Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans
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Hmm. Has anyone felt that lesson plans are .. useless. I do, most of the time now. One reason is that I'm never sure who will turn up (what age, what particular baby), the other reason is that even even if the group consists of people I expected to see it never goes as planned! Whenever I enter the pool I improvise, fogetting all about the plan. Is this normal?? Please share ideas and tips how to make plans work (if we should after all).

Katia
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Sun, Feb 17 2008 2:56 PM In reply to
lizzie33

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I think lesson plans are an invaluable learning tool for us as teachers. eg. if you want to teach the open safety hold, you have 3 teaching points for this so you have to think about the topic. I do agree we need to be very flexible with them and often they do not go according to plan . But great to have the ideas there in case we become stuck!! fail to prepare and you will prepare to fail.

I have been caught out a few times

Liz

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Sun, Feb 17 2008 3:20 PM In reply to
Phil

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I agree with Liz. To walk into a lesson without having planned anything is asking for failure. OK, so you may have to change elements or improvise but without a plan how do you know where you are going or what you are trying to achieve?

Also, what if you cannot take your class and have to ask someone else to step in? Is it fair to ask them to improvise? Having taught baby swimming lessons for several years, I will admit that my plans are really just brief outlines of what I hope to achieve each lesson but for Baby Yoga, where I am still a novice the plans are more detailed with plenty of teaching points as reminders.

Phil

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Mon, Feb 18 2008 12:57 AM In reply to
Katia

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I agree.. Will try to work on it.. The hardest bit is that I've got a group at a different swim school where different people always trun up. I plan some stuff for new babies when 4-year olds turn up.. I shouldn't make several lesson plans just in case, should I?

Katia
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Mon, Feb 18 2008 1:42 AM In reply to
Phil

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I also run turn up classes for babies, it is a challenge to write detailed lesson plans in this case as there will be regulars plus new parent & baby pairs each week, and a variety of ages and abilities. I tend to pick a theme to work upon eg. Propulsion lying on the front, and will ensure that I have included sufficient practices to cover all eventualities - safety hold for the tinies, woggles for the more experienced or those of toddler age, swimming with Mum for those who are feeling insecure or reluctant to use a woggle.

For any one aim there may be several different practices going on at the same time, it makes lessons very interesting and challenging!!

Hope this helps you a little, do keep in touch as to how you are managing. (I am off-line for a few days but will catch up towards the end of the week).

Phil

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Mon, Feb 18 2008 8:57 AM In reply to
conwaym

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Hi Katia,

I'm a bit against the flow here as I don't tend to use lesson plans but then again I have been doing it a long time now. I tend to have a 'theme' for the classes instead in my mind. I also read regularly thought all my books, DVDs etc on the subject and related ones to try to keep 'fresh' and not forget

However, when I started I think lesson plans were invaluable as it really gave to somewhere to lead on to at the next class. It also helped me to balance activities focussed on different areas of the body, different positioning in the water, things that face inwards and involve facing out etc etc etc I found it most useful to have a 'header for each activity in big bold letters then teaching points etc are smaller so you can refer to them if you need to but the big headline activities are there so the flow of the teaching of the class was easier.

What I spent a long time doing in the early stages was thinking and listing different permutations of each activity for the varying ages and preferences. I have to say I don't find it so much fun doing very mixed age classes ans I find it hard to deliver the optimum class for each age band if they are all muddled up so you have my sympathies there.

The other thing I always used to do was make sure I had a 'reserve' activity for if something was not going down too well on the day for any reason. If you do have lesson plans it does make it very easy to note on them where each individual baby or child is confident or not so that you don't forget.

I haven't run baby yoga classes for ages myself so I would be lesson plan'd to the teeth if I was starting those again!

best wishes,

Maria

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Mon, Feb 18 2008 9:09 AM In reply to
Katia

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When we speak of lesson plans, do we mean a plan on paper or just a virtual plan, in your head? I mean, technically speaking, how do you bring your plan to the pool and.. hmmm.. how do you refer to it? You wouldn't stop in the middle of the lesson and get out of the pool just to see your next point, would you? :)))

Katia
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Mon, Feb 18 2008 9:16 AM In reply to
conwaym

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I used to do it on paper then laminate it so I could leave on poolside and stroll across to it occasionally and it didn't matter if it got wet.

best wishes,

Maria

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Mon, Feb 18 2008 9:21 AM In reply to
lizzie33

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mine go in a clear polypocket (plastic cover) and sit at the pool side. No body minds me referring to it if and when I have to

Liz

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Mon, Feb 18 2008 9:37 AM In reply to
Katia

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Maria, you mean you laminated it before every lesson?

