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Teacher: Kymberley Anderson who teaches at Raymond School in Franksville, WI. Kymberley Anderson can be contacted at andekym@raymond.k12.wi.us.

Name of Best Practice: Gymnastics Unit Culmination Field Trip

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To enhance the student's gymnastics and tumbling unit experience by having them experience a variety of new gymnastics equipment that the school can't provide. It is also important to expose the children to outside of school opportunities to refine and extend skills learned and practiced in Physical Education.

Suggested Grade Level: K-5

Materials Needed: A local gymnastics center & transportation.

Gymnastics Unit Culmination Field Trip

At the end of our gymnastics & tumbling unit we take our K-3 students on a field trip to a local gymnastics center (2-3 grade in the morning & K-1 in the afternoon). Students are split into small groups and particpate at various stations by the center's trained gymnastics coaches. Our stations include: climbing wall, floor, beams, bars, swinging rings, trampoline, rope, & training pit (a large foam block filled pit to tumble into). These are all things that our school does not currently have, but would like our students to experience. The last 10 minutes the students are given "exploration time" in which they get to try anything in the gym that they would like.(Naturally with plenty of trained staff there to assist!).

After gym time is complete, the morning students eat a bag lunch in the gym's party room before returning to school. We have a ton of fun and the students learn more indepth about gymnastics, and as a result our students, classroom teachers, and parents look forward to this field trip each year!

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

The smaller you can make your groups, the more turns the students will get on the equipment. Our school is small so splitting the students K-1 in the afternoon and grades 2-3 in the morning works for us. If you have a larger school you may choose to go 2 days and only take 1 grade level/half day. Make sure to practice basic tumbling skills such as forward & backwards rolls, cartwheels & handstands, in your tumbling unit prior to the field trip, so the students feel successful when they get into the gym, and have an idea of what is going on. Request many parents to chaperone and they help keep the students in their groups, and also have so much fun that they can't wait to volunteer for next year! Reminder ~ Permission slips for students.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Our adaptive students also take part in this field trip as there are many stations for them to participate in. The gymnastics center provides mats & equipment in all sizes for preschool ages through adults. They also have a "little gym" in which a gym therapy program also takes place. There are balls, bolsters, balance equipment, a mini ball pit, and miniature gymnastics equipment for them to try.

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Posted on PEC: 2/8/2005 and has received 62 votes.

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