Today I had the opportunity to meet the 5th grade class of my field experience at St. Mary’s. My partner, Rebecca and I, introduced ourselves to the class. The students seemed excited especially since many of them remembered us from the after school program is past semesters. The class was finishing up their Volleyball unit today with a really big game at the center of the gymnasium. There are a total of 14 students in this particular class, which is not considered a big class.
There are some really good management strategies used by Mr. Mack that we were able to observe. The routine of the students when they first come to class is to be prepared to change clothing and head into the gymnasium as quickly as possible. There is a warm-up poster that was created by Mr. Mack that changes every day depending on the activity being presented on that day. Today the warm-up poster instructed students to run 4 laps around the gymnasium, do 15 jumping jacks and 5 push-ups. I thought this poster was a really neat idea. The students showed that they knew exactly what to do and executed this task without any waiting time. They were told in the beginning of the year that once they are done with their warm-ups to sit at the half circle nearest to the stage and quietly wait for instruction. There is also a personal space method that Mr. Mack provided to the students in the beginning of the year.
I was able to observe a quick review lesson Mr. Mack had given pertaining to how to strike the ball, which is extremely large. He used a pinpoint demonstration with two students. A review of rules during the game was also shown prior to the game being played. Striking the ball with an upper cut motion and hitting it over the net while two other students held the ball up was the objective. Points were only earned by the team that served the ball. The team who did not serve the ball had an opportunity to win a serving chance by hitting the ball to the other side and making contact with the floor.I had my first challenge of my field experience when a student came up to me and told me she had trouble serving the ball over the net. I told her I saw her doing a great job and if she wanted to she could either use both arms together to help upper cut the ball over the net with all her might. If that still didn’t work that she could have her classmates move up closer to the net to hold the ball up for her to hit over the net. I was extremely excited to be able to use my own personal knowledge to help a student achieve a struggling task.