Gymnastics latest

Hi all

Thank you for your valuable tips and reflections.  You have certainly given me great ideas for next week.  Next week I will be stationing myself at the jumping block and scoring their star jumps individually.  The LI will be to “Strive to Land the Perfect Jump” and the SC will be:

1. Start with your feet together

2. Jump high with a wide star jump

3. Land with your feet together

4. Hold for a solid three count

The scoring (feedback) will be instant and for each 5 minute rotation, students should get around 5 or 6 jumps in each.

This week I have put up one statement per station.  For example, on the rolling mat it says “Tight BOdies” and on the “Vault” it says clear the vault.  The statements are really one success criteria for each station.  The issue was the students were not looking for it as part of their 5 minutes.  This is probably due to it not being part of their usual PE routine but I am confident they will get more accostumed to it.  Particularly helped by the fact that the language of “Success Criteria” is used across the school


Minister Andrew


Gymnastics at St. E’s – Week 1

This week was our first week of Gymnsatics.  It is taught across the school, from preps to year 6s in the PAC away from the Winter cold.  After considerable groans, from mainly the boys, the week went well (anyone who thinks gymnastics is for girls simply google/youtube Shun Fijimoto).  We all discussed the three key ingredients to be a Gymnast – Balance, Flexability and Strength.

Having a key learning intention is problematic in the gymnastics program.  The students rotate around 5 different stations they are all quite diverse.  The learning intention on the balance beam is to keep balanced; the criterias are not to fall off and hold a still arabesque pose for a 5 count.  This is different again for the vault, the trampoline, the jumping block and the rolling mat.  5 stations means 5 different learning intentions and way too many success criterias to focus on in a 60 minute session.   On top of that, the real focus for week 1 was safety.  Above all else, and with so many new apparatus to experience, it was crucial that safety was in the forefront of their minds which, again, detracts away from Learning Intention model.

In week 2 I aim to focus myself on one station – the jumping block.  There will be an opportunity for students to earn a score for their dismount off the jumping block and the success criterias will be very explicit and instant.  The other 4 stations will each have a learning intention – explained to all at the start and then reinforced visually by a poster at each station.


Wednesday Arvos at St’ E’s

It’s good to see the activity that goes on after 3.15 pm on a Wednesday afternoon at our school.  After school care is chockers, the library has kids in there reading and playing games and our Auskick and NetSetGo programs have started successfully.  Both of these sports programs are designed for entry level into their respective sports and the focus is on fun and games.  The engagement levels for this are high with the the hope the participants will stay with the sport and start playing competitively at a safe, base junior level in the next few years.  The benefits of being healthy, being fit, being active, whilst learning to get along as a team and the social development of the child can not be underestimated.  Both of these programs have 10s of thousands of participants every year to prove what great  programs they are.

Another upside is the connections made on the sideline.  This is not childcare and the parents need to be there.  They gather in groups and lord knows what they are talking about.  But they are talking.  Most likely about their kids and sharing ideas on family and kid’s sport.  Hopefully in a couple of years time they will be courtside or standing at the local footy ground having the same conversations.   The place is abuzz on Wednesday arvos and its not just the kids that are engaged.

Year 1/2 kicking – dribbling a soccer ball

Our learning intention  for our first class was “Controlling a Soccer Ball with your Feet”.  The two criteria we wused were to 1. only use the instep of your feet, and 2. don’t let your ball get away from you.  We set off on criss-cross drills, an obstacle course and a zig-zag course to develop our skills.  (The boys that were involved in weekend club clinics were a stand-out.)  I felt the results were so-so generally, with the biggest issue being students using their toes to kick the ball along as opposed to using their insteps.  Therefore intead of pushing and dragging the ball along close to the body, many students would kick the ball ahead and run onto it.  Not ideal!  Criteria 1. was not being adhered too by several.  This was really evident in our final game of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Crabs” as those that used their toes had little control when placed under minimal pressure.

