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.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Super Day for Super Heroes at St. Mary's

St. Mary’s was full of super heroes and the kids were really diggin' it. We incorporated the theme of super heroes for the kids to enjoy, which they certainly did. They loved our costumes, but of course we had a few haters! One of the girls told me that my cape looked like a diaper, and she called me "super-diaper" the rest of the day. By using the super hero theme, we created a positive atmosphere for the kids to enjoy as we played. My group, Prestige World-Wide was with the Pre-K kids for the day. They really got a kick out of our costumes and were even incorporating the super hero theme on their own as we played on the playground. They were calling us by who we were dressed up as, rather than our names. It was cool so see how wild little kids' imaginations can be. Duncan, one of the boys I was playing with on the playground, wanted to be a superhero too. He was completely dressed in red from head to toe, with red gloves on. I started calling him the "fireman" and he was loving it. Duncan stood up on little plastic bench out on the playground and screamed "I'm the fireman!" He told me that his gloves were "lava" gloves. We continued to play tag and whenever he grabbed me, I pretended that my arm or leg was burning. It was great to see he loved it being how he was pointing and laughing at me as I was burning alive on the ground! As we were walking in from the playground, Tim and I heard one of the girls say “Wow, I never thought Superman was real.” I guess Vinny did a great job being Superman. I tried to remember when I was young and thought like that. I miss those days!

All while being caught up in the world of super heroes, Prestige World-Wide got the kids to be productive physically. We played tag games so we were able to observe some of the children’s gross motor movements such as running, galloping and hopping. One tag game that we played was "Heroes and Villains." This was your traditional "Sharks and Minos" but we changed the name of the game to relate to the theme of the day. We had the heroes run like the “Flash” across to the other side without getting caught by the designated villains. After a few times of running, we had them gallop, and eventually had them hopping. Upon observation, it was noticeable that their mechanics for these movement patterns certainly need to improve, but they are very young. This was expected. A lot of the kids were hopping incorrectly so we were helping them. Incorporating something that the kids can relate to, like super-heroes, can go a long way. It only enhances their interest. They were extremely enthusiastic as there was not one kid who wasn't using their imagination and having a blast doing it!