Sunday, December 5, 2010

St. May's Comes to an End

We had our last lab at St. Mary's which was Christmas Themed!! Everyone participated in one way or another with costumes. The school was warm and cozy and kids were excited for the holiday season. This week I was the Closing group. Within the group I had the responsibility of interviewing our class about their experiences throughout or semester at St. Marys. I really enjoyed hearing from everyone.

Most of the memorable moments for our 201 lab group was seeing the St. Marys students have fun. A common theme amongst our class was that they felt sucessful and happy when they saw the students smile and have fun. When they had games that worked well and were enjoyable, they remembered those experiences.

Among our class we also learned through difficult situations. Mostly everyone I spoke to said they were surprised at how hard it was to gain control of the class, and then keep their attention while explaining a game or activity. Another big point a few people made was that they were surprised at how much you had to project your voice to gain attention and be heard by everyone. In the beginning most felt like they were shouting, but as time went on it became natural to talk at that level when getting the kids attention.

One more diffcult but very valuable thing to learn is how to improvize. When a game doesn't go as planned or things must be modified to be good for the grade group or kind of kids we are working with, things get a little crazy. Personally Ive noticed that since the first lab people improved in their way of dealing with this situation.

I am so proud of all of our classmates, our lab assistants, and Dr. Yang. I think we brought a positive influence to St. Mary's and we all learned a lot about ourselves, others, and the P.E. world. I'm thankfuls for all my classmates and the students who have inspired me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Madness

One thing I will take away from this lab experience is that things never will go as planned. I am learning to be okay with that. When you think you have a great game and set up, be ready to change it. I used a few games for soccer dribbling and basketball dribbling but when we got to the gym we had a quarter of it to work with. Also there were only about 6 kids who were interested in a mini soccer game. My plan didn't go well, but I ended up bringing the kids into a 3 v. 3 game where when possession changed they had to bring the ball back (like half court basketball).  The kids were good! They were very good at dribbling, passing and shooting. The game got pretty intense. Kevin and I joined in with the kids as well. They had better skills than I did! We did have an injury but later in the class the boy came back and kept playing.

It was a chaotic day but taught me a lot and I had fun.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spooky St. Mary's

Our last lab was the week before Halloween, and naturally we decided to have a Halloween theme!! I remember as a kid loving Halloween and the excitement leading up to it. Our class dressed up in great costumes and I think everyone had a lot of fun. I dressed up as a hippy with ripped jeans and a tie dyed T-shirt. We had some really great costumes and even better responses from the kids.

My group was working with Pre-K this week. Working with the younger kids was a bit more unorganized than our past labs. Depending on the weather they are inside or outside, and always include snack time in the time we have with them.We don't really get to do much fitness with them aside from running around on the playground. I decided to do a craft with the kids. Prior to lab I bought paper plates and cut two eyes, a nose, and a mouth into each one to make a jack-o-lantern face for the kids. Every one was different and unique. I brought them in and after our time on the playground we all sat in their classroom and colored our jack-o-lantern masks. Dan also brought in a bunch of coloring sheets of scarecrows, bats, pumpkins and more. The kids really seemed to enjoy this activity. One little girl actually made one for me which I have hanging in my room. Sitting and coloring and talking with the kids in a quiet environment was a great change of pace. Although we didnt get much moving in, we worked on their fine motor skills, and got to bond with the children on a deeper level than just teaching a game in the gym.

The gym group was asked to design games that help us watch the kids pass and catch a ball and record their skill level. The kids seemed to enjoy the games and didnt even notice that we were watching to see their skills. To check list of the young boy and girl we took notes on click here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Super Lab!

This week was our third week with the kids at St. Mary's. My classmates analyzed two children in their horizontal jumping skills, leaping skills, and sliding skills while John, Dan, and I played Super Hero games with the children. We had a lot of costumes and really creative super heroes. The kids reaction to those who were dressed up was great. They payed more attention to them and showed a lot of interest in what they were saying.

Within my own lesson I believe I made some mistakes while teaching.The students lost focus and when it came to preforming my game, the children were a little wild. My instructions on the boundaries should have been clearer. Also my voice needed to be louder, and I should have given a demonstration with another classmate to further the students understanding. I tried to be calm and regroup the students, but inside I was panicking. Its hard to see kids do things a totally different way than I envisioned it. But, with the changes I've listed I think their attention and understanding would improve. Also I spoke to some of my peers about how the games went, and most encouraged me that my performance wasn't as bad as I thought.

Overall the lab was great. I really enjoyed playing kickball outside with the kids. They were really good! I wasnt taking it easy on them and they got me out a few times. Also the closing group did a great job. Tracys song and Ians dance were awesome. I think some of the college kids enjoyed it more then the St. Mary's students.

Im learning a lot each week. This is a great experience to get us prepared for teaching.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pirates invade St Mary's

The second lab at St. Mary's was the real test of our teaching and planning skills. Finally we were able to work with the kids, and have them participate in the games we prepared. I didnt get to do much this week because we were the closing group, and I was in charge of the song. I used a song from the Wiggles about their pirate ship. To get the students intrested I pretended they were my little pirates, and included moves in our dance in a circle that apply to the pirate theme. I had the students "swim", and hop on their "peg leg" and jump down the plank. Being enthusiastic and selling your game or activity is a huge way to get kids interested in what you are doing. A few kids seemed like they werent intrested in doing the dance, but once we got into it they followed along with the rest of the group.

I think all the groups did a pretty good job for their first day teaching. I was lucky enough to see every group because I was taking pictures for Dr. Yang. Once again I saw a lot of enthusasm and the college kids getting down on our students level to communicate and explain things. Some cues I saw being used were saying "criss-cross-applesauce" to get the kids to sit and cross their legs and listen. I also saw some peers use counting cues, such as "one, two, three, GO!"

 As a class we were also responsible for assessing two students in their ability to run, gallop, and hop. This was more difficult that I had imagined. It was very hard to see each skill for each child enough times to get an acurate assesment. I noticed most of the students didnt know the difference between a jump and a hop. All students sucessfully ran, and most were good at the galloping, but hopping seemed to be the most difficult. Many kids kept their non hopping leg in front of their body instead of behind swinging it for momentum. To see more observation on the two students click here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hall of Shame Games

When thinking of Dodgeball in schools, immediately I wonder. The number one concern in any classroom is the students safety, and that comes into question when thinking about introducing the game of Dodgeball. I would agree with schools who ban the original way of playing Dodgeball. This form is violent and selective. No student wants to feel targeted, or be injured. However, I do agree with playing modified forms of DodgeBall.

I played a version of Dodgeball in Adventure Activities last semester which was school appropriate. We used soft foam balls which don't hurt like the original playground/kickball balls. Another modification was having to bounce the ball before it hit an opponent. I think changing just these two things makes this much more school friendly, but even more can be done. In keeping in mind that we always want children actively participating in physical activity, we need a way for children to get back into the game after being tagged out. A few ideas: they may come back after a teammate catches a ball thrown at him, back in if they get a ball that's out of the playing field, do some sort of exercise such as lunges, sit ups, or push ups to get back in.

Implementing these modifications reduces injuries, increases confidence, and physical activity.