to Los Angeles. The school that hired me pumped up my ego even more. Of course, they didn’t know this. They hired me from an over the phone interview and told me they were hiring me to be the department chair of a 10 teacher department.

A MENTOR WAS FOUND

Once I got to my new school I saw a lot more of the same. Teachers rolling out the ball. There was one teacher though doing things I had never seen done before. His lessons were awesome! His students were engaged. Learning was taking place and he was incorporating technology like I’ve never seen before. I started to figure out that I might not be as good as I thought.

I learned a lot from this teacher. Unfortunately he was displaced to a different school. I had to figure out how to continue growing on my own.

I truly believe I was a good teacher, but I wanted to get better. I wanted to be great! I wanted to have the impact on my students that I saw from my colleague.

MENTEE BECOMES A MENTOR

Somehow I stumbled onto Twitter which led me into reading blogs then writing a blog. I was also encouraged to join Voxer and start listening to podcasts. Then I thought to myself, “If I’m in this situation, there are probably others”. I’m sure there are those who want to be better, but don’t know where to start. I want to be able to help those teachers who are looking to become better. I want to get them on the right track right away. They shouldn’t have to stumble around wondering if what they are doing is leading them to where they want to be.

MrPhysicalEducation

The hero of my story is the teacher who wants to be better, but is not sure how to get there. They start their journey by going to college and receiving their credential. From there they get their first teaching position and they are doing an ok job. Maybe even above average. They know there is a better place for them to be in as a teacher. Unfortunately there’s no help in sight. Mentor teachers and administration are not able or willing to give this teacher the tools they need to improve.

After awhile the frustration drives them to do something for themselves. The only thing they know to do is to go to Google and research topics to make them better than they are now, but maybe not as good as they could be because they don’t know exactly what to look for.

If this teacher is lucky they’ll find a blog or lesson that will inspire them and they think they are going in the right direction. The research is just so time consuming and the high quality resources they are looking for are few and far between. Eventually they will give up and believe they must be doing as good as every other teacher in the nation. Maybe even be one of the best.

THE OFFER

What Mr. Physical Education has to offer is a one-stop shop for teachers that want to be better. We have resources in the form of blogs, videos, podcasts, and different personal learning network (PLN) challenges. We have a personal touch. If you ask a question it gets answered. If we don’t have an answer we’ll get an answer for you. We also know we are not the only place for great resources and can direct you to a place to help you get what you need.

At Mr. Physical Education we allow our fans to learn and grow in a small intimate community where people get to know each other and can rely on their new found colleagues and friends. Our fans have had a chance to find what they need to become the teacher they want to be.

Our fans can describe success as taking their professional development into their own hands and having confidence that they know how to become the best they can be for their students.

So, what does Mr. Physical Education have to offer?

We have a lot to offer, honesty, integrity, respect, and commitment. I think the content and resources I’ve been sharing shows that I’m not a “super teacher” that has always or even now has everything together. I’m still learning and growing, trying to get better. I’m right ahead of some and right behind others. I ask a lot of questions and get to answer a lot questions. If you want someone on your side when it comes to becoming a better teacher and human being. We have your back.

I see Mr. Physical Education changing how teachers perceive what level of teaching they are at. I think a lot of teachers have a ton of knowledge about good pedagogy, but don’t understand how to implement what they know. I think physical education teachers don’t realize how hard good teaching really is. I want to resource and inspire teachers. I want it to be easy for teachers to find all the tools they need all in one place or be directed where to go to get what they need. I don’t want teachers to struggle to find high quality tools.
Our students need us to be the best we can be!

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Teacher or Leader?

Which one are you?

                                                             mindset

 

Picture by: Carol S. Dweck

Typical Social Media Savvy Educator:                     Growth Mind-Set

Typical Non-Social Media Savvy Educator:           Fixed Mind-Set

What I see

I see people on social media all the time talking about blogs they’ve read, articles they’ve written, podcast they’ve listened to, and conferences they’ve attended. All of this is great! I wonder how people go about growing their departments or is it all about self growth? I know I do everything I can to be a better teacher and give my students the education they deserve. 

I think everyone on social media is a lot like me. We want to be better! 

My question is this, “Is it all about us”? 

