Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Power Point with Voice Thread...too bad the voice is missing..

Power Point with VoiceThread was the Final Project for my Collaboration course...Well, I was able to do the Power Point, and I was able to create a VoiceThread.  However, I could not get my voice to play.  So, instead of hearing my voice you will see typed comments of what I had planned on saying.  I hope to eventually figure out how to fix this problem, but for now I will save you from hearing me talk and just let you read.  Hope you enjoy none the less :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Why is Understanding Diversity in Physical Education Important...

Diversity is everywhere, especially in our schools and in our classes. It is important to consider and understand diversity so we know our student's backgrounds, where they come from, their culture beliefs, and their values. Students are all so different and diverse, so in order to have a physical education class that is inclusive to all students and their needs, diversity must be prevalent. 

Other reasons to consider diversity in our PE classes is to help with a positive environment where students are respectful, considerate and understanding of all students ability levels, religious beliefs, SES, cultural beliefs and so on. Also just to help with students awareness of the fact that people are different, and that we can all still get a long. Finally, for me as a teacher, it's important to help me grow and continue to learn myself and find new ways of doing things.

Feelings About Being a Blogger...

I am very new to the Blog world, so I was freaking out at the beginning of class when we learned that we were creating one. However, now that I have been messing around with it and figuring things out I really enjoy it. I am getting more patient when I can't figure out how to do something right away, which has been tough at times. I am very much a perfectionist, so this has taken me out of my comfort zone in a good way. I really want to be able to use my blog in the future, so I hope to keep it up to date and meaningful. My blog is http://collabrativemomma.blogspot.com/, and another one that I really like is Paige's, http://collaboratewithacause.blogspot.com/. She has it set up nicely, so her information is easily accessible. Lots of great recourses and neat videos. Blogs are such a great tool, they really are worth the work to help benefit students, families and other professionals. 

Diversity Paper...By: Rachel Renkoski and I

Barriers and Supports Vs. Abilities and Disabilities

Physical Education in the school setting is an important part of every student’s educational experience, regardless of their ability level. It can help them improve not only their motor skills and sports knowledge, but prepare them for a time in their lives when they will be responsible for their own health and fitness choices. As P.E. teachers we not only teach our students physical skills, but appropriate socialization, effective communication, team work and problem solving strategies, and the rewards of persistence. NASPE agrees that, “Quality physical education programs are needed to increase the physical competence, health-related fitness, self-responsibility, and the enjoyment of physical activity for all students so that they can be physically active for a lifetime.”

In the next paragraph we will discuss some common barriers that disrupt a positive physical education experience for students with disabilities. According to Michelle Zevely, Butte County SPED director, the 13 Eligibilities that can lead to most of these barriers are: Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, Emotionally Disturbed, Specific Learning, Disabilities, Speech and Language, Deaf/Blindness, Visual Impairment, Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, and Traumatic Brain Injury. (Zevely) These disabilities significantly affect student’s ability levels and inclusion in daily P.E. activities. Every student should be addressed as a unique individual and assessed to determine of which abilities he or she is capable. In, High School Physical Education Teachers' Beliefs about Teaching Students with Mild to Severe Disabilities, Mr. Harding, a General Education teacher said, “The big concern I have [is] finding out what the student is capable of doing of not capable of doing. Information access in terms of medical conditions and such is difficult to come by yet necessary in allowing me to prepare adequately …. It does make it easier once you get to know your student and talk to him and find out more about his abilities and what he enjoys doing in order to reward him.”

One student with the common disability of ADHD believed that he could perform on a much higher skill level than his actual abilities allowed him. When the P.E. teacher was giving specific skill instruction on the new unit, the student was often distracted, squirming, and talking. Mrs. Metcalf reported that, “He often boasts of his skills even before a new unit. Then when we actually get a chance to perform, he performs worse than the majority of my students.” ADHD can affect a student’s ability level by interfering with a student’s understanding of the specific skill concept and valuable time on task skills practice. These detrimental barriers are also common characteristics among many of the other 13 eligibilities.

