Sunday, December 5, 2010

Deck the gym with boughs of holly!

I am helping a little girl in the Pre-K color a picture.

I am reading them a book from my own childhood called Santa Cows. It is modeled after the poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

 They were being such good listeners too! After I finished that book, they kept handing me more to read. It was endearing.

We played with the parachute. The kids absolutely love the parachute. Here we are doing "popcorn."

Here we are doing the classic "dome" and this one was the best one they had all day!

This marked the end of our time at St. Mary's and it was an absolutely wonderful experience. I learned a lot about how to manage kids and facilitate games in a hectic setting and to choose creative games that were age appropriate. Luckily, I get a chance to come back next semester as a lab assistant! But for now, so long St. Mary's! :)

Hey, St. Mary's Christmas Bazaar wasn't bizarre, it was fun!

St. Mary's held a Christmas Bazaar as a fundraiser. Downstairs they had a lot of games for the kids to play and win tickets, and upstairs there were a multitude of vendors to go around to!

I volunteered on Friday for a couple of hours to help set up... (picture soon to come...I hope)

Saturday Bree and I got there at 10am, volunteered until 12, and then shopped until 1!

I am trying to throw the footballs into a net. This is what we facilitated all morning. The kids got three shots and every shot they made in, they got a prize ticket for.

Trying to show my mean competitive face...which I don't think I achieved... Don't mess with me kids!

We were pretty lenient with the ticket giving... But it was so great to see them having so much fun. A few of them kept coming back again and again. There are some pretty great football players in the making!

Thanks for everything St. Mary's

My time here was nothing short of amazing. The kids were wonderful and I learned so much. Thanks St. Mary's!
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Movie Magic

Our assignment was to create a slide show that would show our time at St. Mary's. Unfortunately when I loaded my video onto YouTube, it took away my audio because I didn't create it myself. It was originally to the song Magic by B.O.B. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Corn and Squash and Settlers, OH MY!

This week at St. Mary's was Thanksgiving themed. It was our 5th lab. Bree, Ian, and I were in the Pre-K which was a great experience.

Bree and I were in one room and Ian and Holly went into the other room. In our room, we led an activity with the kids where we made a paper turkey and they made feathers out of their hands. On their hand feather they wrote or drew what they were thankful for. Unfortunately there wasn't enough time ti read them a story, but we had a lot of fun with them, regardless. They definitely need more direction than the other kids we have worked with. We made sure we gave them many visuals to show them what they were supposed to be doing and how to do it.

After helping them with their turkey feathers and sticking them on our turkey, we all went to the gym to play some games. There was enough time for Ian to do his game, which the kids really seemed to like, but then it was time to go. They had a lot of fun jumping around in his game. I mostly tried to get the kids to jump the right way and cheer them on which is more fun than it sounds.

The day was a little more confusing than the other days because the schedule is so different, but the kids were really cute and it was a great learning experience.

Halloween Horrors...Muahahahaaaa!

Our fourth lab at St. Mary's was Halloween themed. I know that in my last blog I said that it had been the best day there so far, but this lab definitely gave it a run for its money. Everyone in our class was dressed up for Halloween. I went as a fairy. Kids were trying to steal my antennae all day, and one girl managed to steal my wings when I took them off for just 5 minutes. She didn't like it very much when I got down on her level and asked her why she took them and then asked her if it was okay to take or touch other people's belongings without asking.

Before our group started our games I was fairly nervous. It is slightly daunting to have the entire class watching you facilitate games. If you mess up, everyone is there to see. But, our group works really great together and that really helps. My game this week was called Oscar's Garbage Can which I got from a PE website. I modified the game to make it a little more interesting and it turned out really well.

