Teaching Transferring of Weight

Two tasks, kick up and cart-wheel.

Kick-up, or handstand

Mats scattered throughout space, 1-2 children/mat.  Each student uses half of the mat.

Direct students to stand behind mat, place hands flat on mat and kick up so their weight is on hands.  Give students a few minutes to experiment.  Kick one leg at a time, the other leg stays close to the floor.  Come down from balance on feet, not knees.

Teaching Cues:  Tighten your arm muscles, I equate this to when we push on the door to keep the door shut.  I have them show me against wall.  How do you push on a door.  Tight arms, tight shoulders, forward/backward stance.  Then we return to mats.  Reviewing forward backward stance will help students land in the same stance.  Have students attempt placing feet down softly.  Again give students practice time to try kicking a little higher and  holding a balance for a few seconds.  I repeat the cue, “land softly”.  As students start to kick higher, and balance I then instruct them that to land softly on feet, not crash down, they will need to twist a little, bringing their feet down to the side.

This lesson can be extended over a few class periods to include extending legs, stretching high.


Again mats scattered throughout space.  But for this lesson I have about 7 mats folded on top of other mats, (see photo). I also have small mailboxes(see photo) scattered throughout space.  These are called helper mats.  Using just the helper mats I have students go through like an obstacle course.  “Put hands on helper mat, kick feet over to other side.”  I review the idea of  “pushing on the door”  (see above).  I remind them that they are only going to touch their hands on helper mat and then land softly on their feet.  At this point I have some students who can already do a cart-wheel.  I offer to all students the option of continuing through the helper mats or moving to their own mat to work without helper mat.  At this point I don’t put any emphasis on extensions, stretching or getting their hips over their hands.  Any kick over a IMG_0432IMG_0436IMG_0443IMG_0452

mat is a cart-wheel.  Students move back and forth from working on a regular mat, to going back to the helper mat.  In the next few lessons I introduce starting a cart-wheel from a forward backward stance.  I have students work on extending their legs higher.  Advanced students I have use helper mats and learn a one-handed cart-wheel.  Next step is to try to slow cart-wheel down so there is almost a pause in the air.  This requires students to have hips over hands.  I have the full range of students, some still using the helper mats, some on a line on the gym floor, some off of a floor beam (really a round-off) and some on the floor beam.

2 responses to “Teaching Transferring of Weight

  1. I am currently doing gymnastics in Grades 3 – 5 and also with my 3 – 5 year olds! I absolutely loved your blog notes including your unit plan to your daily lessons. Great progressions and appropriate use of iPads. My 4th/5th graders all have iPads so I think I will have them bring them to PE this week. I have done routines in front of whole class in the past and also in small groups (stations like you did) and I like both formats for different reasons. Keep sharing Lynn. One day I will start blogging and tweeting but I need to transition first.

    • Thanks Shannon! I think I included this tip in my lesson plan section, but not sure? Anyway, I found that when students were videotaping eachother sometimes they would get silly. What helped my students with this was I told them the recorder doesn’t watch their video with them. The student who was recorded watches on their own, as many times as needed to determine what they need to work on to improve. The student who recorded can use this time to practice a skill on their own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s