This year, our sixth graders have become mentors to our newly formed preschool class. Throughout the year the sixth graders combine their physical education class with the preschoolers a couple times per month. They guide the class in new games, demonstrating the importance of physical activity through example.
Sixth graders formed teams. Each group designed a P.E class, had the activity approved by both the preschool teacher and the P.E. teacher, then implemented the class for both the sixth graders and the preschoolers. After teaching their lesson, each team debriefs with the teacher, recognizing what worked and what they could have done differently.
This sixth grade class have become solid mentors for the next generation of active students in our school. With continued work, the goal is to pass this program on to future sixth grade classes to mentor the next preschool class . The main goal is to begin to show the younger students the necessity of physical activity and how much fun they can have doing it.
How did students and adults work together as a team?
Students submitted team-created activities to both the preschool teacher and physical education teacher. Once activities were approved, lessons were presented to sixth graders and to the preschoolers. After the teams taught, they held a debriefing with both teachers discussing what worked and what needed to be adjusted for future success.
What improvements have you seen at your school?
We have seen a sense of ownership from the sixth graders. They take pride in creating and implementing activities for youngsters. The students are talking about what they are doing with others and spreading the excitement to the fifth graders this year, who will become the adopting sixth grade class next year
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
With small class size, there were many times that the sixth graders outnumbered the preschoolers three to one. Until these younger students became comfortable, we faced challenges of the younger students being comfortable with the older students.