Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lab 4 reflection at St. Mary's: Catch and Throw

So far, my experience at St. Mary’s has been extremely beneficial in many different aspects; however there have been a few challenges and difficulties along the way. First challenge I faced while working with the children has been catching their attention and teaching them the correct way to do activities and different locomotor skills. While explaining directions to the children, some would still be talking, or not looking at you, and running around. It was definitely a challenge to adjust to all the chaos that the kids caused. Another challenge that was presented to us was the environment sometimes. We were not always placed in the gym for activities, which made it difficult to perform the games that we had planned for the children that day. For example, one day we had a game to lead for the kids and instead of doing the activity in the gymnasium, we were told that we had to do it in the cafeteria. This presented a challenge for us as we had to adjust to the new environment we were in since we had a smaller space to complete the game. Another challenged I found difficult was working within our lab groups at times. For instance, when we gave directions to the kids, sometimes we would all want to explain things at once and it would end up being three people talking at once, which made it difficult and confusing for the children to understand directions; causing them to concentrate and focus on multiple people instead of just one person.

A few simple suggestions or strategies I would use to resolve the difficulties and challenges faced while at St. Mary’s would be to have more patience with the children when they do not understand or are unable to perform an activity or locomotor skill. By working with the children just for two minutes longer and not giving up on them could be crucial in their physical development because within those two minutes the child could understand an activity or skill and perform it correctly. Another adjustment that could be made while teaching the students how to play a game would be, if they do not understand the set of the directions or the concepts of the different skills, then to approach the activity in a different way; or simply explain the directions differently. Introducing new directions or ways to complete a skill can make a difference to one student or ten students; as many children learn and understand differently than others. A way to resolve the challenges faced by the different environments we were placed in week by week is to simply not get frustrated or stressed out by the sudden change and to just adjust; find new ways to go about completely the same skills or tasks, just in a different way than what you would in a gymnasium based environment. To overcome the challenge I faced with working within my lab group would be for one week assign one person to teach and give directions just for that week; and then the following week, assign a different person. By assigning one person to teach, it eliminates the confusion of three people talking at once, or one person saying one thing and then the other person saying the opposite.

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