Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lab 5: Thanksgiving Time!

Lab 5 at St Mary's was Thanksgiving themed, where people dressed up as pilgrims and had some Thanksgiving themed activities. My group was not assigned to a particular group of kids, but we helped out other groups' activities. The first game I helped out with was a game called Muk, in which a one person needs to make his partner laugh who is dribbling a basketball. The problem with this game was that the kids were not able to dribble a basketball while looking forward at their partner.
The next game I helped out with was a pass to score type game with a basketball and then a soccer ball. The kids enjoyed playing this but it got a bit out of control at times. The leaders of the group did not enforce space between people or passing to score in the end zone. The last group's activity was with the Pre-K, and was a "continuous" obstacle course. The point of the activity was to get through the obstacles and pick up a food cut-out to give to the plush toy of Clifford the dog. This adjustment of the game made it relate to Thanksgiving as they were giving the food for the dog to eat. Even though they found this to be amusing, you can say the kids became a little too thankful. The kids took more food then they were supposed to each time around, requiring us to constantly bring the food back for people to pick up again.
To finish off the day, my group led the chicken dance. Except we changed it to the turkey dance to fit the Thanksgiving theme. The only problem with this is that we did not instruct them to specifically move around during the intermission sections. Other than that, the dance went well. I am certainly looking forward for the last lab at St Mary's.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lab 4: The Circus Is In Town!

November 4th at St Mary's, the theme for Lab 4 was the circus. In honor of this theme, many of us students dressed up in clown appearances. My group started off in the cafeteria with the 3rd graders. It was very interesting to spend time with these kids as they were a lot more social than the younger kids. I was surprised how mature they were as well, because my little brother is the same age and he is off the wall constantly. These kids were great as we played checkers, cards, and lego type activities.
After playing in the cafeteria, everyone came up to the gym for game time. Unfortunately, my group was missing two people, but the teaching assistants helped out by participating with the kids. The space was restricted and made organizing the game more challenging. Looking at the game, we needed to choose something that involved overhand throwing. I chose a game called "Guard The Castle". One person needs to throw the ball to hit the cone while the other person is trying to protect it. With the limited space, we just had everyone throw and block in a straight line. At first some of the kids were not too aggresive about, whom were mainly the girls. They were throwing the ball underhanded and were not coming close to the cone. I stopped them to show how to throw overhanded and they immediately improved there aim. A couple of the kids actually hit the cone after I showed them. We eventually moved on to a variety of tag games like freeze and blob tag. They had a lot of energy to do this and had fun in the process. We closed out the day doing the chicken dance with everyone in a circle, but unfortunately the music was not loud enough. We all chimed in the melody while we did the dance.

The next morning I went back to St Mary's to observe Mrs Garcia's pre-k class for over an hour. The first 45 minutes was just free time for everyone in which I played with everyone on the rug area. It started off with just me passing a foam hockey puck back and forth with C and Z. They reacted excited when I quickly stopped it with my foot a few times. When more kids arrived, we resorted to the building blocks and built gates for people to sit in. Mrs Garcia eventually announced that it was clean time and thus the timer began to see if everyone cleaned up in time. I helped out and tried motivating the kids but they were too late. Once finished, everyone went to their spots on the rug and began their "good morning" song. After completing their intro to the day, they lined up for the bathroom. I noticed that Mrs Garcia enforced bathroom rules by asking a question they presumably get asked everytime. They all respond each time thus helps them follow the rules. It was time for Spanish lessons once the children arrived back into the room. All of the kids recieved a name tag that included a completely different hispanic name, which I found to be a bit strange. The Spanish teacher played a fishing game in which they hooked up an object and had to state what it's name is in Spanish. This made the vocabulary a lot more fun for them. At this time I had to leave and D then initiated a hug on me. This then caused everyone else in the class to give me a hug. I would love to go back in the class and observe a whole day to see how it goes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lab 3: Trick or Treat

Lab 3 at St. Mary's was Halloween themed, but unfortunately not many people got dressed up for the kids. I however attempted to do so by making an old man beard out of cotton. All of the kids loved it and asked if I was Santa Claus. Even though it was fun for everyone, it made teaching a lot more difficult. As I rounded up the 1st graders, most of the kids wouldn't stop being silly in regards to my beard. Our group had to tell them to be quiet several times while explaining the directions for the game "Find Your Partner".
Within the game, we had all of the participating kids do different movements, but focusing on leaping, horizontal jumping, and sliding. The rounds lasted longer than some of the kids' attention spans, so I tried to encourage the movements by asking if they can do it in slow motion or if they could catch me while doing the movement. There were some issues with the structure of the game. The point of the game was to partner up someone right by connecting a designated part. You are supposed to remember who you did this with, so that they would find the partner they connected to when we say to do so. The problem with this was all of the kids just stuck by their friends so that they would be ready to connect to them. The game was then less interesting for them when they did not have to find other partners in the game.
The next game we did was called "Magic Carpet". The children were to do the instructed movements during the played music (much like "Find Your Partner"). When the music stopped, everyone had to find a spot on the floor, in which we used hula hoops for the game. The issue with this was the some of the girls were fighting with each other about who got onto a specific spot first. This produced some emotional conflicts. In terms of how well everyone did the movements, it seemed that everyone had an easier time sliding than any of the movements of elevation. Both the boys and girls had the same developed skills, except the boys had slightly more energy. After we finished the games, we resorted to the cafeteria where they had snack and used their fine motor skills.
To close out the day we did two activities with everyone. The first activity was using the parachute which was something all of the kids got excited about. We did a few variations with it such as playing popcorn, hiding underneath it, and rotating around while doing different motions. Everyone closed out dancing like zombies to Michael Jackson's "Thriller". Most of the kids got into the dance however it was a bit unorganized and scattered. Everyone had fun, regardless of how it was presented.