Monday, December 8, 2008

Our Skit

Not to bad but I could have done so much better if i wasn't sick. My voice totally gave out on me half way through. I was looking at my index card the entire time even though I new the whole skit. I wish we could do it over again. However, it was fun to create, dress up and make fouls of ourselves. I would do it all over in a heart beat.

My experience

Reflecting on your experience so far at St Mary’s, what do you think have been some difficulties or challenges you have faced? Consider all areas – environment, children, etc.
I feel the biggest challenge that I have faced so far is keeping the students interested in the games we are trying to play with them. Since we see the children so late in the day and many of them want to do there own thing it is difficult sometimes to get them to listen to the directions. My group has done very well in picking games that we could explain quickly and still keep the students engaged for a considerable amount of time.
Now that we have been going for a few weeks and all the children know us by name and are more comfortable around us it is much easier to get them to listen and participate.

What ideas/suggestions do you have to resolve the difficulties or challenges that you wrote about in #1?
When we first went to St. Mary’s I was choosing games to play with the students that were slightly above there ability. I was used to working with middle school students, through the boys and girls club, that could understand more complex directions mainly because they were older. Now that we have gone to St. Mary’s and I know what games are suitable for younger students I have been doing much better finding more age appropriate games.

Observing the students

Observe the St. Mary’s student(s) as they participate in the activities. Describe the variability of the movement patterns you observed. Be sure to note with whom you worked, what grade they were in, and any differences in age, gender, or ability.

This week we observed two new students at St. Mary’s as they performed leaps, horizontal jumps and slides. The students were Shamus and Sophia who were both in kindergarten. Shamus is six and Sophia is five. As I watched Shamus perform the various activities I noticed he had trouble using his upper body correctly for most of them. For example while he was doing his horizontal jump he didn’t bring his arms back far enough so he didn’t have that extra explosive power from the start. He did bring them up as he went through the jump but it was more for balance and not a means of power.

Describe “teaching strategies” that YOU used today towards connecting with the children. What were they? How did YOU use them? What was the effect? Were there any strategies that were more effective than others? If so, why?

The teaching strategy that I used was listening to the children. I notice that if the students feel you care about what they have to say and use some of there ideas they will be more energetic to play the game and many of the students will listen better to what I have to say. For example when we were explaining how to play the rock, paper, scissor game many of the students just kept yelling “lets be rock” or “lets be paper” so I said we can be rock first then paper next and after the students heard that they let me finish explaining the game and they understood the directions.

After being at St. Mary’s for these past weeks and observing and working with the students, can you briefly describe an effective strategy (or strategies) that you used to capture the children’s attention and keep them on task for your activity.
I haven’t really used a strategy to get the students attention but when I want them to get in a group I will say “new game” so they can all hear me and most of the time they come running to listen. A good strategy that I have seen the TA’s use is the counting method. The TA’s count down from 5 and almost all the students come running and sit in a circle in front of them. As long as all the students know this method then it seems to be affective.