SUNY CORTLAND MOTOR DEVELOPMENT LAB
Spring 2010 – Professor Yang
A. To observe the interaction between St. Mary’s students and Cortland students.
B. To get to “know” some of the students at St. Mary’s through play and participation.
C. To make yourself aware of Stability (static and dynamic movements) across the different phases of motor development (Table 1.6, page 21 of Gallahue text)
TODAY IS FAIRLY INFORMAL! Have fun but be purposeful, try to learn a little about your students including their names.
* Assigned group stays with Pre-K for entire time
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?
At St. Mary's I did realize the students did listen to what the TA's had to say. There was little to no interruptions as the students behaved well while directions were explained by the teaching assistants. I believe the students did listen and not act out because all of the St. Mary's children respect and admire the SUNY Cortland students. Cortland students are role models to these children and the children look up to us as an older sibling who they want to play with. For the most part all of the St. Mary's children did remain on task, especially when playing "builders vs. bulldozers". There were some children who participated, but then were unhappy with the game and decided to remove themselves from the activity. Some of the children probably felt frustrated by not having the ability to dribble the basketball and knock over or pick up a cone simultaneously. Another possibility is the child did not like the activity in its entirety, so he/she never wanted to be a part of the game. The children at St. Mary's attended to any action by a Cortland student. Such actions displayed by the Cortland students include, the use of whistles and loud voices. St. Mary's students attend especially to individuals who communicate with them on their level, so it is important for Cortland students to get down to the students' level when talking. The older individuals motivate the children to play by encouraging all of the students to get active. Also, when a child sees the college students participate in an activity he/she feels as if the activity will be more enjoyable. Lastly, some children thrive on competitive atmospheres and become more motivated to engage in an activity when there is slight competition involved.
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?
There were some differences in the motor and social behaviors between the St. Mary's students. At the beginning, when the students were playing "builders vs. bulldozers" I could tell the difference in ages by the child's ability to dribble a basketball, while knocking over or picking up a cone. The older age group had more success doing the activity correctly, where as many of the younger children either carried the basketball around or would pick up his/her dribble to knock over or pick up a cone. I observed many of the boys wanted to play sports, like soccer and basketball and the girls really enjoyed jump roping. The group I was in observed the oldest age group and all of the children interacted with the Cortland students. All of the boys wanted to keep moving by playing tag when the group was outside. The girls loved to play on the jungle gym swinging from the monkey bars or singing songs. By the time the outdoor session ended all of the children and Cortland students were playing a large game of tag. Both displayed movements and actions where I could tell their bodies are still developing. The majority of the children in my group were very social by talking to the Cortland students and making faces, while playing tag. Yes, grade level does have an influence on motor behavior as the older children are likely to be more developed and can perform games at a higher level. I do not think gender has much of an influence because each student is good at his/her own thing. The boys may be more developed in sports because the build of a boy's body is significantly different than a girl's. The children who have a high level of ability in sports may develop better motor behavior because he/she is constantly using hand-eye/foot-eye coordination.
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?
Through my observations there were limited fine motor activities between the children at St. Mary's. The fine motor activities I did witness were "builders and bulldozers", the girls swinging on the monkey bars, and free-time in the gym when sports were being played. There were a difference between ages because the younger age group had more trouble playing "builders vs. bulldozers" correctly. Many of the younger children could not dribble while picking up a cone. The child had to either carry the basketball or place the ball on the gym floor. As for gender, the boys seemed to possess a stronger ability to play the game properly. The girls were not able to do two movements at once as it is required during "builders and bulldozers". Free-time in the gym showed what kind of activities each gender enjoyed engaging in. Several of the boys liked to play sports, like shooting a basketball or playing soccer, while the girls spent their time jump roping. Each kid showed his/her special ability. For example, a St. Mary's student certainly impressed me with the amount of soccer talent he possessed. While glimpsing at the girls jump roping, many looked to be better than myself and I spent one-third of my summer practicing. All of the students at St. Mary's possess his/her own ability, and by the end of the semester all of the abilities will be revealed through involvement with the children.