After we grow to a certain level, should our responsibility be to grow and develop the people in our department? Do we simply let them flounder around? I believe that as we learn and grow we need to not only become better teachers we need to become leaders.

red-leader

Leaders are influencers!

We need to lead our departments by example. We need to suggest the blogs, podcast, articles, and conferences that we use to grow, to our colleagues.

I know we can’t change people, we can only change ourselves. I also know we cannot stand idly by and let students get ripped off. We need to move beyond teacher to leader.

Leaders do more than just make themselves better they make the people around them better. What are you doing to make the people around you better? All of us on social media are leaders! We are out front doing things that the everyday educator isn’t doing. 

IDEAS

Something that I like to do and it seems to be effective for me, maybe it’s my personality, is to ask questions. If I see a colleague do something I will ask them about it. Then I might ask them if they have tried it this way before instead and give them a little hint of how I do it. It’s called being collegial. Finally,  I go back and complement what they are doing if a compliment is deserved. Most of the time I can find a little something right in everything. 

People don’t want to be looked down upon. They want to know what they are doing is impacting lives as well. Of course there’s always going to be those extreme cases where people are happy doing what they’ve always done. Most people I know, I bet most people you know, want to have their life matter. Most people get into education for that reason alone. They want to be influencers.

What’s another name for influencer? LEADER!!

As the quote by John Maxwell goes, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”.

Show the people in your department and school that you care about them. Become friends. Speak into their lives. Let them speak into yours!

CHALLENGE

1. Go beyond teacher to leader. 

2. Lead by example.

3. Never give up.

4. Give compliments.

5. Advocate for students.

What do you think? Am I right? Comment below. Share if you think I have a point.

 Physical Education: Where Mind and Body come Together!

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Wow, Wow, Wow!!

Have you ever been so inspired?

npessi-logo1This past week I had the incredible opportunity to attend the National PE Institute in Ashville, North Carolina. All I have to say is wow!

I’ve gone to conferences and workshops in the past that have been great, but this conference was different. It was less about the workshops that were offered and more about the community of learners that was in attendance. Artie Kamiya and his team have discovered how to provide what physical educators really need, purpose, motivation, and FAMILY!

This conference had workshops just like all other conferences. The workshops that were offered though were definitely different. All of the workshops were student centered and standards based. None of the workshops were teaching new games just to be able to offer new games to your students. Every game had a true learning purpose.

Keynotes

podiumThere were also 5 AMAZING keynotes: Sarah Gietschier-Hartman, Dr. Greg Dale, Dr. Martha James-Hassan, Jo Bailey, and Naomi Hartl. 

It was inspiring to see how all of the keynotes messages related together and they didn’t even get together to prepare. The message of the keynotes seemed to be UNITY and MOVING the profession forward.

I took from their talks that physical educators need to come together and start doing what’s best for students and making a positive change in our pedagogy. If we do these plus all the hard work behind the scenes we will be as accepted as any other content area.

Workshops

workshopI also went to some amazing sessions.

I’ve been wanting to try to figure out how to incorporate nutrition into my movement classes. In California our physical education standards don’t include any health or nutrition. Alex O’Brien had a fun and fabulous workshop called “Nutrition with a Mission”. He gave me several ideas how I can do exactly what I’ve been trying to do for awhile.

Here lately I’ve been studying a lot about Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU). Sarah G-H and Seth Martin had a great session showing how to use world games in the TGfU model. They called it TWGfU and made us all realize that all games are world games.

Along with the TWGfU Sarah also hosted a session called “Ki-O-Rahi”. This is a fun new world invasion game. Sarah broke it down into layers and let us play. Definitely a game I’m going to use in my invasion games unit.

Jo Bailey presented a breakout called “10×10: Community, Cohesion, and Cognition”. Basically she was showing us how she helps the students in her classes build relationships with each other and how she gets to know each one of her students on a personal level.

I was hit right between the eyes with this lesson. She was telling us how she has had students in her class not know each other by the end of the semester. I have the same situation only worse. My students are with me the entire year and there are some that don’t even get to know all of their classmates names. I came away with several ideas on how to overcome this.

The last session I attended was all about standards based instruction and assessment by Adam Metcalf and David Gusitsch. This was a great reminder for me to keep going in the direction I’m going and how to streamline grading during class.

Conclusion

Overall this convention was world class! I would recommend it to any physical education teacher, health educator, or administrator in charge of physical education. I know I plan on going back!

