Sunday, April 19, 2009

St. Mary's Lab 3

1. Observe the St. Mary’s student(s) as they participate in the activities. Describe the variability of the movement patterns you observed. Be sure to note with whom you worked , what grade they were in, and any differences in age, gender, or ability.

I worked with the Pre K students. Our activity for the Pre K students was an obstacle course in which the students had to navigate through in order to get a chance to throw a ball at a target on the wall. I didn’t really see how gender made a difference throughout the activity. The boys and girls basically had the same ability throwing at the target and navigating through the hula hoops and polly spots. They boys and girls seemed equally excited and enthused throughout the activity.
One thing I especially noticed during this activity was that the Pre K students had trouble hopping on there none dominant leg. Even when I told them to hop on their other leg it always seemed like they would come down landing on two feet. Also, there were some kids who threw a lot better than others. It wasn’t gender related, but there were a few kids that threw with really good form and others who would step with the wrong foot when they would throw the ball at the target.

2. Describe “teaching strategies” that YOU used today towards connecting with the children. What were they? How did YOU use them? What was the effect? Were there any strategies that were more effective than others? If so, why?

One strategy that I used when working with the Pre K was getting down to there level. When I was explaining the directions to them, I noticed that I could more successfully get threw to them by getting down on my knees so I was the same height as them. Also, I noticed just saying directions did not work. When I demonstrated and explained at the same time, the students better understood the task I wanted them to perform.
Another thing that I did while explaining directions is that I made every student look right at me. Because if the students are not looking at the teacher who is explaining the activity how much of the activity can we really expect the student to understand? When I noticed the kids weren’t looking at me, I would raise my voice and say, “Eyes on me”!

3. After being at St. Mary’s for these past weeks and observing and working with the students, can you briefly describe an effective strategy (or strategies) that you used to capture the children’s attention and keep them on task for your activity.

Like I said in the previous question, getting down to their level definitely helps. It helps the students better understand the directions and it is also less intimidating for the students when you are there own height instead of being two feet taller than them.
Also, I have noticed that if the person who is running the game shows enthusiasm and excitement, it makes the whole game better. If the instructor of the game looks bored with it, the kids pick that up and then they themselves become less excited about the game. Overall, I think the Cortland students have done a great job of bringing enthusiasm to St. Mary’s school.
The last thing that I have noticed that is very important is to make sure you have everyone’s attention and to make sure no one is talking when you are explaining a game or activity. Some of the St. Mary’s students don’t even think to themselves, “If I am talking during the directions, I am not going to have any idea what is going on”. That’s why it is very important to make sure all the students are quiet and focused on you while you are explaining an activity.

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