Last Tuesday I had another practical experience at Dryden Elementary School. I was really impressed with how well things went. Pervious labs proved that if you set up your equipment in a fashion that looks interest children are more likely to come and check it out. During prior labs my group had trouble recruiting children to come a play with us. Therefore I made a point last week to create some inviting looking activities seem ever were up against the reins of the Playground. Right away two children came over to play. That was a good start. We began with a kicking to an open space and then to goal. There was not much variation in performance levels within the different task. We ran these simple tasks/activities for a bit. As more kids joined we created different challenges for them by changing the distance and with a few that were more advance we asked them to try to kick with their non-dominate foot. This allowed us to give cues to all the students. Plant your foot, make contact with the inside of your other foot and follow through. It was great because as a group I felt that we were able to give useful informative cues that all the students could use to help them perform better. After a while and it seemed as though they understood the correct way to kick we played Red Light, Green Light Kicking activity. The girls loved this and couldn’t get enough of it. They played for about 15 minutes. However the boys became less interested and few went back to the playground. It’s challenging to keep the interest of such a diverse groups of students (K-5, boy/girl). None the less we started up a game of Kickball and it was a huge success. By the end our game there were some 20 students engaged in Kickball with a wide range of skill levels. They all really seemed to be having fun and enjoyed playing. There was a piece of me that went to my childhood and could remember the neighbor kids getting together in the cul-de-sac to play kickball. I did however wonder if by playing kickball we neglected the teaching of fundamental skills. I rationed that we began with instructing the fundamentals of kicking and provided an appropriate progression. It’s not just about skill acquisition but rather a combination of learning skills and being excited to learn the skills. It was a lot of fun and it was great to be a part of it. Thank you Dryden Students!
This experience gave me some really experience with managing a larger number of children. I was grateful that my group really shared the responsibilities as there were numerous things that came up. For example there were a few children that said that their foot hurt or that fell. One child even took a ball right to the chest and it threw him back and knocked the wind out of him. As a group we managed to effectively handle these situations by bring them to the side and giving each child the time and attention to make sure that they were ok. However I’m not sure how we would have done this without my group; trying to manage the other students while tending to a single child. Definitely would appreciate some input.
One last thing that I thing is worth mentioning is this game of Kickball didn’t just bring in the “jocks” but a wide range of abilities. Therefore something that this lab helped me realize that if the activity is truly FUN kids want to be a part of it. As I’m preparing for my next lab at Dryden Elementary School this reflective lesson needs to be a crucial part of my planning. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish with the children.