Mount Kisco Kindergarteners Welcome Challenges During Gymnastics Unit
“The hardest is climbing the cargo net,” said Amelia, a Mount Kisco Elementary School kindergartener, as she looked back at the wall behind her. She had just gotten back on the ground after climbing all the way to the top. “It’s all wiggly so it’s hard for kids. It’s hard, but it’s also the best.”
Amelia and her peers were laughing, squealing and cheering their way through 11 different stations of the gymnastics unit in their physical education class. Some of the other stations they got to conquer included a rock wall, rope climbing, vaulting, rings, a balance beam, bosus and more.
“We give them so many choices,” said physical education teacher John DelFavero, who was leading the students alongside Craig Henley and Melissa Ponzio. “We even the playing field so that every child can feel successful and build their confidence. I tell the kids all the time: you all have great abilities but everyone is going to work at their own pace. The most important thing is to try your hardest.”
As they cycled through different stations, students developed their gymnastics skills by practicing strength, balance, agility, coordination and flexibility — all while having fun.
“I like to climb the rock wall. We get to climb all the way to the top,” Angie said pointing to the top.
“My favorite station is the rings because I can do cool things on them,” said Pedro while waiting his turn to go again.
On the rope climbing line, a student hung back a little bit, watching the student in front of her try to climb to the top.
“I don’t know how to do that,” she whispered. Still, when it was her turn, she ran right up to the rope, grabbed it with both hands and tried to climb it. After struggling a little, she returned to the line. “I couldn’t do it, but that’s ok. I can try again next time.”
Her positive, growth-oriented attitude is exactly what the P.E. teachers hope to see.
“I love to see the progress,” DelFavero said. “Sometimes they start climbing and can only get a quarter of the way up, but by the end of the unit they can get all the way to the top.”