Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 1 Saint Mary's February 11, 2009

  The students at St. Mary’s differed greatly between one another both in their motor and social behavior.  In a motor behavior sense, I found that motor skill levels generally increased as the age of the students increased.  The older students had more developed motor skills most likely because of more practice at these skills.  I did not notice a difference in motor behavior between genders.  This is probably due to the fact that the students have not gone through puberty yet.  A greater difference in motor behavior is evident after puberty.  I did however notice that there was difference in ability from student to student.  Once the students were playing basketball, some students displayed better form when shooting and dribbling than other students.  The younger grades were more likely to lose interest in an activity compared to the older students.  With the younger grades, I observed that many different games had to be played to keep the students interested in the task at hand.  The younger students were more willing to play the games than the older students.  Some of the older students did not want to play certain games and it took some time to convince them to participate.  Socially, the girls were more interactive with one another than the boys and were also more willing to participate in the activities.  When the students were playing with legos, the girls worked together on their building, while the boys for the most part built their own projects.

  I found it difficult to evaluate the students in regards to their fine motor skills, while in the gymnasium.  I was in the groups with 8 and 9 year olds who were mostly in the gym.  Observing fine motor skills would have been easier to observe with the preschoolers, where I could see how well they draw and write.  However, while I was downstairs in the cafeteria, I was able to witness the older students play with legos.  I did not see a difference between gender in their building, but I did see a difference in ability.  One student seemed to stand out.  He had built a massive monument and I was extremely impressed with his ability to make his fortress.  I interacted mostly with students of the same age so I was unable to observe the differences between age levels.  Once I have worked with the preschoolers, I will have a better understanding of these differences.  It also became apparent that fast food restaurants have become a staple in many children's’ lives.  Two students were building a Taco Bell because they enjoyed their food.  When I asked if Taco Bell was a healthy food choice, they stated it was not, but they like the food it has.  We must educate students not only about the importance of physical activity, but also the importance of a healthy diet.

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