Saturday, May 24, 2008

Why use Noodle Mania in Physical Education?



This is a question that people outside of physical education ask the most. So here is a simple list why Noodle Mania makes sense in Physical Education;

1. The equipment used (pool noodles) is inexpensive compared to other items used for activities (more bang for your buck!).

2. Noodle Mania provides activities that provide many opportunities to develop a variety of fitness related components (muscular strength, muscular endurance, aerobic capacity, and flexibility to name a few).

3. Instructors can use Noodle Mania to develop and important cooperative concepts (teamwork, communication, and sportsmanship).

4. The activities included can be used to teach and reinforce a variety of sport related skills using light/safe equipment.

5. There are a variety of health related activities included that can be used to teach or reinforce concepts (i.e. - nutrition, personal hygiene, fitness (heart health), etc.).

6. The concepts and activities provided are designed to maximize participation for all students. Many other activities and equipment does not allow for all students to participate at the exact same time because of the expense of the equipment and the safety of its use.

7. Students LOVE playing with the noodles. They come in a variety of colors, they are easy to grip, and they are durable.

My students are always excited to see the noodles out. They know they are going to have some fun and get some quality exercise. If you haven't tried them out, you don't know what you missing. If you'd like more information about Noodle Mania, please visit my website - http//www.noodlegames.net.

Enjoy Noodling!
Chad

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Beijing Olympics and Noodles

As the 2008 Beijing Olympics quickly approaches, I thought I'd share a few ideas how to use Noodles to get students excited about this special sporting event.

1) One of my classic activities is called the Noodle Duel (A.K.A. - Noodle Fencing). This partner activity can be used to introduce the sport of fencing, which is an Olympic event. In this game, partners will face on another while holding a demi-noodle. Each partner will hold one end of the noodle and touch the other end to his/her partner's noodle (the starting position). Both partners will say, "1-2-3, GO!" and the activity begins. The objective is to be the first to touch the opponents shoe. If a shoe is touched, the round is over and the students resume the starting position and play again. (Teachers can discuss the finer points of fencing, the equipment, the rules, etc. throughout the activity to add that Olympic touch).

2) Track and Field is one of my favorite Olympic events. As a former track athlete (pole vaulter), I find this to be one of the most compelling sports to watch during the games. There are several ways to incorporate Noodles into track and field concepts. First, using a demi-noodle or a long noodle, students can take part in the Noodle Javelin. The history behind this event in interesting (Google it!). Students can take turns throwing their noodle javelins. They can discuss strategy and decide which technique works best. Putting students on small teams (3 or 4 individuals) will promote teamwork, communication, and cooperation as they determine the best way to maximize success. When they make their "official" throws, they can use math when measuring and adding up the total distance thrown by the group. They can also use additional math skills in determining the average length of all throws, ordering the distance from longest to shortest, and comparing distances with other teams. Second, use the same concepts listed above for the Noodle Shot Put. For this activity, students will need a noodlette. The teacher can allow students to throw the noodlettes or to add a challenge, he/she can require the students to use shot put throwing technique. Again, working on teams and adding math components can make this activity fun and challenging. Third, Noodle Relays can be used to develop cardiovascular endurance and teamwork. A foot-long noodle (Noodle Baton) is most like a track baton and considerably less-expensive. Students will work in small groups (2, 3, or 4) to complete a variety of relays. The relays portion of this activity is where the teacher can get creative. The students can run a tradition relay (like the 4x100 or 4x400) or come up with something completely different. The teacher can require different locomotor patterns; give each team two Noodle Batons to include more students; incorporate obstacles (hurdles, pits, tunnels, etc.) to make the relays more challenging. The possibilities are endless.

3) Baseball is an Olympic event that received it's "official" games status in 1992 in Barcelona. Previously, it had been considered a demonstration sport in previous appearances during the Olympics. Baseball is a popular sport in the United States and children really love a chance to swing the bat and hit the ball. Noodle Baseball is a great way to practice the important striking skills necessary to be successful in the game of baseball. It also encourages the participation of all students. To start, each student will need a hula hoop or polyspot (to mark home plate), a noodlette (noodle baseball), and a demi-noodle (noodle bat). When they have collected their materials, they should all find an open space. Each student will stand next to their home plate, hold the noodle bat in one hand (dominant hand works best) and hold the noodle baseball in the other hand. When the activity begins, the students can toss the noodle baseball up in the air above their home plate and attempt to hit it with the noodle bat as it falls toward the ground. If the students can hit the noodle baseball, they will put their bat on home plate and carefully collect the baseball (while watching out for others who may be swinging their bats) and return to their home plate and continue the activity. This is a great activity to engage all participants, develop hand/eye coordination, and practice striking skills.

I hope that you find these activities helpful. If you like these games, consider purchasing the book Noodle Mania, the book includes 60 active, engaging, and fun activities using pool noodles. If you would like more information about Noodle Games or Noodle Mania. Please check out my website; http://www.noodlegames.net.

All the BEST!

Chad Triolet
the "Noodle Guy"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Noodles and Wii Tennis


This past week we have been using Wii Tennis with our students in physical education class. As many of you already know, Wii Tennis is one of the activities included in the Wii Sports game that comes with the Nintendo Wii console. As a culminating activity for our racket skills/ striking unit, we (my teaching partner, Tristan, and I) decided to play Wii Tennis with our students. We used the Wii as a station and used 4 controllers so we could maximize participation. To encourage students who were waiting in line to "shadow play", we placed polyspots behind the individuals using the controllers and gave them each a foot-long noodle to use like the controller and practice their timing. It has worked beautifully and the students have really enjoyed playing the game as part of physical education class.

***Note - Using the Wii is a great way to discuss how to keep score in the game of tennis, how serving and serve receive works, and how to keep score (15, 30, 40, deuce, etc.).

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Southwestern VA Physical Education Workshop

Well, I learned something new this week......Radford University is a LONG way from Chesapeake. In preparing to attend the VAHPERD sponsored workshop at Radford, I thought it would be smart to Mapquest my trip. When I typed in the information and hit enter, I was shocked to find out that it was a 5+ hour trip. How could this be?? I can get to Pennsylvania or South Carolina from here in 5 hours....how could it possibly take 5 hours to travel somewhere in our own state?

Anyway, it was a 5 hour trip, but it was well worth it!! I arrived on Thursday night just in time for dinner at Sal's. I joined the workshop's planning committee (Kathy, Mary Alice, Rose, Regina, and Susan) and my fellow presenters Betty, B, and Nancy. It was a nice time.

On Friday, we got up early and headed over to the university to get set up. There were over 120 attendees (almost double the number they had last year). I did two Noodle Mania presentations and then finished the afternoon with an hour + Socci presentation.

It was a blast!! I have never been treated better at any workshop I have attended. Everyone was so pleasant, motivated, and easy to talk to. The food provided (breakfast and lunch) was awesome. And, the planning committee was helpful and accommodating. I really can't imagine a better way to spend a Friday afternoon.

As an added bonus, after I got home, I discovered that the local paper (the Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com) wrote an article and took some video which has been posted on their website. Look below to view the video.

video