Bree stood in the middle of one of those expandable blue tubes while all the kids tried to throw ball pit balls inside. This was Oscar's garbage can. They weren't allowed however to cross a certain line. And Bree made it more difficult by moving the garbage can around and up and down. There were a couple problems which were remedied. The kids were so excited they wouldn't stay outside the boundary, so I had to stop the game a couple times and make them show me where they were supposed to stand. That helped a lot. Before we got that straightened out, kids were running up to the garbage can and hitting it with poor Bree inside.

Because Dr. Yang was in South Korea during this lab, another Phys Ed teacher came by to help give us feedback. He said I did a really good job, but that I needed a kid-stopper whistle. He couldn't stress it enough! I will have to buy one of those soon.

Overall, the day was great and my game was a big success.

Never fear! The superheros are here!!!

Our third lab at St. Mary's after-school program was the greatest one so far!

It was Superhero Week and everyone did a really great job at dressing up. It was fun to see all the kids ask our class what superhero they were. They couldn't quite figure out what I was, although I suppose it wasn't extremely obvious. The towel seemed to throw them off. I was supposed to be Tie Dye Girl. But, because I was wearing a ridiculous towel as a cape, they kept asking if I was Towel Girl. Oh well.

During our time there, Bree, Holly, and I decorated and posted fliers promoting the program. Ian and Pam interviewed our classmates and took pictures of them in action. We didn't get to play with the kids until the end of the day, but it was definitely worth the wait.

I had a 10 minute laughing contest with one of the boys. We played many many rounds. Unlike many kids, he tried to say funny or witty things to make me laugh as opposed to doing things to make me crack. We had so much fun together and when his mom came to get him he wouldn't leave right away. It was great!

Since our group had the specialty time at the end, we had to do a song, cheer, and large group activity. The song I chose was the Tarzan song I learned working at Camp Stella Maris. Only Holly had heard it before and everyone really enjoyed it, which made me really happy! Watching the video of the song, you can hear the little kids repeating what I say and they sound pretty adorable. They looked pretty adorable too.

Ian's Cha Cha Slide was also a big success. His idea to do that song was pretty inspired. Bree ended with the cheer which had the message that others look up to us even if we don't know it, so we can all be a superhero to someone else. It was very cute, and very fitting!

Our third lab was definitely a solid success.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's a Pirate's Favorite Letter?

 Pirate Day at St. Mary's focused on the run, gallop, and hop.

The day was a lot of fun. The kids really seemed to enjoy the games. The game I played was called Islands. Basically, I had a bunch of hula hoops spread out from each other and when the music stopped, they all had to find a hula hoop in five seconds. There could be multiple kids in a hula hoop as long as they all fit nicely and didn't push each other. After each round, I took away the hula hoop. I didn't want any of them to be eliminated so when there were only a couple hula hoops left and all the kids still fit, I declared them all winners.

If I were to do this game again, I would come up with variations for each round to keep it interesting and maybe come up with a way to keep the kids involved and participating in the game even if they get eliminated.

 In this first picture, I am explaining the game to them

 I am counting down from 5 to let the kids know their time is almost up. Get to a hula hoop fast!

 Holly is giving me feedback during the game, which was really helpful!

Here, I am playing with one of the kids at the end of the day. She wanted me to spin around in a circle with her!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hall of Shame? or Hall of Fame?

Certainly some of the classic games I grew up with were voted into the Hall of Shame. Musical chairs is one of my favorites on that list. Survival of the fittest; I was good at it. I never had a problem with playing these games and my perception was that everybody else enjoyed it as well. Looking back, I can understand why it earned its place there. It involved little activity and when it does, it can be quite physical. Let's face it, we've all either been squashed by someone or come too close for comfort. On top of that, it is an elimination game. It does nothing to teach us a specific skill set which is what the purpose of physical education is.

The difference between games like this and the games found in our textbook are significant. The games in the text are designed to set the kids up for success, to work on specific skills with a clear progression of movement that increases their heart rate. Hall of Shame games can be physically dangerous with little activity, wild and uncontained movement, or simply single children out.

