The mini conference this past weekend was an experience that I will not forget about, and one that I am eager to share with others. I attended the mini conference on Friday afternoon, as well as the AAHPERD leadership dinner on Friday, and breakfast/leadership conference on Saturday. I had not planned to attend all of these events but when I received the email about the AAHPERD conference I wanted to make the most out of my weekend. I am a junior and recently switched my major to physical education, so I didn’t really know what to expect from the conference. I went into it thinking I would see a few examples of activities that I could use for my students, but that’s not even close to half of what I walked away with. Yes, I got to see many examples of games and activities that will help me with my own students, but the connections that I made with some of the teachers as well as other speakers who attended the conference were unlike any other connections I have made before.
One session I attended was presented by Margaret E. Robelee, a physical education teacher of North Park Elementary School in Hyde Park, NY. Margaret showed us many activities that provided “heart healthy” cardio workouts for students in new and innovative ways. One activity she showed us incorporated the use of a wipe-out board that allowed students to record their steps during the workout. The name of the game was “wipe-out” and it is for grade levels 3-5. The equipment & set up needed is as follows:
· Students are paired-runner/recorder
· Designated jogging “track”
· Designated recording area
· Song “wipe-out” by the “Surfaris”
· Record as many steps as possible
· Experience the intensity of exercise
· Students are paired for this activity. One student runs while the other is the recorder. During the song the runners run during the music section and use “fast feet” during the drum solo. At the end of the song, partners record the number of steps the runner has logged. This activity can be done by resetting pedometers each time or recording a running total.
· This activity can be done as a partner activity. Each student completes on lap at a time taking turns with his or her partner
I enjoyed observing this activity because it gave me a new cardio game that is different than the typical tag game that many of us tend to rely on. I will use this activity as well as the many others that I observed as guidelines for future lessons during my observation hours at St. Mary’s and for future planning as well.
After the conference was over, I met a man by the name of Rod Mergardt who is a student teaching supervisor in Westchester, County. Since I am from Westchester, I had a lot to discuss with him. He was a former principle, athletic director, physical education teacher, coach, and much more. He also knew many people who I had as teachers and coaches throughout middle school and high school which was great to know. He is now 72 years old and he has had a ton of experience in the field of physical education. I also met a physical education teacher who by the name of Donn Tobin, who teaches at Mahopac in Westchester and he told me to keep in touch with him if I needed somewhere to student teach, etc. I exchanged email addresses and phone numbers with these individuals and am looking forward to keeping in touch with them. The leadership conference on Saturday was also a great experience for me. I once again got to meet with Mr. Mergardt and had the opportunity to hear a very inspiring speech by him, as well as speeches made by several other very important individuals. I also learned teaching skills; resume tips, interview tips, and much more. This weekend was extremely productive and I am happy I had the opportunity to learn so much in such a short time and I’m excited to learn even more at the state conference next month.