Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lab #5

Today, the other groups executed their games as we observed basketball dribbling and soccer kicking. We observed, recorded our data, went to snack time with the 1st graders, then returned to the gym for some dancing. If you haven't guessed by the picture already, we did the YMCA :)

1. Consider the activities/games that you have utilized so far during the past four labs. Were they appropriate for the students at St. Mary’s? Why or why not?
I think many of our group’s games have been age appropriate. Our first game was “Zany Zoo” with the kindergarteners and 1st graders, which proved to be fun and challenging. Most of the kids could do the movements (or some version of it) and since there were tons of cards, they were engaged even when waiting in line. They all had the fundamental movement skills, but they still needed to practice them to develop more. Our first shot at improvising on a game for pre-k was somewhat successful. We set up an obstacle course that proved to be easy enough for everyone to do, until they got up to the scooter section and they had to push themselves along the floor. Most were very slow or could not do this, which led to traffic jams and the loss of interest while waiting in line. After we saw that the obstacle course was not working well, Emmie started follow the leader and all of the kids loved it. Next, the pre-k’s suggested a lily-pad tag game, which was appropriate because it was one of their favorite games and everyone played. In the “Super Hero” lab, our car game was very successful. The kids could do all of the movements, followed all of the directions and everyone had a smile on their face. I had a blast playing that game and was impressed because it incorporated all of the movement skills we were focusing on during that lab. Our food lab, in my opinion, was our best executed and planned game. We decided to make a pizza chef/cook game where one side of the gym was full of pizza topping that the kids had to throw over the "oven" to the cook to put on a big pizza. In order to be able to throw, the kids had to answer a question about healthy eating and exercise. I thought it was very successful as a way to evaluate the stage at which the children are at for throwing and catching, as well as a cognitive game with questions about physical education. We used small rubber chickens, tennis balls, hockey pucks, and fish to represent the toppings. This offered a chance to evaluate the ability to throw and catch objects of different size and weight. This game was the most appropriate, as we offered for the kids to read their own cards or have their college student read it to them, as well as put an array of different objects out on the gym floor for them to pick to throw.

2. What might be some limitations to games or activities when using them in the process of assessing motor skills?
When assessing motor skills, you have to have a clear view of the child performing the skill as well as repetition to assess them accurately. With this in mind, a game has to be set up so that every child has to perform the motor skill multiple times, and there is enough space for everyone to be seen. Next, the equipment has to be modified to assess correctly. If assessing kicking, the ball should be about the size of the age-appropriate soccer (they range in size and weight depending on age). When assessing throwing, the ball should be able to fit into the child’s hand and be light enough as to not cause difficulty in throwing. Lastly, do not make the activity a race. When racing, children will tend to abandon proper form in order to win. Set the game at a slow pace, where the children will focus on the skill, not the outcome.

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