Thursday, May 14, 2009

My time at The YMCA

For the past two years I have worked at the YMCA Buffalo Niagara. Here I have done many of things. I was a strength instructor for the first year and this previous year I became a personal trainer. I am also a Growing Up Fit instructor. Growing Up Fit is an innovative weight management program for children ages 7-15 years old and their families. It consists of an initial week of pre-testing, 8 weeks of education and exercise and a final week of post testing. I have also volunteered at many of the Teen Nights hosted by the YMCA with my recent one being back in April. I really enjoy going to the teen nights and spending time with the kids. We play basketball, go swimming, go lift weights in the free weight area, and do many other fun things. I have built some strong relationships with some of the kids and I look forward to going back every time. It's interesting how all the different things I do at the YMCA relate to being a physical educator and to the New York State Physical Education Standards. As a personal trainer I am demonstrating standard 1b by showing my clients how to design personal fitness programs to improve cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Being a Growing Up Fit instructor and a physical educator go hand in hand together. As a Growing Up Fit instructor I am showing kids the skills to establish and maintain physical fitness and maintain personal health. I'm providing them with a safe environment and providing them personal and community resources where they could engage in physical activity. I look forward to continuing my work at the YMCA and building strong relationships with the people there.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Can video games but fun and educational?

Here are three games at that are fun and educational! All three games incorporate diabetes education into game play. I think this is great way to educate kids because kids love games and spend a lot of time playing them so why not use that time into learning valuable, important information.


Escape from Diab is a fun game that gets your brain waves following. There are three mini games you can choose from to play on the website: Memory Game, The Warehouse, and Five in a Row. Memory game is a card memorization game using the characters faces. The Warehouse is just like Tetris and Five in a Row is a game where you have to get five boxes in a row that are the same color. Even though the games don't relate to diabetes the story that led up to the game play was very interesting and got me excited to play before I knew what the game was. If you want to play the real game you need the program to do so. The story is about an athletic boy named Deejay who is on the track team. One day he wakes up in a dark, dirty town called Diab. He was going to get arrested until Delinda and her friends come and save Deejay. Diab is ruled by Kind Etes and he is withholding exercise and proper nutrition from the citizens of Diab. As a result of this they are overweight and out of shape. Since Deejay knows a lot about exercise and nutrition he is going to help Delinda and her friends get in shape so they can escape from Diab and go to the Golden City. I think if the story mentioned diabetes a little bit more and it was involved in the game play it would be more helpful in learning the topic.


Grip is a fun, easy game that almost all kids in elementary school can play. There are two different games you can play, Mission Possible or Kaboom! Mission Possible is just like Super Mario where you have to run, jump, and crawl over hazzards while making your journey. You have to keep your blood sugar at an appropriate level so along your way you have to grab food and other kind of insulin to keep from your blood sugar level falling too low. If your blood sugar level falls too low the screen becomes blurry and just like in real life it becomes hard to function. Kaboom is a memorization game where you have to remember where the right tools are because your disarming a bomb. If you keep picking the wrong tool it the bomb is going to Kaboom! I thought they did a good job at incorporating diabetes with their game especially Mission Possible. People with diabetes experience this all the time and need to have things on them like food and insulin so they don't get disoriented and possibly pass out. I think this game is helpful when learning about the topic of diabetes.


This game is about a boy named Oz who is a descendent of a powerful line warrior-wizards known as The Magi and will have to master his powers in order to save the world. He must first learn how to master his blood sugar seeing he has just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes before he can master his powers. Oz must venture in the enemy world and defeat the king. By learning to manage his diabetes by having a balanced blood sugar level and eating healthy he gains more power. When his blood sugar becomes more balanced, the power of this spells increase. The more conscious Oz is of his diabetes the better off he is and the greater chance he has of defeating the king. I think they did a great job incorporating diabetes with this game. Just like in real life you can be a hero but if you don't take care of your diabetes you will not have the strength to do anything. I liked how they focus on eating healthy because eating healthy and living a good lifestyle is your biggest obstacle when dealing with diabetes. I think this game is helpful in learning about the topic of diabetes.


Here is a lesson and a game or assessment I created for kids who are in 2-4 grade showing them what the healthy foods are and what category they go in.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Brain Gains!

Here is an impressive story covered by CBC news that took place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. You could locate Saskatoon on a map by looking right above North Dakota and in the lower part of Canada.

This is an interesting story about an 8th grade teacher who works at City Park Collegiate and got permission to conduct a study involving exercise in her classroom. She got this idea from a Dr.Stark who wrote a book which explains how exercise can be the best way for students to learn. The whole idea is that if students perform at least 20 minutes of aeorbic activity a day there performance in subjects like math and reading will increase tremendously. When you increase your heart rate, brain impulses turn on in the front of your brain that controls behavior which helps in the classroom. I found this news piece very interesting because I never thought they would of seen the improvements they saw. I always knew that exercise helped manage stress but I didn't know it had such an impact on other academic areas. This is great for physical education programs because once more people see how physical activity benefits other academic areas they will be more likely to keep these programs in there curriculum and even increase the use of them. Lab D - golf.

Mrs. Cameron was not involved in the experiment because it was just a study of 8th grades to see if exercise would promote learning. It wasn't to see if her learning improved. She also has to supervise the students while there on the treadmill. The outcomes of this program were astonishing. Not only did there academic performance increase there fitness levels increased as well. There push ups and sit ups increased over 200%, sit and reach increased 21%, and there BMI decreased by 5%. There fluency increased 121% and there comphrension increased 230% on the GORT-4. There reading increased 27% and there writing increased 33% on the K-TEA test. There math scores increased 17% on the K-TEA test.

These outcomes are similar and different to the New York State Physical Education Standards in some ways. Throughout the study they were demonstrating standard 2a- demonstrate responsible personal and social behavior while engaged in physical activity. Every student was respect and aware of each others safety at all times. They also demonstrated standard 1 - have the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain physical fitness,participate in physical acitivty, and maintain personal health. You can see this through there increased fitness levels by there increases in push ups and sit ups. They are different in that they really did demonstrate standard 3 - unserstand and be able to manage their personal and community resources. Even though they have equipment for them at school, they weren't provided with resources where they could do the same things outside the classroom.

There is much talk of about physical education having regents requirements in New York State. I think this is a great idea because it not only sets standards for the students but from my experience students try harder and put more effort in regents required classes. As you seen from the video above, too many kids are just sitting around and not being physically active in class. Some of those kids are standing around not because they don't like what the class is doing but because they don't know how to do it. By setting these standards every kid will have the opportunity to learn new things that can last them a life time.