Sunday, February 27, 2011

Why Kids Need Nature |

Why Kids Need Nature |

A good article on why children need nature in their lives. Technology is great, but sometimes the younger generation looses touch with the environment. A conscious effort should be made to facilitate a healthy balance.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Turkey Day to St. Mary's

Today was the first time we had been to St. Mary's in a few weeks. It was nice to be back to see the students again. My group started in the cafeteria and I played a Pooh Bear game with a few of the children. As the game went on we started to have more and more fun. We then went up into the gym and played a kicking game where the students would "create a feast" by hitting different Thanksgiving foods with soccer balls. This game started off smooth but became kind of hectic after a little while. This students got off task and just wanted to kick the balls around and run. We then changed the game to maneuvering in and out of cones and being able to take a shot on goal. The students stayed interested in this game longer because they wanted to score on the college kids. This game let us become more involved and I find that when we are more involved in the game it is easier to control the group. When we are a larger part of the game we can control the pace and a lot of actions without them even noticing. After this game came to a close they had some free time to do whatever they wanted. By this time a lot of the students had gone home so we did our best to stay busy and try to interact with as many students as we could. With their Thanksgiving break approaching many of the students' attention was short and thinking about a few days off from school. I cannot wait to see them next time and see how their holiday went.

Circus day at St. Mary's

I noticed that I had missed a blog about circus day at St. Mary's. This day was very fun and everyone got into the circus spirit. People wore bright colors and had a little more energy than usual. Our group had the task of doing some closet organizing but we did not spend the entire time doing that. We organized some of the storage bins in the gymnasium then were able to play with the students. The students cooperated well this day and we got to join in at the end of the game they were playing at the time. When they were given free time the students were still anxious to play with us and that made them easy to work with. Megan asked me if I would play duck, duck, goose with her and a girl because no one else wanted to play. Within the first few minutes everyone saw how much fun we were having and many more students joined in. They were comfortable with us and would used funny names like cheese instead of duck to have a good time with each other. Circus day was one of the most fun at the school so I do not know how I could forget to blog about it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Funday at St. Mary's

Lab 3 at St. Mary's my group worked with the Pre-K group. This group turned out to be the easiest to work with because they were so excited to play almost anything. As long as we were energetic they were ready to play. They had great big imaginations and were not hesitant to share any story they could think up with us. It was nice enough to go outside and play and this got the day started off well. Immediately they would come up to us and let us know what game we were going to play with them and they were ready to go. The popular game with the Pre-K group was tag and they could play forever.
This week we were focusing on some more locomotor movements. The Pre-K group could not perform all the movements like the older students. The best one they could do well was run. Their hops were alright but will improve as they get older and better control over their bodies. The best runner I noticed was a boy Paul. He was a good runner and loved to show everyone he could his running abilities. When we went back inside we had the students try some new movements while navigating a course we set up for them. Their movements were not at a mature level yet but they tried as hard as they could anyway. Working with the Pre-K group was a great experience for Lab-3 and I hope to work with them again.

Monday, October 26, 2009

a SUPER day at St. Mary's

The second lab at St. Mary's was superhero day. It was easy to tell that the students were interested with all the Cortland students walking around in their superhero gear. The St. Mary's children began to call us by our superhero name and this added another fun element to interacting with them. The weather was great for October so we got to play outside which put the students in a good mood. They could choose the playground or to play kickball. Most of the kids picked kickball and we began to play after they picked teams. It was fun to see how they took charge and told us what to do even though we are so much older. It was funny when Pat made a mistake and the team get on his case until he redeemed himself later in the game. When we went back inside it was time to play our superhero game of tag we had planned for the students. We made sure to vary the way they moved around the floor and keep as many people as we could participating and having fun. The music helped keep the energy levels up and the students interested. Later in the day a girl waned to play duck duck goose. We could only gather about 4 people including ourselves to play at the start but as we started to have fun things changed fast. Within a few minutes of us playing we had people joining the game non-stop. This was fun to use different words and ways to chase around the circle with the students. The day ended with a fun song and dance and now the planning for next week begins.

Wrongfully Accused

Tag has been a recent inductee into the physical education game hall of shame. I feel like the game of tag has gotten a bad reputation for reasons other than the structure of the game. Tag can be a game that gets everyone involved and provides a great amount of activity for the amount of time it is played. Some reasons this game has been labeled shameful is the assumption that students with below average athleticism become early targets and cannot participate until the next session of the game. This can all be manipulated by the teacher. The teacher can design the game for students to be brought back in by other students. The details of the game can also be altered. Students can use different movement patterns to move about. If planned properly, changing the movement skills used can help cut down on the ability gap. If students are just running the fast children hold an advantage. If they are hopping or crab walking or have partners the playing field is much more level for all participants. Tag can be done in so many interesting ways so that students do not get bored. Not to mention tag helps children develop agility and skills that can be used in other activities or sports they enjoy inside and outside the classroom. We play a form of tag almost every week over at St Mary's and these tag games have, by far, the best levels of participation by the students. With just a little planning and some creativity tag can be an extremely productive game to be played in physical education. People should look past the game and to the people teaching it before they make such a harsh judgment.

Monday, October 12, 2009

St. Mary's Physical Education 1

Last Monday was our first real lab at St. Mary's. This was the first time we prepared and taught games to the students in our lab groups and could observe how different teaching techniques worked. One observation we focused on were differences between the students based on their gender, age, and abilities. The younger students were more open to try the new games. When these students did not want to play a new game they were easy to make a deal with to try the new one now and do something else after. Differences due to ability were harder to track. Sometimes a high ability gave the students confidence doing some tasks in the endless bucket game but at other times a high ability made certain movement tasks boring. The male and female students had many similarities and showed the basic male/female relationship that you would expect in kindergarten and first grade students. The girls tended to travel around in groups more and do things together while the boys were fine to run around on their own.
The fine motor movement observation was more noticeable in the older students. The kindergarten students needed to focus to display fine motor movements and when rushing or not paying attention they were not so fine. The older students and children with a higher ability in a specific task could display these movements without much thought and at many speeds. The concentration they showed to perfect their fine motor movements was easily noticed when they played with leggos. They needed to concentrate to put the pieces together correctly. There were less gender differences in fine motor movement than social behavior. Overall this was a good lab session and I'm excited for the next one.