Monday, November 25, 2013
Tonight I attended one of the labs at the college to get some extra hours in. This was kind of exciting for me because it was the lab that I was in last year, so I knew most of the participants and hadn't seen them in a while. In the beginning, I was basically just walking around watching everyone and jumping in wherever someone needed help. This was nice because I had the opportunity to see and catch up with all of the participants that I had wanted to. After about 20 minutes of this, another participant had arrived and did not have a mentor to work with him. The teacher then asked me to go over and work with him. This participant was new this year, and was about 5-6 years old. I was excited to meet someone new and get the chance to hangout with and get to know him. Although I did not plan on really teaching on this day so did not have a lesson plan, we thought of a few fun games together that kept us entertained. First we played line tag, then rock paper scissor chase, then practice rolling around on mats. This was a lot of fun and I could tell that the student was enjoying it too because he was laughing non stop. I was thankful that I got the opportunity to come back and see this lab and all of the people that I knew from last year, and also for the chance to meet and work with a new student. I was hoping to stop in to the lab sometime this year anyways but have always been busy or found an excuse so I'm glad that I finally did!
Today I was back at the Elementary school I have been helping at. I had a great day with my student. He got some cool new shoe laces that stretch instead of tie so that when he kicks his shoes off they are easier to get back on him. He was very excited about this and was running around showing everyone! Once we finally settled down we played with cars, then legos then with playdough. It was very cold out today so we stayed inside in the cafeteria the whole time. I think that he was excited about this and selfishly I was too. After all of the games that we played, it was snack time and he went up to help out with snack prep like he usually does. Once he got his food we sat down together to eat and he was on his best behavior. After finishing his snack, we decided to do a puzzle. The puzzle took us a long time but he really enjoyed it and we had a lot of fun putting it together. When we were almost done, his mother got there to pick him up. He insisted that she stay until we finish and she agreed. After another 2-3 minutes or so we completed the puzzle and high-fived in excitement. However, his excitement did not end here. He started screaming and cheering and ran out of the cafeteria down the hall. We both went after him and after making a few turns in the hall found him plopped down in the middle of the hallway with both shoes kicked out. It took about five minutes for us to convince him to calm down and get his shoes back on to get ready to go. I was a little bit disappointed that after such a great day with him he acted out just in time for his mother to see but I'm sure she understands.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Today I was back at the sports complex. It was another great day there. I really like this program and think that the people who are in charge of it do a great job choosing activities that get the students up and moving and that the students also enjoy. When I first got there we got right into my favorite activity, the around the world run. I ran with one specific student who is about 9 and has some anger and behavioral issues. One thing that I noticed about him right away was that he does not like to be told what to do. For example, when he stopped to walk, he would not start running again until he was ready, no matter what I said. I found that it was easier to let him have some control and just be there with him as more of a friend than a teacher. This is a benefit of being a mentor rather than a school teacher because I was allowed to do this and I could tell that he liked that a lot more. Once I started falling his lead instead of trying to lead myself, he loosened up some and started to laugh and have fun with me. This was a very good feeling and the exact reaction that I was hoping for. Although as a teacher you need to keep a fine line between friend and teacher with your students, this experience taught me that it is okay to give students a little freedom sometimes as long as they are not taking advantage of it. This lesson is one that I will use in my classes in the future as a physical educator.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Today was Veteran's day so the Elementary's schools had the day off. However, the student that I work with had a full day at the YWCA so I went there for a couple hours to still have my set time with him. He did very well today and I was pleased with his attitude overall. When I first got there, he wanted me to read to him so we did that for a little while and then everyone went to the gym. We went with them but after being in there for about 5 minutes he decided that he did not want to do that today so we went back to the classroom. We then played with play dough for a while and used cookie cutters to make fun shapes and had a few good laughs about that. After this, the rest of the students came back in for snack so we sat around then table with a group and chatted over snack. Once this was over, we went to a different classroom where there was stations set up. The stations included dress up, blocks, cards, coloring and Foosball. Students were allowed to choose which station they wanted to go to and rotate at their own pace. My student and I started at the dress up station but kind of just played with the toys sitting around and watch the other students dress up in funny costumes rather than dressing up ourselves. After this, we went to the block station and spent a long time building and knocking down different structures. When rotating to the next station, my student had a little accident and another mentor took him to the bathroom to clean up so during this time I played Foosball with some other children. When my child got back, we went to the coloring station for about 5 minutes and then his mom got there to pick him up. Besides the one little accident from today, it was a very good day with my student!