Remember to leave a comment below to further the discussion!

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Risky Business

How did you learned this lesson?

Risk

What is risk? I believe it is getting in a situation that pushes someone to go slightly (or more) out of risktheir comfort zone to accomplish a task. I guess you could also say it’s doing something you haven’t done before.

Risk Taking in Education

I’ve been thinking lately about how to teach my students about taking risks and learning that failure is ok. It’s part of the learning process. Everybody does it!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about failing the class. I’m talking about misunderstanding of a concept or not doing a particular skill correctly.

The problem about talking about taking risks or not being afraid to fail is they believe that exact myth. They are scared to fail or try something new that might make them fail because they have been so trained that failing is bad.

An Atmosphere of Risks

The best way I can think of to teach this is by letting my students see me fail and/or tell them stories of how I have failed in the past. After they see that failure is ok ask them to share situations where they have failed in the past and what they learned from it. Then I can put them in specific situations in class where there will be a big chance of failure.

If we want our students to learn to take risks we have to make our class atmosphere a risk taking atmosphere. Risk has to be planned for on purpose. Students have to be put in uncomfortable situations until they become comfortable. Then we have to find a new way to push them forward again.

Risky Situations

So, what are some situations that students many students find uncomfortable or risky?

  • Giving a presentation in front of the class
  • Performing a new skill
  • Working in a group
  • Taking assessments
  • Creating projects

Just to name a few.

What do you do?

What do you think? How do you put your students in situations that might be difficult or risky? How do you create this type of atmosphere for learning in your class?

Comment

Make sure to further the discussion in the comments! I really want to know what you think.

Remember: Physical Education – Where Mind and Body come Together!

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Podcasting in the Classroom

Did you hear that? I so want to try this in my classes…

As an educator I’m always trying to find new ways to assess students. I want the assessment to be as stress free, relevant, and streamlined as possible. So, I’ve been thinking about assessing in smaller chunks. Who says that you have to give students a lot of information and then test them at the end of a big unit?

I know some students share their learning best by writing, drawing, rapping, or singing. I think that there are also some students who can relate what they know best by speaking.

So, how do I let the students who present knowledge better by speaking show what they know without having to do class presentations all of the time? It takes to long a lot of times to put together a video. How can I listen to and assess their learning when it’s good for me?

podcast-imagePODCASTS!! Yeah, that’s what I can do. So how do I make this happen? Is there an app I can use? How will the students get their recordings to me? Questions, questions, questions!

Here’s one of my ideas.

When I get so far into a topic I will give students options on how they would like to be assessed. For those who are better speakers and choose podcasting I will have my iPad mini available with earbuds for the microphone (to help cut out some of the background noise), a partial script that every student will use to introduce themselves, and questions for them to answer.

During class I will let speakers leave the activity one or two at a time to go to the iPad and make their podcast. They will login to their Google Drive and upload the audio file to Google Drive then attach the link of the audio file into Google Classroom.

I have also been toying with the idea of having my students create blogs with Blogger or websites with Google Sites for their sportfolios. If I have them do this they could very easily take the audio file and link it to their blog or Google Site.

I found an amazing FREE podcasting app called Boss Jock Jr. that I will have the students use.

I will have to teach them how to use Boss Jock Jr.Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 4.17.27 PM I will  also have to show them how to find the audio file, and how to upload it to Google Drive, then link it to their blog, website, or submit it into Google classroom.  Easy enough I will just make a video that they can easily follow the step from.

Hey, I can do that for you too. I will upload a video to  my YouTube channel that you can use with your students.

I think giving the students the ability to do this will be easier for them to show their learning and make it more convenient to assess what they have learned.

If you have any other great ideas on how to use podcasting in your classroom make sure to share in the comments. I really want to know what you think!

For another example of podcasting in the classroom check out The Next Book on your student’s reading list…and how to build a podcast around it. This is from the TED-Ed Blog by Laura McClurg. It shows a great way to really get students engaged in a new form of learning and assessing.

Physical Education – Where Mind and Body come Together!

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Teaching in a Changing World!

Teacher/Leader have your students done this before?

Why, why, why?

the real lifeConnecting education to the real world is challenging. Students and parents want to know the “why” when it comes to learning. As a parent, I’m the same way. Why do my children need to know what you are teaching to succeed in the world?

