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.

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