Monday, October 26, 2009

"Hall of Shame"

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.  
Although "dodgeball" is in the "Hall of Shame" It is still played.  Many students do enjoy the game, therefore I believe that it should still be played.  There is nothing better than playing a game that most of your students enjoy.  In order to incorporate dodgeball into a days lesson, I have a new game that is very similar, called "Medic".  
In order to begin medic you have to start off with two teams.  Each of these teams begin on opposite baselines of the basketball court.  There are six balls on the center line of the court (Only six in order to be more safe and keep aware of where each ball is located).  On the blow of the whistle, each team races to the center and tries to grab as many balls as possible.  As soon as the balls are in your hand you're ready to launch it.  You're only allowed to aim below the waist (For safety precautions).  This means that if you are hit in any other area of the body it does NOT count.  If you are hit you must sit down and the one person who is secretly selected as the "medic" has the power to touch you and help "heal you" so that you can get back in the game.  The "medic" wants to be as protected as they can be from getting hit with the balls because they are the only way to get the team members who have already been hit back besides if they catch the ball.  After being hit, while the people who have been hit are sitting on the floor, they have the opportunity to catch the balls that the opposing team is throwing.  If they catch a ball, the person who threw it has to sit and they are back in the game.  Other members of the team who have not been hit are also allowed to catch balls that have been thrown and get the thrower to have to sit down.  The winner is the team that gets the medic out along with the rest of the opposing team.  
This game is much more efficient than regular dodgeball.  It includes everyone in the class, whether they just want to try to catch the ball or protect the medic (if they don't like to throw), If they want to be the medic and use dodging skills, etc.  In this game there is no point where the students have to sit out because they have been hit.  It is not dangerous. Especially if you are using foam balls and sticking to the (below the waist) rules.  With only six balls it limits the chances that a student would get hit by an unexpected ball, and even if they do, it shouldn't hurt.  The "medic" is a great way to have someone volunteer to be the "target" instead of having students in the class be targeted because of their lack of experience or skills.  
I don't see why having a modified and supervised game of "dodgeball" wouldn't be considered a great way for children to further their physical education.  They are learning teamwork, dodging, throwing, catching, space awareness, endurance, and concentration.  In doing this they are getting a great workout and their heart rates up.  Lets turn some more "Hall of Shame" games into fun activities for students.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Superhero Extravaganza!!!

Superhero Extravaganza!

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.
believe that by us dressing up and showing the students that we care, it captured their attention much faster than on a normal lab day. A wise teacher once told me that "They don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." Ever since I heard this, I realize how true it is and how much I can do little by little each day to prove to the children that I care about them. Every little bit counts!

Monday, October 12, 2009

St Mary's Week one

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 !