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.