Monday, December 14, 2009

PED 201 @ St. Mary's video collage

Fair-well St. Mary's

During our last visit to St. Mary's last week, I got to work with the Pre-K. I was playing some of the same games and playing with some of the same toys that I played with when I was in Pre-K. As I was playing with the kids, I was talking with their teacher and reminiscing about when I was that age and the games I played. My time with the Pre-K was fun, but it was much different from when I was with the older kids. I’m torn between my preferences of age level. I liked working with both age levels, because each had many positives aspects, but there were also negative ones as well. When working with the Pre-K students, they generally were open to the games or activities that we presented to them. Although it was difficult to calm them down to explain a game, it still could be done and generally, they always did what I asked or told them to do. When working with the older kids, it was fun because I could participate with them in games such as basketball, soccer, or football. Although they were more enjoyable to work with, they sometimes refused to give some of the games a chance and would either sit out or disobey the rules of the game or activity.
My experience at St. Mary's has been nothing short of amazing. I have learned a lot and have gained great insight for my own teaching style during my experience at St. Mary's. It has been the jumpstart to learning how to work with kids of the elementary ages and how to work with kids in the most chaotic environment. This has been an informal way to help Cortland students learn how to organize and plan PE related activities. I have learned techniques that are appropriate in handling kids grades Pre K through 6 and have gotten an insight into some games that would be appropriate to perform with kids of these ages. It has been an excellent first step into the world of teaching and has only further encouraged me to better my teaching skills and learn more about how to work with kids and create a teaching style of my own. Not only has the exposure been great, but Professor Yang has done a great job helping us become comfortable working with kids and has provided us with many effective teaching strategies that will certainly be useful for me when I am up in front of the class in a few years.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Reflexes! Reflexes! Reflexes!

Prestige Worldwide and the rest of the groups in Professor Yang's PED 201 class performed skits. Each Group was assigned a specific chapter from our curriculum. My Group was assigned to the topic of primitive reflexes. We constructed a remix to Queen's "Bicycle Race" with our lyrics teaching the information from the chapter to our audience. Check out our skit!

The skits were very beneficial to us for several reasons. It was a fun and constructive way to study the information we have been learning. Also, it was a good way to teach, as well as learn, in a non-traditional and fun manner from our peers. Perhaps the most important aspect of the skit productions was that it allowed us to get comfortable in getting up in front of many people and do something that not everyone is necessarily comfortable doing. If we are able to perform a skit for an audience, it makes being up in front of a class and teaching feel like a lot less stressful. The skits were one of Professor Yang's many effective strategies that are not only molding me into becoming a great Physical Educator, but are also tools that I can one day use when I am in his shoes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

CoTtOn EyEd JoE!

Last week was an interesting day for me at St. Mary’s. I got to go around and help out with all the groups. This was different from my normal routine, because I was able to work with all the kids, Pre-K – 6th grade, in the same day. All the games that the kids were playing had a Thanksgiving theme. The kids really seemed to be getting festive. I guess they just couldn’t wait for their Thursday feast! At the end of the day, I led the class by breaking it down. I used the song “Cotton Eyed Joe.” This is a very catchy song for young kids, probably because there is a dance that goes along with it. I always remember going to hockey games or baseball games when I was in elementary school and hearing the “Cotton Eyed Joe” and all the kids would do the dance. The kids at St. Mary’s really enjoyed it, just like did when I was that age.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

