Along with shifting our focus in Awesome Anatomy, October saw us shifting gears physically too. This month Serendipity Students began their study of net and volley games. Volley games are games who's purpose is to keep an object in the air and return in before it touches the ground. Common volley sports are things like Volleyball, Tennis, and Badminton. The first net and volley sport we studied was Volleyball. For the young students that meant using balloons and exploring how to use our bodies to keep the balloon in the air. Many students came to the quick realization that there was a relationship between force and control. While balloons were all the rage in Kindergarten and First Grade, Our upper grades took a more advanced approach to volley skills and practiced how to bump, set and spike.
As we progressed through our skills we played a variety of volleyball style games. Most of our students loved "Bump 4 Square" and "Inside Out." I like these games because they require the same skills as traditional volleyball but without any of the restrictions that can box in our thinking. One of my favorite things from this unit was bringing out the Spikeball. This was another great way of letting the students experience the same skill in a different way. It was challenging at first to keep track of the ball and spike it onto the net, but after some practice we got quite good and our games got very interesting. As our skills progressed we eventually became ready for some small sided volleyball games.
Now that Halloween has come we will change gears again and begin to study other net and volley games like clean up your Backyard, Throw & Toss Battleship, Ringo (a polish ringtoss game) and Badminton. As we look at more and more net games we will also put some thought into the similarities and differences between them. What strategies can we take from one and apply in the other? Are there any skills we can transfer between sports?
I hope you and your family are enjoying the homework challenges. I Hope "No Sweat November" will give you a different kind of challenge and don't forget that October's homework, "Trick 'R Training" is due on November 10th.
When we finish the warm up we head to the white board. The white board is where the Student and Quote of the Week are posted. There are also reminders to Think C.L.E.A.R and stay Squirrel Strong. Another thing we learn at the white board is Awesome Anatomy, a program that teaches us about our bodies. This month we were learning about the cardiovascular system, including the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
The best Training Camp activities are always the team building challenges we participate in. These challenges are designed to make us think, strategize, and communicate with each other. A lot of times we fail, but that is ok because we know that failure is a part of learning, and growing. The Titanic challenge was so hard because we couldn't
Learning all about fitness concepts are a huge part of what we do during Training Camp. We spend time discussing the four major components of fitness: Muscular Strength & Endurance, Cardiovascular Endurance, Flexibility, and Body Composition. We even play a game called Fitness Monopoly, where we try to create "exercise monopolies" for each component. It's a lot of fun, unless you go bankrupt and loose all your points, or get "caught smoking", then you have to do 15 burpies.
This year we took some time during our training camp to learn what it is like to be disabled during our first Ability Awareness Day. At Ability Awareness Day, our students got to simulate what physical education looks like for those differently abled then us. Some students wore ear plugs to simulate being deaf, some students had special goggles that simulated visual impairments. We also simulated gross motor and fine motor disabilities. Lastly one student in each class got to experience what it would be like to participate in a wheelchair. This experience was definitely eye opening for our students.
Training camp ended with our 11th Annual Bring Your Parents to PE Week. This event is the best way for parents to learn what physical education is all about. Bring Your Parents to PE is a learn by doing event so students and parents dance, play, workout, and have fun together. It is a blast, and probably the best week of the year.
Overall it has been a great start to what is shaping up to be a fantastic year of PE at Serendipity School. Don't forget to watch the monthly video newsletter above, and remember to earn those cool bucks by doing your October Homework.
SERENDIPITY PHYSICAL EDUCATION STUDENTS CREATE TRAILERS TO HIGHLIGHT OUR LEARNING.
This year we have been increasing the amount of technology we use in Physical Education. During our Frisbee unit, we decided that using iMovie Trailers would be a great way to showcase our learning. Trailers are one to two minute movies that isnpire excitement to see a movie. Trailers are typically shown prior to the start of movies. For Frisbee, we wanted to inform people how to perform the several different throws. We used our best practices and filmed ourselves in several different ways. Once we were satisfied with our filmed content, we needed to organize and describe they key points to the skills. The results are so amazing; not only did we learn all about the different types of Frisbee throws, but Mr. Will said that he would be using them in the future to show other students how to throw a Frisbee. It was fun to create the trailers and we can’t wait to show them all off at Open House.
