Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lab Six: Christmas Lab

In this lab I was taken from my normal group of classmates and rearranged into a new group. In this group I worked with the Pre-k. This was the same group that I had in my very first lab. In my first lab things did not go as I wanted, because I was not too comfortable working with children of this age, but this time around it was much easier.
My professor gave me an electronic matching game that I could use with the children inside of the classroom. This game was a hit. As soon as I walked into the class with a bag the children seemed instantly drawn to me. In each classroom I had about seven kids that were constantly around playing the game. It was kind of difficult to explain the concept of space to the children, because the game called for an open playing are. The children tended to bunch up around me, so I made use of the carpet we were using. I use a circular carpet with different shapes around the outside. I instructed each child to seat on a shape and that would be there shape. I had never really thought of using a technique like that before, but it really worked and allowed for a nice structured environment.
After the classroom we went to the gymnasium. Here our professor instructed me to create a type of course for the children to do different activities on. We had only about ten minutes to come up with an activity and put it together. With help from my lab assistant we accomplished this goal. The activity was a great success and all the children enjoyed it. I combined a bunch of fun activities like tumbling, jumping, and balancing to make a kind of "mini-gymnastics" course. I gave each child a bean bag and this was considered a present, and when they had completed the course they would go through a tunnel(chimney) and delivery it to Santa. This story was included to go along with the Christmas theme, and help keep the kids going.
In all my Experience during this lab was positive. I will miss going to St. Mary's; the knowledge I have gained from there will most definitely be something I will keep with me forever. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lab Five: My Reaction

In this lab my group and I were designated as the Gymnasium group. This means that we were in charge of finding games that relate to the movement skill of the week. This past week it was dribbling and kicking of a ball. My other group members performed games that involved dribbling, so I made up a kicking game that I modified for the age group I thought we were going to work with.
The age group I believed we were going to work with was first to second graders. In fact though we were given the Pre-K's to work with. This is alright, but my game may have been too complex for them to comprehend. The students seemed as though they did not have the basic skills necessary to perform my game. This made the time extremely difficult for me. The students also seemed to be quite rambunctious. They did not want to participate, and they also did not pay much attention when I was explaining the directions. I know this is most likely due to there age. My TA told me to shorten up my directions when working with young children, and also to not worry if one or two children are not paying attention. I will most definitely keep this in mind for when I work with children of this age again.
After the gymnasium we went down to the cafeteria to interact and play with the children. Here I worked with the older kids. We played Lego's, and talked about sports. This was easier for me because the kids were older, and they can somewhat comprehend the concepts that as a teacher you are trying to implement. When I go out into the job market I will most definitely take any job that I am offered, but I feel as though I would work better with older students. Not being High School level, but Elementary to Middle School Level children. This is because at these levels the students still have the drive to participate in Physical Education, as well as the basic movement skills required to implement an effective lesson plan.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lab Four: Halloween Lab

Lab Four was our Halloween lab. In this lab we were instructed to observe two children a boy and girl which I have named Billy and Kristen. These two children were to demonstrate skills in catching and throwing. As I have previously stated the girls have been the ones that have had better movement skills. This though was different when it came to object control. These two individuals were of the same age and grade level, the only difference being there gender. In my observations the boy did a much better job catching and throwing the objects. During the overhand throw the boy was able to transfer his weight while throwing and had a good follow-through. The girl on the opposite hand was not able to do this. She stood with her shoulders square to he target and had no follow-through. When throwing her non-dominate arm was pinned to her side and had no assistance in the throwing motion. In catching this pattern was still evident. The boy was still the more dominant child in the skills presented. He bent to absorb the object and caught it with his hands. The girl caught the object with her elbows and was straight up and down, not absorbing any of the force. This allowed for many of the time she attempted to catch the ball to be unsuccessful. I cannot be for sure what the reason for this is. It may be that the boy I was observing had more experiences in these types of skills as where the girl did not.
My experience at St. Mary's was a good one. At first with our Professor not being there it was a little hectic, but eventually things came together. My job this past week was special projects where I went around and asked questions about how well my peers did teaching. I got many mixed reviews from them. I have noticed that during our practice labs the lessons go by much smoother. When it comes to actually teaching with young children the lessons that were previously quite good tend to fall apart. I believe this due to the stress of actually working with real students, and the inexperience that most of us still have. Also when working with children many obstacles can occur. The lessons that are planned may be too difficult, or not age appropriate. So this is why I am trying to implement different variations to my lessons. It is the same lesson that I wanted to teach before, but now I have choices so adjustments can be made if necessary.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lab Three: My Reaction

