Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lab 1

For my first day at St. Mary’s, my lab group played a game with the kids called Zanny Zoo. The kids seemed to really enjoy this game, as it kept all the kids active and leaning while we observed there motor skills. After missing my first lab class due to illness this was my first taste of working with the students at St. Mary’s. As this was my first time ever really interacting with a group of children that young, I made many observations. The differences in motor behavior and social skills I believe depended on age and gender. I could definitely tell a difference in motor development in age and a smaller difference in gender. Gender seemed to play less of a role the younger the students were. The oldest students had the biggest gap between motor development among genders. For example, many of the older boys could shoot a basketball with better technique and from a greater distance then their female counterparts. That also was true for age though, as the younger students couldn’t shoot a basketball as well as the older students. Ability in motor behavior naturally increased as the student’s grade levels increased.

I definitely saw differences in social skills between grade levels but not as much difference in gender. I felt that the younger students were more outgoing and would say whatever was on their minds. The older students were a bit quieter, less outgoing but were still fairly sociable. The younger children seemed more touchy and clingy. For example, when reading the younger children a book they would tend to cling to or get really close to the reader. The older students didn’t as much want to listen to directions, they just wanted to play. As for gender I didn’t notice any significant differences in social skills.

Overall, I believe that grade level, gender, and ability all have an influence on motor behavior. Some of the fine motor activities I observed when watching the St. Mary’s students were playing games like Jenga, Connect 4, and checkers. They also played with Lego’s, put puzzle pieces together and played with Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. When the kids were eating there snacks many would play with it or dip it in their drink before eating. Most students had descent fine motor skills. The only difference I noticed between age and gender where the difference in fine motor activities each chose to participate in and the level at which each performed their fine motor activities.

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