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. 


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