Watch the trailer below on how to throw a Forehand Frisbee Throw. See all of the trailers at Open House on May 18, 2017!
At some point in our life, usually when we are teenagers, play just disappears. One minute, it is there, the next…poof, its gone. Somehow the joy of play seems to evaporate like a puddle on a warm spring day. Of course we all understand why that happens, we mature, we gain responsibilities, we have bills to pay, and we say we are too busy for play, and usually we are.
When I began Bring Your Parents to PE a decade ago, my primary desire was to promote the PE program, to show parents my value as a teacher and to make sure people understood that PE was more than just nonsense “fun n’ games.” I wanted to be taken seriously, I wanted parents to know that real learning (kinesthetic learning) was happening. In my mind, I thought even if I wasn’t taken seriously, the event would be a great way to explain to parents what I do everyday. I never could have imagined what the event actually was. What I discovered that first year, and what I have been so blessed to witness every year since, is nothing short of magic. Bring Your Parents to PE isn’t just a promotional event, or a way for parents to become involved in the school day. It is a place where you can see grown ups forget their worries and stresses. There are very few moments in this life where adults can play with joy, and I am glad that I can be a part of a whole weeks worth of joy, year after year.
Of course, Bring Your Parents to PE isn’t just for the grown ups. There is nothing more amazing than the look on a child’s face whose parent comes to PE—An unforgettably big smile, full of delightful pride, and excitement.Don’t let eye rolls, and tantrums fool you; to a child, a parent is the most important person in the world, someone special, worthy of being shown off.
Over the years, I have spread the word about how special this week is. I have told colleagues, and friends; I have given lectures and led workshop sessions. Each and every time I share the event with others, I am reminded that the number one thing that makes this week so amazing is the parents who come and share in the week. Without parents coming to PE, it would just be another week of PE.
It is so difficult to try and encapsulate such an amazing week in words. Because of that, I have put together a slideshow from the week. I wish I could have included every fantastic picture I took from the week, but I was already pushing it with a nine minute slideshow. Thank you to everyone who could make it out this year. I hope everyone enjoyed the week, and I hope you are already looking forward to next year.
As we become competent, it leads to more confidence in that skill. The more confident we are at the skill, the more motivated we are to perform the skill. The more motivation we have, the more likely we are to participate. The more we participate the more we become competent... and the cycle continues. The truth about Physical Literacy is that it is a life long journey, not a destination.
When we participate in a Physical Education lesson, when we learn a new skill, or even when we play a game we are taking steps on that life long journey. My primary goal as a physical educator is to increase the physical literacy of my students. Increasing the students physical literacy in turn increases their competence, confidence, and motivation, ultimately leading to a lifetime of physical activity.
If you watched the video above then you likely have a strong grasp as to what it means to become physically literate; if you are still unsure, let me clarify it with a little analogy.
Imagine I give you a gift of legos: four purple lego blocks to be exact. Not much of a gift, right? Most likely these lonely little pieces will end up swallowed by a vacuum cleaner, or worse, left on the carpet by your bed for you to step on in the middle
of the night. Now imagine that instead of four purple lego blocks, I give you a variety of lego blocks in a multitude of colors and shapes. That is a more useful gift; you can do more and create more because of the variety? Now,
think of the legos in this analogy as movements, or skills. If you are only given a few basic, sports related skills I am sure you will do quite well at only those things. However, if you are given a variety of diverse skills, in diverse environments, then you are likely to do much better at any activity.
In a 2015 report, American Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, stated “...no matter how much we urge people to get involved with physical activity, they simply won’t do it unless they have the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active. That’s where physical literacy comes in.” At Serendipity School we strive to give our Physical Education students the ability, confidence and desire to be physically active today, tomorrow, and for many years to come.
Thank you to Dean Kriellaars, Terri Drain, and everyone at CAHPERD for the inspiration and information found in this blog post.
Yes, of course we can be competitive, we can work hard, achieve goals, and become a team. But who’s team are we ultimately on? What is it we are really trying to win? Through sports we can do so much more, be so much more. We can give a chance for someone different to shine. It is our differences that make us human, that make us special, and given the chance we can all shine and become something better; we can be more than just “good sports,” we can be more human.
