Monthly Archives: April 2015

Human Targets: Yea or Nay

DODGE BALL IS WRONG AND SHOULD NOT BE PLAYED in PHYSICAL EDUCATION! Now that we all understand that let’s talk about using human targets in physical eduation. Should ALL human target activities be eliminated in physical education?  I am always questioning and refining my teaching practices. The subject of human targets is one that really needs to be talked about.

What is a human target? If we define a human as a person, and a target as “a person, object, or place selected as the aim of an attack”, we come to the conclusion that a human target is a person that is the aim of an attack.  This is important because now this includes tag games into the human target conversation.

There is a growing sentiment that human targets in physical education class are wrong and should be eliminated. The same people who believe this are ok with tag games though.  Let’s take a look and see if we can differentiate the two and find out why.  The human target games that are not tag usually involve throwing a projectile at another person.  This could be done by rolling it or using the overhand throw.  A tag game involves being hit or touched by a part of the body or an extension of the body (think pool noodle) by another person.

Both activities can hurt a student if the force is not controlled when the contact of the object or body part is made. Both games use human targets to aim or attack. What is the difference? The difference, in my opinion, is that tag is psychologically safer than throwing something at someone.  A student is much more apt to make a mistake in accuracy throwing something than tagging someone.  Tagging force is also much easier to judge for the offensive person than throwing force. There is a big difference between tagging games and human targets.

The next argument I heard against using human targets is when will you throw something at someone when we graduate from school? My counter to that argument is when are you going to sit on a scooter when we graduate school? Do we eliminate the use of scooters?  I don’t think the “will we use it later in life” argument is valid here. We will use tag in a baseball or softball game so there is a legitimate argument for it.

Another argument that I have heard is what is the grade level outcome that an activity using a human target would be tied to?  My answer to that would be you could tie it to: Throws underhand to a partner or target with reasonable accuracy. (S1.E13.3) Another outcome would be: Throws overarm to a partner or at a target with accuracy at a reasonable distance. (S1.E14.4b)  Both of those outcomes could be met using another game or activity though. So why do you need to use a human target if there are other more acceptable ways to accomplish those grade level outcomes?

To answer the above question let’s look at what dodging is.  Dodging is “avoiding (someone or something) by a sudden quick movement.”  No one can argue that dodging won’t help students become more physically literate.  This conversation revolves around dodging objects purposefully being propelled at a student.  One physical education teacher noticed that her students dodging ability dramatically decreased when she eliminated dodgeball.  This raises the question is there a need to work on dodging a moving object in open space? That is a valid question that needs to answered.

Let me reiterate DODGE BALL IS WRONG AND SHOULD NOT BE PLAYED IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION! My question to you is where is the research saying human targets are wrong? I have looked all over for studies on human targets and haven’t found any.  I have found why dodgeball is wrong and agree with them. Those talk about elimination or the damage a ball hitting you in the face or groin can cause.  Can this be extrapolated to include all human targets where the groin and face will not be hit? Where are the facts that tell me if I slide a bean bag on the ground or roll a ball at another person that it will psychologically harm them in the long run?  I want to use best practices in my class. We hear all about student voice and student choice in education.  The students love human target games.  I am fine telling them they are not allowed to do this in my class because it isn’t best practices.  My question to you is how do you prove that human targets are not utilizing best practices?

Q1: How do you refine your teaching practices? #slowchatpe

Q2: Who in your PLN’s word is gospel? #slowchatpe

Q3: What is something that your area says is wrong you disagree with? Y? #slowchatpe

Q4: Where do you go to find the newest research in ur field? #slowchatpe

Q5: What should become best practice in ur area that isn’t? #slowchatpe


Burns My Britches


This is one of the blogs that made me want to reflect. Here are some of my reflections.


Reflection 1: There is no wrong way to use social media.  This point still sticks out to me as being paramount.  You do not have to Tweet about anything before you blog about it.  Blogging is the freedom you have to say what you want when you want to. You can be 100% wrong and still blog. People have the option to respond or to ignore.  Blogging is an individual’s voice. When we start limiting that voice for any reason we start down that slippery slope. I blog because Twitter is 140 characters of superficiality.  I vox for the same reason. A blog can be a starting point, middle point, or ending point of a discussion. Social media does not have protocols about the time or fashion you use it. Just be positive!!