PE Central describes Autism as, “a pervasive developmental disorder that can impair an individual’s ability to interact socially and form relationships as well as communicate verbally and non-verbally.” Autism is obviously on the rise. According to Simpson, “Between 1997 and 2006 the number of children with Autism in public special education programs increased from 42,517 to 224,584.” Teachers need to encourage communication and socialization in students with Autism. Students in the Autism Spectrum can perform with a wide variety of ability levels. Even though students with Asperger Syndrome are higher functioning, than students with Autism, some physical educators have noted that these students, “…demonstrate motor clumsiness, over activity, inattention, and emotional problems such as depression which affect their ability to instruct children with AS in the general physical education setting.” (Safran)

The NICHCY (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities) explains Visual Impairment, as, “specific impairments like strabismus, congenital cataracts, retinopathy, coloboma, optic nerve hypoplasia, cortical visual impairment, and partial or complete blindness”. These different forms of visual impairments can shape a student’s life and inevitably their own movement experiences. Students with visual impairments rely on friends, family, and eventually teachers in the education system to broaden their movement experiences and motor skills knowledge. “Individuals with visual impairments have significantly higher levels of obesity and often exhibit delays in motor development, caused by a general lack of opportunities to be physically active,” says Toni Morelli, an expert in the visual impairment field.

"In order to increase the physical activity levels of youth with disabilities so that they may experience the benefits of a physically active lifestyle, we must work to remove the barriers to participation which they encounter and, at the same time, increase our levels of support." (Block) There are a wide variety of supports an APE teacher can implement in their classes.

In Physical Education for Students with Autism: Teaching Tips and Strategies, they note that, “… programs should have consistency from day to day, verbal instructions should be brief and waiting time should be minimized." Students with ADHD can benefit from direct instruction and immediate feedback as well as task sheets that aid in maintaining focus and time on task. Incentives such as small rewards that are meaningful to the specific student truly motivate students to function to the best of their ability level.

Finally, after discussing how barriers and supports can affect students of different levels of ability we can truly value the understanding of all limitations and ability levels. Effective supports can overcome almost any barriers a student with disability may have. Most importantly, creating and implementing supports that overcome these barriers and help prevent low self-esteem within these students. One 23 year old student reflected on his P.E. experience:  “I wanted to tell them to simply be patient, understanding, and explain what you want me to do and how to do the activity… and then tell them this; I needed more individualized assistance and support in the classroom, I needed a lot more motivation to participate in activities and try new things, I needed a P.E. teacher that could remain as positive as possible when I struggled with the activities and interaction with peer.” (Simpson)

Jason C. Bishop and Martin E. Block
Positive Illusory Bias in Children with ADHD in Physical Education, November/Demember 2012.

Martin E. Block, Ph.D., Andrea Taliaferro, Ph.D., and Tom Moran, Ph.D
Physical Activity and Youth with Disabilities: Barriers and Supports, April 2013.

Kevin M. Casebolt, Samuel R. Hodge
High School Physical Education Teachers’ Beliefs about Teaching Students with Mild to Severe Disabilities, September 2010.

Janine Coates, Philip Vickerman
Let the Children Have Their Say: Children with Special Educational Needs and Their Experiences of Physical Education, November 1998.

Kristi Sayers Menear, Shannon Smith
Physical Education for Students with Autism: Teaching Tips and Strategies, May 2008.

Tony Morelli, John Foley, Lauren Lieberman, Eelke Folmer
Pet-N-Punch upper body tactile/audio exer-game to engage children with visual impairments into physical activity, 2011.

NASPE website, National Association for Sports and Physical Education, July 2013
NICHCY (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities) Website, NICHCY Disability Fact Sheet, November 2012.

PE Central website, 2013.

Cynthia G. Simpson, Mark D. Gaus, Mary Jo Garcia Biggs, James Williams Jr
Physical Education and Implications for Students With Asperger's Syndrome, July/August 2010.

Jing Qi, Amy Sau, Ching Ha
Hong Kong Physical Education Teacher’s Beliefs about Teaching Students with Disabilities: A Qualitative Analysis, July 2002.

