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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6166
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:43 pm    Post subject: Kids and gradings Reply with quote

How do the instructors on KF approach gradings with younger students?

My school is less than a year old and we recently had our second belt testing. In the style of TKD I teach its usually the way that the next grade must be tested for in an exam setting rather than awarded after observation in class.

One of the challenges we're running in to is how to approach gradings with the younger kids. With the syllabus we have (one that I don't have control over) I feel it asks too much of the younger ones from belt to belt as there is a lot of content to cover for them. My current thoughts are to try to break the syllabus down into smaller chunks and award stripes on the belt or stars on a chart as a way to incentivise the students. Then once they have all the stripe or stars, let them do the grading.

What does everyone else do, if anything?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14498
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great topic!!

Quote:
My current thoughts are to try to break the syllabus down into smaller chunks and award stripes on the belt or stars on a chart as a way to incentivise the students. Then once they have all the stripe or stars, let them do the grading.


That...right up there...above...in the quote box!!

That's how I/we approach our much younger students...baby steps across the board, if you will!! The younger the student, the shorter their attention span will be, and in that, perhaps their memory shall be as well.

Usually, 1st grade and up, is where the chunks, so to speak, will turn into full fledged Testing Cycles; the training wheels are removed. Getting the parents on-board to how this of this magnitude from day one will make those uncertain days of despair fade away.

Accomplishments steer those much younger students more positively. Still, they must earn everything every time!!



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27854
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the above, this is definitely a good idea to consider.

In the past, an instructor of mine used stripes on a belt to indicate what the student knew, and what they needed to work on. This might be a helpful tool for you to see at-a-glance who needs what work done. However many requirements you have (forms, one-steps, board breaks, terminology, etc.), but a stripe on the belt indicating that the student has demonstrated acceptable proficiency in that requirement. This could be done by conducting a mini-testing on that material at the end of a class, or at the end of a week, or at various times scheduled throughout the testing cycle, providing a path to the goal of getting to the grading.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2380
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My former organization used stripes on the belt. We’d get a stripe for our one-steps, and one for kata. At a certain interval, my teacher would focus more and more on the one-steps. Then we’d have our “stripe test” on a specific day. If you passed, you’d get a strip of electrical tape on your belt. The color was the color of the next belt. Then he’d focus more on kata, then have the kata stripe test. Same thing. You weren’t eligible to test for promotion without passing both stripe tests. This was for all colored belt ranks, not black belts.

It served many purposes. It kept the students and teacher on track. It was a way to watch specific things individually and give feedback, it put pressure on the students (they demonstrated their stuff individually in front of the entire class), and it was an easy checklist so to speak for the teacher to know who was eligible to promote.

The tests were free and during regular class time. We knew in advance. It gave more structure to the overall flow of things. My current organization doesn’t do this. Our dojo is pretty small so it’s not really necessary, but I think it would be beneficial if we did it to be honest.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6166
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input guys. I do think stripes are a way to go but need to sit down and work out how to split it up.

My old school used to award the younger ones badges for all the different elements but I'm not keen on having stuff sewn on the dobok if it doesn't have to be there.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1736

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything about the testing from the content to the method must be adapted to, and determined by age. Every age group has a different set of physical and mental abilities. Things like coordination, attention span and balance will differ greatly. It would neither be fair nor an appropriate evaluation of skills to expect a 10 year old to be physically and mentally equal to a 16 year old. Even if they have been training for the same length of time.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14498
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
Everything about the testing from the content to the method must be adapted to, and determined by age. Every age group has a different set of physical and mental abilities. Things like coordination, attention span and balance will differ greatly. It would neither be fair nor an appropriate evaluation of skills to expect a 10 year old to be physically and mentally equal to a 16 year old. Even if they have been training for the same length of time.

Solid post!!



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