Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monster Mash/Infant Mash

During my PED 201: Motor Development class everyone was put into groups and assigned to come up with a skit showing infant's movement abilities. My group used the "Monster Mash" song and altered the words into infant's movement abilities. We also dressed up in "diapers" and put on bibs. One of our group member's dressed up in a lab coat and we performed the skit in front of our class. Here is the video from what we did. I hope that you all like it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Working with the Children-Lab 6

I learned many things about young children while I was working at St. Mary’s. One thing that I learned that is vital when you are teaching is the amount of energy that they have. In order to keep up with them a high intensity or high energy level is needed in order to be able to teach them effectively. Teaching with high energy will grab the kids attention and keep them focused on the task or game that’s going on. I felt that the game that we played called “popcorn popper” was very appropriate for the students at St. Mary’s. They were all able to participate together and everyone seemed to have a good time. It also worked well because the children learned how to throw and catch better. They learned how to throw better because they had to use the proper technique to get the ball over the wall barrier, and they had to catch better because they had to learn how to catch balls that come at them from different angles. Some activities that were not as appropriate would have been the kicking game that we played because everyone was not given an equal opportunity to kick the ball. Another factor in this was that some of the kids might have gotten discouraged because they were not able to make a goal like the other children in the class.

While I was working with the PRE K students I learned that there are many alterations that need to be made in order to teach them. They are not able to communicate very well, and are often unable to tell you exactly what they mean when you are trying to get information out of the. I found this very hard because with some of the kids I was unable to understand them, and as a result of this I was unable to help them. By not being able to help them I felt that I had in some way failed. I did not like this and hope that in the future I am better able to learn how to communicate better with children of this age group. The PRE K students also do not yet have a lot of the movement abilities that the older kids have. I expected this to happen and changed the games in order to suit their abilities. I liked working with the younger children because it teaches me how to work with the different age groups. I do not plan to get a job working with this age group when I start looking for jobs, but if I get an opportunity to work with them I would not overlook the idea. I think that working with kids of this age would be very rewarding because they are nice to teach. If you work with older students, they tend to get lippy and give you problems, whereas with this age group they just tend be more willing to learn and participate in the games that you are having them do.

Throwing, Catching and Kicking Reflection-Lab 5

In class we had the children participate in two games. The first was a kicking exercise where everyone was working to make a “goal.” One station included a hula hoop with a cone on the inside of it, another was a blue mat positioned so that it stood up, and the other two were goals created by two cones. If a child scored a goal they were able to go over to the goal board and either write their name, or if their name was already there to put a dash next to it. In the end this just created a great deal of chaos. The children were all bunching around the goal sign because there was only board with three stations. If we had made three goal boards I think that it would’ve been a lot better because the children would have been able to kick more. In all I think that the game was a good idea, but with a few moderations it would work a lot better.

The second game that we had the children participate in was for dribbling. In the game we placed hula hoops all around the gym with balls that the children inside of them. We also had music. Russell brought in his cd player and I brought in my iPod. When we played the music the kids were supposed to dribble, and when we stopped it they were supposed to find the closest hula hoop and place their ball inside of it. We had the kids stand next to a hula hoop so that they were all sure to have a ball. Then we started the game. Russell was working the music while Andrea, Kate and I were all helping the kids with their dribbling. We also switched up which hands they were able to use. The first time we just let them use whichever hand was more comfortable to them, and then after that we designated a hand that they were supposed to use. Many of the kids were not as good with their weaker hand, but starting them at a young age will make it easier for them to use it in the future. I think that this game worked better than the first because all of the kids were participating at the same time and none of the kids felt left out if they were unable to score a goal.

Lab 4- Remembering the Children

Some difficulties, or challenges, that I have been facing at St. Mary’s is being able to remember the children’s names. I realize that it is extremely important to try to remember their names and I just can’t seem to do it. There are many factors that come into play and work against me remembering the children’s names. One of which is the fact that we are only there for one day in the week. Only being around the kids for one day is hard because we aren’t able to form a connection with them to get to know who they are. Another problem is that we are not working with the same kids every week and are instead in a rotational basis as to which group we are working with. This causes problems because once again we are not around the same children enough to be able to associate a name with their face. I remember the children’s faces, but I am not able to remember the name that goes with that person. As each week comes around I do not want to continuously ask the children their names again and again because I do not want them to think that they are unmemorable because they all are!!!

One thing that could be done to help remember kids name more easily is to give them all name tags, but that would just end up being expensive and time consuming in the long run. I am not sure of what else to do, but I know that once I am teaching I will be able to remember the kids’ names a lot more easily because I will be around them more frequently.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Motivational Speaker- Mr. John F. Edwards

