Clinical Field Experience A: Physical Activity
Physical activity is a component of children’s development that will be incorporated into everyday learning. Educators find creative ways to incorporate more movement and play in the early childhood classrooms.
Allocate at least 4 hours in the field to support this field experience.
Find a birth to Pre-K child care facility and have a discussion with a classroom teacher to gain insights on the following:
How much time children are allowed to participate in physical activity
How learning objectives are written to address physical activity
How lessons are designed to incorporate physical activity
Observe and take note of the types of physical activity in which the children participate. The birth to Pre-K child care facility that you choose is where you will spend all of your field experience hours for this course.
Use any remaining field experience hours to assist the teacher in providing instruction and support to the class.
Write a 250-500 word reflection based on your experience at the child care facility and your interview. Reflect upon and evaluate personal practice related to including physical activity and play in the lives of young children.
Address the following in your reflection:
How lesson plans can include physical activity
How educators can address the need for physical activity in the classroom
What you plan to implement into your future teaching practice
APA format is not required, but solid academic writing is expected.
This assignment uses a rubric. Review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite Technical Support Articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.
Document the locations and hours you spend in the field on your Clinical Field Experience Verification Form.
Birth to Pre-K child care facility focusing on physical activity:
During my 4 hours observing and assisting in a Pre-K classroom, I gained valuable insights into how educators incorporate physical activity into their daily lessons and routines. The teacher explained that children are given two 30-minute outdoor recess periods each day to run, play, and explore in addition to two 15-minute indoor activity breaks. Learning objectives are intentionally written to integrate movement, such as having students act out story sequences or identify shapes and colors through dance.
I was impressed by the creative ways lessons were designed to blend academic content with physical engagement. For example, during a math lesson on patterns, students had to jump, hop, or spin in repeating motions. In a language arts activity, children raced to build letters out of foam blocks. Most impressively, the class incorporated physical activity into transitions between activities by having students do jumping jacks or stretches before moving to the next task (Côté et al., 2013).
Some of the types of activities I observed children enthusiastically participating in were dancing to music, playing on climbing structures, riding trikes, and participating in organized games involving running, throwing, and catching (Pate et al., 2006). It was clear the children were energetic and engaged throughout the day due to having ample opportunities for gross motor movement built into their schedule.
This field experience reinforced for me how vital it is for early childhood educators to consider children’s need for physical development alongside cognitive and social-emotional growth. In my future teaching, I plan to follow this classroom’s example of thoughtfully planning learning objectives, lessons, and transitions that seamlessly blend education with activity. I will also aim to provide a variety of indoor and outdoor play areas and equipment to support different forms of movement. Overall, this experience highlighted that addressing physical development should not be an afterthought but rather an integrated part of the daily routine and curriculum (Pate et al., 2010).
Côté, J., Salmela, J. H., Baria, A., & Russell, S. J. (1993). Organizing and interpreting unstructured qualitative data. The Sport Psychologist, 7(2), 127-137. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.7.2.127
Pate, R. R., McIver, K., Dowda, M., Brown, W. H., & Addy, C. (2008). Directly observed physical activity levels in preschool children. Journal of School Health, 78(8), 438–444. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2008.00327.x
Pate, R. R., O’Neill, J. R., & Mitchell, J. (2010). Measurement of physical activity in preschool children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42(3), 508–512. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181cea116