I have been using scooters this week with my lower grades (K-4). The kids love the scooters! It was especially fun introducing them to kindergarten for the first time. I begin the lesson by demonstrating sitting on the scooter and pushing with feet or hands. Then I state 2 DON’Ts for scooter use: no standing, no running and jumping onto the scooter on belly or knees. I also give warning to watch out for hands as I have had a lot of little fingers get smashed by tipping scooters. Finally, I let the students know that when they hear my whistle, they are to get off their scooter, flip it over (wheels up) and sit cross-legged with their hands on their knees. Otherwise, it is impossible to get their attention again with all the noise. After instruction time, we follow this sequence:
1. Exploration: I let them get their scooter and do whatever they want for a few minutes. In my younger grades, I did this for the bulk of the time since they are just being introduced to the scooter and need time to experiment.
2. Stomach: I demonstrate riding the board on my stomach 3 ways . . . pushing with my hands, pushing with my feet, and pushing with both crocodile style. I also show them how to spin in a circle. Then we all experiment with those ideas for a few minutes.
3. Knees: I show them one knee on the board with the other foot pushing, two knees on the board and push with your hands, two knees on the board and move just by wiggling your body.
4. Tootsie Roll: Hands are in push-up position and toes are on the scooter pulling it along with you. This one has been new even to the older classes. It is harder to do, so they usually don’t last too long with it, but enjoy trying it out.
5. Shapes: I do this step just with my K-1. I have them imagine that there is a big shape or letter on the floor and trace it by scooting around on the imagined lines.
6: Scooter tag: Grades 1 & 2. I establish a scooter color that is “it”. If you get tagged by a tagger you must switch scooters and become a new tagger. I require them to be on their knees or sitting so that hands don’t get run over.
7. Bean Bag tag: Grades 3 & 4. I have started calling it “scooter dodge-ball” which makes them like it even more! There are 2 teams on opposite side of the gym. Each player has a scooter and a bean bag. I set up a “jail” with cones on each side. Players tag each other by sliding a bean bag into someone’s foot. If you get hit you must go to jail on the opposite side. Players can be rescued from jail by a teammate sliding a bean bag to them from their side of the gym. Once rescued, they can return to their team and resume play. I have them return by scooting with their bean bag held above their head as a free pass while they cross the gym. All players must be sitting on their scooter with feet on the ground. I encourage them to move around a lot. I help the game get moving by playing myself once a few kids are in jail and rescuing them so they understand that part.
It has been a fun week. I am going to use the scooters again next week starting with a repeat of the game already learned and then adding a new game.
*Note: One thing not to try is having them spin in circles on their scooters. A lot of them do this anyway and I allow it, but as a group I had a few children complain of sick stomachs after. Letting them come up with their own ideas here seems to eliminate those with sensitive tummies from trying it. Also, inchworm is the opposite of tootsie roll (hands on scooter in push-up position, feet pushing). This move led to a lot of running so I eliminated that one too.