Sunday, March 1, 2009

St. Mary's Lab #2

Our second lab day was very hectic. It was the monday back from vacation and the kids were off the walls. There was trouble getting them to listen and follow directions. Although the Cortland students had troubling getting their attention, we all eventually got to our planned activities and were somewhat successful. Today was the first time I got to interact with the pre-k kids and it was wonderful. They were all coloring or playing dress-up quietly and they were so cute. I was chatting with a few of them and found that they really liked telling me things even though they barely knew me. After play time we went and had snacks and they all were quiet and respectful while nibbling on their maple cookies and drinking milk. It was a nice change of pace. We then took the pre-k to the gym for an obstacle course that Emmie and I set up and they seemed it enjoy it but some of them had trouble sitting on the scooters and pushing themselves. Follow the leader and a lilly pad tag game proved to be more fun for them than the obstacle course. Oh well, we tried. We ended with the chicken dance and I had to practically sit on the floor to swing with my pre-k partner named Nik. Everyone loved this game and you could see that the kids really enjoyed us being there.

Task A:
1. We worked with kindergarten and 1st graders who ranged from age 5-6. There was an equal divide between girls and boys, as well as ability. At my cone during Zany Zoo, the kids had trouble doing a snake army crawl, probably because the have little upper body strength. Most of the students at my cone could gallop, hop and run effectively but not correctly. Galloping seemed new to a few of them and they were dragging their back foot with their arms swinging everywhere (maybe they were being lazy?). They were using their dominant foot to lead and if they had to use their non-dominant, I am sure they would have trouble with the concept. Running was easy for all of them but they were not perfect. The nonsupport leg was barely at 90 degrees for all of them, but I did notice a brief period when both feet were off the ground and opposition was present. When I observed hopping, the kids were using all leg power but no arm swinging. It sort of looked like they were going to fall but no one did. All in all, the kids had all of the locomotor skill fundamentals but they still need to develop them. My cone really enjoyed the idea of acting like animals and some even wanted to do more after we were done. The "race" was not very emphasized which was beneficial because then the students focused on the movements they were supposed to do instead of hurrying to finish the activity.

2. Effective teaching strategies were hard to come by because the kids were so riled up, but I did notice my lab instructor was able to get all of the kids quiet at one point by talking very softly. He brought the kindergarteners and 1st graders in to sit in a big group and spoke with a loud voice and then got softer and softer until every kid was listening intently. During the Barnyard activity, I noticed it was hard for the kids to focus when they were by the parachute. An effective way to deal with that would be to keep the parachute away until the game was explained and then put it out. That way, the kids can focus on the directions without the distraction of the amazingly fun parachute. With the chicken dance, Emmie kept everyone's attention by making herself the center of the circle and attention. She was loud so we all could hear her and she was clear and concise with her directions.

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