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04-05-2014


UC collaborates with WISD in Rhythmic Education

 


Williamsburg, KY., - University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) adjunct instructor Jenine Leskiw collaborated with Williamsburg Independent School District (WISD) recently when she took 14 of her ESS 332 students to WISD to teach a Physical Education (PE) class to a group of second graders.

Six of UC’s potential PE teachers took on the role as lead teacher and taught a brief lesson to the kids under the Rhythmic Education title. The second graders were attentive and soaked up knowledge and fun as UC’s students applied their cognitive teaching and speaking skills.

Leskiw contacted WISD and asked if they would be willing to allow her students to intervene and teach an elementary group a physical education lesson. She felt as if this would be excellent practice for her future teachers.

“I think it is very important to get them in front of an actual class full of children,” said Leskiw. “Williamsburg could accommodate this year so we are capitalizing on it.”

Six of the fourteen students took turns getting up in front of the classroom of approximately 25 second graders. The remaining eight will get their turn conducting class the beginning of next month when the homeschooled children go to First Baptist Church in Williamsburg. This lesson was worth 10% of the students’ grade and it was good confirmation for them about their future.

UC’s students taught different activities that belong under the Rhythmic Education title. To instruct class, they used ribbon sticks and a large multicolored parachute. Each teacher taught rhythmic instructions in some way. The teacher who taught using the ribbon sticks showed the students different dances or strokes to use and then put the music on for them to perform. Subconsciously, the students were thinking and listening to the beat of the music. The teacher with the parachute used a form of time in order to teach rhythm. He would count and the students would throw the parachute up at the same time, for example.

“I had so much fun today in PE class,” said WISD second grader, Jackson Clay Taylor. “It was really cool! My favorite part was getting to play with the parachute. That was awesome and I want to do it again!”

As the song “We Can Be Anything” played throughout the gymnasium, the students’ laughter competed with the noise. They really seemed to enjoy having a new group of PE teachers and the lessons in which they were taught. It is important to have a close community in which educators of all levels help each other out just like Williamsburg did for UC and vice versa. This is a prime example of a true Professional Learning Community and what they can do in educational settings.

“We are so grateful that Williamsburg City School opened their doors to us and gave the college students the opportunity to teach in a real setting,” said Leskiw thankfully. “Having a class full of second grade students to work with is an invaluable experience that cannot be replicated. I know my class learned many lessons today through this experience and I think they had as much fun as the second graders!”

After all six college students presented their lessons and were evaluated; Leskiw spoke to the class and asked them to clap loudly according to which student’s lesson they liked the most; the parachute game won by a landslide. Leskiw continued to play with them, giving them patterns to mock. She would clap her hands, stomp her feet, make rhythmic motions with which the kids continued to stay on beat. They ended their gym class with a group free-style dance to “What Does the Fox Say?” The kids exited the gym with a smile on their faces and the UC students left with a better understanding of tomorrow.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit www.ucumberlands.edu.