Reflection 2: Racial tension seems to be getting worse and not better. The recent events on the news and Twitter have shown me that we aren’t even close to being where we need to be.  The only way to bridge the gap is by candid discussion.  I am not scared to have these candid conversations even if I come off looking poorly.  The point is we are talking about it. Thoughts shape actions.


Reflection 3: I look at things without using a racial lens.  I have been afforded this outlook because I am white. I need people of color to allow me to see what I am missing.


Reflection 4: The people who are constantly fighting for social reform have doubts about the “edurockstars” in our profession.  Why didn’t they speak up before now? Is it because now it’s an issue that is not good to stay silent on because of #educolor awareness?  These social reformers created paths for them to speak out while enduring extensive harassment and abuse so when it’s safe to do so & they speak out.  They do not feel the support from “#edurockstars” and feel that those same people are avoiding the hard part about bringing the discussions to the forefront of the Twittersphere’s consciousness.  They (the “edustars”) are not getting slammed for their opinions but are able to jump in freely when it “suits” them and steal “credit” for championing a cause after the hard part is over.


Reflection 5: People with a fixed mindset remain fixed regardless of their race, gender, orientation, religion or any other identifying feature.  I was lectured to instead of being engaged in dialogue by some people. Lecturing people does not change their mind. If someone doesn’t get your point try and make it in a different way. This is the same as teaching. If a student doesn’t understand I try three different ways to present the same thing to them. If after the third different way of respectful dialogue doesn’t work then disengage.


Reflection 6: I should not have used anyone’s name in the blog.  It made it an attack instead of a discussion about social media acceptable use and protocol.


Reflection 7: My agenda is not your agenda.


Reflection 8: My true PLN will forgive my ignorance and remain in my PLN. This is why I keep my PLN small. I want personal learning as well as professional learning. I need people to challenge me and then pick me up after I am knocked down.  I can engage with you without agreeing with you and still respect you. If you feel I have to agree with you all the time I don’t want you in my PLN and please unfollow or block me.


Reflection 9: I believe in equity.  I also am going to be a leader. The reason why I engage in these conversations is so that when I make the decisions of policy and hiring I will have a decent  understanding of all my stakeholders.  I also believe in a diverse staff. This article does a much better job explaining it than I ever could.


Reflection 10: I can make a positive change in the world. I will not let people who stand on their soapbox get me down. I will continue to fight to grow, to learn, to challenge myself, to jump into chats and conversations and put myself out there. This is how I will continue to better myself.



Burns My Britches.

Burns My Britches

I am going to switch up my Twitter chat this week thanks to @carmelhealth’s (and @TheWeirdTeacher) idea. I will be throwing out answers this week and you the reader will be writing the questions for it.  If you need to see the pics better ctrl + will zoom in and ctrl – will zoom back out.

This week is a #rantchat (stole from @shahlock) week.  Twitter has been blowing up with hate and rudeness. Example A was a set of tweets attacking @pernilleripp for writing a blog about her thoughts of the #whatiwishmyteacherknew by @mdawriter.  The problem was not her thoughts but the fact that she did not come out on Twitter and join in on the attack of @kylemschwartz.  This is a huge problem when we are being told how we should respond to an issue and what is an acceptable and timely fashion. There is no correct way to use social media.



My next problem comes when people can’t discuss an issue. The great part and scary part of social media is that we have immediate access to the public.  The whole controversy of #whatiwishmyteacherknew shows me that we are still not ready for everyone to share. We might never be ready. Whether you agree or disagree with what Kyle did, the fact of the matter is that this came from a teacher.  A teacher who I hope is trying her best. Negativity does not make people try harder.  It beats them down and makes them not want to share their work anymore.

One of the biggest worries in this whole debacle is this paragraph in @rafranzdavis blog:

“For the past few hours, I’ve thought, rethought, written and erased…over and over again. In between going back and forth, I got to experience the vile realities of twitter trolls…people creating accounts for the sole purpose of saying the most unreal, racist, sexist, body shaming…things to me.”

