On Monday afternoon, we were off to our first lab at St. Mary’s. My group was assigned to the pre-K and worked with kids ranging from 2-5 years old. When we first got to the school we split up our group and went into one of the two pre-K classrooms. While in the classrooms with the kids, we basically had time to interact with them and introduce ourselves to them as well as get to know them. We were encouraged to get the kids to talk. At this age it is really important to get kids to start expanding on their vocabulary. I was trying really hard to ask them questions where they couldn’t use yes or no answers. I was pretty amazed at what they knew. When talking to one group about colors, I found out they knew their colors in Spanish, and they taught me a little song they had learned that works with the colors in both English and Spanish. Also while in the classroom we colored, played with legos and various other toys, had snack time and read stories to the kids. The last half hour it was finally time to bring them into the gymnasium. At fist the kids ran wild, they had so much energy from being in the classroom all day. We didn’t have any set games for the kids, but my group kind of split up and tried creating some different games and the kid’s choice what they wanted to do. One game we set up with hula-hoops on the floor and played a sort of hopscotch game. We tried incorporating colors and also motor skills by calling out commands such as, “hop on one foot in a green hoop”. Another game that we tried all the instructors in our group were holding a hula-hoop and one or two kids would be inside the hoop holding on. The kids would walk and we would steer them around by turning the hoop and they would follow our steering. This was a quick fun activity that the kids really seemed to enjoy. One thing I noticed was that not all the kids wanted to be involved in the group activity. One boy kept sitting out, and I would keep going over and asking him why, he would say he wanted to play a different game and then I would try and create something that he could like. The time in the gymnasium flew by and before we knew it, it was already 5 o’clock, the day ended with one group activity and then a group cheer.
Overall I had a great first experience at St. Mary’s and I am really looking forward to the upcoming labs. I am really excited to work with the different age levels and try and incorporate more activities into their after school program.