Pre-K students balance new skills through creative movement lab

ST. PETE, Fla. – There’s a school in St. Pete is making a new twist on an old thread. We are talking about physical education. The teachers at Florida’s Canterbury School is developing a new type of curriculum specifically designed for Pre-K.

From hand-eye coordination to balance to stability, this is not just a classroom but a movement lab.



Canterbury Learning Center expert Melissa Fitzpatrick said: “It’s really based on children’s early motor development and those are really the building blocks for higher level learning.

Fitzpatrick and physical education teacher Christine Finch teamed up to develop an entire new curriculum. Florida’s Canterbury School was one of the first in the state to use this approach.

“They know that when it comes to the advocacy lab, it’s work, it’s hard work, it’s another class,” says Fitzpatrick.

It’s like a preschool gym class for Pre-K, each week the activities and goals change.

“Let us know that when they go into skill-building, physical education classes in first grade, they have that confidence because strength has been built,” says Finch.

Something as simple as the tummy tuck is the first lesson in learning how to use a pencil.



“Shoulder stabilization, elbow stabilization, wrist stabilization, that’s getting their hand ready to write,” says Fitzpatrick.

Canterbury is proud to be at the forefront of this new type of education and says that although classes may last only 30 minutes, the benefits will last a lifetime.

They hope to become an inspiration to other schools across the state. Fitzpatrick will present the idea to the Florida Council of Independent Schools this November at a conference in Jacksonville.

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