By Cathy Harder-Bernier, Inly Physical Education Instructor and Athletics Director
Recently, Inly’s phys. ed. classes featured the building blocks and skills needed to learn how to work as a team. From a developmental perspective, younger children are simply not ready to work or play as a team. So, Children’s House preschool students first spent time working with a partner and trying to “Crossover” on poly-spots and a balance beam. It was hard! Then, they stretched their efforts to work with three people as they played “Ants.” One or two students from each class were class leaders who organized their class’ efforts; I am proud to say that each class was able to complete their challenge!
Lower Elementary students (grades 1–3) tried their hands at “Titanic”—a game that includes both partner and small group work, as well as some whole-class teamwork. It’s a really challenging game—especially for this point in the year when their group norms are still evolving. I loved how the children stretched their team-building capacity while playing!
The students of the Upper Elementary classes (grades 4–6) played the age-old favorite “Capture the Flag”—a game that involves both strategy and team-building, not to mention the skill of problem solving. I am sure the Middle School students had a good week at their internships off-campus, but I am equally sure they will be disappointed that they missed the chance to play Capture the Flag…a class favorite.
Working as a part of a team is a skill that Inly students will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Our tight-knit community, as well as some intentional PE instruction, really helps to foster team-building. We will be building teams here at Inly throughout their academic and social-emotional careers! It doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