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.

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