Today was my second day back at the sports complex, and I worked with a different student than I did the first week. He was around 7 years old and had some developmental delays. He was also very quiet so as much as I tried to keep conversation going I struggled to connect with him. At the beginning, we did "Run Around the World" again. I really like this activity because the kids all seem to enjoy it and it is a great way to get them to get their heart rates up for a little while. Last time, I just stood at the finish and handed out tickets to students after each lap but this time I actually ran with the students. I had fun with this because I kept switching off students and running with different groups and enjoyed getting to socialize with all of them. It was also nice to be able to help motivate them to run faster with me for a little while and I was glad that I could convince some of them to do so. Once we were done with this activity and finished counting up our miles, the 201 mentors took over again. They had a few fun group games planned at the beginning and then we were divided into two different groups. One group worked on basketball dribbling and one worked on soccer dribbling and we switched half way through. My student did pretty well in both of these and I think he enjoyed the positive feedback I gave him on his skills. One interesting experience that I had during these drills was when a student told me that they were bad at soccer, and I told him that's why we are practicing and he responded with "well i'm not practicing and you can't make me, this is America you know, it's a free country!". This is a little funny now but I was pretty taken aback and not sure what to say at the time. However, this child also had a mentor with them and they diffused the situation right then.
The student that I usually mentor did not come to the after school program today. Instead, I worked with another girl who is in third grade. I had a lot of fun working with her and I think that she really liked having someone work with her one on one. In the beginning, we sat at a table and worked on her homework together. She was studying for a spelling test and we did this by quizing each other on the words. I think that she enjoyed quizing me because she liked having the power position of being the teacher, and it helped her learn the words when she "corrected" mine. Once we finished her homework, we colored for the rest of the time until snack time. This was fun because we were telling each other what to draw and then ended up both giving each other our drawings when we were done. I think she really liked that I let her keep mine and that I was excited about being able to keep hers. After this, it was snack time and we just sat around and talked while she ate her snack. Since it was cold today, we did not go outside but instead played games in the gym. Before I ever worked with this student, I remember seeing her be very active and enjoy running around but today she was completely opposite. I'm not sure if she just wasn't in the mood for it or if she was really just enjoying the one on one time sitting around but she insisted that we sit out and read. So that is what we did. She had 3 different books with her and she read them all to me like I was her "student". Again, I think she was liking being in the power position. Her mother got there to pick her up while we were on the last book so we finished it up quick and then she had to go. I really enjoyed working with this new student and am glad I got the opportunity to see this change of pace from my other student.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Today was my first day at a new after school program at a sports complex that I have decided I will go to on Wednesday's. I think it will be good for me to get these 2 different experiences and this program so far seems like it will be lots of fun. At this program, there are children from a few different schools who attend. The student that I worked specifically with is in second grade and is a very nice young boy with a few developmental delays. While waiting for all the students to get to the program, since some get transported from farther away, we sat in the classroom for a little while coloring and talking about how school went that day. This was nice to have some down time to get to know a little bit about my student. Next, we went into the gym and did something that they called "Run Around the World". For this, students run lap and get a sticker each time they go around. Eight laps around equals one mile, so students get to guess how many miles total they think the class will run in 10 minutes. They also get to keep track of their own personal miles with a sticker chart back in the classroom and get prizes once they run a certain amount of miles. I think that this is a great system because it motivates kids to exercise and makes it a lot more fun than it would be without any incentive. After this, some mentors from a PED 201 class came, and they had games planned that they led for the class. Although I would have liked the chance to lead a game or two as well, it was fun to be able to continue hanging out with my student and play the games with all of the kids. During this time, I could give my student feedback about little things that he might need a little more help with during the activities. I think that is was good for him and I'm hoping that he liked having me there to do this as well. I had a lot of fun with this program and am excited to go back next week!