Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lab 6 - Easter (Last Day)

Through my experience working with the children at St. Mary’s I have come to realize the amount of effort needed to work with young children. I found that it was needed to remain animated and positive to capture and keep the students attention. One game that I thought worked particulary well was Stinky Letter Stew. During this game our group was able to keep all of the students active and involved, and from what I saw it looked liked they had a great time. We kept them busy and involved by using props and getting down to their level to encourage them and help them with any problems. Zig Zag Soccer was one game which wasn’t a success. This game was more like a drill used in a soccer practice than a fun game, also our group didn’t have any props which didn’t help. We tried to say active and enthusiastic, but the kids didn’t like the game so it was hard to keep them motivated and many gradually stopped participating.
 liked working with the PRE K program and thought we interacted well with them. I think it was easier to capture their attention, but it was difficult at first trying to get them to understand what we wanted them to do, but after we made some changes and made things more simple things flowed nicely. One of the biggest differences I found working with the younger kids was the difference in motor development, where I could play football catch or basketball with the older kids, I played much simpler with the PRE K kids.
I enjoyed myself working with the students in the cafeteria setting, but I don’t think that those type of fine motor activities should be integrated in Physical Education classes. There are other classes that can work on these skills like Art and Music Classes. I think Physical Education should stay focused on the gross motor skills.
The great amount of energy and emphasis needed to work with young children is the biggest thing I will take away from this experience. I have begun to develop a teaching strategy that revolves around gaining the respect of my students while remaining enthusiastic and motivating, meanwhile asking for the same level of respect from them. This strategy is still very young as am I in my teaching career, so I can only expect that it will grow as I gain more experience.

Lab 5 - Environment

I think the games that we have done so far have been appropriate for the students at St. Mary’s. This is because we have molded the games to better suit the kids; making it more enjoyable for them all the while we can gain information on their motor development. Also I think the games from My Station PE and from the text were for the most part very good before we changed them.
When choosing games or activities to asses motor skills it is crucial to understand the ages and development of the students you will be working with. When designing a game you should take into account their ages because you don’t want something to advanced where they won’t understand it, or something to simple where older students get bored easily. Finally, one must have an idea of the motor development of the students being assessed so to not make the activity to difficult where they can’t even do it, but something that forces the students to put in some effort to try and complete the task.

Lab 4 - Favorite Foods

I think the biggest challenge I have faced at St. Mary’s is getting all the kids to stay on task and be focused on the activity at hand. Getting young kids to do this can very difficult to accomplish and it takes a lot of effort and patience. Some students always listen and site quietly while I give instructions, but others are screaming or running around and this can be hard to control. 
I think if the instructor is animated enough to grab the attention from most of the class the few who are seeking attention will begin to listen to you. The instructor needs to be clear and confident or else the students will begin to get restless, also using progressions and only giving a few directions at time is very helpful. This way the students don’t get confused with a bunch of directions, but rather they can focus on one or two.

Lab 3 - Action/Movie Hero

We worked with two six year olds in kindergarten, Anthony, a male, and Rowan, a female. They were both similar in their ability level, probably in the initial stage and elementary stage at best for the skills demonstrated. They were equally skilled in the leap, but Rowan was able to do more of the horizontal jump tasks, while Anthony was more skilled in the slide.

I have noticed that in order to get the students attention and connect with them I have to be very animated and loud, so that is what I tried to do today. I wouldn’t stand up and look down to them when talking I would get down to their level and be face to face, which I think helps a lot. I also try to be very excited about the activity at hand and try to get all the students involved. I think these actions help to connect with the students because it shows them that I care and I want to be there working with them. 

I saw that when we as instructors used loud voices to get the students attention they seemed to listen better. Also, not standing straight up and instead getting down to their level by taking knee also worked well. If we weren’t assertive the students rarely listened, and when we would do things like, clap twice if you can hear me, or criss-cross applesauce, it really helped get their attention. It can be difficult to keep their attention at times, but when we are very animated they pay attention much better.

Lab 2 - Animal Theme

As a class we observed a female, Casey who was in Kindergarten and is five, and also a male, Shamus who is in first grade and is six years old. Like the rest of the class they were proficient with some of the aspects of each skill but lacked others. The hop was done well by both Casey and Shamus as they at one point or another to accomplish all aspects of it while they weren’t as skilled at  galloping or running.

I saw that when we as instructors used loud voices to get the students attention they seemed to listen better. Also, not standing straight up and instead getting to their level by taking knee also worked well. If we weren’t assertive the students rarely listened, and when we would do things like, clap twice if you can hear me, or criss cross applesauce, it really helped get their attention. In order to keep their attention we tried to remain very animated and used props such as aprons and spoons in our game Stinky Letter Stew.

Our first day at St. Mary's

The interaction between my peers and myself with the St. Mary’s changed throughout out our first lab. At first they didn’t listen very well and it was hard to get all of their attentions, also not everyone was participating during the first couple of activities. It took a lot of effort to get some of them involved, but once we started getting down on one knee and explaining the activities to them and displaying our excitement in the activities and the students who were participating well, the majority of the students were playing the activities we presented them.

            When we first arrived one of the first activities we played was Chinese Temple Tag, and I noticed that some of the students were not participating. One student, Nicholas, went over to the other side of the gym looking for a basketball, and when I asked why he wasn’t playing he said, “it’s stupid and boring,” his lack of interest was probably due to his higher motor development than the other students who were having fun playing tag, while he wanted to play more advanced games. Another student who I tried to get to play said, “she didn’t want to because it was stupid,” also, she also was probably ready for more advanced games, but since her close friends were having fun playing she ended up playing, sticking close to their side. From my observations I would say that grade level, gender, and ability all influence motor behavior.

Based on my observations there were many differences among the students, whether it was gender, age, or skill level, they were all different. I met one student, Jacob who was I believe only 6 but he was a very talented basketball player and was capable of making shots that most other students regardless of age could make. So his skill level was high compared to others although he was younger than most. I think a low skill level can be a big turn off for some students trying new activities. I met another boy who was older than Jacob but wasn’t as skilled shooter as him, and when I tried to get him to try and shoot over hand he only tried once, missing the hoop, and then he would not try again. He continued to play however; he was bigger than Jacob and could get the ball easier, so instead of trying to improve his shooting skill level he relied on his size, age, to play.