Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lab 3

1. 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.
Today we observed Sophia and Shamus perform activities set up by our peers that entailed the leap, horizontal jump, and the slide. Sophia is in kindergarten and is five years old. Shamus is a first grader who is six years old. In observing the students locomotor skills they both appeared to have difficulty with the arm movements while performing the leap and the horizontal jump. Even in the sliding movement they both kept their arms at their sides instead of having them elevated for balance. I did not see any difference in ability or mechanics due to the age and gender difference.

2. 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?
Connecting with the group that I worked with today was a little challenging. The groups of five and six year olds were pretty high strung and were obviously excited to see the college students today. Demonstration and checking for understanding were paramount today as we played rock, paper, and scissor tag. In hindsight we should have used a game that demonstrated the skills that we had to teach but we easier to comprehend for the age level that we were working with. The kids had fun but some did not understand the rules. I thought that checking for understanding helped as it assisted the kids in listening to our instructions and then performing the activity.

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.
As I previously mentioned checking for understanding helped with keeping the students on task for our activity. As some of the students became distracted while we discussed our instructions I would purposely ask that student to recite what we as a group were going to call in our rock, paper and scissor game. I used this strategy as well as asking those who appeared distracted to tell the rest of the group what they wanted to call for the upcoming game.

Monday, December 8, 2008

St. Mary's Lab 2

1. Observe the St. Mary’s student(s) as they participate in the activities. Describe the variability of the movement patterns you observed in your students. Be sure to note with whom you worked , what grade they were in, and any differences in age, gender, or ability.
Today we assessed St. Mary’s students performing the run, gallop, and hop. I observed five year olds Brittany and Jason. After observing them in activities set up by our co-students I found little difference in the motor skills from a gender and ability perspective. It appeared that each had similar abilities that were performed below the mature level.

2. Describe the effective “teaching strategies” that you observed. What were they and on whom did you use them? How were they used? What was the effect? Were there any strategies that were more effective than others? If so, why?
It was hard to initially analyze the students as the activity that was set up required the St. Mary’s students to perform movements with their hand(s) elevated above their heads. I could effectively determine lower body movements but the use of the arms became irrelevant in the initial activity. I thought that our co-students did a very good job in getting all of the students involved for a long period of time. This I feel was due to their energy in setting up the activity as well as the interest the St. Mary’s students had in the activity to be performed. Later on I witnessed an activity where the St. Mary’s children were actually taking part in leading the activity which also generated interest from those participating.

St.Mary's Lab 1

Observe the interaction between St. Mary’s students and your peers (Cortland students). Try to get an idea of the behaviors of the St. Mary’s students – Do they listen well? Do they remain on task? What do they attend to? What motivates them to play?
Most of the students listened well as they were interested, initially, in who we were and what we had to say. They did have a hard time remaining on task both in activity and conversations. They attend to their needs and interests as these are more important than their peers needs. Many of the conversations in the cafeteria were interrupted as they all wanted to be heard. The motivation to play came from within. If they wanted to play then they would. If they did not want to then they were difficult to encourage joining the group as they looked for another activity that interested them.

1. Based upon observation, what are the differences in motor behavior and social between the St. Mary’s students you observed? What differences did you observe between grade levels, gender, and ability? Do you think that grade level, gender, and ability have any influence on motor behavior?
The kids that I worked with today were between the ages of three and four years of age (Pre-K) and I stayed with them throughout the day. The gender did not appear to have any effect on the motor behavior of these children, however socially the girls seemed to be more talkative and more open to work in groups. Most of the motor behavior that I observed during variations of the “50 yard scream” had children performing at what I would determine to be between the initial and elementary stage of development.

2. Based upon your observation, what fine motor activities did you observe (describe these) when watching the St. Mary’s students? Were there differences between age? Gender? Ability?
As I discussed in the previous paragraph there was not much difference in the pre-K children. From last weeks visit, however, there was a big difference between the pre-K children and the third and fourth graders that I spent time with. Running as well as throwing mechanics were more advanced for the older children, with flight during running and being the biggest difference that I observed from a motor activity standpoint. Gender differences were again minimal.

Infant Perception Skit


It was hard to watch myself perform but the activity itself was a blast! Everyone did such a great job in the class as we brought a little humor into our learning experience.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lab 6

Name: ___________________________________________ Date: _______________

A. To reflect on your experiences working with the St. Mary’s students.
B. To gain knowledge and insight as to your individual “teaching style” through play and participation.

Answer the following questions to the best of your ability.

TASK A/B: Reflection on experiences working with St. Mary’s students.

