Friday, September 12, 2008

The Gym Teacher

That is my new position.
Every Friday for the next 10 weeks, I will be the lady in comfy clothes, tennis shoes and a whistle around her neck. Yes that will be me.
Today started the fall semester of Enrichment Day, where the kids get together with other homeschooling families for Gym, Art and Character Counts classes. Since it is a co-op not a drop off each family contributes their services in some area, be it nursery, preschoolers, teaching art or gym. Since I enjoy being active I thought Gym would be a good fit for me this year.
Today was such a blast. This year we are in a group of young families so I had two groups, the first were second and third graders; the second Kindergarten and first graders. Which meant I had the privilege of getting to know 29 kids.
We started with introductions, then I had them run around the gym for a few minutes as a warm up. Then we stretched. Next we played a fun game called Rabbit Holes. We laid out carpet squares(rabbit holes) throughout the gym, a few less than the number of kids we had. At the start I would call out a way to move such as run, hop, walk backwards, etc. Then I had a shaker that signaled "the fox", whenever they heard the sound they were to go to the nearest rabbit hole. The object was to work together to make sure all the other rabbits made it safely to a hole. So they were to share their carpet with a friend to keep them safe. No one ever got caught, just chased toward the hole. Each round got trickier as I continued to take away a carpet square until there was just one left. So that last turn they all had to work together to make sure everyone was touching the rabbit hole. The kids loved it.
During a water break I tossed the ball to each kid saying their name and then they would throw it back to me as they said mine. By the end of each class I successfully knew each one of their names. Which totally is my goal, to get to know these kids.
After the water break we played a game called crossing the pond. Everyone hikes around the pond not going in the water, until I called out "cross the pond." At that point everyone was to go through the "pond" to the other side WITHOUT touching anyone else. The purpose was to teach personal space and awareness of others.
We ended the class with a cool down and chat time where we reinforced the ideas of listening, respecting others by not bumping into them and keeping our hands to ourselves as well as working as a team to make sure everyone is safe and has fun.
Then I tested myself with the kids names with them covering their name tags. Now we shall see if I can remember them all next week when they are wearing different clothes. I hope so.


Karin Katherine said...

Wow, those are great games for gym class. Did you find them out of a book? I just started working my way through, "Great Big Book of Children's Games" by Debra Wise. I also purchased The ultimate Homeschool Physical Education Game Book by Guy Bailey (but I haven't started reading that yet).

I'm so glad you left a comment on my blog so that I could find yours!

Mindy Richmond said...

Man, if you had been my gym teacher in elementary school, I never would have faked a stomachache to get out of gym class!