Tuesday, December 15, 2009
It's always nice to reflect on what you've done when you finish something. The last lab at St. Mary's is over and I feel very grateful for what I have learned. Teaching at St. Mary's was one of the best experiences I have had yet with teaching. It gave me a huge sense of accomplishment each Monday. I always try to make the children have a better day than before I arrived at St. Mary's by giving compliments and hopefully teaching the children something new each day. The best part of St. Mary's is that it reminded me every week of how much I can't wait to get out into the real world and begin my own programs and learning environments. I appreciate all the time that I spent at St. Mary's and I will never forget all of the valuable things that I have learned there.
Friday, November 6, 2009
This weeks lab was based on a circus theme. All of the children were excited to see most of the costumes that the "college kids" had worn. My group was assigned to do what every physical education teacher has to do on a day-to-day basis, which is cleaning and organizing equipment. While most people would think that cleaning out closets and other rooms would be boring, I found it fun. There is so much equipment that a teacher could easily forget that they have and once they see it, it could bring thoughts and ideas for new games!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
When I stepped into St. Mary's Monday morning I had no idea what to expect. I was so used to being in the gymnasium and outside with the students that it made me a bit nervous to think about being in a classroom with them. I was assigned to the youngest group of pre-k children which so happened to be Prof. Yang's daughter, Lilly's class. Lilly took charge right away and showed me where she hung up her jacket and her book bag. She then brought me into her classroom and I introduced myself to her teacher Mrs. M.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
During Monday's lab was the first time that our group worked with the pre-k children. We observed leaping, horizontal jumping, and sliding. It was interesting to me the large difference in ability from pre-k to just first grade. Only two years between and the children advance so much. The pre-k group was ready for any task that was thrown at them, but their responses to doing things such as horizontal jumping were extremely different than the responses of children slightly older than them. Their motor skills are not as advanced. Although they were jumping and moving forward, they didn't thrust their arms or do anything extra to propel themselves. This is what makes me realize how important it is to teach children from the youngest ages possible. As a physical education teacher I will need to correct and strengthen the tiniest things because I don't want them to become habits that are hard to get rid of.
As I was explaining to the children how to slide correctly I could see that they were very interested in what I was saying. They want to do things and "show off" the things that they know how to do. They love the attention and using positive comments after they finish a task is a great way to keep them motivated. Although the children were very interested in what I was doing they were quickly distracted when Blaze, the Cortland Red Dragon's mascot came to visit. He played with the children and just the costume had all of the children hyped up and ready to play! This lab went very well and was extremely enjoyable! It was amazing seeing the children's faces light up as Blaze walked into the gymnasium. I'm so glad to be a part of this program, who would've thought that going to lab and working with these children could make my day and always put me in such a great mood?
Monday, October 26, 2009
Physical education can be dangerous at times. After all, it is physical. When then again... What isn't dangerous at times. As I am becoming more familiar with teaching and education I am realizing how much thought needs to go into each and every class. One game that has been thought over many times is dodgeball. It has even been banned from some schools. It has become part of the "Physical Education Hall of Shame" because of its unsafe atmosphere and the fact that many students aren't comfortable playing it. Students can also get through an entire game without using any physical activity at all. The game will go on even if only a few of the class members are playing it while the others stand in the back and avoid being involved.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Monday's lab was based on a superhero theme. It was very interesting for me to walk into lab and see all of my peers wearing costumes. For the children it was even more exciting! Their eyes lit up as they asked what some of my peers were and they weren't shy to question why some of us were dressed the way that we were. I was asked by a 1st grader why I had a Superman shirt on because I am a girl. Haha! It's a lot of fun to teach children new games that they enjoy, but it's also nice to see how creative they can get with games that they already know. During "free time" a few of the children got a group together and began to play Duck Duck Goose. Instead of the ducks they decided to name people whatever popped in their minds first. It was amazing to see their eyes light up as they laughed at each others wondering and creative imaginations. They each payed attention to what one another said and they began to copy the funniest names and laugh harder with each time it was used. Frank (a peer of mine) became "cheese" and I became "carrots" because of my hair. It was a great experience for me to see what a great time these children had just by using their imaginations. It began with them imagining some of us as actual superheroes, instead of "the college kids". It ended with them laughing and smiling at their own silly twists that they added to each game.
Monday, October 12, 2009
This was the first lab that we began to teach actual games to the students at St. Mary's after school program. I always knew that I was very good at communicating to children one on one, but trying to get a large amount of children to listen to you at once is a harder task than I imagined. I figured that the students would love to learn new games and play them until they had no more energy, but at lab I realized it's much more complicated than that. It's a challenge to get the children to listen to you, but once you realize how to get their attention, by showing how excited you are about the game you're trying to teach. If we don't show that we are interested in the game, the students aren't going to want to learn it. Once the game started the children were interested to see what was inside the buckets during "The endless bucket" game. After they accomplished one or two cards, they became bored with the game. One student Nicholas was quick to get bored and he had other students follow him to find a new task. It seemed as though these boys were trying to show off. They wanted individual attention on the things they were doing and creating themselves. I think it's a great thing that they wanted to be creative, but with a gymnasium full of children and one teacher, it wont be safe in the future. From now on I am going to focus on ways to get each and every student involved in the activities I am teaching. I need to figure out how to make each game exciting and challenging enough for everyone. While doing this I also need to make sure that each student is capable of the tasks I am challenging them with. Im up for anything !