Tuesday, November 4, 2008

All good things come to an end...

From my interactions with the St. Mary’s students I learned that young kids have tons of energy almost all the time. The whole two hours we were there they were all fired up, running around wanting to play. An activity that I felt was appropriate was when we played clean out your room where we were evaluating their motor skills of throwing. It was appropriate because we got to see them throw many of times and the game wasn’t difficult to play. An example of an inappropriate activity was when we played was rock paper scissor tag. We wanted them to skip and gallop back to the line but because of their age and how hyper they are they would just run back. This was inappropriate because we weren’t able to evaluate those motor skills because of the complexity and confusion of the game. Working with the students in the Pre K program at St. Mary’s was challenging. It was challenging because the kids were on different ability levels. Some students motor skills were at an initial stage were others were at a mature stage. It was different from working with the older age students because it took a lot longer and more effort in explaining how to play the games with the younger age students. You really have to have patience when working with the students in Pre K. Even though it takes a lot more patience with working with the younger age children I really enjoyed it because when they do get it and succeed it is a great feeling. The younger students really look up to you and I enjoy being someone’s role model. Some of the fine motor skills I observed in the cafeteria setting at St. Mary’s were the use of their hands when they were putting puzzles together. I noticed they would take different pieces and try to place the pieces together and sometimes when they wouldn’t fit they would use their hands and try to force them together. Also, I would watch them draw and would observe to see if they colored within the lines and also how long it took them to complete the drawing. When they would write their names of their paper, some of the children’s write would be straight and clear where others were sloppy and all over the place. I feel that working on fine motor activities is something we should work on in Physical Education. These fine motor skills you will need to play some of the games in class especially hand-eye coordination games. They have to develop these skills using their hands, finger and eyes in order to play some of the more advanced games. I have developed an insight as to how I want to teach from my experience and interaction at St. Mary’s. I have found that I am more of a laid back teacher but I’m firm and sincere at the same time. I’m not the type of teacher who just tells his students what to do and if they don’t do it right yell or punish the students. I like to be involved in the games and experience some of the fun the students are having. I have patience and I’m willing to take the time to help someone out without getting frustrated. I don’t like to yell but I found I have to be loud enough so you have their attention and know that you are sincere.

Games are fun!!

The activities/games that I have utilized so far during the past four labs have been appropriate for the students at St. Mary’s. They have been age appropriate meaning that the games aren’t to advance for the student’s age and skill level. They participated in these games without any major problems. All the students, guys and girls have played and enjoyed them. I try not to make them to challenging to prevent confusion and when they play by the rules you can assess their motor skills easier. Some limitations to the games or activities when using them in the process of assessing motor skills are you can’t have games where there are too many objectives at once because if you do it’s hard to see the motor skill you are looking for because too much is going on. Also, the kids don’t know what you are looking for and because they get so excited they don’t follow the rules so you can’t assess that particular motor skill.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reflecting on St. Mary's

Some of the difficulties or challenges that I have faced so far at St. Mary’s have been getting the kids involved and focused on playing the games we provide for them. The kids get so excited they start running around and don’t pay attention to your instructions. Some of the games we have introduced have been too advanced for their age group so the games don’t go as smoothly as planned. Also, the attendance is always different. The kids leave at all different times so you might have a game that starts off with ten kids and within two minutes you only have two kids left and then the game becomes hard to play. Ideas or suggestions to resolve the difficulties or challenges are to play better age appropriate games. Make sure that kids starting from Pre k up to grade 5 will be able to play these games without any confusions or problems. You should test out your games before you go to lab so you know it is age appropriate. Also, you can have games on reserve so when a bunch of kids leave and you only have a few remaining you have fun games for just the few kids left to play.

A third time around....

