Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Portfolio Showcase

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Portfolio Showcase at Park Center. I saw so many great portfolios and it really gave me some inspiration on how to do mine. Also, by looking at these I can see how much time and effort people put into these. This tells me that I better start mine now and organize it well because this is my future and I want to produce something I am proud of. Looking through there work I noticed they put in some things I have already done which is good to know that I can use those as artifacts. I noticed one student did his portfolio on a website. This was intriguing because it was labeled very clear and easy to find artifacts and his resume. Also a positive side to putting it on the web is if you make a mistake or a typo it is very easy to change it and not mention it is easy access. With this being a technological century I thought his was very well done. Some good advice the students gave me was to save EVERYTHING! and add pictures. Pictures can enhance the message you are trying to convey, espically if someone is just skimming through a picture will grab their attention. Thanks to Yang for taking pictures at St. Mary's I now have a lot of pictures to choose from. It wasn't something I would have thought about but now I can see how valueable it is. I'm glad I went to the showcase because those kids have been in my position and knew what they were doing so it was good to get advice from them.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa is on the go

This was our last week at St. Mary and I am really going to miss the kids. This was such a great experience to be our in a real setting working with the children. It was nice to have this experience because now I know what to expect. Sometimes when we got to St. Mary's we had to change our plans based on weather, number of children, or the limited space and this is what teachers have to deal with on a regular basis. You need to be flexible and be able to adjust and adapt to different situations and that is what we learned there. During this lab we had a Christmas theme and worked with the pre-k students. Professor Yang introduced us to some new toys. These gadgets kept the kids entertained for quite some time. What you would do is have these little cones about 5 of them and spread them out and then the actual device would call out a number or color and you would have to "stomp" it and it would register and go to the next color. This was good for pre-k because they are learning colors and number so it re-enforced it to them. After that we read and book to the class and then went to the gym. In the gym we tied jump ropes together and made a sleigh, the kids grabbed on and we put objects in hula hoops that were placed on the floor. We pretended like the children were the reindeer and Santa and we had to drop the gift off to the houses which were the hula hoops. After that we played a tag game and then it was time to go. This semester at St. Mary's went by so fast and I am glad I was a part of it and really enjoyed it there.

Cotton Eye Joe!

This week at St. Mary's was different from all the rest. This time was group was assigned to clean and organize the closet area. Seeing as it was toward the end of our time at St. Mary's other groups have organized the closet and there wasn't much left for us to do. So we basically wandered around and got to see all the different age groups instead of being with one all day. First I stayed in the gym and played basketball with some of the kids. And then I got to watch my peers teach to the kids. This was a nice experience because everyone has different teaching styles and there is not one right way to teach. I got to see how they used different strategies and saw what worked for them and what didn't. Next I went to hang out with the kids in the pre - k room. I love working with them because they are sponges. Anything you do they will do so it is important to keep everything positive and fun with them. Some were coloring pictures of turkeys for the Thanksgiving day theme and colored them in traditional turkey colors like yellow, orange, and red. There was only one kid who colored outside of the "normal" fall colors. He colored his green because he said it was his favorite color. I thought this was awesome! He wasn't sticking to what everyone else was doing and did his own thing. Some of the children at the table who noticed this sort of frowned upon him and his pitcure because it wasn't like theirs. As a teacher it is important to embrace and support a creative envirnoment so kids are not cookie cut outs of one another. Especially at a young age you want to see their creativity shine. Our group had the honor of coming up with the closing song. We chose Cotton Eye Joe. This is a great song because the movements are simple and the song is upbeat and catchy. Even if the kids were not moving at the same pace they were still moving and that is what you want to see, kids just being active.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Circus Comes To Town

This time at St. Mary's we did a circus theme with many people wearing clown type hair. The kids seemed more interested in wearing the hair than anything else. Being a circus theme the kids sure acted that way. This was the first time that I had ever seen these children so hyper and amped up. When my group was in the gym we had a very difficult time trying to claim these kids down. They were running everywhere and didn't want to sit down when we spoke to them or quiet down. It was interesting to see that some children really wanted to listen to the games we had planned for them and so to get the rest of their classmates quiet they would scream BE QUIET!! Ultimately, this just created more noise and we found that by saying "if you can hear me clap twice", and gradually they would quiet down. Luckily, our group came in with lots of different games to play and it's a good thing we did. Since the kids were mostly doing what they wanted it was hard to play a game for very long so we kept modifying games and switching to new ones to keep the kids guessing and on their toes. This week in lab we were assessing how well the kids could catch and throw. We played a game similar to messy back yard which allowed us to see how well they threw over hand and to see if they could catch. After that game we switched it up to a slower paced game where they threw underhand and had to try and hit and land in a target. Since they were around 1st and 2nd graders we used hula hoops as their target but if they were older we coul
d have used poly spots. After seeing some of the kids throw we knew not to make the targets any smaller because they had a hard time as it was. Overall with the kids being so wild this week it was good to see in a way. This just shows you what you will really face when you teach. Sometimes the children will not always behave the way you want them to so it's important to know how to deal with it and adjust to the situation.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lab 3

