Curling in Gym Class and Outdoors!

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Rocks & Rings recently visited Elmdale Early Years School to share curling with grade 1-4 students. Colin Campbell, principal, shared with us their experience with the program and how it’s a part of a larger education plan.

The idea to bring the program to Elmdale Early Years School came from Grade 1 teachers who were planning an inquiry unit around an Olympic theme. The unit would also include some of the Learning Competencies that they teach at Elmdale School. The Learning Competencies that the grade 1 teachers chose to focus on were collaboration and citizenship. While curling, working as a team and being a good teammate focus on collaboration. As part of the Olympic theme, students will also learn about other cultures and countries and how to be a respectful athlete, which focuses on the citizenship aspect of the Learning Competencies.

The grade 1 teachers presented the Rocks & Rings program at a staff meeting and staff loved the idea! Mr. Campbell explains “As educators, we are always looking for engaging ideas to bring to our students. Student engagement can increase by simply teaching something new. We decided that we could extend the students learning experiences by flooding our sandbox and turning it into a 4 sheet Knee Curling Rink. I have some experience building a backyard hockey rink in my own backyard, and as a result, decided during the extremely cold days during the beginning of January that we would be able to turn the sandbox into a curling rink pretty quickly. That’s what we have done. Physical Education classes will be taught knee curling and the hope is that students will use the curling rink during recess periods.”

At Elmdale Early Years School, Rocks & Rings was the springboard into extending student learning outdoors. Curling gives staff the opportunity to share a new and creative activity with students, both indoors with Rocks & Rings and outdoors at their curling rinks.

“Outdoor play and physical literacy is a necessity for children. Some children do not have the opportunity to try new and engaging activities and we hope that we are able to provide those opportunities here at Elmdale Early Years School.”