Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Last Visit To St.Mary's

I have really learned a lot about young children through my experiences at St. Mary’s. These young children are very funny and very unexpectable. One second they can have something hurting which causes them to sit out but once a fun game comes around, that has all disappeared and they are fine. I have witnessed this many times. Some activities that I felt were appropriate were ones that involved props and using imaginations to add something extra to the games. It’s amazing how the children respond to these sorts of things. Some activities that were not as appropriate were ones that resembled drills. Most of these games that were similar to drills were not very fun for the children. There was no imagination or creativity and that is what the children love about games.

With the PRE K program the children were much easier to work with because they weren’t as hyper as the older children. It was different with the older children because they would just want to go crazy, and it was hard to keep them organized. I really enjoyed working with the younger children. They listened very well to what you had to say and they had a greater sense of appreciation towards the activities. I also felt that there were many more activities to come up with when you are working with the PRE K.

In the Cafeteria some fine motor skills that I observed were building with the leggos, and drawing pictures. These were the two most creative fine motor skills that I had observed. The children would draw many different things and create many different objects with the leggos. Having children work on these fine motor skills is something that should definitely be worked on in Physical Education. It is very important for children to do activities involving this because it forces them to use their imagination and to strategize what they want to do. These are aspects that carry over into physical activity. Using your imagination and being creative come in handy when playing sports.

From this experience I have been given insight on my individual teaching style. I have found that I like to put myself in the shoes of the students, or simply think like an elementary school student would. I take the activity that I plan on doing and see if I would enjoy from an elementary school students point of view. My teaching style has definitely emerged through my experiences at St. Mary’s. I realized that the most successful games are ones in which the children can relate to, like super heroes or the Easter bunny. So by thinking like a child helps me to see what games will be best. This is how my teaching style has been developed through my experiences and interactions at St. Mary’s Elementary School.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dribble and Kick

I feel that the activities and games that we have been utilizing so far at St. Mary’s have been for the most part appropriate for the student’s. Every game and activity that we have done with the children in the labs has been very successful. They have made the children interested in playing and also made them move around and get a good workout in. The hardest activity came last week in lab 5 when we had to get the children dribbling and kicking. It is very hard to have a game where you can see these skills being done correctly by the children. It seemed more of a drill than anything but we were able to assess the children easily with the zig-zag soccer. It may not have been the best game but it helped our class in assessing the movements.

Some limitations to games involve taking the movement in the game and having the students perform them where that is the only thing they are doing. For instance if you have a game that involves the movement of dribbling, you may want to have the student dribble stationary instead of on the run. This allows the people assessing to get a clear look at what is being performed. It may not be as fun for the children but like I said before it helps the observers get a good understanding of the movements being performed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Can You Catch and Throw?

At St. Mary’s I have definitely faced some challenges and difficulties. What I am proud of is how I have found ways to overcome them. One challenge or difficulty that I have faced was working with children that didn’t want to cooperate with the activities. Not every child wants to play the game that we have chosen. Most children do enjoy the games but there are always those few kids who must be difficult. Not that this is good but it does help you get a feel for it because I feel as a future teacher we will undoubtedly come across some children like this. Another difficulty that I have faced is the issue of having enough space. One of our activities had to be moved to the cafeteria because there wasn’t enough room. This wasn’t a big deal because we just adjusted a few things and continued on with our activity in a different location. It wasn’t the environment we wanted but it worked out fine.

Some ideas or suggestions that I have to resolve these difficulties are to: manage my games according to space and time, and to also find games that seem suitable for children of all skills levels. This will help to keep more children into the activities and eager to play the games. Managing the games according to time and space would consist of keeping the movements of the game more controlled so that you determine where the children will move compared to having them running all over gym.

Leap over, Jump on, Slide across

On Monday I observed 6 year old Anthony and 6 year old Rowan, who are both in Kindergarten. Anthony is a male and Rowan is a female who both had differences in their ability levels. Both of these students were able to perform the locomotor skills but each had different forms while doing them. There were things that Anthony did better than Rowan, and Rowan performed other things better than Anthony. We observed these two students perform the locomotor skills of leaping, jumping horizontally, and sliding while attending the super hero training camp. It was interesting to see all of the different abilities within these children.

Since I worked with the older kids today some of the teaching strategies that I used were different then what I would use with the younger ones. We played kick ball and what I thought worked very well was to just be encouraging, partly participate, and just let the students play the game with minimal interruption. The kids really like kick ball and enjoyed having us participate as well. Overall the activity went very well and it was a great day.

There were many strategies that I have used these past couple of weeks to capture the children’s attention and keep them on task for the activity. Acting parts out and dressing to the role always had a great response for the children. I also enjoyed doing demonstrations because I fell like the students enjoy watching us participate as well. The last one is to always be encouraging no matter how bad things are going. As long as you are 100% into it, then chances are that the will be as well.