Ready to Use Motor Skills & Movement Station Lesson Plans for Young Children

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9780130139436: Ready to Use Motor Skills & Movement Station Lesson Plans for Young Children

This practical series is designed to help early childhood teachers, P.E. specialists, special educators, and therapists develop and improve motor skills abilities in all children who have coordination and movement difficulties, ages 5 and up.

Each book in the series contains hundreds of developmentally age-appropriate activities to build young children's competence and confidence in specific skills in a positive, enjoyable learning environment. The primary focus is to provide quality teaching, assessment, and remediation to meet the specific needs of each individual child.

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About the Author:

Joanne M. Landy has over 20 years of experience as an elementary and secondary physical education specialist in Canada, and is co-author with Maxwell Landy of the four-volume series Complete P.E. Activities for Grades K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-9 (Parker Publishing). She lives in Mullaloo, Australia. Keith

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Introduction to Complete Motor Skills Activities Program The Complete Motor Skills Activities Program consists of three books: Ready-to-Use Fundamental Motor Skills & Movement Activities for Young Children Ready-to-Use Fine Motor Skills & Handwriting Activities for Young Children Ready-to-Use Motor Skills & Movement Station Lesson Plans for Young Children

This program has been designed as a motor skills program for teachers, professionals, and parents in related fields (remedial, rehabilitation, and medical areas), working in the school environment, the home environment, or the community environment to assist children who have coordination difficulties in the performance and mastering of fundamental movement skills.

The focus of this program is to provide enjoyable developmentally-appropriate movement experiences in the teaching of these fundamental movement skills so that the children gain both competence and confidence in successfully performing these skills.

We emphasize that if the strategies are to be successful, teachers and parents need to be aware that although children may be able to perform the tasks adequately in terms of task completion, focus must be directed to how the task is completed; that is, focus must be directed toward quality of the movement-not just the outcome of the movement.

FINE MOTOR SKILLS & HANDWRITING

This book has been produced to provide educators, parents and other professionals working with children, an overview of the key elements of fine motor control and handwriting. It was never meant to be a resource for extracting reproducible material, but a guide to developmental aspects of these areas and examples of practical activities that will be useful in determining when and what should be included in teaching and remediation programs.

Manipulative Activities

Most manipulative activities require the use of the two hands working together to perform the task These are referred to as bi-manual activities. Single handed manipulative activities are referred to as uni-manual activities, for example, opening a door. The third type of manipulative activities are graphic activities which include drawing and handwriting.

In general, children show the most improvement in simple fine motor control behaviors from 4 to 6 years, whereas more complex control behaviors tend to improve gradually from 5 to 12 years. Isolated finger, hand, wrist and foot movements tend to improve significantly from 5 to 8 years.

Word processing has created an alternative method of graphic communication to handwriting, however in schools and especially in the early years, handwriting still remains the main method by which children communicate their thoughts and ideas. Historically, teachers have been encouraged to teach handwriting models and children have adapted as best they can to the model. Realistically, we should be attempting to adapt the model to fit the child's needs and physical abilities.

The method of teaching handwriting is, therefore, far more important than the model itself and teaching handwriting should reflect this. The old saying "you can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time" is no truer than when teaching children handwriting. Handwriting is as individual as the child. All the elements of a particular model are not going to suit all children. Variations exist in adult handwriting; why not with children's handwriting? After all, a letter is just a visible trace of a hand movement and we all move in different ways, especially in the quality of our movements.

Motor memory is also an important component to this learning process and relates to the child's ability to visually and auditorially copy single movements, movement patterns, and rhythm patterns.

Current research suggests that if children do not reach a degree of competence and confidence in fundamental movement skills by the sixth grade, they will not engage in regular physical activity or sports for the rest of their lives.

Seven Essential Keys

Successful skills teaching in fundamental movement skills can result if you incorporate the following seven essential keys:

1. Show enthusiasm, care, and interest. These are qualities that cannot be written into any program. They come from you, and without them the program is not going to be so effective as it could be.

2. Use visual demonstration with instruction whenever possible. You may even need to physically move the child through some of the actions.

3. Give praise, encouragement, and feedback. These are an essential part of the learning process. Simply to say "do your best" does not bring about a constructive change. What is needed is good information about techniques and feedback (information about what the child has done). For example, "I watched the way you held the ball correctly in your fingers" or "That was a great effort; this time let's put your other foot forward."

4. Create a positive, fun learning environment. Sometimes we get preoccupied with telling the child what he or she is doing wrong or what he or she has not done instead of focusing on what he or she should be doing. A positive comment indicates to a child approval; the child can then develop trust and a willingness to keep trying.

5. Keep the information simple and easy to follow. Teaching by small-step progression is ideal. Progress may be a lot slower than you think and so patience definitely becomes a virtue.

6. Keep the home play sessions shorter, more frequent, yet allowing for ample practice. Some parents may be too enthusiastic and make the session simply too long. By keeping the sessions shorter, you can ensure that physical and mental fatigue do not become a factor and that the child's interest level is sustained.

7. Avoid showing frustration; be patient. If you feel frustrated, imagine how the child must feel. Frustration on your part is easily picked up by the child and compounds difficulties. Try saying "I think this is a good place to stop for today. Let's continue tomorrow."

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