Monday, March 2, 2009

St. Mary's School Lab 3

In todays teaching lesson, we used a superhero theme. The games which we played all had to do with acting like superheros. During the lab today, I was able to carefully observe Rowan and Anthony. They are both age six and in kindergarten. I found that throughout the sills we observed today, leaping, horizontal jumping and sliding, at least one of them did not have every skill mastered. When I observed their leap, both of them had the basic concept. Rowan was able to leap properly, fully using her arms and legs and was able to take off on one foot and land on the other. When observing Anthony, he was able to complete all of the skill, except he was turning the leap into a run. His feet were only off the ground for a split second. He was not dividing a leap from a run. For the horizontal jump, Anthony had no problem doing it. He used his arms and legs, he took off and landed on both feet at the same time and he had the correct arm motion. When Rowan was working on her horizontal jump, she was able to complete the skill, but she was not using her arms to the fullest extent. She barely even moved them. She should have been extending them fully upward and reaching above her head. Lastly with the slide, they both were able to do it very well. Both Anthony and Rowan had the proper technique with their feet and they were able to slide to the left and to the right. The only thing that I found is that when Rowan was sliding, she was sideways, but also facing and looking in the direction that she was moving instead of looking straight ahead and being turned fully sideways. 

Throughout the past few weeks teaching, I have observed teaching strategies that work and do not work. One teaching strategy that I found very effective was demonstrating an activity or skill before allowing the kids to participate in them. I used this when we were playing individually with the kids. I was watching Autumn leap during an activity that we were doing and she had trouble doing it. So I went over to her and demonstrated to her how to do it and how to use her arms and legs to keep her off the ground longer because she was just running when she was doing it on her own. Once I demonstrated this to her, she was able to do it and she was actually leaping instead of just running. I also tested something else out today. When I was talking to the kids, I did not ask if they wanted to play or not. Instead I told them exactly what we were doing and tried to be as enthusiastic as I could be about game or activity. I found that a lot more kids wanted to participate in the games or activities that I was setting up. There were still a few kids that did not want to participate, but I felt like there were a lot more kids that were actually interested in the activity that I put together than when I asked who wanted to play a game or if they thought a certain game was fun.

I have also found throughout the week, ways which keep the kids attention and ways in which the kids do not pay attention and are not attentive. One thing that I have noticed is that you have to speak very loud and assertively in order to get the kids attention. Not from personal experience because I am able to project my voice pretty well, but watching others who speak a little softer, I feel like since the kids cannot hear them they are uninterested and start talking amongst each other or doing something else like rolling around on the floor. Through observing the past three classes, I have found that you need to be loud and assertive to keep the kids attention. I’ve also found that having a signal for attention really helps. I like the idea of having the kids clap if they can hear your or some way for them to do or say something in order to get their attention. I think that works really well and gets them all in a group and ready to listen to the teacher together. Lastly I have also found that the more people you have to help and keep the kids on task, the easier it is. If you are dividing the kids into groups if there is a teacher in each group it really helps to keep them focused and on task. It also helps the kids if they have questions about the activity or what they are supposed to be doing.

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