For this lab I observed Student A and Student B. Student A is a six year old boy who is in the first grade. Student B is a five year old girl who is in kindergarten. I watched them go through a creative obstacle course where we watched them perform various skills. We watched them leap, horizontal jump, and slide. Student B is very advanced for her age; she is at a mature level for leap and was also very good at sliding. The problem she has is with her jumps. She never extended her arms forcefully forward and upward, reaching full extension above the head. She also never had flexion of both arms and knees with arms extended behind the body. Student A was not as advanced as Student B. He is good at sliding but has trouble with leaping and jumping. When he leaped he couldn’t take off on one foot and land on the other, also his didn’t have a forward reach with arm opposite of lead foot. When he jumped he didn’t bring his arms downward during landing. He also didn’t extend arms forcefully forward and upward, reaching full extension above the head. He didn’t show flexion of both arms and knees with arms extended behind the body. For this lab I used a couple different teaching strategies. One of them was to get down on one knee where I was at eye level with the students. This was very effective because we had eye contact so when I was explaining what we were doing they were much more attentive. Here the children know you are sincere and they listen better. I also think you the teacher are a lot less intimidating. Here I feel you can really get through to your students.

PE conference at SUNY Cortland

On October 9th I attended the Physical Education mini conferenence at SUNY Cortland. I went to Dr. Yang's presentation which I participated in. It was a very interesting presentation. He had stations set up that incorporate physical activity into playing video games. Through the use of new technology you can exercise while playing video games. I played a game of Madden on playstation 3 while i was cycling on a bike. The bike was hooked up to the playstation and in order to play the game you had to peddle the entire time and if you stopped the game would pause, and you couldn't resume the game until you started to cycle again. I was moving the entire time elevating my heart rate while play a video game I enjoy. My game drew a lot of attention by the people observing the presentation and they all seemed to be interested in this new technology. All the students that participated in this presentation were hooked up to heart rate monitors which you could see the readings on a projection screen. It was cool to see how much I was excerting myself while playing the video game as well as the other student participants. I found this mini conference to be very educational and fun.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Round 2

Today we are back for round two at St. Mary's. For this lab I observed student A and student B who are both in the kindergarten at St. Mary’s. Student A is a 5 year old boy, and student B is a 5 year old girl. I observed them both playing the same game and evaluated their skill levels. The first skill I observed was how they ran. Both these students could ran with their arms in opposition to legs, elbow bent, ran with both feet off the ground for a brief period, and their foot placement was near or on line. Student B's nonsupport leg was bent at approximately 90 degrees where student A's was not. When they started to gallop, they both were able to lead with the right and left foot, had brief period where both feet are off the ground, and could step forward with leading foot followed by the trailing foot. As of now both students showed that they had a good understanding of how to run and gallop. As they started hopping, I noticed that student A couldn’t hop at all. His arms were all over and he could not hop on one foot. Meanwhile, student B mastered every component of the hop. I don’t think student A's inability to hop has to do anything with his age or gender, I just think someone needs to take the time to show him how to do it correctly. One of the teaching strategies that I observed were showing the students how to gallop and hop through playing a game. They were shown to students in the Pre K. They were taught by the Cortland students who demonstrated a proper gallop and hop. The effect was that all Pre-K students paraded around the gym galloping and hoping. This strategy was effective for the students that knew how to properly hop and gallop, but for the others who didn’t know how to properly hop or gallop it was not. Another strategy they could have used was to take the kids that couldn’t hop or gallop out of the game and show them step-by-step how to gallop and hop. The past two labs have been a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to coming back next week!

It All Begins..

Today was my first day at St. Mary's elementary school. It was a lot of fun getting to know some of the kids and watching them play different games. The differences in motor behavior and social between the students are easily observed. The biggest difference I observed where the motor behaviors of the Pre K compared to the older students which ranged up to about fifth grade. The Pre K students would get really excited about a certain game and run off and start screaming before you would even start the game. They would get too excited and be distracted easily. The older students would listen to the rules and then go play. I think grade level has more of an influence on motor behavior rather than gender or ability. You can definitely see a maturity in motor behavior with the older students compared to the students in Pre K. The fine motor activities that I observed watching the students were their ability to run, kick a ball, and eat a snack. I witnessed the older students approximately in the fifth grade play kickball. After watching the way they ran to the bases compared to the Pre K running during a game of tag it was obvious there was a difference in their skill levels. You could clearly see most of the kids in the Pre K were at an initial skill level of running, except for a few who were at an elementary skill level. Most of the fifth grades were at an elementary level with the exception of a couple that could be considered at a mature level of running. The thing that stuck out to me the most was how long it took the Pre K to eat there snacks compared to the older students. From my observations I would have to say that the differences in how they performed these motor activities was because of age rather than gender or ability. It should be interesting to see how the students perform some other motor activities in the next couple of weeks.