Changing the Primary Focus to Process

Well my last unit on cooperation took a back seat to Christmas concerts. The amount of attention I was requiringto do cooperative activities for 5 year olds was just too great so now I have decided on the same virtue only in a different venue. We are in the midst of learning t-ball skills.

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This is the third time I have taught this unit to this age group so each year it goes through a refining process. In my own mind I have made a radical switch this year from focusing solely on the skills and how to begin playing the game to teaching the students the virtue of cooperation and having t-ball as the secondary learning outcome. The reason it is such a big shift is because cooperation is such a difficult process to teach. I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. The results are much better than I would have expected because instead of concerning myself with whether or not that they can do certain skills, I focus on how the activities are teaching cooperation such as playing by rules and paying attention to the others rather than themselves.

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In triangle catch they throw and catch around the triangle and count to see how many times they can do it without dropping the ball.   It forces the participants to attend to what they are doing more.   Having the third person and counting makes it more challenging.   They now realize that they are going after a goal as a group.   When I focus only on the skill,  then I just have them play with one other person because they get more throws.

When I focus on process,  I also notice that I am much more aware of other processes like sequencing of ordinals numbers.  The students have to run to first, second, third, and home bases and then keep the order of who is batting.

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