This lab by far has been my favorite. In this lab we were given the choice to dress up. The theme was superheroes. I decided to dress up as Superman. The children responded quite well to those of us that dressed up as superheroes. I noticed that the children were more willing to participate in our activities also.
In this lab we were instructed to observe two individuals from the kindergarten to second grade range. These two children performed the locomotor skills of leaping, horizontal jumping, and sliding. I noticed that both of the two children were having difficulties performing these skills. The girl tended to perform better, but only slightly. They seemed as though they were distracted from the task at hand. This gave them both poor grades in my observation of their performance during my initial assessment. Our Professor then pulled the two aside and instructed them to perform the three locomotor skills by themselves, away from all the environmental and social distractions. The two children performed the skills effectively. So this goes to show how outside variables can affective performance.
In the game that I taught the children were a little too old. I thought that I was going to be working with younger children and had built my lesson plan around this. Even though the children were somewhat reluctant to participate at first they eventually came around. I used many teaching methods that I thought were helpful. I made the children keep eye contact with me as I explained the game so that I knew they were listening, as well as understanding. My wrestling coach back in high school taught me this. He would use this method frequently while explaining moves. I also did a quick quiz at the end of my instruction to tell if the children understood also. Before I began the game I paused and made sure everyone was listening and attentive. Once I could see this I then gave the signal to begin. I felt by doing this I had more control of the class and it made my activity go by much smoother. In my group there was an extremely active individual that kept acting out during our lessons. Back in the beginning of the year our Professor instructed to ask the child nicely if they would please participate or we will get in trouble by our professor. I did not really believe this would work so I never used it before. That day though it was the last idea I had to get this child motivated. So I pulled him aside and said "Please help us out and participate, if you don't my classmates and I are going to fail." The child immediately was extremely concerned that my classmates and I were going to get in trouble because of his actions. He changed his whole attitude and did not act out the entire class. Obviously this is not a method that one can use all of the time, but in this instance it was quite affective.
My overall experience at St. Mary's this past week was a positive one.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lab Two: Reaction

During my visit to St. Mary's my peers and I were instructed to observe two children that I have come to call Nicole and Andrew as they demonstrated the skills of running, galloping, and hoping. The two students performed these skills during and activity set up by my peer Justen. Nicole seemed to demonstrate the movement skills more proficiently than Andrew. In fact I thought that she did quite a bit better than most of her class mates. Andrew seemed as though he did not quite realize how to perform these skills even though I believe they come from the same grade. I contributed this to the development stage at which each child is at. That possibly Nicole is just ahead of Andrew when it comes to these skills. This though is just an inference and cannot be known for sure; there are just too many variables.
The teaching methods employed by my peers were quite good. I noticed while teaching especially in Justen's game he knelt down to get on the children's level and explained the game a term that the children were able to understand. Dressing up also helped gain the children's interest. I noticed this predominately in Bree's group. Her and her peers dressed like pirates and the children seemed to magnetize toward them.
The experience I had teaching had ups and downs. I felt as though I had a strong beginning, which my professor seconded, but as the game went on it began to fall a part. I did a simple tag game that I modified for a pre-k environment. Teaching pre-k can be quite frustrating for a beginner teacher. I found that my flaws were that I took little things for granite. An example of this was that children that young do not understand the concept of running in a straight line is the simplest way to get to one point, or that once at that point is reached they are now safe. Once I realized this I immediately stopped the game and explained these little instructions that I left out. This helped the students understand the game better. Also during my game many of the parents came to pick up their children. This immediately destroyed the number of children I had in my game. My teacher said that he could tell I was let down by this and told me to keep a positive outlook on things, because children pick up negativity.
This was a great learning experience for me, I wish to keep on learning and by doing so better myself as a teacher.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Should Tag Games be in the Hall of Shame?

