Monday, October 26, 2009

Lab 2: Up, Up, and Away!

On Wednesday October 21st, the theme of the lab at St Mary's was superheroes. The majority of us students had some type of super hero resemblance that got the kids really excited.

My group was assigned to work with the Pre-K kids once angain, except this time we were outside with them as the weather was fantastic. We ran around with them for quite a while. Most of the kids played "hide and go seek" for a good portion of the time. However, the second I walked in the playground area with the kids, Christopher immediately grabbed me and wanted to be me to jail. This was a game we played during the St Mary's orientation. It did not take long for other kids to join in and they seemed to be having a lot of fun. I made several escapes from the kids guarding me in jail, which led to them chasing after me. Kids doing other activities eventually wanted to chase me as well. There love for chasing people makes sense as they enjoy playing tag as well.

When it came to going in the gym, we set up a game called the "Zany Zoo", in which the kids need to get a card of an animal motion and perform it across the floor. I introduced the activty by saying that the superheroes are going to be on vacation next week and we need to train everyone to take their place. Their training was to learn the different animal motions so that they could sneak up on the villains. When we were showing an example of what they were to do, the kids got anxious and wanted to look at the animal cards. Once we began the game, the kids were enjoying it but they were a little confused in where they were supposed to go. Everyone also started to lose interest in the activity after some time. If I were to do this game again, I would certainly make a couple of changes to keep the kids more focused.

After finishing of our game with the Pre-K, the next group did a motion/music related game in which everyone does a certain movement during the music. When it stops, you connect with a partner. My group and I participated in the activity with the kids. It was once again interesting to see how undeveloped the motor skills of these children were. I was surprised to see some of the kids to be sweaty, especially Dunkin due to his constant moving. I know that young children have tons of energy, but not sure if I have ever seen them sweat to the point that they can not move anymore. During the last few minutes of the lab, we all gathered around and did a "train" to a Wiggles song that had everyone immitate animals.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

PE Hall Of Shame: SPUD's Revenge

One of the activities that was metioned in the article to be "harmful" to physical education students is the game SPUD. The author's rules to the game are as follows: "All students gather at the center of the playing area, and one of them tosses the ball into the air while calling out the name of a classmate. All of the students run for their lives (for about 4 seconds) except the named student who must catch the ball and yell "SPUD!" The running students all freeze and the person with the ball gets to throw it at one of them. The various hits and misses generate letter penalties, and the game is played until someone or everyone gets SPUD."
The author points out many faults in this activity, one of them being students becoming targets. I honestly do not believe that children have a problem with being hit by a ball. I have enjoyed playing this game as a kid and I have led kids at an after school program who enjoyed it as well. Of course there are safety precautions that are needed to be noticed. The type of ball being used needs to be soft and harmless so that students being hit will not get hurt. Head hunting also needs to be eliminated regardless of what type of ball is being used.
The author also shoots down SPUD for lack of physical activity saying that there is only 6% running in the game for all students. I certainly do not agree with that statistic. Claiming that there is only 4 seconds every minute is a little ridiculous as it does not take a minute to throw the ball back up again. Additional running can be done after the thrower has thrown the ball and everyone runs back to the center for another toss up. The letter strikes gained after being hit can be taken out so that the game is focused on physical activity, rather than winning. This way everyone continues to participate and have fun during the entire game. Other rules that can be added include having the thrower take 4-5 steps toward a person for an easier chance of hitting them, as well as the targeted person being able to dodge the ball without leaving their feet. The physical educator always has the option to make a game more appropriate for class. Saying a certain kind of game should not be allowed is futile as it can be adjusted for everyone's enjoyment and benefit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

During lab 1 at St Mary's, I was assigned to the Pre-K kids. Their activities were comprised of fine motor skills, such as coloring, playing with toys, and reading stories. They are very happy when you play with them and some of them are even happy to do what you suggest to them. For example, one girl was playing with farm animals and I suggested that we build a house for them. She got excited by the idea and we began to build. Unfortunately her skills were not quite developed enough to put blocks together, so I gladly helped her succeed. The boys wanted my attention to them, probably because I was the only older male there and they felt connected to me in that sense. Dunkin in particular always grabbed my hand and brought me somewhere to play.
When it was time to go to the gym, all of the kids jumped and cheered with joy. Once we got there, it was clear why they were excited. They loved running around more than anything, even if it wasn't for a particular game. Red Light Green Light was the first game we played, although the rules seemingly changed as we played since it was quite noisy in the gym. Other games we played were the hula hoop race and hot potato. Most kids started off playing the games we presented to them, but they eventually wanted to let loose somewhere else. Eventually two of the kids, Dunkin and Chris, started dancing to a song that they like. It was interesting watching them do this because they were just flailing around uncoordinated. At there age, they have no clue how their dancing, they just want to move and have fun. During the last few minutes, everyone gathered around for the "Shake Your Sillies Out" dance where everyone ran around doing different motions. It was interesting to see the motor skills comparison between the Pre-K and the older kids. I had fun playing with everyone and I'm looking forward to the next lab where I get to instruct a new group of kids.