Li Weidong, Paul B. Rukavina, Chelsea Foster
Overweight or Obese Students' Perceptions of Caring in Urban Physical Education Programs, June 2013.


Michelle Zevely, Guest Speaker in KINE 515, Butte County SPED Director. July 2013.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Article Reviews: Collaboration, Consultation and Inclusion

Article 1: Collaboration
Getting Involved in the IEP Process
By: Ellen Kowalski, Lauren J. Lieberman, and Sara Daggett

“The law requires physical educators’ involvement, but it does not guarantee it.This was a great article that explains the importance of being involved and also the ways to get involved in the IEP process as a General Physical Education Teacher. This article also discusses the importance of collaboration, and without collaboration you can not fully be a successful part of the IEP team. Some GPE Teachers do not want to put in the extra effort to collaborate with others, but they want to complain about having students with disabilities in their classes. “If physical educators are to truly meet the needs of all students, those providing direct service must work in a more interactive and collaborative environment.” Whatever the case may be, collaboration is a must. Teachers must collaborate with the rest of the IEP team their concerns they may have, the positives/negatives and their suggestions. Since I will be teaching both GPE and APE next year I will be writing IEP’s, collaborating with many different people, and making sure I do my best to reach all the needs of my students, so they can be successful. I will also stress the benefits and the importance of collaboration with my colleagues so they know the impact their role can have. 

Article 2:  Consultation
Integrating Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation with the Pyramid Model
By: Deborah F. Perry & Roxane K. Kaufmann, November, 2009

According to this article, “Early childhood mental health consultation focuses on increasing the skills and expertise of the adults in the child’s life.” The article also says, “in early childhood mental health consultation, a mental health professional partners with an early childhood educator and models strategies that promote healthy social-emotional development, prevent the development of problematic behaviors and reduce the occurrence of challenging behaviors. This article describes the importance of mental health consultation, what the skills and qualifications are for an Early Mental Health Consultant, and then goes into their Pyramid Model. For me, I really paid attention to everything they said about consultation and the importance it has on children’s development. The second quote showed us that you cannot do consultation alone, it must involve others. As an educator I have to be able to consult with many other individuals openly and respectfully, in order to help each of my students be successful. I will use this information during times of consultation with other educators, professionals, parents, faculty and staff. I will always seek the knowledge and expertise of others, as well as always keep an open mind when it comes to benefits for my students. 

Article 3: Inclusion
Elementary Physical Education Teachers' Attitudes Towards the Inclusion of Children with Special Needs: A Qualitative Investigation
By: Sue Combs, Steven Elliott and Kerry Whipple

This article was about a study, "Physical Educators Attitude Toward Teaching Individuals with Disabilities – III (PEATID-III)." Information was gathered regarding 4 teachers and the issues surrounding inclusion. After the information was gathered, the test administers used qualitative data analysis procedures to explore participants’ views, opinions, and teaching practices regarding the inclusion of children with disabilities into their general classes. From there, they stated their findings and results and then analyzed them. Their assertion went as followed:

1: Teachers with positive attitudes towards inclusion had multiple focus areas or

2. Teachers with positive attitudes developed written lesson plans that
incorporated many different teaching strategies.

3. Teachers with positive attitudes had completed coursework and training on
teaching students with disabilities

4. All four teachers wanted their children to be successful although there were
notable differences in how success was defined.

This was a very informative article, truly a great study. It really makes you think about your teaching practices, the way you make your students feel, and how you treat all of them. From this I learned that inclusion is so important since all students are guaranteed free and appropriate education. I need to do my best to understand all that I can about each one of my students, whether they have disabilities or not. This way I will be able to provide meaning instruction and activities in my classes daily. All students want to feel like they belong, and that they can do what everyone else can do. Modifications may need to be made at times, but there are ways to do that so students don’t feel any less than someone else.

