SUNY CORTLAND MOTOR DEVELOPMENT LAB
PED 201 – Professor Yang
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.
I guess a better question would be: what have I learned from young children?! To answer this - ALOT! Young children are AMAZING :)
But, I will stick with the question asked. I have learned that young children possess an uncanny, unfaltering willingness to learn. It is apparent that their developing and ever-curious brains want to know everything and try anything! You, not only as an educator but as someone influential in their lives, have the capability to help guide them towards a kind, respectful, thoughtful and physically educated way of life.
I felt that we, the Wednesday group, developed and executed many successful and appropriate activities for the kids. Magic orb tag was a great way to assess the throwing and catching capabilities of the students. This activity was developmentally appropriate and was fun for the kids to execute. Another fabulous activity was Tracy’s interactive song about Tarzan! It was so awesome! It was simple and clever enough for the kids to follow - all the while holding their attention and keeping them smiling! One of my favorites, however, was the Grinch and the Whos. This game was almost perfect in all areas and was an easy attention getter! The kids got to wear the Grinch costume and spook their friends - how much fun is that!!!
Overall, I don’t think anyone chose activities that were inappropriate. We were lucky enough to be able to run practice labs before going to St. Mary’s. This was instrumental in the successful execution of each lab in the field. If an activity needed adjustments or modifications we knew beforehand - providing the time for change! It made for a more positive learning experience at St. Mary’s School.
The pre-K is just so much fun. The kids are a bundle of joy and are so eager to learn. They are willing and excited to listen to anything you say and are happy to be around you. Just being around them is enough for them. It is wonderful to be able to interact with them, ask them questions, and learn about their lives and what they like. It is awesome to catch a glimpse of the world through their eyes. Refreshing, really. They are so pure and innocent and really show you how to enjoy the simple things in life.
The pre-K is almost totally different from the group of older kids. By the 5th and 6th grade - kids are more into themselves and what they think is “cool”. You really have to learn to work with that in order to be able to develop influential lessons and activities. With pre-K, however, they’re ready for pretty much anything - and anything is always the best.
Personally, I loved working with the younger kids the best. They are just something else! They can make you smile and laugh always. That’s important. I feel like you can have a great influence on these kids at this point in their lives. To be able to be a positive, encouraging, bright spot in their lives is an honor.
While spending time with the kids in the cafeteria during snack and play time - we were able to observe their finer motor movements. We were able to observe them manipulating their snacks and drinks as well as with their toys and games. Just to illustrate - the other day we spent some time in the cafeteria and while I was playing checkers I was able to witness the finer motor skills of Maggie as she moved her pieces around the board. Across the way, I was able to watch the kids and other labbies playing with legos. The kids were more than able to maneuver those little pieces all around and make them into whatever masterpiece they wished.
I believe that working on developing and mastering our finer motor movements should definitely be a part of our PE curriculum. It is our job to help students become physically able - and enjoy being so. So, why not?! If we can help them enjoy their activities a bit more - why wouldn’t we?!
As per individual teaching style - I think I am still developing it. My time at St. Mary’s has been wonderfully influential to me in regards to my personal style - but, still, I’m working on it. I know that enthusiasm and excitement are key in successful teaching. I also have learned that you can be as clever and imaginative as you might wish. The more colorful your lesson - the more unforgettable. I think that my life as a teacher will forever be shape-shifting, changing, and incorporating new and exciting aspects of my endless learning experiences. I hope to develop my own, unique, individualized method of teaching as well as adopting some of the teaching methods that have encouraged me.