How to organize training groups ?
Advantages . They require less place than a unique course.
They make it possible for the children to be more active and to spend more energy.
They avoid waiting and the rush which can be generated by a unique course.
Before starting : as for a course, it is necessary to explain how it works and to show the various exercises. To facilitate the location, you can give a name to each exercise, for example basket , jump, rollings
How to divide the class ?
Here is a way to do it with good results : Name as many foremen as you have exescises . Then put an equal number of children behind each foreman, or ask them to do it . You can thus make homogeneous groups or on the contrary mixed groups, separate or gather children by affinities. The foreman start the trainings first. To be a foreman will help some children to develop selfassertion, or a sense of responsability.
As soon as the first group has formed a column , it is asigned to an exercise and the children, led by the foreman go there and start the training .Then other groups take there assigned place. Once groups all are installed the teacher can concentrate on the most difficult training. After a while the teacher gives a signal : stop the exercise and gather behind your foreman in front of his/her place. Once all children are gathered, and calm, the teacher indicates to each foreman the name of his/her next exercise.
How many exercisess to set up ?
That depends on the number of children and on the space you have. If you want the children to be very active, you need at least 4 exercises for 30 children. The less children train at an exercise ,the more energy they will spend. To sum it up, organize between 3 and 6 exercises for 30 children.
How long must they last ?
That depends on the pupils. You can say either » change when all the chidren of a group have made the training « or « change every 10 minutes ». If an exercise is exhausting, some children will complain of tiredness ; let them rest. Others are easily excited , ask them to calm on a bench.
Avoid putting together trainings which last only a few seconds and others which take time: for example, exercise 1: jump through a hoop and exercise 2 climb a structure. The exercise jump through a hoop » is finished too quickly . To make that training last longer , add a second instruction : »jump through the hoop and then walk on a beam.
Type of training
Is it better to concentrate the trainings on a specific skill :for example jumping and to make only exercises of jump or to try to develop various skills (example: jumping, throwing, balance )?
To work on a single skill allows:
- to work on the acquisition of that skill thoroughly
- to explore the various aspects of the subject. Disadvantages:
- more difficulties of management of the groups, because the children make actions which resemble each other and generate identical problems (example for « throwing » : the objects fly everywhere )
- less variety and motivation and possible boring and tiredness of the children ( to make only jumps can be tiring).
May be variety is more advisable at the beginning and will perhaps allow to select a specific activity later , if it seems good to develpo it for the children of your class and if you are prepared to invest more time on it.
Example of trainings to develop various skills
You have selected « jumping , balance, rollings on the ground, and throwing ». Before setting up the trainings, you have to determine at which trainings children can train alone. If you have organized two trainings where control of an adult is necessary, whereas you are alone , you have a problem. At the beginning, it is necessary to organize 3 training groups where children can be left alone and one who requires your supervision. If children cannot make a rolling , you have to show them and be present at this training. As children learn quickly, at later trainings, almost all children will have learned the exercise of rollings and you will be able to leave children by themselves for this training.
The difficulty lies in finding trainings where children are autonomous.What are the characteristics of a training where children can be left alone ? Two conditions mus be met : no risk and no difficulties of management ; during throwing children could throw objects on their comrades ; to avoid it an interval is necessary between two throws which needs a supervision.. Ideas of autonomous trainings: » to crawl on or under benches », » to jump of a table ( nevertheless you have to make sure that they wait for their turn and don't start t until the carpet is free) », « to be in balance on objects ».
You will find examples of trainings which go very well in the various chapters (jump, balance ), and a description of the necessary equipment
My favorite trainings:
Broad jump (presence of the teacher at the beginning is necessary, to say how many points the jumper gets for a jump which is the base of the motivation)
Climbing a structure (it is clear that it is always a pleasure for the children to climb it)
« Poussinieres » (metallic structures in shape of ladders ; pictures are shown): numerous different trainings are possible according to the way you install them. You need two different sizes of them with ladder and boards. To make it more difficult you can ask to do the training with a ring on the head.
Rollings (once children can do the exercice, they love it ; warm up the neck well before starting and be present for the training)
Jumping from a table. Instruction : do not push and wait until the carpet is free.