By observing the St. Mary’s children I have learned that each child is very different and needs to be taught in a different way. For the older students basketball was a good activity because while they were doing something they enjoyed they were also working on locomotor skills without even knowing it. An appropriate activity for the first and second graders was when they were throwing the balls over the mat the day we were working on throwing and catching. This allowed them to work only on throwing and catching while still having a good time and playing a game. It allowed them to be chaotic in a controlled way. Some of the tag games may not have been as appropriate because it was not as easy to incorporate the locomotor skills.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
The games utilized were appropriate for the children based on skill level and age of the students. The games may not have been presented in the best manner and explained well to the participants. They all have a different skill level so the games need to accommodate all skill levels and I feel like the games played did that very well. Some limitations to the games when assessing skills could be that no each student does the skill enough times to evaluate. Another limitation could be that the way the game is set up does not allow the child to perform the skill to their best ability. The child would adjust to the activity and do the skill the easier way not the correct way.
One of the biggest challenges I have faced is making it interesting for the children. By Wednesday they have already done most of the activities with the Monday group. Wednesday is the middle of the week and they are very hyper and excited to get all their energy out in any way possible. Working with the Pre-K is the easiest because they will do anything and not complain about it and say they don’t want to play. The first and second graders are he hardest because some of them are very rebellious and do not want to do anything or do not want to listen and make everyone else lose focus.
A teaching strategy I used was just to be excited to be there and be playing the games. This strategy works great with all ages from pre K all the way through adults. If the teacher of presenter is acting like he or she does not want to be there then it puts everyone else in the same mood. Just try to spread that good positive energy. Another strategy I try to use is giving attention to the ones who are on the side and want attention. There are enough of us so there can be some on the side with the students who are not participating in the activities with the rest of the group. I try to talk to these students and see what interests them; I then make a game the tailors to what they rather be doing. Having students in an after school program is tough because they have already had a full day of school and just want to run around. I think being excited to be there is the best way to get the students to participate and have fun. The best strategy to capture the children’s attention is to be very enthusiastic and have lots of positive energy. Get into a character and play that character for the children so they can play along.
Some students of the same age have better motor skills than others. I observed and assessed two students on three skills, running, galloping, and hopping. Casey and Michael were the students assessed, they were both six years old and in first grade. Although they were the opposite sex there was not much variability between the skills. There are many different teaching strategies and everyone learns in a different way. With younger children the more the teacher gets into it and enjoys it the more interested the students will be. When they were told a number of things to do at once, it was hard for them to remember so they couldn’t remember so they did whatever they wanted. When one thing was told to them they responded much better and did what they were told. Giving them one thing to concentrate on was more effective because their brains are not developed enough to remember a number of different things in a short period of time.
Some of the students perform their motor skills better than others, partially because of age, gender, grade level, but mostly because of motivation and support at home. The social level of the students is very different. I believe they acquire most of their social skills outside of school, for example watching their parents, being on a sports team, and their role models. A child that is an only child and always gets their own way will act differently from children with siblings that have to share. Some students were sitting off to the side, Cortland students, including myself, went over to see if we could get them involved with the activity or even with something they enjoy off to the side. Once those students got the attention they wanted they joined in and played what they wanted. Differences in grade level did not vary much, however the other experiences the children have been through such as their home life, sports they play, genetics plays a small role as well. The girls seemed to listen better but the boys were more involved and were more excited about playing games and the physical activity.