This week was transportation week - we talked about different types of transportation, what is transported and how.
I like to allow my students to participate in their gymnastics experience. If I hear a child say something that will add to the experience- I will try my best to change my lesson plan to incorporate it. Here is a great example that happened in one of my classes this week.
Coach DaniBee - “Alright guys, we just talked about how airplanes are a form of transportation because it transports people and goods from one place to another- so, let’s go on an airplane adventure! Everyone get into your airplane straddles! Now, for airplanes to be able to take off, they have to gain enough speed down the runway first. So, hold on to your airplane ankles, airplane pilots, and bring your body as close to the floor as you can. Here we go! Duck your head to go faster! 3, 2, 1 lift off! Bring your airplane wings (arms) out to the side, and now we are flying!”
4 year old - “My airplane is aerodynamic!”
(My jaw almost hit the ground- aerodynamic?! That is quite a big word for a small 4 year old. But, surely he doesn’t know what it means…)
Coach DaniBee- “Ooooh yeah?! What does that mean?”
4 year old- “My airplane goes really fast!”
(Impressive! How can I incorporate this word into my lesson plan?)
Coach DaniBee- “Wow! Did everyone hear that? His airplane is aerodynamic because it goes really fast! How can we make our planes be more aerodynamic, or to go faster? Maybe we can push our knees down straighter.. maybe we can have our arms out straighter.. maybe when we make our turns we can put our bodies closer to our legs..”
Now the kids are working on their gymnastics form, on body awareness in a super fun and educational way… I mean, they are learning about aerodynamics in gymnastics! - and not because it was in my lesson plan, but because a 4 year old contributed to the experience. Now, I add the word aerodynamic into my airplane straddle warm ups with all the classes I teach! Thank you, Mr. 4 year old genius kid!
Kids can teach you too.
Danielle Baker has been a gymnastics coach since 2001. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and is a former preschool teacher. She is CEO of DaniBees Activities, mobile gymnastics company, in Los Angeles.