Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Motor Development Lab Reflection

Throughout my experiences in lab, I have definitely learned a lot about what it means to be a good physical education teacher. From the first lab to this final lab, I feel that I have already grown so much as a teacher, and this is only the first step in a long road to becoming certified. This opportunity has only enhanced my drive to become a physical education teacher and I am so excited to continue along this path. Going into the first lab I will admit, I was very nervous to speak, and put on my teacher hat, but it was a great learning experience. I realized that it is important to really speak loud and make sure that the students are paying attention, but more important than that, as a teacher, you really need to learn how to engage the students and show them that what you are going to teach them is fun and not just work. Physical education is about learning how to perform physical skills to play. Yes, Play. P.E. should not be work, and it is important as a teacher of physical education to learn that and realize that. Every activity must appeal to every student or else it will fail. As a teacher, if you allow yourself to get down on the level of the age group your teaching, and act silly they respond to you and that is best you can do. The idea of being able to shape and mold my students into physically active, and happy kids makes me so excited to be a teacher and I cannot wait for this process to continue so I can absorb as much as I can about physical education and how it is taught.

St. Mary's Labs...

Lab 5: During this lab, my group...Jumping Jack and the Thriving Five...was with the PRE K level. We started out by playing legos and helping them make different types of ships or planes with the legos. I love how this age group has such amazing imaginations. The fact that I get to go along with it makes it even better as well. After they had their snack, our group split up so half of us read story books, and the other half went into the gym to develop the game we were going to play with the kids when they came into the gym. We decided to set up stations in order to get the idea of the environment across. We had them crawl through the tunnel, jump in hoops, dribble a ball, etc. The stations allowed us to work on and observe various locomotor skills with the children instead of concentrating on just one. This activity worked out well because our group could split up between stations and work individually with the children at their station. I do find the PRE K level difficult to work with in some aspects though because it is hard to figure out how to walk the fine line between age appropriate, and too advanced for the children. I think my group did a good job finding the perfect balance and incorporating fun activities for the children to partipate in.

Lab 6: Our final Lab at St. Mary's was based on an Easter theme. My group was assigned to the cafeteria to play our activity so we decided to incorporate fine motor skills in order to give the children a break but still have fun. We did a spin off of pin the tail on the donkey and we made it into put your eggs in the basket. Each child colored their own egg, and once they were finished we but a blindfold on them and spun them around. Then we had them walk with bumpers up of course towards the poster with a big bucket on it. They then placed their egg on the bucket. This activity worked out great because the children were constantly going back for more eggs to color and then would come up and get some physical activity right after. After doing this for about a half hour we moved on to our final activity which was an egg on a spoon relay. We split up the group into 3 lines and had them walk with a plastic egg on a spoon down to a basket at the other end of the cafeteria, once they made it to the end of the cafeteria, they placed their egg in the basket and bunny hopped back to their line passing off the spoon. After they completed this section, we had they walk backwards to the basket, and then we had them hold two eggs. I think this activity was a great way to incorporate Easter into our games and also the kids really enjoyed it. Every kid gets excited about holidays, so why not try to take advantage of having the ability to use it as a theme?

St. Mary's Labs Continued

Lab #4: In lab 4, the theme was "favorite foods" and the locomotor skills that we were asked to observe, and base our games off of were overhand throwing and catching. In order to display these skills we decided to use a game called "The Healthy Eaters Police" In this game we had balls strewn about the gym and hula-hoops designated for each group of 4 or 5 children. One at a time, each child would find a ball and step on a poly-spot that had a picture of an unhealthy food. They would have to throw a ball through a hula-hoop hanging on the basketball rim, and once they successfully threw the ball through the hoop, the child could bring the unhealthy food and "arrest it" by placing it in their hula-hoop or "healthy eater police squad car." The activity definitely allowed for the skills to be observed so it worked out well. The only problem with it was that the kids were more interested in looking at the unhealthy food, and they didn't quite grasp the fact that they were "arresting" it. The game also lacked the aspect of catching, and in order to improve that, we decided to make two students go out as a team at once and one would retrieve a ball and throw it to their partner who would catch it and throw it through the hoop. It was a simple solution, and it worked well. Overall, I think lab #4 went well. We worked well as a group and had visual aids, and we had fun with the activity.