Today’s students and parents are more savvy of the workings of school, society, and the world than even just 20 years ago. What we do in our classrooms needs to prepare students for a new way of life. Blue collar jobs seem to be on the decrease and more opportunities are coming in the form of technology.

My Reality

Over the last several weeks I have been thinking about this a lot. Is my teaching changing or impacting lives? If so, how do I know? If not, how do I know? I, as a professional, want to make sure I’m giving the students the best I have to give.

So, since I rarely get any testimonials from former students I have to rely on my own reflections and the reflections of current students. This is the best I have to go on right now. I’d love to have more former students come back and let me know what they really needed or tell me that what I was doing was spot on.

I’ve been struggling trying to figure out if what I’m doing is effective. I’m trying to make my classes more relevant to what this generation needs to live long, healthy, fun, risk taking, active lives.

For the Future

I’ve been trying to come up with ideas on how to give my class more meaning to my students. I’vefuture thought of:

  1. Walk and talks discussing what exactly physical education is. So many students still think physical education is physical activity class.
  2. Think, Pair, Share about what the students want to be able to know and do by the end of the school year.
  3. Incorporating a #physed 101 series of lessons needed as a foundation to developing personal fitness plans and making fitness plans for friends, families, and community members.
  4. Making real world connections to the lessons. For instance, when teaching offensive and defensive strategies and relating those strategies for living life.

What do you think?

How do you know what if you are doing is effective? What plan do you have in place to make sure you are meeting the needs of your student’s future self?

I challenge you to reflect, but don’t just think about what went well and what didn’t. Have your students reflect about your class and what they would do to improve it.

Write down your ideas and have the students ideas written as well so you don’t forget what you wanted to change or keep the same. You might just need to change the way you are teaching a certain topic just to make it more relevant to your students.

Changing Times

spiral clockWith the world chaining the way it is we as educators need to be looking for new ways to deliver content and motivate students. Do whatever it takes to make your students succeed!

Remember: Physical Education – Where Mind and Body Come Together!

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Really?! Not Again!

It’s been a really long time since I thought this…

Where I Came From

you are here15 years ago teaching in a Catholic school in Missouri. 100% parent participation. Absolutely no behavior problems. Seeing real learning taking place.

This was all before the world became small with social media. I was big headed enough to believe I was the best physical education teacher in the world. Pretty arrogant, huh?

I’ve grown up since then and have found out what the difference is between good and great teaching. I put myself at the bottom of the good category watching and learning from all those great teachers on Twitter and Voxer.

 

What have I learned over the years?

  1. Don’t get too big for your britches – someone will always put you in your place.
  2. Work with others (virtually or in person) is better than working by yourself.
  3. Never quit learning – if you’re not going forward you are going backward.
  4. The world is bigger than you do something that will impact the life of another.
  5. Always search for truth and live by it

Realization

I’ve discovered that I’m not making my teaching real for my students. I use all these wonderful models in my classes. Things like TGfU, Sport Ed Model, SOLO Taxonomy, and others. Students are learning, but are they making the connection to life. Am I really doing justice for my students?

My students can tell me what I want them to know, but are they applying it to there life? Will they remember what they learned after they leave my class?

These thoughts make me want to change what I am doing again. Like I did about 5 years ago.

Really!

IMG_0014Well most of you don’t know this. My wife, Shannon, is getting her teaching credential to become a physical education teacher. Every once in awhile she’ll ask for advice on one of her college assignments. I’ll do the best I can to help her out.

So, one thing I’ve made sure to do is to introduce her to the TGfU model. After know her for 25 years I knew that this would be very beneficial for her style of teaching. She has taught before, just not in the public school setting.

The first thing I did was to show her the #physedagogy video with Mel Hamada teaching about TGfU. If you haven’t watched it yet you should. It will change how you teach.

Shannon wrote a very detailed lesson plan for one of her classes. She based the lesson off of what she learned from Mel’s video plus added some of her own creative activities to the lesson. I was probably the best lesson I’ve ever seen that connect what we do in the gym to real life.

Reflections

How have I not seen how to do this in my own teaching? I’ve only been doing this thing for 20 years.

This summer is going to be busy with changing pretty much everything I do. My goal is to make sure I put my students first, not fancy teaching models or technology or new fangled assessment methods.

STUDENTS!

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