Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obstacle Course Anyone?

Boys vs. Girls Obstacle Course!! The first group that I observed had the St. Mary’s students practice the leap, jump, and slide by moving through different stages of an obstacle course. The students were continuously moving so it was difficult to ask their specific age and grade level, although as a group I noticed a difference between gender and ability on different tasks. The girls and boys were able to slide down the river of the obstacle course with seemingly equal ability however; the next area of the course was to work on leaping from one hoola hoop to another. The boys often took a few steps back for momentum or would take off and land with both feet. As the hoola hoops began to spread farther apart with repeated use, the boys became more concerned with distance however they often missed the hoop altogether. The girls however took their time on each hoop and some began to hold up the line. Many of the female students would land on one foot and stay on that foot until the next hoop was empty and use the non-weight bearing leg as a pendulum for momentum to leap and then land on that foot. Many of the girls were able to balance for a substantial time waiting for the next hoop to become available. When I noticed the hoola hoops spreading farther apart as the students went through that part of the course I went over to move them back. As I was heading over one girl had completely stopped the line because she wouldn’t attempt her leap until the hoop was fixed, the boys would try even if it was out of reach, fail and try again in the next hoop.

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