Katia
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Mon, Feb 18 2008 9:39 AM In reply to
Katia

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I've got a polypocket like this, will try to use it for my Wednesday class!

Katia
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Mon, Feb 18 2008 10:55 AM In reply to
conwaym

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Yes I did. Laminators are so cheap it seemed the easy option. Now I still laminate a class liust of of the mums and babies names eveery term and I have a laminated song sheet too to remind me of all the songs I can use. They last quite a while before they get waterlogged - several months usually.

best wishes,

Maria

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Mon, Feb 18 2008 11:05 AM In reply to
Sue

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Hi all,

I work along the same sort of lines as Maria, when Chris & I were newly trained we worked reasonably strictly from lesson plans but we soon found (especially in baby yoga) that if the babies didn't want to do that you had to think quickly and come up with something else. So now in the water we have a theme each week and each class is based around the same lesson. We have 170 babies a week in our classes from 12 weeks to 4 years. The 4 year olds have been with us since birth, they won't go away. Yes, I know this make us sound like a factory farm but we find it works and everybody enjoys our classes. It must be much more difficult if you don't know who's coming each week but the same activity can be made easier or more difficult depending on the age and ability of the child e.g. swimming for egg flips to put in a bucket on a long woggle, two short woggles, one short woggle and no woggle at all. One of our woggles is a foot long now. Having a few good action songs in reserve is always a good idea for when things start going wrong. We do use quite a lot of equipment so along with the basics one week we will use frogs, another large balls, small floats, large floats that they can climb on,stand on for balance and roll or jump off, woggles with joiners that we make into figures of 8 ( helps with separation from mum) etc. When you have been going a while you start to know how your different pupils respond to each activity and, tying in with your previous mail about the strict physio, I feel it is so important to treat each child as an individual and find a way to help them through their own particular difficulties. This is where it really helps having two teachers in the pool, one can carry on with the class and the other can iron out problems!

love Sue

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Mon, Feb 18 2008 11:24 AM In reply to
conwaym

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Hi Sue,

Long time no see!

Sound very similar indeed - same amount of babies, children, ages, theme, variations on themes for different ages, people who just don't go away until school mucks up on the class times and then come back with their next baby :o)))) etc. I've got a fair few bringing their third!

I stopped doing baby yoga when I had Felix as something had to give. Also decided I needed more time with them recently so hacked back the classes rady for September from the 350+ babies I was having. Feel much better for it too. It was going to become a job and not a love if I hadn't. It must be lovely having a compatriate in the water though! Envy you that.

Hope all is well with you and yours

love

Maria

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Mon, Feb 18 2008 11:36 AM In reply to
Sue

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Hi Maria,

Yes we've got a few on their third as well, sometimes they all look alike and an old bird like me gets very confused. We're all fine, had a new grandson last weekend, that makes 5!! You never did make it down here to see our classes, you're always welcome.

Love Sue
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Hi Sue,

How splendid! Congratulations! What is his name?

I have the same problem - I sing the 'Hello' song and have been known to go through all of the other siblings names before I get it right :o((( Highly embarrassing - just as well their mums do the same thing.

I really do want to come down - what days do you do - I've forgotten - you know how it is...... be nice to have a coffee and a natter afterwards if you are up for it?

love

Maria

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Mon, Feb 18 2008 1:20 PM In reply to
Katia

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Hi Sue,

And what is a theme? If it means different targets, different babies need to 'work' on different things (e.g. one is afraid of water, another dreads going under whereas yet another loves diving). How do you manage to make one theme for all?

Katia
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Mon, Feb 18 2008 1:21 PM In reply to
Sue

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Morgan, weighing in at 6lb 14ozNanny and Morgan. My son Chris's son. We have classes Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, & Friday mornings. Some of them are very early and you may not have time to get down from suffolk. The early ones have an excellent coffee shop, Wed & Friday we could have lunch in the local pub.

Love Sue

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Mon, Feb 18 2008 1:34 PM In reply to
conwaym

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Toby's name was nearly Morgan! Same weight as Felix! I shall expect to see lots of puccies.

