Saturday, December 12, 2009

North Pole recruiting at St. Mary's

I arrived to lab in a reserved, stand offish mood. I was sick, finals were coming up, and I felt burnt out. My group was assigned to go down to the cafeteria. I ended up playing chess with some of the kids. I really did not know how to play very well so I had them teach me. It seemed like our roles were reversed as Sage, Melinda, and Herald explained the game to me. I learned how to play and at the same time they were forced to think critically. I believe this type of social interaction helped them to grow socially and cognitively. It was a lot of fun playing and interacting with them. It was amazing how the free spirited nature of the kids took me out of my stressful and tiresomely dazed state. After playing for a while it was time for us to go upstairs. When we got up there we started to toss the football around. I jumped up to catch it and one of the students ran under me and I came down on her. I felt so horrible about that but my fellow classmates kept ensuring me that it was not my fault. It helped me see that if we have our guard down for a minute and lose our vigilant awareness than an accident can occur. Luckily the girl was not hurt but even though it may not have been my fault I vowed to myself to be more cautious in the future. We then set up a game which consisted of a series of activities. The first activity was the students rolling on scooters, then the kids jumped through hula hoops, and then last they kicked balls at posters that our group created. The students were getting off task so I had to interject my enthusiasm into the activity in order to keep them focused and excited. It was a fun game that gave them a cardiovascular workout, helped them with their manipulative motor skills, had some mild competition woven into it, and had a variety of components to it. One of the ways I used to motivate the kids was since we all had elf hats and Santa hats on and it was a Christmas theme, I told them that we were recruiting for the North Pole and this was their tryout. I asked them to see how many times they could hit the poster, with only kicking it 3 times per run through. We then used modifications to keep the game fresh. Instead of hitting the poster with the balls they had to score on me. I was the goalie and we used the giant mats as goals. It was fun to challenge them to score on me. After awhile I started to block all their shots and forced them to come up with a strategy to score. I helped them to come to the conclusion that in order to score two of them had to kick the balls at the same time. Nick and sage where the first ones to catch on and then the rest took heed. Then another group came in to the gym so we switched activities and just played knock out. It is a famous game to play at St. Mary’s and we always have fun playing. Again I would actually be trying and sometimes they would still get me out. For those who didn’t want to play or when people got out in knockout we went to the side and tossed the football. We wrapped the day up with a great dance that one of my classmates conducted. Then we took a group picture, first with just the Cortland students and then with the kids too. After Mr. Yang gave us a debriefing and brought closure to the end of our motor development labs at St. Mary’s. I am really going to miss it. From the bottom of my heart I truly cherish my experience at St. Marys. It really helped me come out of my shell and interact with kids in such a lively, joyful, and rewarding way. It contributed to my professional as well as personal growth in ways that cannot be measured. I am truly grateful for the opportunity

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