Over the past five years, physical literacy has become common parlance in physical education, activity, and sport. It’s become an accepted fact that kids need to develop skills and confidence in movement as much as they need to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Now we need to answer a new question. How do we measure physical literacy in children?
We don’t teach math and reading without periodic testing and assessment. Similarly, without the ability to measure physical literacy, we can’t know if a child has it, is developing it, or needs extra assistance to catch up with other peers.
A new online tool from the Heart and Stroke’s 60 Minute Kids’ Club provides one answer.
The Fundamental Movement Skills Assessment Tool is a free online resource designed to help generalist teachers and community coaches to measure physical literacy in children. It simplifies the terminology and methods of assessment to make it easy to get a basic snapshot of each child’s degree of skill in throwing, jumping, catching, hopping, and more.
The tool promises to be a great help to minor sport organizations and teachers. For starters, it helps coaches, instructors, and teachers to understand proper verbal cues and terminology when they teach fundamental movement skills to children. Having taught the skills, it also makes it easy for them to assess those same skills in each child.
The Assessment Tool is one part of a suite of resources that help coaches and professionals to Assess, Show, Teach, and Activate kids’ fundamental movement skills. Other components include short FMS videos where kids demonstrate skills such as throwing, jumping, and catching at different stages of development. Each video is linked to lesson plans for teaching that particular skill, provided by Active for Life.
All of these resources can be easily accessed by computer, tablet, or smart phone.
The FMS Assessment Tool has been developed through the generous support of premier founding sponsor TELUS and collaboration with Active for Life and other physical literacy experts and advisors across Canada. Its purpose is to increase childhood development of physical literacy across Canada, en route to creating a healthier population through greater levels of competence, confidence, and participation in physical activity and sport.
To learn more about the FMS Assessment Tool, start by reading the introduction on using the tool, and then head over to the Tools page. To make the best use of all of the free tools, teachers and coaches should also sign-up for the FMS App. If you are registered, you’ll be able to setup your own custom database for monitoring, recording, and supporting the week-by-week development of your kids’ fundamental movement skills.