The theme at St. Mary's for our last visit was following in the spirit of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. My group worked with the Pre-K classes for this visit, and we came up with some activities and games for the kids to play that were based around the Olympics. For crafts, we helped the kids color and create their very own Olympic medal. Most of the kids loved this and enjoyed wearing their medals proudly around their necks. This was a really fun activity to do with the kids because they all loved making their own medals, and they also loved decorating my medal for me. It was funny because I was taking my time with my medal and getting side tracked when I was helping the kids decorate their medals, so they were mostly finished and were extremely eager to help me with my medal. They offered suggestions on what colors to use and ended up taking over and decorating my medal for me. Needless to say my medal was full of many colors and scribbles from all of the kids. I also read a book called "The Wuzzolympics". The book was a cartoon story about an Olympic race. The moral of the story was to prepare, practice, and most importantly have fun while participating in sports. I tried to get the kids to understand that having a lot of fun was the most important thing about playing, but I'm not sure how many of them understood because of their age, plus they were extremely into the book. One of my group members got the book to read, and I am glad he did because it was a major hit with the kids and they loved it. After making the medals and reading the book we practiced some poses of skiers, snowboards, and other athletic poses that the kids have seen at the Olympics.
After that we played some games in the gym with the kids. Unfortunately, the game I had planned didn't really go as well as I hoped it would have gone. I modified the game What Time is it Mr.Fox, and incorporated the three motor skills which were galloping, hopping, and running. My plan was to have everyone wear their medals and they would be the "Olympians". One student would be called the Gold Medal Thief, and would call out either bronze, silver, or gold. If he/she called out bronze they would have to gallop, silver would be hopping, and gold would be running. On gold, the Thief would tag the Olympians and steal their gold medals. Well it ended up being a somewhat confusing game, and by the time I got to present my game the kids were losing focus, so it didn't go over too well, but it sounded decent on paper.
The game we played last with all of the kids ended up being really fun. It was a tag game that sounded like it might have been slightly confusing for the kids, but after a few minutes the kids caught on and the game was a lot of fun. The only problem I saw with it was that there was a lot of non-activity, but overall it was a pretty successful game. The song we sang as a group at the end was the "Down by the banks with the hanky panky" song, and it was slightly confusing because some kids new the song, some didn't, and some just didn't understand what was going on. It is a catchy song, but is uses showcasing, one of the Hall of Shame techniques. One of the kids absolutely loved to be in the center of the group dancing away, but another kid was completely embarrassed and ran out of the circle in tears. This just shows that showcasing really is a bad technique, I feel for every age level, because there will always be students who are shy and who absolutely hate performing and being put on the spot solo in front of their peers.
I love going to St. Mary's and I feel that this experience is really allowing me to learn how to communicate better with the students. I work at a summer camp and work with young kids, so I have some experience with coming up with games and leading a group. I work with an older age group during the summer, and I have been working primarily with the Pre-K class up to this point, so it is interesting to see the difference in motor skills and the level different ages are on.