Establishing Routines and Procedures in Early Year PE
Establishing routines and procedures with the young ones can be particularly challenging, so I want to share with you an excellent idea that was put into practice at one of the schools that I am working with this year. Doing roll call and checking to see if the kids are wearing the proper gear can take up valuable minutes at the beginning of PE class. As the young ones have limited time to be active and to play in PE, it is even more critical to establish quick and efficient routines to maximize time.
I'm lucky to be working with a super positive , excellent early years teacher at Western International School of Shanghai. Her name is Mirella Croce. Mirella has loads of energy and it is evident how much she enjoys working with the young ones. It takes a special kind of teacher to work with early years students as this type of work is full on and you are always on the go. Mirella has been doing some great things in her program. I recommend you follow her on Twitter and contact her if you are stuck for ideas when it comes to teaching early years PE. She has loads of resources and ideas that she is more than willing to share with you.
Mirella and I were co-planning her early years PE units and were brainstorming ways to maximize time in her classes. Her students are required to wear a proper PE uniform (hat, shirt, shorts, shoes) and to bring their water bottle to each class. Mirella was required to check that each child was prepared for class, but we found that it was taking up quite some time.
In helping to establish the routine of being prepared for class , but to put ownership on the kids to recognize whether or not they had come in their uniform and with their water bottle, Mirella designed an image of a student wearing the proper kit. She then copied this image so that each child in the class had their own image. These images were laminated and put up on the wall outside of the PE space, one for each student.
Mirella then made laminated name cards for each student. The initial routine was for the students to come to class, take their laminated name card and stick it on one of the images on the wall. This took no time at all and served as roll call to start class even before entering the PE space, a GREAT time saver. All Mirella had to do was to then get a photo of the names up on these images to record attendance. See photos below.
Once this routine had been established, Mirella challenged them to a deeper level, by providing the students with non-permanent markers before entering the PE space to simply do check marks on the image to show that they had proper shoes, shorts, shirt, and their hat (4 separate checks). This is in addition to also placing their name card up on the image too.
Getting the students to do this takes time of course but puts the ownership on them to identify if they are prepared for PE. Once again, all Mirella has to do is to snap a quick photo of these images for her own documentation. The beautiful thing here is that this is done outside the PE room, so that when the kids finish this off and enter the room PE begins straight away.
As you can see, Mirella is willing to put the time and energy in to maximizing time and setting students up for success in PE. Try this idea out if you teach yougn kids!!! Well done Mirella, it's been great working with you this year!!!