PE Happenings

PE Happenings January-March 2018 This trimester in Physical Education students worked on the overarching theme of sportsmanship in physical education class.  We watched videos, had discussions, and practiced being good sports. Some of the things we talked about were etiquette when playing sports and games, doing what is right even when no one is watching (integrity) and how to be someone that people want to play with (encouragers, helpers, fun players, and gracious winners.)  Students were asked to identify these characteristics in themselves after participating in cooperative, competitive, and practice situations.

Our skill work this trimester included overhand throwing, short handled paddle skills, and the beginnings of jump roping.  In the upper grades we also added lessons on moving to open space and creating space during invasion and net and wall games.   In grades 2-3 we worked with short handled paddles.  Our individual skill work focused on hitting objects consecutively using a paddle, and determining the amount of force needed when playing with a partner.  Grades 4-5 participated in an activity called pickleminton, where a pickle- ball paddle is used to hit a badminton birdie over a net. Our games were cooperative in nature with the goal being as many consecutive hits possible with a partner.  Concepts of net and wall games were practiced in other striking games such as table ball and floor ball. In these activities players moved and tried to hit the ball with or without a paddle to score points against an opponent. All grades ended their striking unit with a throwing and catching game called netball.  This game is played over a volleyball net, and works on the concept of placing an object in open space to score against an opponent.  This is one the the students favorite games in PE. The last two weeks of the trimester were spent introducing our unit on jump rope. Classes participated in jumping stations to get the unit started.  During these stations students were pre-assessed with long and short ropes, and had an opportunity to use hippity hops, pogo balls, mini trampolines and to participate in agility and motor planning activities that involve jumping.  As the unit progresses students will learn age appropriate skills including basic through advanced individual rope skills, long rope skills and games, be introduced to double dutch (grades 4-5), learn Chinese jump rope, and work in small groups to create short routines. Please remember as nicer weather is upon us that sneakers are the safest shoes for physical activity, and it is important that students be prepared for physical activity on their PE day. The specialist schedule can be found on the school's main calendar page.

PE Happenings November-December 2018

During the months of November and December our focus in Physical Education for grades 2-3 was dribbling with the hands and overhand throwing.  Lessons around these skills provided students with maximum opportunities for practice. The goal was to move students from their current skill level (which varied from emerging skills to advanced skills within each class) and provide them with deliberate practice to emphasize the critical elements to make their skills more mature.  

Students in grades 4 and 5 spent some time working on the skill of dribbling  and also participated in a unit of moving to open space. These concepts and strategies are used in most sports. Our particular focus was moving to receive a pass from a teammate in an invasion-type game, where one team is trying to “invade” the territory of another team to score a point.  Instruction on moving to open space was done using small sided games and activities providing each child with more practice opportunities than playing a traditional sport activity such as basketball or indoor soccer.

During the weeks before the December break, students in all grades participated in two holiday-themed activities (Feed the Reindeer and Grinch Tag) with a skill focuses of overhand throwing, catching, throwing with scoops (grade 5), and cooperation.  These activities also worked on muscular strength and endurance and cardio-respiratory fitness.

PE Happenings September-October 2018

In physical education we use the months of September and October to teach, model, and practice expectations and the use of equipment.  During this “personal responsibility unit” we build our PE community and establish routines in order for students to be successful, safe, and active all year long.   

We started our year in the cafeteria, while the refinishing of our gymnasium floor was completed.  The floor really looks beautiful, and the new floor markings are much more useful in our everyday use of the gym as a classroom.  While in the cafeteria space, grades 2-3 learned and practiced signals used for attention, how to move from a large to a small space safely, how to play inside safe boundary lines, and how to move while keeping a safe distance from others.  Grades 4-5 used this space to review the rules and skills of four square, how to accept others in a game regardless of skill level, and how to be competitive, and at the same time fair and sportsmanlike.

Most classes were in the gym by their third PE class.  We had to backtrack a little to learn about our new set of boundary lines finding stars, and dots, and how to manage ourselves responsibly in this larger space.  Students are learning how to read the warm-up message, how to manage equipment, and “live” the rules. Students participate in activities that will deliberately teach them how to move safely, play by the rules, and be responsible and inclusive in our gymnasium space.   These activities include individual practice activities, tag games, simple team games, cooperative activities and movement problems and some station activities. This time at the beginning of the year also allows me to pre-assess students and learn how classes function together so I can plan “just right” lessons for each class.  We will culminate and celebrate our personal responsibility unit with the annual Fall Obstacle Course, where students put into practice the major concepts practiced over the past two months.

Please be aware of the new specialist “letter” schedule that was put in place to avoid students missing a speciality area when we have a day off from school or a snow day.  If you are unsure if it is your child’s day to wear sneakers, check the school’s website. Most teachers have posted the specialist days in their calendars and the days are also posted on the main school calendar.  

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