Admittedly, when I read the description for a couple of games, I thought to myself, "Wow, that sounds like fun!" Of course, I also agreed with the reasons for the game being on that list. Messy Backyard sounded like it had potential. If I were to play this game, there would be important modifications. My students would get 1 minute to discuss their game plan. And, instead of objects flying randomly, they would need to demonstrate a certain skill set during the game. For instance, for the objects thrown to other side to count, they must make them into a bucket or a hula hoop or something of that nature, giving them a more specific goal. Maybe even instead of having random objects, Team A can have red bean bags and Team B can have blue. Any enemy bean bags that miss their target may be used for double points, but to use them they must first run them to a certain point and back. Some type of modification must be made to include more activity. I believe the basic idea of this game is good, but it needs those modifications to become successful.

As Phys Ed teachers we need to provide our children with the best environment possible. We don't need to be another stressor in a child's life. Which of these faces would we rather encourage?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Long-handed Implements

There are certainly problems that can and will arise when using long-handed gear with small children, such as lacrosse sticks or hockey sticks. There is a risk involved when kids, who haven't had the chance to fine tune their motor skills, play with long-handed implements. Chances are, they will end up accidentally hitting each other in the head.

However, I don't believe that they run a risk of hurting each other because they are so young. That is just a common link. Focus needs to shift to their motor development. It is completely possible to be young and have the necessary motor skills to handle a lacrosse stick. There certainly needs to be a gradual progression of development before anyone can handle one. The basics must be observed first.

Children have the ability to mature earlier than usual. I believe that they have the ability to meet realistic standards that you set for them with the right education.

Here is a video of a 7-year-old boy named Luke who is already an amazing tap dancer. I originally saw him perform as a guest on So You Think You Can Dance, but could not locate that video. I was lucky enough to locate this one. Luke proves that while he has undoubtedly been gifted, a child does have the capacity to learn faster than what normal standards tell us. Whether this is because he enjoyed what he was doing and was thus determined to work hard at it or not, he still had the ability. This shows us that kids can rise to a challenge. Maybe they just need to be interested in what they are doing.

1st Day at the St. Mary's After School Program

Our first day at the program was so much fun. Time flew by. At first, I was worried we were just going to watch the Lab Assistants play with kids the whole time. But, the observation time was probably a really good idea, in retrospect. I am just so excited to see how others handle kids and to learn new techniques.

Here are behaviors I witnessed of the children.

A little girl named Mae drew me a picture. Actually, I don't think she initially drew it for me because she actually hadn't met me yet when it was drawn. But, she came running up to me saying she drew me a picture and then told me her name. The picture is currently hanging on my fridge.

A little boy and girl about 3 years old played with me outside for a long time. I could only understand one in every 10 words the boy said, but he was very animated. The little girl had light-up shoes metallic pink and sparkles which brought me back to childhood.

I think I did really well interacting with the kids, but I would like to work on being more animated with them, remembering names, and being tactful when a child isn't behaving. There are always ways to improve and I am excited to apply them.

Phys Ed standards

Locomotion, manipulation, and stability make up the fundamental movement skills. The elements that make up these movement skills such as running or galloping, catching or punting, stretching or controlling balance, are all so important to the development of children. As educators, we have a duty to kids to create a safe and carefree environment for them to learn to control and hone their motor skills. If we are able to successfully create this environment, our students will be more able to live up to the standards of a physically educated person whether it be currently or 20 years in the future. Physical education is so important for the public because it promotes a healthy living style; something that many households don't always have a firm grasp on. Many kids won't learn any of this at home so it becomes that much more important to maintain a developmentally progressive program in the school system.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I wasn't sure what to think when we started class, but I feel as though I will be able to learn a great deal. It will be nice to learn more about kids through multiple perspectives.

I don't blog or use twitter, so this is a good way to get used to it before I become a professional. The PE forever facebook group is wonderful and I can't wait to put it to good use.