Monday, April 25, 2011

St. Mary's Day 5

      My fifth visit to St. Mary's was a bit different from my previous visits. The week's theme was Easter, and we were assigned the younger group of children. Instead of playing and interacting with the older children, today I was able to read, play and make crafts with the Pre-K group of children. The children were very well behaved and were eager to learn about my book I had brought in for them. I believe the children understood the story line and enjoyed every bit of it, and at the book's conclusion we had the kids make paper bunnies complete with cotton tails thanks to my group member, Brittany's efforts. I really enjoyed spending time with the younger children, it was interesting seeing the variety of development in the room, despite the age difference being no more than a year! Some students developed a good vocabulary and were able to do things on their own, while others needed some assistance and encouragement to finish their paper-bag bunny.
     Once we brought the children in the gym, they were really excited for our games, which turned out to be a success. The kids were able to understand directions despite their young age. The kids even showed how good they were at dribbling during one of the games. Maybe the kids from St. Mary's are more prone to basketball and dribbling because of the community and the availability of courts; they had some great skill for such youngsters.
     The two children my class and I observed, Todd and Sally were able to demonstrate a good understanding of dribbling a basketball and kicking a soccer ball. Some common mistakes seen were sometimes dribbling with two hands, and kicking the soccer ball without following through to maintain stability. The kids at St. Mary's continue to surprise me with their knowledge and skill. The children remind me of how the developmental steps we all once took to get our bodies where they are today and how important it was to make good habits early in life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Lil' Baby Move It" - Group Project

Here is my group's motor development video for chapter 8, Rudimentary Movement Abilities.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Sojourn on a Whim!

     This weekend a couple of my friends and I decided to take a visit to our neighboring college's Ithaca's Buttermilk Falls. The experience let me know spring was on its way, as we experienced sun for most of our sojourn with vivid green plants and flowers emerging. We saw some beautiful sights of waterfalls, trails, fallen trees, and numerous other pieces of nature. Some portions of the trail we had to hike up, while others were easygoing flatland. It is important to have fun while exercising with friends, as these are the types of activities I will be teaching and encouraging my students to partake in.  Despite a few rain drops, we ended up having a blast and can not wait to go back the next time central new york grants us a sunny day. Having fun outdoors is a great for the mind, body and soul. If you are ever in the area and want some exercise, check out some of SUNY Cortland's walking trails.

Here are some photos from the trip!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Invest In Your Community

     Yesterday, I took some time to visit St. Mary's Elementary school and volunteered for their second annual 'Run for the Stars'. It was a great experience to help out such a deserving group of people. I felt inspired once there, as so many people showed to support each other on their active endeavor. People of all ages arrived for the same reason, to support their community, socialize, and have fun while exercising. I recognized most of the children, as I see them weekly. It felt great to be there for the kids and I feel they really enjoyed our presence and extra support as we cheered them on in their 1k race and for some, a 5k. Not only did I recognize the children, but some of the school's staff was in attendance.

     I can definitely see myself creating such a race for my school, to bring the community together. Asking local markets, and chain restaurants for sponsorships is a great idea when planning these events; as most of these places will be interested in getting their name out for such a large group of locals. Races, along with other types of engaging large group activities are great ways to bring people together. Adding these types of activities for your district's community will keep everyone interacting and staying active while keeping up with the newest trends in physical activity.

     Working with the community in the district you teach will definitely show the community, district, and school you teach in how much you care for the children. People will recognize the extra time put in outside of school time, and appreciate how much more involved your are in their child's life. I can't wait to initiate new fun activities for my future school or district's community, because the town and its children deserve it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thank You, St. Mary's

A collection of some of the memories from St. Mary's Elementary School in Cortland, NY; along with pictures from the Brookhaven-Roe YMCA, NY.

Monday, April 4, 2011

St. Mary's Day 4

     For my fourth lab at St. Mary's I evaluated another boy and girl. This week the children were evaluated on the overhand throw, and the catch; each with their respective cues to executing the movement/skill correctly. Some of the cues for the overhand throw I looked for as a future physical educator included having a downward arc of their throwing arm, a rotation of hip and shoulder, a weight transfer, and a follow through. The children I observed, Paige and Daniel both were able to execute the movement, yet Daniel had a less pronounced follow through and shoulder and hip rotation while throwing. The other skill I observed was the two-handed catch. Some cues for the catch included having both arms flexed and extended in front of the body, elbows bent and caught with just their hands. The boy and girl displayed this catch very well, the only criticism I have is Paige used her chest once or twice to aid her catch.
     Through deeper analysis of Paige's overhand throw, I concluded her throw using different sized balls was at the elementary stage for the most part. One of her throws correlated with that of the mature stage criteria. When we asked her to use lighter and heavier balls she displayed more mature stage skill, with only one case of her displaying kill at the elementary stage level. Being able to hang a grade on movement is something I must learn for my future profession, these observation/evaluation experiences have been nothing but interesting and helpful.
     As my lab group was in charge of the closing activity, I was responsible for a closing quote/cheer which summed up the day and reinforced our class's theme from the PBS children's show, "Dinosaur Train". My quote was silly and fun, but when presented with real vigor and enthusiasm turned out to be rather effective and informative for the group of children who had just ran around the gym playing numerous games for two hours after their normal school day. I used some basic locomotor skills in my quote which paralleled with some of the movements the show's characters displayed; such as flapping arms up and down, standing on one foot, roaring and shaking hands with a neighbor or two. In all, the children were really interested in my cheer/quote because I displayed a high level of enthusiasm and excitement.

Lab 4 Write Up

     These photos capture intensity and our ability to unleash our inner character for the children so they really buy into what we're saying, and in turn they are more motivated to participate and pay attention. The second picture shows my peers and I as we evaluate children executing various locomotor skills.