Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Food Mania

1. Reflecting on your experience so far at St Mary’s, what do you think have been some difficulties or challenges you have faced?  Consider all areas – environment, children, etc.

Today’s lab we observe students overhand throw and catch.  One difficulty we had faced in creating the games was making sure the students were using a full overhand throw.  Many students through out the game would tens to get caught up in the game can just try and throw the objects underhand, or rushed their overhand throw, having minimal follow-through and windup. Another challenge came up during the first group’s game, and I thought they made a nice adjustment. Their game was making the pizza, having chiefs throw the ingredients to the cooks, but students weren’t able to cross the middle ground of the gymnasium, which was the oven.  At first the oven was too large, and the students had great difficulty reaching their partners.  This teaching group quickly adapted by moving in the cones, making the students more successful, with out having to stop the game. This adaptation accommodated the environment in which they were working with and the children’s skill level.

 2. What ideas/suggestions do you have to resolve the difficulties or challenges that you wrote about in #1?

            To help resolve difficulties and challenges I think it is important to plan ahead and practice!  It is important to brainstorm about the activity that you are going to present and think about all possibly problems that may arise.  Also proper planning can also help you have multiple varieties of the same game that will keep the game fun and fresh for the students, which will minimize boredom, and lack of interest. It is also important to always be one your toes, while teaching. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned, so it is essential to be watching the activity and thinking how you can tweak it to fix problems the students maybe having and keep interest level up for students.


Friday, March 6, 2009

St. Mary's SuperHeroes

St. Mary's Lab#3: Super-Hero Theme

My teaching group, Jumping Jack and the Thriving Five, were once again the first group up to teach our game to the excited students.  This time however, we were equally excited because we had well planned out our activity and brought in multiple props to help set the theme.  Our group was given the game Endless Buckets, which was a game where students would pick out task cards, and then perform the activity on the card.  Our group brainstormed on how we could make this activity fun and relate it to the theme of the day.  We came up with a great idea of taking the students through Super-Hero Training camp.  We told the students that next week all the superheroes  were taking a vacation and they had asked for our help to help train them to take over!  Our whole group game in with superhero logos on our shirts along with capes on our backs, and right away we won over the attention of the students.  We set up stations that went along with the task cards that we wrote that focused on the locomotor skill of the day. We set up a City slide, Bat cave crawl, subway chase, and a villain toss.  I thought our activity went great! We had all the students up and participating. Our props enhanced our activity so much and it helped spark interest immediately, during the activity we also played superhero theme songs in the background. 

During this lab we were observing Anthony and Rowan performing leaping, horizontal jumping, and sliding. For the leap we encountered a problem with assessing, the students often performed the leap so fast that it looked like a run. We had to set up a way to get them to do it slow, such as saying lets leap in slow motion. Both Anthony and Rowan performed the leap great, taking off on one foot and landing on the other with both feet off the ground. Anthony had a little trouble reaching forward with arm opposite the lead foot. The horizontal jump Anthony had trouble with preparation for the jump by not flexing arms and knees with arms extended behind. He would just jump forward not creating any momentum for himself.  Also during the landing he lacked bringing his arms downward.  Rowan had good preparation but didn’t forcefully use arms in full extension over her head. Rowan also had a good landing landing with both feet simultaneously and bringing arms downward. Lastly, we observed the slide. Both Anthony and Rowan, performed the slide well. The only thing they didn’t have was a period of having both feet off the ground, they tended to drag their trail foot on the ground.

To end the day, Pam and I led the group activity. We did the Cha Cha Slide. This was a great activity because it is a song they are all familiar with and it is also filled with locomotor skills such as hopping and sliding!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hi-ho! The Dairy-o! The Farmer and the Dell

St. Mary's Lab #2: Farm Animal Theme

For lab two, my teaching group, Jumping Jack and the Thriving five, were the first group to set up the planned activities for the students at St. Mary's.  With our activity we planned a game called Barnyard, which was a game that used a large parachute.  We got to give this activity a run through in class before using it with the children, and we had it set up to what we thought would be the perfect game.  However, not everything went exactly as planned.  With this being our first organized teaching experience at St. Mary’s we didn’t know what to expect, we made a few mistakes, but in the end we were able to adjust and move on with the activity. One thing I think our group needed to work on was designating one person to be the teacher. We ran into a problem of having to many of us putting in input and shouting out directions to the class, leaving the students confused as to who was in charge. In stead I feel as if we need to just have one leader and the rest of us just work on keeping the students organized and on task.  Another thing we need to work on is presenting the activity and also directions.  We gave little instructions and had the students sit around the parachute, which turned out to not be such a great idea.  As soon as the students were sitting around the parachute, they had their hands on it, shaking it, crawling under it, making it hard for us to give instructions with the noise and the distraction of the parachute right in front of them.  Perhaps for this lab giving a overview of the whole game instructions, check for understanding, then have the students sit by the parachute would have been a better way to keep control of the class. One we regained control, we were finally able to get the game underway. We played music in the background which helped add to the theme playing songs from the Lion King, and other animal songs. This added to the activity and I feel as if it made it a better environment for the students.

Next up, it was time to pass the students along to another group, and we finally go the chance to observe. The second group did a game which was called Zany Zoo.  I thought this activity was great! The students were set up into a relay race and performed locomotor skills while getting to act, walk, and crawl like silly animals.  This teaching group did a great job explaining the game and they also utilized playing music in the background.  During this game, we were focusing in on watching the locmotor skills of runnig, galloping, and hopping, in particularly watching Casey and Shamus.  For the run, both Shamus and Casey did a great job with having arms move opposite legs, having a bent nonsupport leg, and having a period where both feet were off the ground. However, I did notice that Casey tended to run flat footed. With the gallop, both students were able to have a brief elevation with both feet off the ground, leading with both feet, and able to step forward with the lead foot followed by a step with trailing foot. One area I think both students could work on is keeping arms bent and lifted, they tended to have their arms straight at their sides. Lastly, we got to observe the hop. Casey is a nice job with the hop, the only thing that I would help her with would be her nonsupport leg, she tended to no use this leg to swing in a pendulum to produce force.  Shamus also had this problem, along with not keeping his arms bent and elbows and swinging them forward on take off. Shamus’ hops were really short distance because he didn’t use the rest of his body to give him force.

The end of the day we concluded with a group activity of the Chicken Dance. It was a lot of fun to see everyone up and clucking! I think the students really enjoy the group activity at the end because even the college students participate and interact with them during this activity.