Thursday, June 7, 2012

Boy, we had a ball this year!!

Well teachers we made it through another year battered, bruised, singed, tapped out, flying high, still vertical and above ground (wow it has been a good year).  As we look back over our shoulders to August 2011 can we say we met our set goals? Did we have to recalculate? For those of us who are blessed with great co-workers, God is good!! The physical education department on the Douglass campus was blessed with such an individual who transitioned from the middle school atmosphere to the world of elementary physical education (he made it through)! He appeared larger than life with his cool, calm demeanor (I wonder how many pro outfits he really has?) and straight to the point wit. He kept us all motivated and ready to do what it takes to meet the needs of our students.
This is how he, Javier Diaz summed up our year out on the blacktop for this school year:

"This is our Soccer ball at the end of the school year at Douglas Elem. School in El Paso's Segundo Barrio (second Ward ~ low income).... This is dedicated to the have nothings, where we all came from. The barrio. At the end of the day, this ball found itself back to us one way or the other... We lost it, landed in the canal, threw it away (and got pulled out by someone), stayed over night on the yard.... but it found it's way back to our school....2 our kids. Like the rose that grew from concrete, nothing is beautiful about this ball, but it has character, endurance, heart, and will, just like our kids.... Some will conquer and achieve... the ball didn't give up, neither do our kids! Great School Year. Thank you ball.... somehow I feel the ball had it's own agenda. Someone up above was working his magic through the ball...... ;)"

Well said, Javier thank you for your patience, your up right character, and your willingness to play with us.  Looking forward to seeing what else you have got up your sleeve, have a great summer.

As a matter of fact everyone have a great summer, refresh, learn a new skill set or two to add to your teaching tool box.

Dragoncoach1_"Blue in the Barrio"


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blue in the Barrio_Part 2

As promised, I am letting my readers know the result of last months trial run in "BYOD" (Bring Your Own Device).  There were eight students that were able to bring their personal devices to school (one even brought her iPad). So I made these students facilitators of their groups.  It worked out perfectly!! Eight groups of eight the entire class was covered. Each student leader was given the responsibility of a data sheet to be handed in at the end of class.  On this data sheet the leaders needed the names of each person in their group.  Then they were to time each group member (including the leader) in the 50 meter dash using the correct starting protocols.  Some leaders did not feel comfortable timing and allowed a different member of the group to time the runners.

I had invited several tech people from the district to attend and observe this event and Mr. Stiles was able to attend (he even lent his personal device to one of the students who finished early to do some timing). The class started off somewhat chaotic, but five minutes into the task every one settled into doing the task.  All the names were posted, the times recorded to the nearest tenth of a second and data sheets were signed and collected.  SUCCESS!!!

The next part is to enlist the help of another class (preferably off campus) to use this data to assign these students to running events (50 meter dash[2], 400m Baton Relay[4], 25m dash[2]) each sheet would be a team, and make predictions as to how the teams will place.  Once the events have been populated we will run the events (without the knowledge of the predictions) and send the results back to the off campus class. Then compare the actual results to the predictions. Was the data that was provided enough to select the best people to meet the predicted outcomes.

Do I have any volunteers??

If you would like to participate,  contact me at <> or leave a comment below.

Welcome to the 21st century!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Blue" in the Barrio, Bring it"

Since 1982, this prestigious program has honored more than 6,000 of America's most successful schools, including 538 Texas public schools. Last year, Silva Health Magnet and Coldwell Elementary were named National Blue Ribbon Schools. The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools. The schools are selected for one of two honors: • Improving - Schools that dramatically improve student performance to high levels on state tests • High Achieving - Schools whose students rank in the top 10 percent based on performance on their state standardized tests

Douglass Elementary has been nominated for dramatically improving student performance to high levels on state tests. The nominated schools were chosen through an objective evaluation of student achievement statistics and other data for the more than 8,000 public school and charter campuses in the state.

Schools nominated for the award serve as models of best practices for schools across the state.

So having said that, this week the PE department will make a "bold move" (quoting one of our head tech specialist) towards teaching 21st skills to our Blue Ribbon elementary school students.  I have always been a champion of integrating technology into all areas of the curriculum, particularly in physical education.  The students have been encouraged to bring in their personal devices to class(iPods, iPhones, Blackberries, etc), if they have a stop watch application.

We will be collecting times on the 50 meter dash, posting them to a data sheet and applying that collected data to other challenges or projects.  This move will no doubt challenge certain policies that pertain to the use of personal electronic devices during school hours.   When I informed my peers about activity their faces revealed their inner thoughts. So I am getting my head ready for the "Battle of Confiscation".  I will inform you on the next posting how the encounter went. 

I remember the heated discussion I had with my administration, a year and a half ago,  about the use of mp3 players in the PE class, now that encounter lasted well over an hour.  Having checked the policy concerning these particular devices I was able to show that using them in class did not violate policy.  As a matter of fact I encountered a lot of miss information/confusion concerning personal device policies (hear say vs fact).  So as I said before, "Bring It, the challenge is on"!! I think this introduction will excite the students and help engage them more into the academic atmosphere.

So my PE peers what do you think? Have you had similar experiences I would love to hear about it. Please add your comments below.