Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lab 6 reflection of last day at St. Mary's lab: Easter Theme games

I have learned a great deal while I was at St. Mary’s for the past six weeks. I have learned that all children really want to do is just play and have fun; and their idea of play can be the simplest game in the world and they would have a blast with it. For instance, one child pulled me aside and asked if I could play “Two Square” with him; which is hitting a ball back and forth to one another like four square, just with two people. Another thing I learned about children is that they have a rather short attention span. The instant they feel confused, bored, or distracted, they are not going to want to participate or play that activity anymore. The activities that I felt were appropriate for the children were activities that kept the kids moving at all times because it kept them busy and involved in the game, resulting in them having fun. There were activities that were not appropriate, like those that resembled drills because they were repetitive and a lot of standing around for the kids when it wasn’t their turn.

Working with the PRE K students at St. Mary’s was much different than working with the older students there. The younger students tend to listen to all the directions and participate in the games more. When you ask the younger students to quiet down, they listen to the first set of directions; however with the older students it takes maybe three or four times for you to ask them to be quiet and listen to directions. It is easier for the older students to be distracted compared to the younger ones. I enjoyed working with both age groups, I love the challenge that the older students present, and however is it a lot more stressful working with the younger students.

The games that involved fine motor skills while working with the children in the cafeteria were Jenga, coloring, Checkers, Connect Four, and card games. The majority of these games involved using their fingers to color and to grasp the small pieces. I feel that working on fine motor skills is crucial in development in a child’s life; however I feel that it is not the most crucial skill that should be focused on in Physical Education.

I have learned a lot throughout my experience at St. Mary’s, especially about my teaching style and what I need to work on for the future as a teacher. I learned that being hands on with students, meaning, participating with the students and just being involved in the activity yourself, makes all the difference and it motivates the students to want to participate and have fun. I’ve learned that by being excited and enthusiastic about an activity really matters. If the students see that you are having fun, then they are going to want to join in on the fun. Also, I’ve learned what activities would be most appropriate for certain age levels. By relating to the children and really seeing the games in their point of view is a great way in determining what game to play and what’s appropriate. Children love games with creativity, constant movement, and imagination. My teaching style has definitely emerged based upon my experience at St. Mary’s. Before St. Mary’s I had experience working with children, however it never really occurred to me to use imagination and creativity in activities/games. While spending time at St. Mary’s I also go to observe others teach; so I experienced what was successful and what was not, which really helped.

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