Based upon observations and interactions with the St. Mary’s students, describe what you have learned about young children? Provide examples of activities you felt were appropriate. Why? Were there activities that were not appropriate? Why?

My observations and interactions with the St. Mary’s students allowed me to learn a great deal about young children. My knowledge of motor skills and development, teaching skills and strategies, motivational techniques, and learning what gets as well as keeps the interest of children at this age has increased immensely due to my hands on lab experience at St. Mary’s.
From a motor development perspective the students performed, for the most part, at the initial and elementary stages of development. This was this case for both boys and girls. The activities that were set up were intended to be fun but more importantly challenging as we observed their individual psychomotor skills. Over the course of the six labs children performed the run, gallop, hop, leap, horizontal jump, slide, overhand throw and catch.
While safety was always the first concern when setting up an activity for the St. Mary’s students, I quickly found out that just as important was the fact that precise instruction that required minimal thought was paramount. Attention spans were minimal and often times the children had difficulty staying on task, especially if our activity for the day required too much explanation and thought.

Based upon your interactions with St. Mary’s PRE K program, describe your experience. How was this different from working with the older age students? Did you enjoy working with younger age children? Why or Why not?

My experience working with the St. Mary’s PRE K program was priceless. I have a son that is just a few years away from this ripe age so I got a chance to get a preliminary look at what was to come at home. The group that I worked with started our Lab experience working with the PRE K kids. It was sad to move on as they really enjoyed and appreciated simple things such as coloring, reading, and drawing. Although they attended to their needs and interests when it came to what they wanted to do they all were excited to share with us as they performed their given task.
The differences in working with the older age students came from a social as well as a physical perspective. The older students were adamant as to what they were going to do, who they were going to do it with, and if they were satisfied or dissatisfied with the results. Even in the cafeteria the noise level would often times increase as these students had to have their needs met not only with their peers but with the college students as well. Physically they were more aggressive then the PRE K kids and winning seemed to be more important to them.
I enjoyed working with both groups as each was unique in their own way. It would be a hard decision for me to make at this point if I had the option to work with either of these two groups of kids. I couldn’t go wrong in my decision but either way I would miss the group that I left behind.

During your field experience, each of you worked with children in the cafeteria setting. Describe the fine motor activities you observed. Do you feel that working on fine motor activities is something we should work on in Physical Education.

While working in the cafeteria I observed a variety of motor activities while the students ate snacks and later played games while sitting at a table. The most notable thing that I observed while students handled food and game pieces was the fact that the majority of the students (PRE K) used all of their fingers while picking up or moving their given article (supinate and pronate grasp). I feel that working on the development of fine motor activities is something that should be worked on in Physical Education because promoting the use of the children’s hands is the best way to ensure proper development and practice of fine motor skills. It would appear to me that in helping develop these skills in physical education we would be assisting our peers (teachers) and our students from an overall educational perspective.

Reflecting on your growth as a future teacher, what have you learned from this experience that has given you insight as to your individual “teaching style”. Has your teaching style emerged based upon your experience and interaction at St. Mary’s. If yes, in what way. If not, how else might this occur?

I love to work with others and observe what makes them effective teachers. I have coached for the last twenty years and have worked in a juvenile facility for fifteen years where on a daily basis I have worked with a large number of people and witnessed countless techniques and strategies. I feel that you have to be yourself but in working with and observing others, including my co-students, I feel that my teaching style is my own but with the addition of many parts from others. Being 41 years old I guess I can be looked at as old school in some ways so my work with students and teachers in this day and age has really helped me have different perspectives on teaching and dealing with kids. I guess my strength would be my humbleness to not be set in my ways and always look for a better way to communicate with kids. This view helped me a great deal in my time at St. Mary’s.

Lab 5 thoughts

Fall 2008 – Professor Yang
Lab Five

Name: John Fesetch Date: 10/31/08

1. Task one: Reflection.
2. Task two: Object Control Skills Part B Worksheet.

1. Consider the activities/games that you have utilized so far during the past four labs. Were they appropriate for the students at St. Mary’s? Why or why not?

The games that we have done with the St. Mary’s students for the last four labs have been appropriate from an age and interest perspective. I feel that some activities caught the student’s interest more than others, especially during the last two labs where we had a better understanding of our students and our environment. This familiarity as well as the feedback that we received in class and after labs allowed for more successful labs and appropriate games as the weeks progressed.

