Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When reflecting on my experiences at St. Marys so far, I feel that there are a few challenges and difficulties I have faced. One is getting the students attention and keeping it. There have been many of times where we are able to bring the kids in and get them to listen. Usually we have to yell at the top of our lungs just for them to hear us. The listening only lasts for so long. Usually after only a couple seconds of talking and trying to explain or give directions they start talking or yelling our or moving around. I understand that they are very excited and wound up after being in school all day so it is going to be difficult to get their attention especially at the beginning. They seem to have so much energy and the last thing they want to do is listen again. Another issue is that there are times where they don’t all agree on doing an activity together. The older kids are the best exaple of that. There are usually certain groups who want to play basketball, one kid on the side playing soccer, or the girls playing on the mats. In this case it is harder to keep them all satisfied and involved. When loosing their attention it is even worse because then they are just unhappy.

I think a few suggestions on how to reslove these difficulties would be in the first case, with the students not paying attention would be to be louder. I know I struggle with this and I have noticed that it tends to be hard but ive also noticed that the louder you are the more likely they are going to listen to you longer. When they know that they can talk over you they are going to try and do it. If you are loud enough where you have their attention 100% I think chances are its going to last longer. I also feel that using a whistle seems to work really well. Its very loud in the gym and when you have lots of little kids running around yelling sometimes trying to yell over them just isnt going to work. I think that the students are going to be wound up after the school day no matter what so in order to get in keep their attention we need to be as involved as possible, loud and keep it interesting so it catches their attention. With the second issue I think the best way to go about this is to just let each kid do what they want. Ive noticed that a majority of the students especially in the older group like to play basetball. There are enough of us that we can split up and be able to interact with all the children even if they are doing separate things. We need to do out best to keep them happy and enjoying the day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Both Rowan and Anthony are the same age, both six years old and in kindergarten. Because of this, you would think that both would be at the same level when it came to the abilities and skills that they need to perform. When in fact this was not the case. Rowan was able to perform everything correctly when performing the leap when Anthony was only able to complete part of this skill. On the second skill, horizontal jump, Anthony was able to perform these skills correctly when Rowan had a little trouble. She struggled with having her arms extend forcefully forward and upward, reaching full extension about the head. With the last skill, Rowan also struggled a little because she didn’t keep her body turned sideways to the desired direction of travel. This shows how just because they are the same age and one is a boy and one is a girl that it doesn’t make them even, or anyone better then another. I remember watching one of the aids show Anthony how to perform the leap so that he was doing it correctly. I also remember Rowan being shown how to horizontally jump correctly. Overall, both students did a relatively good job of performing these skills. With a little help they were able to correct what they were doing wrong.

Well, I was unable to interact with the children today during the lab so I talked to one of the people in my group, emmie. She told me that depending on the setting, either in the cafeteria, gym, or a classroom, it was different. She told me that she lets the children go into their groups and games that they want to play. She then goes and finds the students that are by themselves. By doing this, she is able to connect better with that student. She also told me that by doing this, other students will come over to interact and become involved in what they are doing or talking about. When up in the gym, the best way to connect with the children is to play games with them. By giving them ideas that they can relate to or imagine it gets them more excited in what game they will be playing. For example, During the car game the children can pretend that they are the cars. And in the superhero game they believe that they are superheroes. It gets them more involved and they enjoy the game more.

After working with the children at St. Mary’s the past three weeks and observing, there is an effective strategy that can capture the attention of the children and keep them on task. One of the most important strategies is to relate to the children. By doing things that make relate to them it will get them more involved. Another strategy is being excited and involved in what is going on. The children like when you are as involved as they are. If you keep the games and rules simple but not to simple that it will bore them, there is a better chance that they are going to stay on task. One activity that keep the children captured and involved was the superhero training camp. They children seemed to love it. They could relate to what was going on and they were all so excited when you told them they could be super heroes. By broadening their imagination and making them believe that they are something that they enjoy, chances are they are going to love the activity.

After observing many students at St. Mary’s I believe that both age and gender play a role in a child’s ability to perform certain motor skills. My group started to observe kindergarteners and first graders in the gym. One girl in particular we watched was a five-year-old kindergartener named Casey. Right away I noticed that she was able to run and hop, but struggled when she was asked to gallop. She was standing in a lunge position and just jumping forward. There was no transfer of weight. One of the teachers was able to help her correct what she was doing. This helped her because she was able to gallop better and more properly. I noticed that there was a difference in the performance of the girls and boys. The boys wanted to do everything really fast. The girls were more relaxed and just performed the skill because they had to. I also feel that because of this, the boys didn’t perform things as well as the girls did. We had to watch a boy who was six and seemed to perform the activities relitively well. We then went and worked in the pre-k room. These children seemed to be a little less able to perform the skills as well as the older children. Once again, the boys were a little more wild then the girls. When we tried to have the children hop, they seemed to just jump and skip around. I think that with age the skills will improve and become more develpoed.

When we first arived to saint marys and set up in the gym, I noticed right away they they children were very wild and excited. The first game that we attempted was the with the parachute. Then the game was first set up, the instructors had the children sit down around the parachute to explain the rules and the game. All the children wanted to do was touch and play with the parachute. In my opinion the students should have stayed seated and listened to all the directions before going near the parachute. Because the kids had begun touching and playing with the parachute before the rules were explained, it was very hard to hear the rules and what each child needed to do. I believe that it is best to explain the rules when you have the children quiet and paying attention before you send them to play the game. When the group attempted to change what they were doing it seemed to work better and grab the childrens attention easier. With my game, zanny zoo, we had all the childern line up on a single line and were able to grab their attention. We explained the rules of the game and then separted them evenly to a area where there was a teacher. Once they got there we had them sit down and listen to what we were going to do next. I thought this worked best because the children listened better, payed more attention, and worked better in smaller groups.