As you may or may not have heard, Serendipity School has chosen a Mascot. We as a community have chosen to become the Squirrels. In physical education that means we will all strive to be:
But what does that mean? How does one become Squirrel Strong? Below I have listed some guidelines as to how you can become Squirrel Strong.
Step 1: Eat Smart.
What goes into your body is just as important as working out. If you start out with a healthy diet consisting of a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables, then you’re well on your way to eating smart. Remember eating smart isn’t just your food choices, but also your portion size.
Step 2: Stay Fit.
It might seem tough to find time for a full on workout. But it can be anything, Just remember to keep moving and being active, all day long. Take a walk, go for a hike, swim, play a game of basketball or take up tennis. Serendipity Students get 45 – 60 minutes twice a week, and that doesn’t include the running, jumping and playing they get during recess and lunch. Whatever your movement choice, be sure it lasts for 30-60 minutes, and gets your heart rate between 150 and 180 beats per minute. Which brings me to my next step,
Step 3: Work Hard & Never Quit
We always want to give our best, and in PE that means we work hard, don’t give up, and keep getting better. No matter how good or bad we are at a skill or game, we keep working to get better every day. Because we work hard our best is better every day
Step 4: Brain Wise.
Physical Education is also about learning. The Playground is our classroom and even though we might be playing games and focused on skills we are also learning about math, science, language arts, and social studies. We work on anatomy which is awesome and get portfolios in 4th and 5th grade.
Step 5: Safety Smart.
Because we care about ourselves and others, we are sure to keep safety a priority. We use equipment safely, we follow the rules, and we watch out for the feelings of our friends. Being Safety smart isn’t just for at school. We don’t play with matches, or kitchen tools without supervision, and we always, always, always buckle our seatbelt.
Step 6: Squirrel Strong for a Healthy Heart
If you follow all the steps then you will be Squirrel Strong and have a healthy heart. Healthy hearts mean long lives. Long lives means we can do all the things we want when we are older. Together we can accomplish great things.
Here is a little say-and-do dance to help you remember all the steps
(Say) Eat Smart – (Do) Pat your belly
(Say) Stay Fit – (Do) make fists near shoulders
(Say) Work Hard – (Do) Pump your fists up
(Say) Never Quit – (Do) Criss cross arms in front of your body
(Say) Brain Wise – (Do) Point to your brain and make thumbs up
(Say) Safety Smart – (Do) Put on your seatbelt
(Say) Squirrel Strong – (Do) Make strong muscles
(Say) For a Healthy Heart – (Do) Both hands to your heart
I love playing badminton! It is it is a wonderful sport, it gets your heart beating fast, it is exciting, and above all else it is fair. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, it doesn’t matter how fast you swing, it doesn’t even matter how big you are. It is truly the great equalizer sport. This year, in addition to the skills and rally games we have played in the past, our older students will be spend some time focusing on the official rules and scoring. They will be doing this by playing both singles, and mixed doubles tournaments. In second and third grade we will focus heavily on the rally and skill games, getting our skills up to peak competitive levels. Our Kindergarten and First Grade friends will be learning how to control a floating object. Since they are not quite ready for badminton, and all the equipment that accompanies it, we will be using balloons to experiment with. I really am excited to share this fantastic sport with your children.
We have been super busy in PE. We spent the last month learning the all about frisbees. We learned how to throw and catch the frisbee, in 3 different ways (the traditional “L” throw, The forehand “double L”, and my favorite “The Fonzi.” We then moved into how to play games like frisbee golf, and bocce. Eventually we learned how to play Ultimate Frisbee, which is one of my favorite sports. If your student is interested in learning more about ultimate frisbee, I encourage you to find out more here: http://www.wfdf.org.
With the world series finally won, we can now focus our attention on the greatest sport of all time…Basketball. I know I am biased but basketball is by far the best sport. We will spend the next few weeks perfecting our Basketball game in P.E. Students will learn the primary triple threat skills, shooting, passing and dribbling. They will become fundamentally sound through fun games like the Lorax, Pirates of the Caribbean, Cone-Heads. They will also play traditional basketball games like HORSE, Around the World, and Dribble Tag. Of course 3 on 3 and 5 on 5 games will be played by the older kids too.