Mr. Edwards is a motivational speaker that has received many awards. Recently he came to my college to give a speech on how to be successful in life, but mostly in your profession. Going to his speech taught me a lot about how to be successful for when I get a job in my profession later. He stated that success was 85 percent attitude and 15 percent altitude, and that having a good attitude will increase your altitude. By saying this he means having a good attitude it is inevitable that success will happen.
The main thing that he stressed that is vital to having success at the workplace is communication. He stated that "the art of communication had become a dying art in corporate America." When he said this I think that he was trying to say that people are starting to become incapable of working together or relating to other's. This is causing a decline in the success that a business has.
He also said "communication is nothing more and nothing less than relationship development." Could this be linked with the rise in technology that has been happening? I think so. If you look at the way that children are growing up today, and how much technology they use, it is obvious that they are not communicating with each other as much as previous generations have. Today there are more games than I can remember and also more texting and computer use than there has ever been in the past. I do not see that technology use is going to decline, it will instead most likely increase, and because of that the people that interact with kids need to involve them in activities outside of that. There is no reason that kids can't play outside or in the house without technology and instead use their imaginations to make up games. By having kids do this I think that it will increase their ability to communicate well with other's and inevitably make them more successful when they become adults.
Mr. Edwards also talked about culturalization in society. Smaller groups are now being created in societies instead of having one large group. A prime example of this is the neighborhood that you live in. A few generations ago everyone knew their neighbors and would sit on their front porches to socialize, now very few people know their neighbors and even if they do it is highly likely that they do not socialize with one another. Instead people sit inside or on their back porch and only talk with the people within their household or people that visit them. By this happening people are not as friendly and are not able to communicate as well with people that they don't know. This is not good because now many people try to do work by themselves instead of working with other people. This is bad because two minds, or more, work better than one. It is often that when a group of people work together they are able to come up with more ideas than if they were working alone.
From what he said at the conference I realized that I am a person that is rather good at communicating with others. I take what someone says into account and do not discourage their ideas if I do not like them. If I happen to find something wrong with what they say I just try to expand on what they were thinking. A large part of this could have been from when I was a child because I didn't stay inside to play video games very often. Instead I was outside playing with all of the kids in my neighborhood. We made up games, rode our bikes, roller bladed, or played various sports. I hope that all of what he said ring's true and that when I start my job I am able to communicate well with the people that I work with to create a positive working environment and also one that I can excel in.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Locomotor Lab Part B

There was a wide variability of the movement patterns that I observed, but what it really comes down to is whether or not the students were able to perform the locomotor movement. The students that I observed are all able to perform the movements, but some are better able to perform the movement better than others. There were two students that I assessed, but once again one was a girl and one was a boy, both of which were in kindergarden and at the age of five. With these two children I saw that both of their skill abilities were about even. They are both at the mature level for the leap. With the horizontal jump they are both at the initial level. The last movement that I assessed them on was the slide. With this they were both also at the initial level.

There were many teaching strategies that I used while I was working with the children. I was enthusiastic, human, courteous, properly dressed, and I got down to their level whenever I was working one on one with a student. I think that by doing all of these I made it so that the children were more comfortable with me and were better able to relate to me. In my opinion the strategies that was more effective than others was getting down to their level and being enthusiastic. By doing these the kids were more passionate about what we were trying to have them do and they also felt more comfortable talking with me.

Locomotor Lab Part A

There is a very wide variety of the abilities that the students at St. Mary’s have with their locomotor movements. All of the students are able to run with pretty mature ability, but their abilities to gallop and hop were not very good. I think that their ability to perform these tasks weren’t as great because they do not have to do them as often as they run. It is obvious that doing something repetitively makes it easier to do. The same goes for learning different subject materials in school, and also all the different sports that there are.

My class observed two children while we were at St. Mary’s. They are both six and in kindergarden. The only difference between them is that one is a male and the other is a female. With their running abilities I saw that both of them seemed to be mature. The other two abilities that I was observing them on, the gallop and the hop, were not as good. I realized that they were not the only students struggling with this though, the rest of the students at the school were having trouble as well. The boy was definitely a little bit more developed in the gallop than the girl was was, but I think that from what I saw they are still in the initial stage. The boy also seemed to have more ability to perform the last locomotor movement that we had them perform, the hop.

Many of the people in my class first explained the activity that everyone was going to do and then from there they let the students perform the task. I did not see that they were correcting the students if they were not doing any of the tasks wrong, but instead let the students perform it as they thought that they should. I think that this was very good for the kids because they are able to develop the tasks at their own rate, and can observe the kids around them to see if they are doing the activity correctly. This also helped us because we were better able to observe the two kids to evaluate where they stood with their ability without someone helping them to improve first.

Another thing that everyone in the class did really well was being happy and cheerful. With this I noticed that all the kids were happier to be there and really wanted to participate in the games. I noticed that some of the students were better able to perform the tasks that they were assigned, such as hopping and galloping, because they were more excited about participating.

I think that one of the main things that was more effective with teaching was when there were materials used for the games. One of the groups had the kids bring balls back to their hula hoops and another had the kids running around trying to capture the other kids “flags.” I noticed that by using these things the kids were more excited and became more active in the game.

A large part of interacting with these kids is being excited to be there. Our class is at the end of the school day, so it is sometimes very hard to muster up the energy to be cheerful and bubbly around the kids. In spite of this, it is definitely something that has to be done in order to keep their attention and I think that we do a really good job of having a high level of energy for the children.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Assessing Children's Motor Behavior

Grade level, gender, and ability have a huge impact on a person’s motor behavior. I noticed that the grade levels of the children also alter their ability to perform motor and social development. The older the children were the greater their abilities were. The gender of the children also alters their ability to perform certain abilities. When children are younger they all seem to have the same ability, but as they grow older the boys and girls seem to develop certain skills better than the opposite sex. The ability of the students is also altered by the students based on their coordination. Some people are just naturally coordinated while others have to learn how to do certain tasks. Since many of the children at the school are very young they have not yet learned how to perform those tasks and still look awkward while they are trying to perform them.