Wednesday, February 25, 2009

St. Mary's School Lab 2

During today's lab, there were many observations, which I saw during the activities that were being performed. I found that for each of the students, running was the easiest skill for them to perform. Many of the kids had proper mechanics for the most part and were able to run properly. Later on in the lab when I was working with the Pre-K students I found that some of them were not able to do this as well. They were a little more awkward. Some of the were scuffing along, while others were running with straighter legs and not bending their knees as much as they should. Also, some of them were not using their arms to help propel them selves forward. I found this especially in Theresa. At two years old, I though she did really well trying to keep up with some of the other students that were a little bit older than her. The next skill where I saw a few variations was the gallop. I found that the older kids seemed to do this pretty well. The younger 1st and 2nd graders had a more difficult time with it. I found some of them switching feet and many of them were not getting their feet off the ground. They were scuffing along. I also found that some of the kids, who did know how to properly gallop, were only using one foot in front. It seemed to be the foot that they were more comfortable with that foot in front. If they switched their feet I am not sure if they were able to do it or not. The last skill that I observed was the hop. This was interesting. There were some kids who did this very well and some kids who could barely perform it. The one thing I did observe is that I did not see any kids who really tried to use their arms to propel them selves forward. They were all relying on their legs to do the work. Because they were relying on their legs many of them did not get very far off the ground and many of them also did not get a lot of distance. With the younger kids, I also observed that it was very difficult for them to balance on one foot and hop. Some of them stopped frequently and switched to the other foot, while others would take off on one foot and land on two feet. Throughout the lab, I saw a wide variety of the skills. I saw some of the skills performed really well and some of them were not performed as well as others and need some work. 

It was very difficult to get the kids attention today. It was the Monday back from vacation and they all seemed to have a lot of energy built up in them and they were ready to let it all loose. Our group led the Zany Zoo game. We decided to place a person at each of the cones and with each of the groups in order to help the kids out. Then we had one speaker in the middle to give directions to the game. First we randomly split the entire group into the four separate groups and then sent them to their corner with their group leader. I found this extremely effective because while I was giving directions, the kids were divided up, not necessarily with their friends and they were with a group leader, so it was much easier to keep them all quiet. We also had the group leaders holding the cards and reading to the kids what skill and animal they needed to act our. This was great because the leaders were able to keep all their kids under control and also, the cards were not being passed around and distracting the kids. I think that this had a very positive effect on the kids because they were able to stay focused in order to have fun and they could get to know their group leader. It made for a very positive environment because we were not just sending the kids off on their own to play the game, we were all involved, having fun with the kids and making sure that everything was running smoothly at the same time.

In the Barnyard Chase game, I felt that the group had a very difficult time getting the kids under control. Before they even described the game they let the kids sit around the parachute. All the kids wanted to do was touch the parachute and shake it. This made it very difficult to gain control and gain the attention of the students. I think they would have been more successful if they had explained the game first, then told the students that the parachute was a sizzling hot pancake on the stove and to stay five steps back and not to touch the pancake until it cools down (when the instructor says).

I think that it is more effective if you can divide your students and explain the game before you give them any types of props and equipment to touch. As soon as they see and object, all they want to do with play with it at that age. Once they have the object in hand and start playing, it is very difficult to get their attention back and get them focused again. 

overall, the lab went really well and was a lot of fun. Our group had the opportunity to work with the Pre-K students. It was a lot of fun and much different than working the some of the older kids. The Pre-K students need things to be a little more simplified for them. We put together an obstacle course for them to go through and they really seemed to like that. Then we proceeded to play a game of Fish and Frog Tag and lastly played a game of Follow the Leader. Follow the Leader seemed to be a great game. The all wanted to participate and it was a way for us to incorporate in the skills of the day that we were assessing. Overall, the lab went really well and I learned a lot on where different students are with their skill and age level.

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