This is appalling that simply because Rafanz had things to say that some people didn’t like she was subjected to this garbage.  Her voice is being used for the social justice that she believes in.  You can agree or disagree with her.  You can love or hate her.  What you can’t do is degrade her based on the color of her skin, gender, or weight.  The worst part of this is you hide behind fake Twitter accounts.  Step into the light and say what you want so the world knows the hate that is in your heart.

Another area of great concern to me is the bottom of the picture of the continued thread on the right.  pic3_I don’t understand the bottom of the thread where race is brought into this one-sided conversation.  The broad statement of “white folks confuse provocative bold speech for anger” doesn’t make sense in this context.  Where did the color of anyone’s skin come into play? This throws more fuel on a fire that was already roaring.

As a white straight male I am scared to talk about race.  It doesn’t matter that I have my own story that no one knows about hatred and bigotry.  What I do know is that #educolor exists for a reason.  That reason is that we still have a long way to go when it comes to race relations.  If you do not follow this hash-tag I suggest that you do for no other reason that this is outside most people’s comfort zone.  They come from a perspective where race plays an issue where most people have no clue it does. I do not have to agree with every tweet that comes from their thread just as I don’t agree with every tweet that comes out of #slowchatpe’s thread.  What I do know is they are not engaging in the group think that I have been fighting against since joining social media.

I am a hippie libertarian at heart. I want us all to accept the differences in each other and leave each other alone.  Most importantly I want to live in a world where everyone understands that exercise and nutrition are necessary for happy healthy lives.

A1 Sharing my story is the best way for other people to understand where I came from as well as who I am.

A2 Not surrounding myself with everyone who looks, acts, and speaks like me.

A3 Nutrition and Exercise.

A4 Talking about subjects that scare me, learning new things that are hard, being married, and ADHD.


My Mind Has Been Blown!!

This week might go down as the week that redirected the course of my life. Jarrod Robinson recommended that I listen to the Tim Ferriss Podcast. I needed another thing to listen to like my wife needs another pair of sneakers! (she has tons) When Jarrod says something I tend to listen to it so I went along and listened to podcast number 56 of the show.  My mind was instantly blown! Here is a quick synopsis of the episode:

Dr. Peter Diamandis has been named one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune Magazine.

You asked for an entire episode with him, so here it is!  The subject is simple: How to think big, and how to use the key strategies of Peter’s friends and investors, including Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Larry Page. How do they create maximum leverage? How do they think differently? We explore all of this.

In the field of innovation, Diamandis is Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. Among many other things, Diamandis is also the Co-Founder (along with Craig Venter and Bob Hariri) of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI); and Co-Founder of Planetary Resources, a company designing spacecraft to mine asteroids for precious materials (seriously).

If you actually took the time to read this some things should pop out to you. The first one is that Dr. Diamandis is planning on mining asteroids! What? Yes that is what Google calls moonshot thinking.  The podcast calls it 10X thinking.  The next thing you should recognize are the names of these people: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Larry Page.  If you don’t Google them now! These people are all brilliant thinkers who don’t let anything get in the way of their vision. They are successful in business but that is not what makes them worthy of your time and effort. They are thinking on levels that we can’t even imagine. They want to change the world.

This is something that I have thought about often. How can I change the world? I used to think that this is some grandiose idea that would never come to fruition. Why? What is stopping me? Only myself and my limited vision. One of the great takeaways from this podcast is that even if you “fail” with your 10X plan you will still make positive strides.  Norman Vincent Peale said it best, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

My questions for this week are in asking how can we change our thinking and make it 10x or moonshot thinking? How can we change the world?

Q1. What is one idea you have that will change you field of education? #slowchatpe

Q2. What is one idea you have that will change all of education? #slowchatpe

Q3. What are you currently doing to change the world? #slowchatpe

Q4. What have you read or listened to that blew your mind? #slowchatpe

Q5. What people should others follow that will force them to think big? #slowchatpe

Talk Box for PD

I was raised Jewish, and am not a super religious fellow, but I like the famed teacher Jesus have been resurrected.  My career has been resurrected that is.  The reason I say this is because I have come to fall in love with teaching again.  The reason for this is simple. Voxer. My PLN is tired of me going on and on about it.  A teacher in my school tells me I vox so hard. My wife asks me when am I going to get off my phone.  My superintendent tells me not to Vox in class! (only half jokingly) I have been a part of a group that made videos of how to get on Voxer, tips and tricks of Voxer, as well as welcoming all new members to Voxer. (Check this out) Why do I have this love affair with Voxer you ask?

