Cascades Academy Independent School PK-12
Building Strength, Balance, and Flexibility with Gymnastics
Building Strength, Balance, and Flexibility with Gymnastics

During the month of January, kindergarten students are participating in a gymnastics unit in PE class. Through these activities they are increasing their strength, balance, flexibility, and body control. Students are encouraged to learn or improve their front and back rolls, handstands, cartwheels, bridges, and other skills.

Gymnastics is beneficial in helping children build a range of motor and coordination skills, as well as facilitating good sense of body awareness and control. While doing gymnastics, children learn to use different parts of their body in different ways. With continued practice, they become stronger and more coordinated and improve their balance, flexibility, and posture. When children participate in gymnastics, all of the benefits of this sport support and enhance the child's ability to participate more fully in other physical activities and sports.

-Ms. Andrea, Lower School P.E. Teacher

Please enjoy a few photos from Ms. Jane from this week in kindergarten:


Taking FLIGHT
Taking FLIGHT

At the beginning of each school year, lower school teachers come together to discuss a very important part of our lower school curriculum called FLIGHT. FLIGHT is an acronym that changes each year, and the words reflect the social emotional learning we'd like to focus on throughout the school year. Clearly the word FLIGHT has its own positive connotations, but each individual letter also stands for a character trait or quality we want to educate the children on, and encourage expression of, during the school year. Fridays are typically the time when we introduce a word to our students, and then for several Fridays after that, activities are conducted that focus on that particular trait. For instance, F this year stands for flexibility. Many discussions and activities were conducted to help children understand the meaning of that word, and how being flexible can help make us more successful learners and people. Last month, we focused on L which stands for loving. Again, we discussed as a lower school what it means to be loving, and then conducted several activities to express this word among ourselves. Inclusion is the word for I, gracious for G, humanity for H, and thoughtfulness for T. As you can see, these are all wonderful qualities to focus on for anyone, and a great introduction to some more complex concepts for our little guys.

In addition to FLIGHT being a way to introduce positive traits, it is also a time for FLIGHT groups to get together to complete activities presented to them created by the teachers. Each kindergartener is in a FLIGHT group composed of a child from each grade level. Fifth graders are assigned the role of FLIGHT leader for a group, and a fourth grader is the assistant leader in the event that the leader is absent. The fifth graders take their roles as FLIGHT leaders very seriously, and it gives them an opportunity to shine in their role. Kindergarteners get the chance to interact with and get to know many different children throughout the lower school in addition to being exposed to positive role models. FLIGHT encourages community, support for one another, and inclusiveness. Be sure to discuss and use these words with your child when at home. It will reinforce the meaning and idea behind each word, and in the end, your children will take FLIGHT in their learning, their interactions with others, and their world.

-Ms. Jane, Kindergarten Teacher


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