2. What might be some limitations to games or activities when using them in the process of assessing motor skills?

Limitations could entail the lack of repetition that each student should get during the given game that would allow others to properly assess. I found this to be the biggest obstacle as there were times when we could only observe a few throws or jumps during assessment. It could be advantageous if during assessments the students did more individual skill activities rather than participate in group games. There were times when we had to have the students perform extra repetitions after the game so we could properly assess.

MOTOR DEVELOPMENT LAB- Object Control Skills Part B

TGMD-2: Test for Gross Motor Development- Second Edition- Revised

Name of Student: Colin Grade: Kindergarten Age: 5
Check if male ____X___ or female_______

Object Control Skills- (Lab 5) Part B
Performance Criteria
Trial 1
Trial 2
1. Stationary Bounce with hand (dribbling)
Use a clear space, you can use a variety of playground balls or basketballs on a hard, flat surface.
During a game or activity, watch a student bounce a ball with their hand and/or dribble. Tell the student to bounce the ball using one hand.
1. Contacts ball with one hand at about hip height.
2. Pushes the ball with fingers (not a slap).
3. Ball contacts floor in front of (or to the outside of) foot on the side of the hand being used.
Use a clear space, you can use a sponge ball or something soft.
During a game or activity, watch a student kick.
Place the ball on a line nearest the wall. Tell the student to kick the ball toward the wall.
1. Rapid continuous approach to the ball.
2. The trunk is inclined backward during ball contact.
3. Forward swing of the arm opposite kicking leg.
4. Follow-through by hopping on the non-kicking foot.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Final day at St. Mary's

Matt had a great idea this past week at St. Mary's. He brought in a parachute and the kids loved it! I actually did not know what to expect as I did not realize how many games could be played with the parachute. It definately got the kids attention and we even had kids who wanted to join in from other groups, especially when we all got inside the parachute and cleaned it by rotating on our backs. I think I had as much fun as the kids......nice job Matt!
We are going to go back in a couple of weeks for a Christmas theme day with the kids. This should be a fun way to end our lab.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

St. Mary's lab 5 thoughts

We attended St. Mary's yesterday to assess and work with the kids on their dribbling and kicking skills. Sarah did a good job setting up the activities which made assessing easy. We found out with the student that we assessed (for two trials) that dribbling was a skill that was difficult to master for the five year old. Kicking was not much easier however he had fun during the game as contact with the ball was made. Our group is continuing to make progress with the dynamic of working together and it showed as the kids really enjoyed the activities while staying busy. Looking forward to next week!!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


We played "You have two minutes to clean your room" this past Monday with our Pre-K aged children and they loved it. We divided the teams up evenly and explained that they had two minutes to throw (one of the skills we were analyzing for the day) the garbage (socks and foam balls) from their side of the court (their make believe room) to the other side. After two minutes the whistle blew at which time we the children were done throwing and were instructed to sit down. The winning team had the least amount of garbage in their "room."
The kids wanted to continue playing and we even had other kids join in!!!!!


St. Mary's: Lab 4 thoughts

In reflecting back on some of our visits to St. Mary's there have been some challenges and difficulties. From a peer perspective it always takes time to get to know our classmates. It has been great working with the FAB 5 so far but we are still not as instinctive as we should be in working together. This has developed over the short time we have been together but I feel by the time we get comfortable our experience will be over.
Another challenge has been understanding the dynamics that go into working with pre-K aged children. We have all learned that our activities need to be brief in set up while still capturing their attention. Other ideas that may help with overcoming the challenges that we have faced would consist of more brainstorming on ideas within our group as well as utilizing the resources we have (teacher assistants, Dr. Yang, friends and family at home).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

St.Mary's Experience

We just completed our second lab at St. Mary's this past Monday where the learning never stops. As activity leaders it appears that we the students are the ones who have all the information that the St. Mary's are supposed to absorb. How wrong was that assumption!! I have learned so much from the students. From motor development assessments, games in the cafeteria, to when and how to interact, the learning has been mostly a receive rather than a giving proposition. I often find myself daydreaming (not for long Dr. Yang) about my 16 month old son who will soon take part in programs such as these. I hope he is forturnate enough to have individuals work with him who are as caring as the students that I have had the opportunity to work with so far.



Monday, October 13, 2008

Physical Education Seminar

The PE seminar was this past Friday. I attended a lecture on polar technology and found it to be very interesting. Polar allows for tracking of students through collection of data throughout an entire curriculum. This motivates the students by keeping them informed as well as assisting them in setting up individualized programs. Apparently Fayetville Manlius High School has a wellness curriculum that takes advantage of this software. I am currently looking into this and will post what I find out.