In the last year 1/2 class, I changed the learning intention to incorporate criteria 1.   It now become a mouthful, “Controlling a Soccer Ball using the Insides of your Feet”.   Admittingly I spent more time explaining were the instep of the foot was and that the toes were not to be used today.   I felt this class was far more successful as the core skill development part of the lesson displayed far greater control, namely due to far less use of the toes.  Having said that, their game of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Crabs” was on par with the previous classes, and I suspect the mistakes made was due to relative inexperience students have with invasion sports.

Year 1 and Year 2 Skipping

We learn skipping every year, generally it’s a 4 week and it is taught from preps to year 6.  The spread is competencies in a typical class is immense.  Also, the individual competencies generally doesn’t follow where we often think the kids are at.  For example, the girls that skip long rope at lunchtime are well above some of the lads that play footy on the oval.  (It’s great to see the pride in their faces when they are called up to demostrate as they are the experts!)

In one class I have kids that can do cross-overs, double skips and stuff that isn’t in my lesson plans, whilst others struggle to rack up 2 continual skips.  The learning intentions are therefore too far reaching to mention to an overall class other than “By the end of this class, everybody in this class will be a better skipper than they are now”.  Then we talk about how can we improve a skill ie persistance, concentrating, trying things, risk taking etc.  Students break up into smaller groups with an expert in each.  Then it is about getting to everyone setting individual challenges.  ie Julian started the lesson being able to skip only about 5 rotations before stopping.  He was going too fast and lacked control of the rope.  He was set a target of ten and told the secret to meeting this target was too slow it down.  Voila, after little time he achieved 10 plus skips and acheived his learning intention of being a better skipper by the end of the class.



Prep Push Passing

A key fundamental motor skill is the push (or chest) pass.  The 2 key criteria for the preps are 1. one foot forward and 2. push from the chest.  For the grade 1/2’s we add on a third criteria, 3. finish with hands out in front.  Firstly, it’s amazing to see how many kids in prep have never thrown a abll before.  This is evident when the first throws have such poor execution but even more noticeable when watching the catching attempts.  Many bops on the noses as some don’t get their hands up in time, but a good learning experience anyway – no-one likes geeting a ball in the face!  I stop the class and get the 2 bext exponents of the passing skill to demonstrate their throws and the class counts how many times they can throw and catch in a row without dropping the ball.  Then it is everyones turn to see how many they can do.  Far less bals on the ground this way as they strive to get a decent number of successful consectutive throws and catches.

Next week we will be doing something very similar but the focus will be on the catching.  2 criteria for the preps, 1. eyes on the ball and 2. hands and fingers in the right position.  With this style of teaching I believe it is more effective to concentrate on the one skill, either the throw or the catch.  But which one first, its like the chicken or the egg?

Grade 1/2 High Jump

This week we have been looking at High Jump.  The 3 learning intentions are 1. Running a J-curve, 2. Jumping from one foot and 3. Landing on your back.  The kids in the line can score their classmate’s jump out of three then and use this info to hone in on their own technique.  For example, Adam S ran the j-curve, leaped from one foot but would straddle the bar and land on his front.  That’s 2 out of 3 learning intentions.  The group all had around 8/9 jumps each in a 15 minute rotation and by the end Adam was landing on his back,  Sure enough, once he was able to nail down the 3 intentions, he started clearing the bar.

Term 2 Running

It was good to see how much the level 3 and 4s improved their running and fitness throughout term 2.  We timed their every run and over a one kilometre track some students cut up t0 90 seconds off their best time.  ALL students improved their time – that’s over 200 kids!

Vision Statement Def.

In the modern classroom there is an evercrowding of what children need to know to make them model citezens.  In the crush it is often subjects like P.E. that get devalued and overlooked.  Yet a physically healthy mind and body is, at the end of the day, what gives us the best opportunity to live a full life.  I aim to make my students love being physically active for the rest of their lives.