Article 4:   Collaboration
Collaborative Strategies During Transition for Students with Disabilities
By: Kristi Roth and Luis Columna

When you think about transition for students with disabilities, what do you think about? I wasn’t thinking about their transition from high school to life after high school, but that was what this article discussed. The main points from this article were transition and transition programming, as well as, collaboration and collaboration models for students with disabilities. According to the article, “Physical education teacher education (PETE) training programs offer teacher candidates basic preparation for teaching students with disabilities, but often do not provide them with skills to collaborate with parents and other professionals, particularly when planning for transition (Lytle, Lavay, Robinson, & Huettig, 2003).” As an APE Teacher it is my job to come up with transitional goals, and be the advocate for my students. It is also my job to collaborate with other professionals, the community and parents on these transitional goals. These are vital for my students to be able reach their full potential and to move on into life successfully. I have learned more about the importance of collaboration, particularly with parents and the community. Parents can be our best tool when finding the best goals for our students, and the community has so many additional ways to offer success for these individuals. I really need to seek out opportunities for my students to continue to be active after Physical Education and after High School. Therefore, I will leave you all with this, “a strong framework for transitioning will provide the structure needed to promote lifelong physical activity for individuals with disabilities.” I will be sure to have that strong framework!

Article 5:  Consultation
Consultation Services in Schools: A Can of Worms Worth Opening
By: Todd A. Gravois

“Our work, which is focused on developing and implementing Instructional Consultation Teams (ICT) (IC teams; Rosenfield & Gravois, 1996), has provided a unique view of existing consultation practices, as well as the success and challenges of helping schools move toward consultation-based service delivery.” In this article we get a very detailed depiction of consultation: who is the consultant, who are the recipients of the consultation, and what impacts are expected from consultation. The authors use a conceptual framework to, “assist in categorizing consultation services across three features—focus, function, and form. The article then goes on to describe some research of various ways schools use consultation, and developing competent consultants. This was a very informative article for me, because I have had different visions of consultation in the past couple of years. The reason for this is we have a short 15 minute period before lunch that we call consultation at my school and during this time students can go make up work, retake a test, serve a detention for a class, things like that. So, I guess I never really thought about what consultation really meant until recently, and this article helped with that. I liked this definition the best, “as teacher professionals struggle to incorporate the ever-growing body of research into their daily actions, the authors in this series describe consultation as a practice that allows teachers increased opportunities to apply better (different) practices to existing problems.” Consultation is an important piece to education, to teaching, and specifically to me as an APE teacher, and I will use it always.

Article 6:  Inclusion
Using Self-Efficacy Theory to Facilitate Inclusion in General Physical Education
By: Martin Block, Andrea Taliaferro, Natasha Harris and Jennifer Krause

This article’s purpose is to, “introduce the concept of self-confidence and self-efficacy as they relate to GPE teachers and the inclusion of children with disabilities.” The article starts with a real-life situation of a GPE teacher, and her low self-efficacy due to receiving 2 new students with disabilities. One student is blind, and the other has CP. She wants to make sure she can include them in the activities they do, without taking away from everyone else. The article then goes into a definition of self-efficacy and a review of how higher levels of self-efficacy can be developed. Then it describes and explains an application of these concepts to GPE teachers. Self-efficacy is basically a situational- specific form of self- confidence, and it can be enhanced in a variety of ways: mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal or social persuasion, and emotional and physiological states. The teacher in the example really made me think about myself and my self-efficacy. I am starting a new position next year as the APE Teacher, and I am extremely nervous and excited. I need to enhance my self-efficacy, but I am well on my way to doing that. I do have some mastery experiences with a few students with disabilities, so I am somewhat confident,. I am really glad I have been working with kids this summer though to continue to build my self- efficacy before the school year starts. It is so important to be confident in what you do, and so I know that I need to continue learning all that I can about APE. I am ready for this new chapter in my career. I have many different resources to help me, from professionals, professors, friends, books, and the internet. I will be sure to use all of my resources as well as my knowledge to do the best I can to make sure all of my students feel included at all times. I don’t want any of my students to ever feel like they do not have the same opportunities for success as anyone else. With an increase in my self-efficacy this is bound to happen.

