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Teacher: Linda Boltersdorf who teaches at St. Lucie Elementary in Fort Pierce, FL.

Name of Best Practice: First To Float

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To teach first grade students how to float on their back. By learning to float, students will gain a greater knowledge of water safety in an effor to prevent childhood drowing.

Suggested Grade Level: K-2

Materials Needed: A local swimming pool.

First To Float

All first graders at my school are given two FREE swimming lesson at our local community college. I have set up a business partnership with the college swimming and diving team which allows us to teach all of our first graders how to swim. The students are divided into very small groups. Each college swimmer is assigned one or two first grade students. The college swimmer works with the child on how to correctly float on his/her back. The children also learn the basic crawl stroke and other water safety strokes. If a child can already float, the teacher works on another aspect of swimming. One of these lessons is also geared specifically to water safety. Children learn how to react to a water accident at a pool, the beach, and on a boat. At the end of the two lessons, each child receives a certificate of success.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

I give the first grade teachers some books to read about swimmings. FROGGY LEARNS TO SWIM is a good example of reading material appropriate with first grade. Check with your Media Specialist to see what other books you have at your school. I also make us a packet of puzzles, coloring sheets, and safety worksheets that the teacher can use in the classroom. Check with your local Red Cross to see if you can get a copy of WHALES TALES. This is an excellent source of information on water safety.

Make sure you have your local newspaper and or TV cover this exciting experience.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

When taking a child with a disability check his/her IEP and see if there are any considerations to be made. Since I personally have swimming teaching experience, I usally take these children in the water myself. It is best in these situations to work closely with the parent and check with a doctor if you have any medical questions concerning swimming instructions

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Posted on PEC: 3/10/2003 and has received 75 votes.

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