CATCH me if you can

I really forgot how entertaining the circus was when I was young. This week, we incorporated a circus theme for the kids at St. Mary's. The kids were in love with the tie-dye wigs that Tim and I were wearing, as they were all trying to take them off our heads and wear them. Amy, another Cortland student who works at St. Mary's, was dressed up as a clown. She got a good rise out of the kids.
The motor movements we focused on were catching and throwing. I worked extensively with 3 kids. The first 2 boys I was playing catch with were very young, about 6 years old. Their throwing skills were more refined than their catching skills. They had a good foundation as far as their throwing mechanics, but it was not very fluid. That will come with practice. This was not the case with their catching skills. At first, it seemed as if they didn’t know how to maximize their hand-eye coordination properly. They were stabbing at the ball instead of trying to get under it and accept it. I showed them basic strategies on how to properly catch a ball. I used cues of extending their arms out properly, making a diamond, and "looking through the window." They immediately got the hang of it. After playing catch for 15 minutes and occasionally critiquing them, they were catching consistently. The third boy's name was Sheridan. He is a 6th grader. He and I have been having a football catch during free-play time for the past few visits. He is able to catch and throw effectively. What I worked on with him was throwing the ball with a tight spiral and accuracy. I showed him how to properly grip the ball around the laces. I also showed him how to properly use his non-throwing arm. This helped his body balance, which caused him to throw the ball more accurately. He told me that he noticed a difference. I had a great feeling at the end of the day as I taught 2 young boys how to catch and helped another boy throw a football effectively. The most rewarding feeling I got came when Sheridan told me that he wants to play on a football team next year. I have been slowly encouraging this idea for the past few weeks during several pep talks that we have had. He finally said he is going to play next year. I feel like I had a positive influence on his view towards the sport of football.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Enthusiasm is Contagious

Usually people who work a 9 to 5 tend to have a case of the "mondays." Well the kids at St. Mary's were as enthusiastic as i have seen them. Since I have been at St. Mary's, I have observed not only the kids, but effective teachings strategies as well. I have been utilizing such strategies lately, and I feel that is why the kids seem more and more enthusiastic. When I am interacting with the kids, enthusiasm is a must in order for me to keep the kids on their toes at all times. A few of the motor movement patterns we focused on was leaping, sliding and the horizontal jump. My group and I used animals as a means for the kids to relate to some of the games we were playing. We had them leaping like frogs, sliding like snakes, and jumping like kangaroos. The kids really loved how I was not only getting my point across to them, but I was being funny while doing it.
Since Halloween was this weekend, we decided to go with that as a theme for the day. The little kids were all telling me what they were dressing up as. I heard some really cool ones like Optimus Prime form transformers and Buzz-Lightyear from Toy Story. It was cool to reminisce about some of the costumes I wore when I was that age. Whenever I am around the kids, I think about fun things I did when i was in elementary school and it brings back great memories. I am always looking forward to spend time with the kids because of this I guess that I am not the only one keeping others enthusiastic, as the kids are doing the same to me!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive.... and Dodge!

Unfortunately dodgeball grown a reputation of being a bad game to be played in physical education classes. Parents and administrators have made points that dodgeball has been known to single kids out, as it creates an environment where the so called "un-athletic" kids of the class become primary targets, which also can lead to social problems. The same critics will also tell you that once someone is hit, they are out of the game, completely diminishing their activity time. However, just about any knock made on dodgeball can be argued against as there are many variations that a good physical education teacher can use to eliminate any negative aspects. Instead of a player exiting the game once they are hit, we want them to still be participating. If a player is hit they can go to a designated end-zone behind the other teams side of the court. If balls roll back to them, they can try to hit the players on the other team. This allows players to always be participating even if they get hit. This also makes it harder for those who haven't been hit because they have to worry about getting hit from both sides. This idea of keeping all students participating can be applied in many different ways. As far as kids being hurt, they can be hurt in any game played in a physical education class. It's not right to assume that kids will get hurt playing dodgeball just because there are balls being thrown at them. In addition the balls being used are soft. If you really wanted to avoid any problems of being hit in the head, there can and should be a rule added that prohibits a player from throwing at someone above the chest. Dodgeball is a great game because it involves a wide range of motor movements that are found in all types of sports. You required to throw, catch, run, be able to dodge and use overall agility. Dodgeball is a fun and enthusiastic way for kids to practice these skills. By playing this game maturely and responsibly, it can undoubtedly be a great game to teach children.