Last week at St. Mary's was yet again another fun time. The kids are really starting to get to know us better and this makes it easier on the college kids for when we want them to play a game. This time at St. Mary's my group was in the gym first and we played a game called Zanny Zoo to look at their locomotor skills. We were primarley looking at leaping,horizontal jump, and sliding. Working with the 1st graders I was impressed that they were quick learners. Overall they struggled the most with leaping but when we put the poly dots on the group and made them leap with a purpose they did much better. This made them slow down and think about how to actually do the movement. Whenever someone gave the kids intructions on how to better their skills they really listened and tried hard to do it right the next time

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Different Perspective at St. Mary's

This morning at St. Mary’s was very different than the typical afternoons I normally see. It was unusual to see all the kids so calm and mellowed out. Since we always go in the afternoon I’m just used to the kids being all high strung but in the morning they are quite relaxed. It was nice to see that if parents wanted to drop their kids off before school started they were able to. The school provides them with free time in the gym and the classroom. Last week when I was there I went to the pre k morning class. When I got there I recognized some familiar faces so it was nice to see them. The children are very welcoming and right away they wanted me to play games with them. Many of them were playing in the “kitchen area” or on the carpet playing with different activities and some were practicing writing their names and drawing pictures. Some of the routines I saw were before class started the kids had “free time” and could do whatever they want like playing games or drawing pictures and they also practice writing their names. After free time all the kids go to the bathroom and when they get back they sit on the carpet in a circle. First they go over what day it is and count the number of days they have been in school. This is good because the kids are practicing mathematical and literacy skills. Next they went around passing a ball to the person next to them and they had to say the “good morning” followed by the next person’s name. Once that child receives the ball then it keeps going around with everyone saying good morning to the person next to them. Since I was only there for a short time this was all I really got to see but it was interesting to me to see the kids so quiet in the morning. My favorite part of the morning was when about five different children drew pictures for me and seeing how proud they were of their drawings, even though it looked mostly like scribbles I was still happy to receive them.

Monday, October 26, 2009

PE Hall of Shame

Dodgeball has always been in the hot seat in a physical education setting. Many who are against it say that it depicts humans as targets, embarrasses a student in front of the class, and eliminating students from participation. In traditional dodgeball they may be right but with a few minor changes the game can be a great workout. Not only can dodgeball provide cardio exercise but it can teach students to dip, duck, dodge, and work on throwing skills along with spacial awareness. In order to make dodgeball more like this you need to modify some of the rules. One way that I found that works well is playing everyone for themselves style game. You use the whole gym and roll out a few foam balls to start and if you get hit then you sit down right where you are and to get back in the game if a loose ball rolls by you and you pick it up and hit someone in the game then they are out and you are in! This makes sure everyone is involved in the game because everyone around you is trying to get you out so you have to be on the look out from all angles. As a teacher some ways to level the playing field for everyone is one, use foam balls so when you get hit it doesn't hurt. Also, get balls of different sizes so it's harder to throw. Another way is as a teacher have some extra balls in hand and roll them to kids who are out every now and then to try and get them back in the game. Also if you have really good athletes in the class then maybe you make them switch hands that they throw with. Another way to get everyone active is if some kids don't want to play than they can be judges and help decide who got hit and who didn't. I really can't understand banning the game completely when there are so many different variations and ways to modify it to make it more enjoyable for everyone. All it ever takes to ruin something is one small thing. And that's just what happened. People will always complain about things they don't like and it is unfortunate that dodgeball is in this category. So I guess for now it's RIP DODGEBALL. Hopefully one day kids will be allowed to play it again because I know as a child I always look forward to playing it in class.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gotham City Takes Over St.Mary's

Today at St. Mary's we did a superhero theme and the children responded very well to it. The minute we walked in with costumes of superheros on the kids were engaged and couldn't get enough of it. I worked with the pre-k kids and when we were outside we played different tag games for the whole time because that's what they love to do. I wore a Batman shirt and tried to play off the superhero theme and told the kids I had super powers. Then they too wanted to have special powers so we can up with some fun ones for them. When I was playing tag and was about to tag them they always touched something and claimed it was safe so they never got caught, then when they tried to get me I would do the same but I should have known they have different rules for the "college kids" as they like to call us. The one group I was playing with the one child, Andrew, wanted to be Spiderman so every time he wanted to tag someone he had to put his hand out and and spray his web just like the real superhero does. The other three girls in the group wanted their special power to be fire to they would throw fire balls. The kids always love just running around and having fun and it's nice to interact with them and know you can put a smile on their face.