Monday, December 8, 2008

Infant Perception

A fun song to learn infant perception

End of an Era!

Our last visit at St. Mary's concluded with a holiday themed extraviganza. It was a lot of fun, and the kids really got into it. The more props and themed activities we plan, the more they get into it. This is especially true with things that they really enjoy, like Christmas! The younger kids especially enjoyed it when we dressed up to play the part. Pretty much what it all really came down to at St. Mary's was when you love what you do, the kids know it. When the teacher really gets into what they are teaching, and expresses how much they love being with the students, and teaching P.E. the kids absolutly respond! When you're passionet about something, it is easy to give it your all.

Second to last visit

Over all i thought that the activities that we did with the students were very age appropriate throughout the course of our labs at St. Marys. The students responded to us very well, and were really reseptive to us teaching them. Some things that i would have done differently was what we did at the end of the semester; which was focus on two students that we were assessing. The teachers would stay with those students and focus on them most, to make sure that they were doing the objectives we were assessing correctly. In an actual classroom setting this would increase one on one time with the students and focus more on the individual and learning at a rate that best suits them. Focusing on this would allow us as teachers to best adapt to our students and allow them the highest chance for success in Physical Education

Friday, October 31, 2008

Throwing and Catching at St. Mary's

Teaching at refining skills is the name of the game. This week at St. Mary's we focused specifically on throwing and catching. These are rather difficult tasks for young children. Some children are able to develop compitency in these motor tasks faster than others, but for the most part we were teaching the initial stages of the throw and catch.

In teaching, it's important to understand that it's not all smooth sailing. However, challenges aren't a bad thing:
The most difficult experience has been easily in giving directions. If they aren’t short and sweet, the kids just don’t pay attention. Their attentions spans are so short that if the directions are at all complicated they aren’t interested in listening to the rest of what you have to say. And once you have lost them, it is REALLY hard to bring them back. It’s hard being in the gym when so many other ages are in their as well. If the kids think that they won’t like the game they don’t pay any attention to you, and they are watching what someone else is doing or another game that is being played.

Some ideas and suggestions to resolve these difficulties or challenges may be:
Directions need to be really short; the simpler they are the better. Also its necessary to use age appropriate directions that they are able to understand. A good example was someone gave the direction “Line up on the three point line.” This is completely over their heads. Use things to get their attention that include them, such as counting down from ten and having them join, or saying “Clap once if you can hear me, clap twice if you can hear me..” and so on. Lastly, if you do manage to lose their attention it is OK to be stern. You almost have to be to regain their attention.

Learning to leap, jump and slide in style at St. Mary's

A new week, new observations and thoughts. This week also saw different motor tasks to assess and evaluate. The locomotor skills that we observed this week at St. Mary's were the leap, the horizontal jump, and the slide.

Here are some observations of the students as they participate in the activities:
The young boy that we observed wasn’t really interested in doing the leaping, jumping and sliding as much as he was doing it as fast as he could. The young girl that we worked with allowed the teachers to help her and listened much better to the instruction as well.

The best way to get your points across are to develop good teaching strategies. Here are some that i used this week and how successful they were:
I found that the younger kids really want you to get right down there with them. They respond to you much better if you do the things that they are doing with them, instead of standing aside watching. The older kids kind of looked at me and had the look on their face like “what are you doing…get away from me,” if you tried to do the same with them. The old kids really didn’t want to be bothered with us college kids as much.

The single most important thing in working with kids is KEEPING THEIR ATTENTION! Here are some sure fire ways (i hope!) to keep their attention long enough to get your points across:
Being into what you’re teaching. The kids (no matter what age) know when you don’t care. The more energy you show and the happier you are and the more you get into it, the more of them will participate and the better they will do the game.

Running, Galloping, and Hopping at St. Mary's!

Week two at St. Mary's brought some changes. We are comfortable with the new environment which we had just been exposed to the week before. We began the first of our observations and assessments by watching specific kids doing specific motor tasks in game situations.
Some observations on St. Mary's students as they participate in activities as well as various movement patterns:
The thing that I noticed most with the kids at St. Mary’s is how much more likely they are to do something that you ask of them, based on their age. It is much more difficult to get the Pre-K, and Kindergarten kids to stand on a line and listen to you give directions than it is for the kids in 1st grade and on up. However, I also feel that the 1st graders are more likely to participate as well. They may stand out momentarily and say that they don’t want to play, or that they would prefer to be engaged in a different game, but when they see their friends all participating or they see it’s a game that they might like to play, they jump right in. In the beginning of the section when we observed 1st graders, I felt that when the game started they cared much more about the time element than doing the movement correctly. In other words, if they were asked to gallop from a given point to another with an incentive to do it quickly, both the boys and the girls concentrated on doing it fast and not on their form. No matter what the movement was supposed to be (galloping, hopping, jumping) it turned into running because they could do that faster. This was true for the specific kids that I observed. I observed both a boy and a girl of the same age that didn’t really notice a difference in skill, but both needed to be reminded by the instructor to concentrate on doing the skill instead of doing it for speed.
Some observations on effective teaching strategies:
First off, no matter what you’re actually saying if you say it in a kind voice with a smile on your face, the kids were much more receptive. They responded better because they knew they weren’t being spoken to or talked down on. However, sometimes certain individual needed to be engaged in a stern voice. Such as if the individual was jumping all over you, and grabbing and what not. Also, I noticed an effective way to talk to a child who had just fallen or injured themselves. It was best to approach them and ask them if they were ok but say something like, “Hey you OK? It’s a good thing you’re a tough guy/girl” and then help them right up. I think that this was like giving them a little pat on the back, complimenting them and taking their mind off of what they just hurt. Also if us adults notice that it wasn’t at all a serious injury and the child might be acting a little more than how much it actually hurt, it worked to help them off to the side and take a couple steps away from them. Obviously keep watching them, but pretend that you’re engaged in something else. Once the child thought that no one was watching and that they weren’t getting any attention, they would stand up and continue to go play.

Week One at St. Mary's!

Some observations about social and motor skills:
Clearly, as the students got high up in grade level, their motor skills improved for the most part. However, the older kids were much less receptive to us and therefore less likely to listen and take part in organized games that we planned. Although it was a little difficult getting the Pre-K kids to stand on a line and listen to directions for 2 minutes, they were willing to at least give our ideas a shot. The older kids really weren’t having much of what we were thinking. I noticed that will the Pre-K kids that I was working with, overall the girls were much more social with other girls in the class and us as well. The boys would get a little more physical with us, like grabbing on to us and touching us, but the girls were more talkative and willing to have a conversation with numerous exchanges. I definitely think that the more an individual kids’ motor system is developed, the more likely they are to take part in games. The not so developed kids were the ones who were much less inclined to take part. Which is something that we need to focus on, because it’s the kids who aren’t as physically gifted who need physical educators even more.

Some observations on fine motor development:
I saw all ranges of motor development. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Pre-K kids were able to throw a ball, although it was very basic. For the most part, the older kids were more advanced. I thought that gender really didn’t have that much of an effect with the younger kids. There really wasn’t much difference in skill level between the boys and the girls.