Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Watching the Fine motor activities

The second time we went to St. Mary’s school Professor Yang had us watch the students’ fine motor skills and the differences between grade level, gender and ability. When I observed the students at St. Mary’s I noticed many different things about there motor development. I worked with third graders in our last lab and many of them were very good at skills I asked them to do. They were able to run and jump but at a lower elementary to high initial level. Gender didn’t seem to affect the motor development of the children however age/grade level had a huge impact. Watching the pre-k kids run and jump it was obvious many of them were still at a lower initial level of motor development. Then watching the third and fourth graders sprint across the gym it was obvious they were much more developed. It seems that between pre-k and third grade a lot of maturing goes on it terms of motor development.
The second part of the lab we spent watching the fine motor activities with the group we were assigned to. Most of the activities we were doing didn’t involve many fine motor skills such as drawing, however, when the children had snack time I did watch how they picked up their food as professor Yang recommended. Many used there entire hand even though the cookies were small and used both hands when picking up the cups of milk they were given. Again I only observed the third graders so I’m not sure exactly what the difference was in this skill with the other age group. There seemed to be no difference in gender when the children were performing the fine motor skills.

First day at St.Marys

The first day at St. Mary’s school we were introduced to the children and the teachers that participate in the after school program. The teachers gave us the run down on a few students that had either special needs or had something that we had to watch for. One of the students had cochlear implants which is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. This young girl wore a small pack on her back which incased the battery and the main housing of the unit. Coming out of the pack were two wires with magnets at the end of each of them. These would be placed behind the ear and would stick to magnets that were surgically planted in her head. Seeing this young girl have to over come an obstacle like this made me think twice about things in my life that I thought were hard to over come.
After we were introduced to some of the children inside we followed the teachers and students outside to have our first real interaction with the students. There were quite a few children running around the playground and really avoiding many of us at first. The students were mostly in first grade and were very shy around people they did not know. It took a little while but eventually we had the students playing tag and running all over the playground.
My group, the Fab Five, made a great impression the first day and from then on I knew St. Mary’s was going to be a fun and exciting adventure.