Article 7:  Collaboration
Physical Educators and School Counselors Collaboration to Foster Successful Inclusion of Students with Disabilities
By: Daniel Webb, Tammy Webb, and Regina Fults-McMurtery

This article starts off by explaining the impact federal legislation has on educating students with disabilities, then goes into the changing roles of physical educators and school counselors relative to educating students with disabilities, and collaborative approaches pertaining to how physical educators and school counselors can collaboratively foster successful inclusion of students with disabilities in physical education. As Physical Education Teachers we must collaborate with paraprofessionals in order to provide the best instruction for our students with disabilities. We also must collaborate on the IEP teams with other professionals like the school counselors, psychologists and administrators, so that all students feel a sense of inclusion in PE. In regards to our course content and instruction, we must “begin to plan developmentally appropriate movement activities (as defined within IDEA) to address the needs of students with disabilities.” From this article I have learned more about my role as a General Education Physical Education Teacher, as well as my role as an Adaptive Physical Education Teacher. It is so important to collaborate with paraprofessionals about the nature of my students disabilities, “discuss curriculum, equipment and/or instructional modifications, as well as advocacy strategies as a means to foster successful inclusion of students with disabilities” in my physical education classes. I will make sure that I do all I can to meet the needs of every student, and with doing so I will be sure all students feel included, safe and successful.

Article 8: Consultation
A Practitioner's Guide to Consultation and Problem Solving in Inclusive Settings
By: Shobana Musti-Rao, Renee O. Hawkins and Carol Tan

This article explains a 5-Stage Consultation Problem Solving Model. A study was done in Singapore at a secondary school, to see the effects of the model on disruptive behaviors. According to the article, “the process and outcomes of our experience provide useful guidelines for both general and special education teachers interested in employing a problem-solving model to address the needs of students with diverse academic and behavioral needs.” The 5 stages for the Consultation Problem Solving Model are, Relationship Building, Problem Identification, Problem Analysis, Program Implementation and Program Evaluation. Following the descriptions of the stages, the article goes into the details of the study. It discusses the consultation in action with a Language Arts Teacher in Singapore and goes into showing the evidence of effectiveness, as well as considerations for successful consultation. From there, the article describes the importance of selecting evidence based interventions, how to match intervention with classroom needs, how to develop a checklist of essential steps, the importance of providing performance feedback, as well as collecting data and monitoring progress. The information in this article and with this study will be a big help for me and my classes in the future. I have learned to look more specifically at the stages of consultation in order to be more effective with my teaching and with meeting the needs of my students. Consultation really is a must in order to provide the best learning environment with students that are both academically and behaviorally successful.

Article 9:  Inclusion
Empowering Children with Special Educational Needs to Speak Up: Experiences of Inclusive Physical Education
By: Janine Coates and Philip Vickerman

According to the article, “the inclusion of children with special educational needs (SEN) has risen up the political agenda since the return of the Labour Government in 1997. This has seen increasing numbers of children with SEN being educated within mainstream schools.” This article is based on a study that examines the perspectives of students with SEN attending both regular academic schools, which they call, “mainstream schools,” and “special schools” in relation to their experiences of physical education. They figure that this study would then assist schools, teachers and policy makers in gaining an insight into the real experiences of students with SEN in PE and “where the opportunities and challenges exist in the current educational systems.” After the details of the study, the article discusses the results and the conclusions. The results they found were that the students in both “mainstream” and “special schools” really enjoy Physical Education, however issues were raised in the “mainstream” schools regarding the appropriateness of activities and students being bullied in class. The results also showed how these students offered specific suggestions about how PE can be improved and more beneficial for them. Suggestions like, more variety throughout the week, rather than just doing one activity the whole time. Or, separating boys and girls for certain units like dance. More findings showed how students are empowered through consultation, and are all aware of their abilities and their needs. The conclusion from the study was that consultation must be present in schools in order for inclusion to be as successful as possible. Consultation should be used as a tool for empowering students, “as a means of providing them with choices while gaining a rich insight into their lived experiences of PE. This study was great. To be able to hear actual thoughts, feelings and ideas from students with SEN really makes me think about myself and how I teach. Consultation was once again brought up and the importance of it to help students with their success, as well as collaboration. One of my favorite parts of the article was this sentence, “including children with SEN in Physical Education lessons is fundamental to mental and physical development and promoting lifelong physical activity. Inclusion is so important for students, but it needs to be done correctly. Students do not want to feel like they are treated differently, or that they can’t do what everyone else can do. Physical and mental aliments may enable kids from doing certain things, but there is always ways to make modifications that allows them to still feel successful and accomplished. I will make sure that I use inclusion properly, and that all my students feel safe in our environment in PE. It is my goal that I minimize the bullying that can go on in class and around campus to help maximize positive inclusion. It is also my goal to make sure that my students with SEN are gaining positive social interactions, and psychological benefits each day.

