7-8 year olds

Who are your students

When a child is 7/8 years old, there can be quite a big difference in skill. Some children are skating for the first time and others have been on the ice for years. At this age, children generally learn physical skills quickly and most children are ready to work on stability and balance on the ice and skating motion.

General features

biological development

Cognitive development

Social development

What is your role as an instructor? Drill instructor or warm facilitator?

How does a child learn to walk (skate)? With someone by your side who explains exactly how to do it, who tells you to stretch your legs and unwind your foot? That chance is small. It learns to walk by trial and error, it is a game with challenges. The first steps are to the arms of mother/father and falling into it is the ultimate reward. You create a safe environment in which children dare to move and thus learn from the variations you offer. 

The same goes for skating. Fall and rise. A child will not stand straight on his skates if you tell him to. Children learn to skate by practicing a lot in a variety of ways. They do that when it's fun, safe. An adult who keeps telling you what to do and what not to do is not helpful. Children mainly learn implicitly. It is good to start from the child and to always stick to what is fun and educational.

Which shapes do you use where on the track

You can also do many of these examples with 7-8 year olds on a small piece of ice. Often you don't need more. A 400 meter track is long, boring for children and gives an unsafe feeling. Divided into small pieces and together, it is a challenge for many children. – – On your deposited piece of ice, use current shapes around pawns. In a lap or in a circle/oval.
– In addition, you can also work together on your set-off piece, back and forth or in place. Children must feel safe and secure so that they dare to move and learn freely.
It is important that your organization is such that they move simultaneously and rest/listen at the same time. Sometimes you can even sit them (around you) while resting/listening.

The 7-8 year olds are separated from the other children in the large division. They often gather in a place that is still close to the large gathering place. The reason for this is that it is nice for this group of children if they are quickly at the meeting point. Not all of them can skate yet. They can also panic if it is not clear what should be done. All children skate around a pylon track and the instructors divide the children into the different groups based on speed and skills. All children receive a ribbon that corresponds to the group/instructor. All children continue to skate until everyone has a ribbon. Then the different instructors call the children to their place and they go to their own spot on the (scribble) track, which then becomes the permanent gathering place.

How do you differentiate

Depending on where and when the course takes place, 1 or more groups 7-8 will be created or even a group with more ages will be created. The classification is then globally based on skill.

Within your group there are of course always differences in skill and speed. If everyone in your group can move freely, one will make a little more meters or get up faster than others. Having one person do something extra once is often sufficient. Do you work in a flow form, let catch up. This makes everyone happy, those who overtake are not restricted and those who are overtaken do not have to feel pressure from pushers. Differences in the group can be quite large. Both physically and skillfully. Depending on how well they can skate and how busy it is on the track, you can occasionally let the skilled skate a large round together. The children who are allowed to do this think it is fantastic, and you have a little more attention for the younger children who may need a little extra help

pitfalls

A pitfall is that you want to give a lesson / training too quickly with driving laps. The point is that they exercise a lot and varied and that they skate better and better in a playful way. Driving around in circles is not the same. In particular, take a break halfway through the first lessons. Sit down with them halfway through and chat for a while. Do not play games with other groups in the first lesson(s), but make sure they get to know each other and trust in tap games etc. at the end of the lesson.

How can you approach learning the skating movement

What can you expect from this group