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.
My experience interacting with the young children at St. Mary's has made me realize the dramatic maturation one goes through from pre k-6th grade. At the grades pre k-2nd the children are still developing basic body movements like locomotor skills. The children are beginning to learn how to become fluent in everyday activity movements such as walking, running, hoping, jumping, galloping, skipping, sliding, and leaping. The reason for these skills being so difficult for this age group is because they have not developed his/her full equilibrium. An example of this is watching the students every week participate in the opening games as many of them had difficulty executing the locomotor skills correctly. As the grades progress upwards a competitive spirit begins to form and becomes extremely relevant at the 6th grade. Many of the children want to win and understand the feeling between winning and losing. Another thing to assume from the older age groups in elementary is the beginning of wise comments to the teachers. An example of a wise comment is one student telling me my activity is old and something he performed in the 2nd grade, so he did not want to participate in the activity. A similar theme for all grades is to expect a few students will sit out of activities/games he/she does not enjoy. As physical educators we must find a way to get everyone involved in the classroom. I do not believe there were any inappropriate activities at St. Mary's because the children enjoyed every game the Cortland students offered. A couple students may have sat out, but it is expected from this age group to not participate when the game/activity is not fun for him/her.
The main difference for the pre k program was simplifying the words communicated with the students, so everyone could understand the rules and expectations. Another difference was aiding the children in everything they do because they are at the age of curiosity and must be watched closely. This is what provided me greater insight of the pre k age because I had to be there next to one's side and assist him/her with a lot of basic things. All of the children in the pre k program were very intelligent and could hold a conversation. The children also really enjoy having books read to him/her and doings crafts. I did enjoy working with the younger age group because it required me to interact more
with the students. Personally, I would love to teach older grades around the ages of high school students. With the younger children I do not know if I could bring the same enthusiasm day in and day out. I also do not know if I could simplify my vocabulary enough to get my expectations through to the children.
During my time in the cafeteria the students ate a snack and socialized with the Cortland students. A few of the girls did similar claps to "patticake" with each other. The fine motor skills used in "patticake" is the hand and eye because the child must know the rhythm of the music while making solid contact with the partner's hand. I do believe fine motor activities should be incorporated in Physical Education because each one is a "stepping stone" to a larger skill. When working on hand-eye coordination the teacher is developing better motions that involve using the hand and eye. By participating in fine motor activities students will understand the concept of catching a ball. When one is getting prepared to catch a ball the individual is using hand-eye coordination. The fine motor activities will refine the necessary movements of the hand and eye to better grasp the concept of catching. It will further develop the child, so yes fine motor activities should be included in Physical Education.
The ability to go right into St. Mary's and lead the students in games has provided me with greater insight of what teaching style I believe in. The style I would like to build upon is the play, teach, play method because it promotes high activity time for the students and high activity is what is needed in the physical education setting. As the semester progressed I became more aware to get the students active as soon as possible by making the instructions shorter. Instead of bringing the students in when changing an activity it is much easier and efficient to do it on the "fly". This is why a signal for attention is vital because the teacher can use the prompt and communicate the next change in the activity. Also, if the teacher instructs the students on the game too much the educator will lose the interest of the children and it will become more difficult to regain attention. At St. Mary's if a teacher takes too long explaining a game the students do not pay attention and are more likely to touch one another. The play, teach, play style is most effective, as the style promotes a lot of activity for the students to remain interested in the activity.