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.