Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bon Appetit Fitness!!

On Monday March 23, 2009, we had our fourth motor development lab at St. Mary's School Cortland. This week, we were assessing the students' motor skills of an overhand throw and catching which were incorporated into the activites present today. The theme of this week was favorite foods. Our group presented an activity to the children in the gymnasium. And after our great performance last lab, we were hoping to top it!

After the first group presented their activity, our group Jumpin' Jack and the Jive Five taught our game. Our activity split the children into four groups each at a hula hoop station. There were balls and pictures of unhealthy food scattered on the floor. On each basketball hoop, there were hula hoops hanging off the rims. The task was for one student from each group to come to play area and grab a ball, go stand on a poly-spot, and attempt to throw it through the hula hoop. If they succeeded, they would pick up piece of 'bad good' and bring it to their 'garbage pails' back with their group then the next student would go. After a few rounds of this, the game was altered such that one student would run out and get a ball and return to their group and the next student would run to a poly-spot. Once there, the student with the ball would throw it to the student on the poly-spot so he could catch it and throw it through the hula hoop. This enabled both motor skills to be evaluated at the same time and see how proficient the students were. The skills of these students were mixed with some being at an elementary level and others at an initial level. But for the most part, they all had a great time!

After we finished in the gym, we headed downstairs to the cafeteria. When the kids finished their snacks, we all played little activities. We played such games as Connect Four, checkers, Legos, and we also colored pictures together. The kids seemed to enjoy playing down here a lot. There wasn't any pressure to follow rules and they got to do what they wanted to. When we were done here, we headed back up to the gym for some open recreation activities. I was playing basketball with Shamus and Liam and they were both making all their shots like Kobe Bryant! We then concluded the day with the Macarena ending yet another fun time together.

After this experience, I learned a lot more about the teaching process. It clearly is not an easy one to follow but it is rewarding. While we have had plenty of challenges as potential teachers, we are quickly learning how to fix them and improve ourselves. I cannot wait until we come back next week to teach yet again!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Project Vacation: Superhero Training Camp

On Monday March 2, 2009, we had our third motor development lab at St. Mary's School Cortland. This week, we were incorporating the slide, horizontal jump, and leap skills into the lesson for us to observe. The theme of the day was 'superheroes' and the kids seemed very excited to begin the day. Our group had the task of putting together and presenting the lead off lesson activity. And after last week, we were prepared with an activity that the kids would love!

Our group, 'Jumping Jack and the Thriving Five,' taught an activity called endless bucket. In order to correct the mistakes from last lab, we met Sunday afternoon to layout what we were going to do and assign tasks to each group member. We eventually agreed on a theme where we would use the game as a 'superhero training camp.' The story behind it is that Batman, Superman and all the other heroes were going on vacation next week and asked us for help. So we were trained to be superheroes by them and had to find new recruits. We would ask the kids for their help and keep the world safe. For the activity, students picked a task from the buckets in the middle and go to the assigned station. The stations included a bat cave crawl, subway chase on scooters, building slide around some mats, flying like superhero, fighting villians, and much more! Between the buckets and the stations, we would ask the kids to either leap, jump, or slide so we could assess these skills.

When we go to the school and began setting up, we immeditely caught the kids' attention. As props, we all wore capes and some wore the logos of Batman and Superman. I had the respoinsibility of explaining the game and each station. The kids remained quiet and listened to all directions. The activity went great! Everyone followed directions and we had all the kids participating with no one sitting out. Each student had a great time and all became superheroes at the end! Our group truly came together and worked hard to achieve their task. Everything went like clockwork and I couldn't be more proud of the job we had done!

After we finished in the gym, we went downstairs into the cafeteria and played games with the kids after their snack. Games ranged from legos to jenga, and checkers to connect four. With the kids I was with, everything had to do with superheroes still! They took legos and the jenga blocks to make Batman and the batcave. After this, we went back up to the gym for open recreation where the kids played what they wanted including one little girl making a 'jail cell' out of hula hoops and pretending to be a lion! We closed with the 'Cha-Cha Slide' and thus ended a great day.

After this experience, I had realized why I wanted to be a Physical Education teacher. Seeing the kids having so much fun and having them listen to you is very rewarding. It confirmed my belief that can have an impact in the lives of anyone and keep them educated and physically active. Next week we lead off again with another activity and I cannot wait to tackle this task once more!