Monday, March 15, 2010

Dinosaurs Attack St. Mary's

This past monday, St. Mary's was attacked by viscous dinosaurs. Contrary to popular belief, these dinosaurs came in peace, hoping to join in on various activities and to have fun. These dinosaurs wanted to practice their leap, horizontal jump and slide. I'm starting to have second thoughts on dinosaurs now, apparently our beliefs on them are wrong, they are very peaceful creatures. Now watching the dinosaurs practice their skills a lot was learned. First and foremost, who knew dinosaurs were so athletic? Secondly, the dinosaurs all develop at their own pace and have to be dealt with individually and carefully. With the right guidance these dinosaurs can become all stars. The teacher's responsibility is to first, make sure the students have the times of their lives, and look forward to physical education, and secondly to ensure that they develop into well rounded adults.
Throughout the lab, I noticed that those who came prepared with props, were much more successful than those who had not. Props are a great way to grab the attention of the student and hold on to it for dear life. The hardest part of teaching, in my opinion, is grabbing the attention of the student. At such young ages they can get distracted easily, thus, making this a vital part in teaching.

St. Mary's Goes Up in Blaze

After viewing the students’ movement patterns this past week, there was plenty of variability seen across the board. I noticed that sometimes age is not an issue, that perhaps, a younger student may be more advanced than an older student. This leads me to understand that different students progress at different rates and that there must be another influence in the students’ life that may be affecting this. There could be genetic reasons for example, or perhaps the environment itself could be another reason. I worked with two students, student A and student B. There was plenty of variability between the two of them for all of the movement skills of leaping, horizontally jumping and sliding. Student A had a hard time grasping the concepts of each skill and how to do them, while student B showed good progressions throughout the class. Throughout the day I used the teaching strategies that I was taught and thought were going to be most productive. I got down to their level, explained thoroughly, used demonstrations, did not ask questions I did not want to hear and so on. The effect went well, I was able to relay my message across and get the students running and playing in no time. In my opinion, the most effective strategy is getting down the students level, without doing so one can never expect to grab the attention of the students, the students will quickly divert their attention elsewhere and the teacher will have no effect at all. The most effective strategy to capture the children’s attention and keep them on task is to use props, props and more props. Props are such a good way to get them to listen to you, understand your activity and have them playing in no time. For example, when Blaze showed up at St. Mary’s all the students energy went off the Richter scale and started to have the times of their lives. Now I know I cannot have a real dragon every time, but it does not always have to be to that extent. As the teacher we have to be innovative and creative to optimize the playing time for the children.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Brief Overview of Developmental Physical Education

Children in this generation face many issues that previous generations did not have to encounter. Children these days have to deal with a rapid rise in obesity. Today’s children are less active and have poorer diets than their counterparts of just 10 years ago. In addition, the in-school and community violence among youth has been a growing problem and there is no reason for it to occur. Lastly, children are reaching puberty sooner that in turn has important psychosocial ramifications.

Physical Education aims to remedy some if not all of these problems. A physical educator seeks to teach skills necessary to perform a variety of activities and remain fit. In addition, a physically educated person, by NASPE standards, knows the implications and the benefits of involvement in physical activities. There are three factors that lead to the development of the whole child. Firstly, the biology of the individual, next is the conditions of the learning environment, and lastly the requirements of the movement task, or the task, learner and environment for short. Individual appropriateness is based on the central proposition that each child has his unique timing and pattern of growth and development. Thus, the movement activities children perform are geared to their stage of motor development. On the other hand, age-group appropriateness is based on both chronological age and grade level. The process of development moves from simple to complex and from general to specific as individuals strive to increase their competence in the motor, cognitive and affective domains of human behavior.

Fundamental skills, or basic movement skills, are developed when the student it young and is applied to specialized skills to a wide variety of games and to various sport, dance and recreational activities. For example, the fundamental skill of striking an object in an underhand, sidearm or over-arm pattern is progressively refined and later applied in sport and recreational pursuits such as golf, tennis and baseball. Patterns of stability can also be observed as axial, static and dynamic movements. An axial movement could be bending, stretching or twisting. While, on the other hand, static and dynamic movements could be rolling, starting, stopping or dodging.

Finally, physical fitness is defined as a combination of health-related and performance-related fitness. Health-related fitness is composed of muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, joint flexibility and body composition. However, performance-related fitness is made up of balance, coordination, agility, speed and power. These concepts can easily be achieved with the guidance and supervision of a physically educated teacher.