Circuit training in PE class allows all kids to work and achieve success at their own levels. The versatility of the layout lends itself to customizable activities. You can easily change the circuit on a regular basis to keep the kids interested and active. Circuit training works both indoors and outdoors, depending on the type of facilities available.
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The available space affects the setup of a PE circuit for kids. A circular arrangement of stations that loops around the perimeter of the space is ideal. This allows the students to flow through the stations easily without confusion or traffic jams. Determine how many stations along the circuit you want based on the number of kids in the class. Five or six stations work well for a class between 24 and 36 students. Adjust the number to make the groups at each station smaller or larger as necessary.
Each station becomes the location for a specific, age-appropriate move. Basic exercise moves like squats, jumping jacks, situps, pushups, jumping rope and running in place work well for most grade levels. Yoga poses or stretching offer contrast to aerobic moves. Other ideas include ball dribbling, hula hooping, balancing bean bags, dancing, jumping on bubble wrap, stair climbing, shooting hoops or juggling. Choose activities that reflect the skills and movements the kids need to practice or use regularly in gym class.
To save time, set up each of the circuit stations before the class arrives. Divide the students evenly between the stations. At your signal the students begin performing the move at that specific station. After 20 or 30 seconds, signal again to move the students to the next station. This keeps the circuit fast-paced so the kids are moving the entire time. To encourage the kids to work hard, have them count the number of repetitions they complete at each station. When they return to the station, challenge them to beat their last numbers.
Demonstrate each of the stations for the students before you begin the rotations. This ensures all of the students understand what to do when they arrive so less time is wasted. Signs with either words or pictures also serve as a reminder and a marker for each station. Music playing during the circuit training helps the kids keep up with the pace and keeps the activity more enjoyable.