In a week's time our early years students will be taking part in their annual sports day. One of the stations will deal with road signs and symbols and will have them drive, the modes of transport that they created in art, through a road course (see Examples of Integration page for a detailed explanation of this integration). They must obey the road signs along the way and will be under the watchful eye of teachers and a volunteer policeman (our director Barry Sutherland). The road signs they have investigated so far are stop signs, yield signs, one way signs, railroad crossings, slow down signs, Cambodian elephant crossings (they love this one!), and traffic lights. They seem to be having a lot of fun.
Oh, the penalty box! These two boys ran four stop signs, a railroad crossing, refused to slow down when instructed, and cut off other motorists resulting in them being sent to the penalty box. After a good talking to about the importance of safety and the reasons why we must obey roadsigns, these two were given their licenses back and allowed to drive again. This time around they at least slowed down at stop signs before running them!
As Early Years Sports Day is quickly approaching, we are training up the little ones for the events that they will be taking part in on the day. A variety of throwing objects will be used but the aim of throwing for distance will remain the same.
To set up this inquiry, we had each student choose a hula hoop to stand inside to throw from. The same hula hoop remained their throwing home for the duration of class. We first had them explore a number of different throwing styles with a foam frisbee, continually reminding them of the aim which was throwing for distance. They all threw at the same time and on command would run out at the same time to retrieve their frisbee and return back to their throwing home. After experimenting with a number of throwing styles, we asked them the following question, "Which throwing style do you think worked best for you"?
All of the students were able to identify the throwing style that worked best for them. We then had them use only this style again and there was a definite difference in the distance that they threw. Although not all students threw mechanically correct, they were able to identify a type of throw that worked best for them which was what the inquiry was all about. They were given the choice to explore and choose.
The same process was used with balls. A follow up discussion led to the conclusion that you must throw a frisbee and ball differently which was another goal of this inquiry. This lesson really did work well and I recommend it as good way to introduce student led inquiry into throwing.
The famous football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg was once asked after a season had concluded if he thought the team had a good season. His reply was an interesting one - when he noted that it was too early to tell - and in fact we would not know if had been a good season until he could see how the players turned out. If in 20 years his players were solid citizens and community leaders, he would then conclude that it was a good season.
We will be enlisting the support of parents within our community who would like to volunteer to come in and teach some form of multicultural dance. We are sure to have a few volunteers. In the past, I have had parents come in and do a wonderful job teaching dances such as the salsa, traditional Scottish and Australian dances, as well as hip hop. We will set out and plan our unit over the next couple of weeks, but where we go with it will depend upon the types of dances we can teach the students. Integration will be made with the kindergarten/grade 1 classes who will be doing their own version of 'How we express ourselves'. I will post our integrated planner once we have it in place.
To ensure that we are not killing the kids with Athletics drills, we are incorporating as many fun activities as we can. The "Chicken Run" game was a hit with the kids. As this is South-East Asia, we had a slew of wild chickens and dogs on the field that scampered off once our students started "Chicken Run" only enhancing the entertainment value.
In this game we combined sprints with throwing by teaming up the students. The game works well when there are 3 or 4 teams. From the far end line, students one throws the rubber chicken as far as they can. Once the chicken is in midair, the entire team sprints to where the the rubber chicken lands and then student two throws the chicken. The whole group sprints again and repeats the process until the good ole rubber chicken crosses the far end of the field and returns and is thrown past the line that where the game started. The kids are out of breath from interval sprints and have worked on throwing for for distance- both events on Sports Day.
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.