The Hall of Shame was established to identify games that are considered unsuitable for the physical education environment. These are games that do in fact require great skill, but have limited physical activity time, have minimal participation, and also sometimes single out and embarrass students. In my opinion any game can do this if not properly taught.
Tag is a game in which seekers go out and try to capture others, so that no one else remains. Their are so many different variations of tag that it does not have to be the grotesque monster of a game that the Hall of Shame presents it to be. The authors use words like "captured/mutilated/killed" as describing words for Tag. Any such topic presented in this light would most definitely seem negative. In order to curve the some what derogatory remarks associated with Tag obviously some modifications must be made. I can see that the excluding of kids after they have been tagged is not a great idea, also that singling out children is not great also. This is why tag games in which kids are not eliminated would work great, such as Blog Tag.
Grouping kids together as pairs, and when captured having them join a bigger group allows for no elimination and team building to occur. No child in this sense is left out of the Tag game. Also their is another form of tag called Coral Tag in which after the children are tag they become pieces of "coral." They sit down where they are and have the ability to tag people that are still runners. If they tag an individual they are able to come back into the game as a runner. This way each child is still involved in the game.
In the end it comes down to how the game is presented to the students, and as a teacher you present all the points you want the students to learn.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lab One: My Reaction to St. Mary's

What a great time I had at St. Mary's. This experience was everything I thought it would be and more. The opportunity that has been given to me to actually go into a school environment and interact with children is amazing. This will be such and asset to me when I become a professional, because I will have that much more experience working with children.

When we first entered the school it was not the mess of crazy screaming kids that I was expecting to work with. For being the first couple weeks of the school the kids were actually on good behavior and eager to listen and play games. First we went through a series of games that our TA's had picked out and thought the children would enjoy playing after their experience at St. Mary's from the previous year. The children really enjoyed the different tag games being played. I really liked how the TA's were using the music as a type of control. This is such a great tool that I will most definitely use when I become a professional. I wish that this kind of teaching was used when I was a student. I feel that it makes the class that much more fun. I wonder how this generation of children will react when the element of music is taken away from the P.E. environment when they get into Middle and High school? Will this change their view of P.E.? Only time will tell I suppose.

Next we went to the Pre-K playground. Here I found myself having the most fun interacting with the kids. I think it was because to young children anything can be a game. The imagination of this age group is great, and can be a great tool for a teacher when playing games. As a teacher you can make the kids imagine they are crossing a lava pit and can only step on the safe rocks, when in actuality they are in a gymnasium trying to get to the other side by only stepping on plastic squares. To the children though because of their imagination the story the teacher invents becomes real to them and they enjoys being part of the class that much more. I cannot wait for more experiences at St. Mary's, and to develop my professionalism and teaching abilities further.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Introduction of Long Handled Implements with Young Children in Sport

In the recent generations much pressure has been put on children from mostly their parents to be the best. Many parents think that getting their children into a sport as early as possible will be beneficial to them in the future. The fact is though that many children that are seven years of age or younger lack the two components of perceptual motor learning, like spatial awareness and temporal abilities. Body awareness, space awareness, and directional awareness are three elements that a child must master in order to compete effectively in sport. Adding a long handled implement to this equation would be quite ineffective. The child at this age is just not ready for such a task. Obviously they can try to attempt this manipulation of long handled implements, but this could be detrimental. The child could lose interest in the sport because of their inability to perform, it is not that they are not good at the sport it is just that their body is not fully developed. Also you must consider the safety concerns. Children may hurt theme selves or others, not purposely, it is just they have not developed spacial awareness. So in conclusion I would not recommend the use of long handled implements in an environment with young children.   

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Specialized Sports in Relation to Fundamental Movement Skills

After reviewing chapter one of Developmental Physical Education for All Children I have come to an interesting conclusion. This is that complex specialized sports are just combinations of fundamental movement skill acquired during the motor development phase of a child's life. Movement skills such as locomotion, manipulation, and stability stand for a broad array of different minor skills, and the mastering of these three areas at a young age allow for children to function in a sports setting. This is so fascinating to me. Obviously their is some genetic variables in athleticism among children. After learning these principles I feel as though through a carefully constructed teaching program I could take children with "low" athletic ability and train them to be great athletes. Helping children in primary and elementary school develop and refine these basic movement skills could really impact their lives as they mature. Allowing children to be more active and sociable, hopefully stopping this obesity epidemic that seems to tearing through the new generations, and instill a sense of life long fitness.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My initial reaction to class.

Hi my name is Trent. I am a transfer Junior from Monroe Community College. I am a Physical Education major. my initial reaction to Motor Development with Professor Yang was quite positive. I look forward to learning about how technology can play a crucial role in helping people become more active in their lifestyles. I can see this look towards fitness will become more prevalent in the field when I become a teacher. I look forward to learning more and posting my thoughts and reactions for all to see on my own blogspot.