In today's lab, Cortland students were to observe specifically the locomotors skills of leap, horizontal jump, and slide. We were all assigned two students to observe, which were Anthony and Rowan. Anthony and Rowan are both in kindergarten and are the same age 6; the only difference is Anthony is a male, while Rowan is a female. Both the students were similar in their ability to accomplish the locomotor skills. However, where they differed was in the slide. Anthony understood that while doing the slide your body needs to be turned sideways, which he did, but Rowan struggled with this. The slide also requires a step sideways with the lead foot, followed by a slide with the trail foot, which Rowan accomplished, but Anthony didn’t. Rowan had a difficult time with getting both her feet off the floor for a short period of time, while Anthony was able to. Both Anthony and Rowan could not slide in both directions; if one was able to slide to the left, the other could not and if one was able to slide to the right, the other could not. Both students had a difficult time with mastering the slide. With this particular locomotor skill, it was clear that gender did not have an effect on whether they could do the skill or not; as it was shown that they both struggled.
Today, we worked with the older students at St. Mary’s. I particularly enjoy working with this age group because you can be a little competitive with this group, and they understand directions better. However, it can be sometimes difficult to motivate these students to participate and as a result it can be frustrating at times and it requires a lot of energy and encouragement to try and get students to participate. As a group we decided that Kickball would be a great game to play with this age group since they are able to handle the competiveness that this game creates and they mostly know the rules of this game. We explained the rules, and once the game started, the kids were all very much into it. By getting the kids all involved, we decided to get really active and participate and just have fun with the game. Once kids see that other people are having fun, especially older adults, that usually makes them want to join in on the fun. To make sure that they were paying attention and involved in the game, I asked things like “Alright guys how many outs do we have or where should the next play be?” When someone made a good play, I would be positive and say, “Awesome job or great play!” Being positive with the kids was the most successful strategy used; it really made the kids feel good about themselves and what they just accomplished, making them want to do it again.
An effective strategy that I feel captures the children’s attention and keeps them on task with my activity is getting them involved. A great and effective strategy that I use often is “If you can hear me touch your nose, touch your head, now touch your mouth;” Not only does it quiet the children down; it draws them in and captures their attention. I also believe that by asking the students questions after explaining an activity is an effective strategy to not only capture their attention, but by keeping them on task as well. When they know the answer, it makes them feel good and reminds them of what needs to be done.