Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Christmas Celebration at St. Mary's!

Wednesday's Christmas themed lab was our final lab at St. Mary's. We started off the day by working in the cafeteria with the older students. Me, Miles, Jenna and Matt all split up and worked at different table with different students. Unfortunately, nobody wanted to play Mancala with me this week, oh well. Me and Miles took turns playing a few of the boys in checkers. It was definitely pretty difficult to get them to play by the rules, it seemed like they were just trying to make up rules as they went along to win the game. I guess that's a good thing to see competitiveness and a desire to achieve and be a winner at an early age like that though, as long as they realize that in some situations you can't make up rules as you go.

After we were done in the cafeteria, we went upstairs to the gymnasium to play the Christmas game we selected. Basically, the kids had to grab a scooter, drive the scooter through the course, pick up the hula hoop and jump rope through it a few times, then kick the ball at the targets we had taped to the wall. The student's seemed really enthusiastic about this activity, probably because it really got them moving and had a lot of different types of movements involved. The one thing that I noticed was that the students we're trying to rush through the scooter and hula hoop part so they could just let loose and kick the ball as hard as they could. I tried to encourage them to jump through the hoop at least three times before moving on, but it was difficult to get to all of the students because I was on scooter retrieval duty for much of the activity.

In my next blog I will be reflecting on my experiences at St. Mary's.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Celebration at St. Mary's

This lab was probably the best one so far. We started out by going outside with the Pre-K and playing around on the playground. If there's one thing I've learned about preschoolers it's that they will play tag at any time and for however long you want them to. Me and a few of the boys ran around and took turns being "it." We designated certain spots around the playground to be safe zones, which were good because it gave them (and me sometimes) a chance to catch our breath. Then we even added a "jail" which once tagged you had to go to. These were all their ideas, and it was interesting to me to see them come up with these elements to add to the game.

Next, we went inside and I read to the Pre-K students a Clifford book about Thanksgiving. I noticed that the students were really excited about being read to and even more excited that Clifford was the main character. After the story we moved out into the gym and played the Clifford game. Basically, the students had to hop over poly spots, crawl through a tunnel, and hop from poly spot to poly spot, all which simulated things that Clifford did during the story.

Overall I really enjoyed this lab, especially reading to the kids. It definitely was nice to see them all so interested in the story, always wanting to know what happened next, and they were just as enthusiastic about the game we played afterward.