Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lab 3

Today we witnessed one of the best games we have played all year. The Superhero obstacle course was a huge success with kids, as it kept every student’s interest throughout the entire game. The game kept all the students involved and kept them all active. The loved the theme and the lab group did an amazing job of acting out the hole Superhero scene.

During the Superhero activity we observed kindergarteners and 1st graders leaping, horizontal jumping, and sliding. I would say that most of the kids were at an elementary level of leaping. Many would just run and jump over an object instead of using proper leaping techniques. Sliding and the horizontal jump seemed to come fairly easy for a good majority of the students. The main mistake I noticed kids making was not fully or correctly using their arms during the horizontal jump and during the slide some kids didn’t have a period where there both feet were off the ground.

Today, we specifically observed two six year old kindergarten students. A female named Rowan and a Male named Anthony. Overall both students did well in the three skills especially after being shown an example and then asked to duplicate it. Rowan had some trouble taking off on one foot and landing on the other during the leap and extending her arms forcefully forward and upward during the horizontal jump. Anthony wasn’t getting both feet off the ground during the leap, he was essentially running.

Working with the children in the cafeteria I found that asking questions really helped me out. Finding out what they want to play and do works a lot better than me trying to pick a game that they will like. Not only were they more into the games they chose but I also noticed that they were also more willing to listen to me if I gave them the opportunity to pick an activity. For example, I was playing with Lego’s with two of the children when they suddenly got bored. They asked me if we could play a game and I said yes. I took them over to the table and tried to play Jenga with them. This didn’t last very long as I lost the kids attention very quickly and they just ended up getting wild and knocking the tower over by hitting it. I definitely found that in that situation where children have many different activities to choose from it is best to give them the opportunity to select their own game.

An effective strategy that I have used over the past couple of weeks at St. Mary’s to capture the students attention was getting on their level when speaking with them. This was one of the things I remembered learning before we went to St. Mary’s and I definitely found it to be an effective technique to not only keep the students attention but to also help them better understand what I am saying. When I was working with a larger group and had to explain something I found that gathering all the children in close before speaking to them and then getting on their level worked effectively.

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