How about a Wednesday? My Wednesday pool is closed at the moment but because it is normally a swimming day I have less on.

Do you want to email me times and location or do it on here? Is it a morning where you have a range of ages?

love

Maria

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Thu, Feb 21 2008 5:16 PM In reply to
Sue

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Hi Katia,

Sorry I haven't got back before but this is going to be a long one! I thinkl the best way to explain it is to tell you how we organise our classes.

All of our classes include some basic exercises presented in various forms. So each week in every class we do front swimming, back swimming, rolling or turning, jump in turn around swim back to side and hold on. Most weeks we include some form of submersion for the younger ones, the older ones we just let the submersions come naturally.

To help us vary the presentation and add interest we use different aids and they provide our theme for the week. We use long woggles, short woggles (long ones cut in half), large balls, these can be used with larger babies for passing to & fro with arms and kicking to each other with legs, sometimes in pairs sometimes in a circle; frog floats, woggles with horses heads on them (they turn into reindeer at Christmas), egg flips, small rectangular floats and large floating mats. We also have some joiners so you can join woggles together and make figures of eight. These can help develop separation between parent and baby. We also use a lot of activity songs and dancing.

We work in six week blocks so say wk 1 we might use long woggles. The tinies will have them wrapped around with mum holding woggle quite close to body, with age and ability the mum will loosen her hold until she just has a very light hold and finally lets go and junior is zooming round the pool on his/her own. We can play the egg flip game here with babies collecting egg flips or balls to put in a bucket.

Wk 2 we may use short woggles, 1 under each arm, going down to just one being used under alternate arms and/or under the chest with both arms over so they can scoop.

Wk 3 Dancing this week. We use old country dances with twists and turns - lots of fun and everyone gets well splashed.

Wk 4 Could be frogs, again for developing balance and chasing mum. Tinies can lay on the frogs and get used to the feel of the foam and the colour and movement of the frog. Older ones lay in the U shape of the legs and propel themselves around.

Wk 5 Horses. Mum and baby sit astride with mum's arms making a circle around the baby but trying not to hold it. This encourages the baby to hold on and start to balance for himself. As the child progresses mum can stand to one side holding the horse and gradually let go until baby paddles round by herself.

Wk 6 Large floating mats. If everyone has worked very hard throught he course (and they always do) we have great fun with the mats. We have smaller very thin mats that tinies can lay on and feel the movement of the water through. some medium ones which are a bit woobly and some very solid ones which they can stand on. Of course when you try to stand on something wobbly you are bound to fall off so you have to climb back on again. Tinies can do very soft rolls and jumps into the water from these floats, much less scary than jumping from the side wichin our case is about 10"

I hope this has given you some idea of what I meant. It's really difficult to explain in writing all that we do but we do find that we are able to modify each practice to suit each child. I aim for a class where everyone is working to the best of their ability without being pushed into something that will scare them and put them off being in the water. It doesn't always work and all children have off days. If they have been away for a couple of weeks with an illness we just let them be comfortable in the water with mum until their natural curiosity makes them want to join in again. Next time you are in England come and see some of our classes,

love Sue

p.s. I'll try and send you some photo's by e-mail, I can't work out how to put them on here.

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Thu, Feb 21 2008 8:08 PM In reply to
Jeff

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Hi Sue,

The way that you attach a photo to a post is to use the "content manager" (technical word - don't worry about it) circled in red below. So the steps from the very beginning would be to login, go to this forum and hit "reply" to whatever post you are replying to and then get a screen like the below:

When you click on the "content manager" icon above, then you will get a screen like this:

Then you want to do the following:

1. Click on the browse button to find the photo on your computer which you want to upload

2. Click "upload"

3. Click "ok" to paste it into your reply.

4. Finish the reply and click "post " to post it.

Hope that helps,
Jeff

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Fri, Feb 22 2008 12:39 AM In reply to
Katia

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Hi Sue,

Thank you so much for this information. I can't wait to get a group in a session when everyone is well organised and comes back every week. In this way, I will be able to plan better.

I can see that you use many toys and aids. This is something I have to work on. I use woggles and some of my son's toys. I'll get the plastic cups, too. Re the professional aids, I'l ask my question at 'Swimming accessories'.

I'd love to see your class. I'll be in Cambridge in the very first days of April. I'll check on the map if where you work is far.

Would love to see the photos. It looks like you can post them here, for everyone to see.

Thanks again!

Katia