Sunday, December 7, 2008

Infant perception skits

When I first heard about this assignment, I was sure it was something I never could have pulled off. I know teaching requires us to move outside our comfort zone and I am working on developing the confidence to do just that. But to sing/dance in front of my peers in a college classroom setting is far beyond what I thought I could do. Amazingly, as our group talked and practiced, things started coming together. I guess I've learned that you can dig deeper than you ever anticipated. Learning often comes from doing. It helped to know we were all in the same boat, although I know performing comes easier to some than others. In the end, I think this activity taught me to remember that often the kids I will teach will feel uncomfortable with what I'm asking of them. If I can help them realize that they are in a safe, secure environment where everyone respects each other, they will learn as I did that sometimes we learn the most from the things we want to do the least.

Our You Tube Skit- ABC-

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reflections on what I've learned

This was my first opportunity to work with students in a school setting. I now realize how difficult it is to work with a variety of age levels each week. Our activities needed to be very basic, and instructions concrete, so that we could modify them for various ability levels. I also learned the importance of making instructions clear and concise. If it takes too long to explain the directions, we lose the kid's attention. Props work great when you need a "hook". The kids really responded to our lessons that were creative and different. I think I had an easier time relating to the older students, although the younger kids seemed to gravitate toward me. I think my teaching style is slowly emerging. I work best using the instructor-centered approach where I demonstrate and model what is expected (skills and processes) and then act as a coach or guide to assist the students in applying the knowledge. I this style encourages student participation and allows for various learning styles. Most kids need to see the activity performed rather than just hear the directions. Overall, being at St. Mary's this semester has given me a taste of what teaching will be like. I am anxious to get more experience at various levels. Over Christmas break, I plan to volunteer in our local elementary school with my elementary physical education teacher to learn some more tricks and practice developing my skills in the classroom setting.

Lab 5 and assessment up to now

This week, we assessed the children using dribbling and kicking skills. I observed Collin, a Kindergartener. He did quite well on all of the skill areas, which was surprising for someone so young. This week, I noticed that many of the younger students were having a hard time keeping focused and really maintaining attention throughout the activities. When I thought about why, I began to reflect upon how hard this is for some of the kids at St. Marys (especially the little guys). They have been in school all day, cooped up in their classrooms and being asked to remain fairly inactive. When the end of the day comes, I am sure they are ready to let loose and run around. Although we give them that opportunity, we are asking them to remain quiet and to listen to directions before they begin the lesson. I think in some ways, our task may be made more difficult due to the time of day. I remember when I was young, I couldn't wait until 3:00 to get outside and play with my friends. This is the time we are trying to teach these kids rules of a game, or to model activities for them, and they are ready to go! I guess I feel pretty pleased with the amount of instruction we have been able to provide and feel it can only get a bit easier when we work with the kids during the normal school hours.

Monday, November 10, 2008

St Marys Lab 3

For this lab, I observed two preschoolers in the gym. I watched Sage and Maddy, both age 4 years. I notice the preschoolers usually have a difficult time with some of the locomotor skills, but these two did very well. Both were able to leap from one foot to another when reminded. They did great on the horizontal jump and were able to land on two feet simultaneously. As far as the slide, Maddy had a little problem when going to the left side. We played a game today that consisted of an obstacle course in a Dora the Explorer jungle theme. The kids really responded to the activities and did a great job. I think one of the main reasons things went well today, was because we got right down to their eye level and made sure we had their complete attention before explaining the directions. The activity was very motivating and because it was a little different, they were very interested. We had some props to make the kids feel like they were in the jungle. Once we came inside, we played this game with the large group of students. Because of the way the game was made up, all the students had fun and enjoyed playing. I wasn't sure if the older kids would feel the theme was too kiddish, but they really loved it.

Lab #2 at St. Marys

During today's lab I observed students ranging in age from K-3, Focusing on three locomotor skills in particular- running, hopping and galloping. While in the gym, I observed two students engaged in these skills. Julian grade 3 age 8 and Isabella grade 1 age 6. Julian performed all skills exceptionally well. It is obvious to me he is a future athlete. He loves to participate and catches on very quickly. Isabella is less capable and had a more difficult time performing the skills in the context of the game. I felt the kids seemed much more comfortable using only their dominant foot, but when I reminded them to try both feet they seemed able for the most part. This seems to be true of most observations. As soon as the kids are reminded about what is expected of them, they do better. This shows me how much reinforcement kids need to stay on task. Sometimes I feel as if I am constantly redirecting them, but I guess this is what they need. I am amazed at the different developmental levels as I glanced around the gym. The levels vary depending on age for the most part. The kids played Capture the Running Flag today. They seemed to enjoy the game alot and listened well to the directions. I remembered to keep the directions simple, and this kept them more focused.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First visit to St Marys

This was my first real opportunity to work with kids in an organized setting. Since this was are first time going to St Marys as a group we didn't have any activities planned, so we basically just introduced ourselves and got to know the kids a little bit. My first experience was when we went outside to play a game of kickball. Before we got started one of the younger girls ran over to me, grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the fence surrounding the park to meet her little sister. She was so excited to introduce someone new to her sister, I can tell she will be a very outgoing participant in the group. When we started to play kickball i noticed there was a wide age range of students playing together. It was obvious the older students were more advanced skill wise but the younger students didn't seem to be intimidated. They all seem to work well together, overall my first experience at St Marys was very positive.