OVERALL: The underlying theme in all of the articles and studies I read and reviewed is the importance of consultation and collaboration for inclusion in school, specifically in Physical Education. I want all of my students to enjoy my class, learn the importance of being physically active for life and the steps to do that. I also want all of my students to feel safe in their environment, and not feel bullied or mistreated in any way. To do all of this it will have to start from day 1 with specific expectations and guidelines for the class. I need to be sure that I tell all of my students what is expected from them with the way they treat others, equipment, and myself. Rules will be made, and when they are not followed, students will be punished to whatever degree is necessary. Everyone will be treaded equally, with individual goals and objectives that will be modified if need be to ensure success for all. I will collaborate to make sure that students are reaching their full potential, as well as use consultation as often as possible. Inclusion is so incredibly important, so I will be sure to do all that I can to make Physical Education with me the best experience possible for all of my students.

Surfers Healing

Surfers Healing is a 1 day surf camp for children with Autism.  This is a short video clip from Yahoo to show you what an amazing experience it is for these children and their families.  Take a look and see for yourself!

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Swimming Experience of Mine and the Important Role of Collabration....

Our swimming experience yesterday was such a rewarding one. I had the privilege last week of swimming with a wide range of children with different disabilities, so that allowed me to be confident and excited for this opportunity. I collaborated with my classmates about things I learned last week, as well as their prior knowledge on swimming with children with disabilities before we arrived. This allowed us all to feel pretty confident about helping these kids with swimming techniques, and just having fun with them in the pool. Collaborating was very important before we got to the pool, because we wanted to all be sure we were on the same page as far as safety concerns, as well as where everyone stood with their own swimming abilities and confidence in the pool. Once we got to the pool we immediately saw all the collaboration that had gone on with the teachers, the aides and the parents of the kids. They all knew their roles, had the kids changed in their suits and ready to go. The collaboration with the parents had to have been inclusive, so they knew their child was going to be safe and properly cared for when taken to the swimming pool. As a parent myself, I know that is very important for us to know that our child is in good hands all the time.

Once the kids were ready to get in the water, we got to get involved. Everyone kind of picked a child to work with, and from their we either worked on techniques, played or just observed. I worked with the little kids that were deaf or hard of hearing. This was an absolutely incredible experience. We collaborated with the teacher about their abilities, and what she wanted from us. This was very important so that we knew what they could do, as well as what we were supposed to do to keep them safe in the water. The teacher would demonstrate a skill, and then have us perform that skill with the child we had. These kids kicked their feet on their stomachs with us holding them, they blew bubbles, they kicked and blew bubbles at the same time, and finally they kicked on their backs. They all knew how to climb out of the pool from the side, which I, very important, so that if they were in a situation where they were in the water alone, they could get out. After we finished working on techniques they went to the little pool to play, and so I followed. I had such a fun time playing and communicating without talking. I learned that I am still able to communicate and play games with these kids even though they cannot hear me.

Without collaboration in this type of educational setting safety of each child would be a huge concern. It is an absolute must so that the parents know their child is safe and needs are always met, the aides know what to do and when to do it, the teachers know what they can expect from each kid and how to push them, and for us just coming into the situation to know what to expect and how to be the most helpful to everyone. I really enjoyed this experience, and hope to have many more just like it.