Teaching Guidelines
Good planning and understanding leads to successful teaching.

Lesson preparation

  • Read through the lesson plan well
  • Watch the videos and listen carefully to the instructions
  • Decide which teaching level best suits your children
  • Note the placement or use of equipment
  • Be sure to read through the safety precautions
  • Acknowledge the developmental benefits of each activity
  • Write your own notes on the printable lesson guide
  • Pay attention to any hand support techniques used
  • If you have teaching assistants, prepare them well
  • If you teach alone, be sure your group is small
  • Ensure you have sufficient equipment and space for the activities you will teach.
  • If you will use music, be sure it is queued and the music system is set up in advance.
  • Allocate extra time for a bigger group
  • Whenever possible integrate physical learning and academic learning for a fuller learning experience.

Teaching the activities

  • The physical ability of early learners differs from child to child. It is best to start at an achievable level and then progress to the next level as given in the activity adjustments.
  • Each lesson has six activities, you can teach all in one movement session or teach them individual at selected times.
  • The activities can be incorporated into morning circle, used during outside time, to transition from one place to another or for integrated learning purposes.
  • Select activities that best suit your time frame, space allocation, group size, and equipment quantities.
  • When doing activities outdoors keep in mind that it is harder for children to focus in big spaces and there is often other distractions such as people, traffic, and other children.
  • If your teaching area is small, rather teach smaller groups of children for a shorter time.
  • Keep in mind that younger children require more one-to-one adult supervision.
  • If you have limited equipment organise your teaching in such a way that children are sedentary for as little time as possible. Or have the childnen think of different ways to stretch or fun positions to hold until it is their turn.

Use of the equipment

  • Always have the children treat the equipment with respect.
  • Do not let the children squash hoops or lean on them. The hoops will crack and lose their shape.
  • Do not give children equipment until they need to use it. Having it in their hands too early will distract them and prevent them from watching or listening attentively to instructions.
  • The collecting and returning of equipment must be done respectfully.
  • Have the children help with the layout or with the collection of the equipment whenever possible.
  • When laying out equipment, it is best not to have two of the same color next to each other.  This causes confusion.

Child safety

  • Long hair must be tied or clipped back away from the face.
  • No eating or chewing of gum is allowed during exercise to prevent choking.
  • No jewelry should be worn during a movement class.
  • Be sure the children are wearing appropriate clothing for movement.
  • The children should be barefoot to enable them to correctly use the muscles in their feet and for tactile reasons.
  • Ensure there is sufficient space between the children during activities or when using the equipment.
  • Ensure there are no open windows, tables or sharp object a child may fall or bump into.
  • Have a small first-aid kit accessible at all times.

Teaching area preparation

  • When possible prepare your teaching area in advance.
  • Clear away potential obstacles that the children may trip over or bump into.
  • Prepare the required equipment and have it ready for use.
  • If needed have your placemats or floor shapes laid out in advance for the children to sit on when they arrive.
  • If you are unable to prepare your teaching area in advance, plan an activity that will keep the children busy while you prepare the area for teaching or have the children help you set up.
  • If your teaching area has more space than you need, it is best to section it off in some way. Young children focus better in a smaller area.
  • If the teaching area has distractions such as toys, books or games, cover them with fabric or blankets and have rules
  • Have your printed lesson guide in a suitable place where it is easy to glance at to see which activity is next.

Activity demonstration

  • Explain how the activity is done step-by-step. Emphasize the starting position, where to place the hands or feet, how to position the body, etc.
  • If you cannot personally demonstrate the activity use a child or show the activity video to the children.
  • Be sure that all eyes are on you when you demonstrate or speak about an activity.
  • If you feel certain parts of the activity can be practiced individually have the children practice those parts before doing the whole activity.
  • Be precise regarding the grip and position of the hands when demonstrating an activity using the equipment.
  • It is best to talk the children through the activity, to begin with, to be sure that they do it correctly. Then allow them to try on their own if you feel they can do so.
  • If, after trying the activity, it appears the children still do not understand how to do it, have them sit down and watch the demonstration again.

Use of the voice

  • Draw the attention of the children by speaking creatively. Children will pick up on your energy and enthusiasm and respond positively to it.
  • Use your voice authoritatively to have better control of the children and when disciplining them regarding behaviour and rules.
  • The use of vocal sounds effects to depict the speed or intensity of a movement is a wonderful teaching tool that you can experiment with.
  • Whisper if you really want them to focus and listen. They will be still and quiet and will pay attention to what you are saying.
  • Have the children move close together if you wish to explain something important to them, they will have better-listening ears if you do this.
  • Tell the children that you will not talk at all and they must watch and copy every movement you make. This technique totally captivates them and brings their energy levels right down in a positive way.

Transitions

  • Using creative ways to transition or move the children from one group or teaching station to another keeps the children engaged and having fun.
  • The children can do different forms of locomotive movement to transition in a fun but beneficial way. For example; hopping, walking on tiptoe, shuffling, animal walks etc.
  • Only when all the groups are lined up and ready have them move to the next station. They then do so keeping to the line. Have an adult lead the line if necessary.
  • A time-saving way to transition is to count to five and tell the children to move quickly and quietly in their line to the next station before the counting is complete.

Class management

  • Do not place children who misbehave together in a group or in a line.
  • If you have siblings, it is better not to put them in the same group unless emotional support is needed.
  • Children who have poor muscle tone, lack core strength or are overweight will tire easily. Encourage and praise their efforts frequently.
  • Be sure that the children who are waiting for their turn are sitting or standing out of the way preferably on a place marker.
  • If needed, the children can do a simple activity such as stretching or balancing while waiting for their turn.
  • If children are all active at the same time, Use audible signals such as a loud clap of the hands or a count of three to have the children return back to their starting place.
  • Have the children start their turn only when instructed to do so. This enables you to see how well they do the activity and the children will be better focused.
  • Students can only be made accountable for the rules that they understand. Safety rules need to be taught and continually reinforced until they are learnt.
  • To teach a productive class, the children need to behave in an orderly manner, the lesson must be well planned and the children engaged from start to finish.

And do remember, if you have fun, the kids will have fun, too!

Darlene Koskinen