I love Voxer because I have Jorge Rodriguez to push my teaching forward. He makes videos explaining how to play new games. He also starting making videos of how to implement the Teaching Games For Understanding physical education model.  I don’t need a book or some abstract resource telling me how to do it.  I have Jorge showing me what it is and how to do it!! This is the new way to learn. Books just aren’t enough anymore. Show me don’t tell me!! I discovered Jorge through Voxer.

I love Voxer because I have Jarrod Robinson to push my teaching forward.  This man is amazing. I want to hate him because he sells applications and programs for physical education teachers.  It’s easy to hate salespeople.  The only problem is his apps and programs are resources that push physical education teachers forward.  In addition to the fact that he creates great technological products he is always willing to help anyone out. He has given out numerous free programs on Voxer as well as increased the number of students allowed to be signed into his programs for free. This man is the king of technology in education. Yes in all of education. He doesn’t just tell us what’s great for teachers to use in technology,  he creates it as well. I have access to Jarrod whenever I want due to Voxer. AMAZING!!

I love Voxer because I have Nick Spencer to push my teaching forward.  I have changed my whole class procedure due to his one Vox. (Voxer voice message)  He told us he doesn’t use the word go. He switched it to the phrase “never smoke”.  His theory is that if his message is pushed out several times a class over a broad number of years the students will be bombarded with the idea that one of the most addictive habits you can ever embark on is negative.  I also use his jump rope videos as the warmup to my Jump Rope for Heart month. They demonstrate and explain over 20 different ways to jump rope.  I learned about this all through Voxer.

I love Voxer because of my buddy Franklin.  Franklin is on Voxer all the time.  Anytime I need someone to talk to Franklin is there.  When I have a bad day and need to vent I reach out to Franklin.  There is no better stress relief in the world than someone you can talk to about anything at any time.  Talk about social, emotional, and occupational wellness!! Everyone needs a buddy like Franklin.

I love Voxer because of the chat groups I am in outside of Physical Education and Health.  I moderate #slowchatpe on voxer, co-moderate #satchat on voxer, and am a member of @edumatch and many others.  Those groups either post education questions of the day or talk about education all day every day.  I love thinking and talking about education.  Every teacher should challenge their thinking through a dialogue of peers that challenge them.  Every day I listen to the brightest minds in our business tell me about what they are doing and how they are doing it. This allows me to understand the changes that are sweeping across our nation right now.  Voxer connects me to education.

I love Voxer because educators from across the world run book clubs on it. I am currently in Digital Leadership book club run by Doug Timm.  The wildest part about the books club is that Eric Sheniger is actually a participate of the club! Holy shnikes the godfather of educational technology reform is in the book club with us of the book he wrote!! That is fantastic.  I am learning more through this Voxer chat than I could have imagined! Voxer allows me to interact with authors while reading their creations.

So if I come across as a champion of Voxer I am. This is a medium that every teacher should be a part of.  I hope that this blog helps at least one person realize that Voxer is the next logical step after Twitter and reaches out to me. My handle is SchleiderJustin. Use (Check this out) to sign up for Voxer.  If you are not a PE teacher I can still advise you into what groups are out there. Voxer will change your life! No more 140 character limits. No more oh the chat is over. Voxer lets you use your voice, text, or pictures to push your teaching to the next level.  You get connected to the best and brightest minds in education!  Why aren’t you Voxing?

Q1: What makes you want to start using a new technology? #slowchatpe

Q2: Do you ever consider how your digital legacy will be viewed? #slowchatpe

Q3: How much does pd play in your role as an educator? #slowchatpe

Q4: Has anything changed your teaching? If so what? #slowchatpe

Q5: Who has been your champion to become connected? #slowchatpe