Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fitness Testing and Center / Station Activities

2nd graders riding scooters

April is the month when my 4th-5th grade students complete their fitness tests.  In our district, we use the Fitnessgram tests to measure aerobic capacity, flexibility, abdominal strength and upper body strength.  Even though we do not officially test our K-3rd grade students, I teach them how to perform the tests and give them opportunities to practice.

Instead of doing our Daily Dozen Warm-Up this month, all of my students are practicing the Fitnessgram PACER test (I call it the "beep" test for my K-2nd students).   We have also been working on center activities, which allow me to take time to test students individually on things like the sit and reach, and push-ups.  Check out the pictures and videos below of our center activities which included:  Jump Rope/Jumping Sticks, Scooters, Basketball, Tennis and Cartwheels/Round-offs.

I am so excited that almost ALL of my student have improved their push-up score since the beginning of the school year!  I think part of the reason they have gotten stronger is because we do our Daily Dozen Warm-Up every day.  Plus, many of them are on sports teams and exercise at home.  I'm so proud of them!  Here are some videos of students using the push-up mat, which I use for testing.  One boy told me yesterday he practices his push-ups every night! 

The first week of the scooter center, I taught students how to ride safely on their bottom, belly or knees.  The second week I taught them how to ride safely doing "turbo speed" which is when you may hold onto the handles and get a running start.  The students did a great job riding safely.  It was a great workout for them!  See the videos below!

Army Crawl on the scooter

Doing the "spiderman" and "superman" on the scooter course.

Riding on knees.

Riding the scooter over to the push-up mat for a turn!

Scooter course on day 1.

Day 1 of scooter course.  The arrows helped show the way!

Demonstrating the sit and reach.  For the test we do this with shoes off.

"Tennis" center for Kindergarteners.   Older students may use indoor tennis balls as well.
After testing, I allowed some classes to have "free choice time".  I took a demonstration video of a few girls doing round-offs and cartwheels.  This video will help me teach my other students how do do these!  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dance for Elementary Students

Our students learned from each other by watching the videos we took!
Mrs. Hulford (the Music teacher) and I continued our tradition of teaching our DANCE UNIT the week before spring break.  This is our third year teaching this unit together.  We have so much fun!  The students enjoy coming into the gym with another class and participating together.  It's a great way to collaborate as a large group.  We teach a big VARIETY of dances including aerobic dance, line dance, circle dance, partner dance, and square dance.   I like how we teach both traditional dances/music AND current/popular music/dances.

The two main "I CAN" statements we use are, "I CAN MOVE TO MUSIC" and "I CAN KEEP THE BEAT".  I was able to capture a few of the dances on video.  Check them out below!  We used videos of our own students to teach the rest of the school.  The students LOVED seeing their friends (and sometimes brothers or sisters) in the videos. 

This first video is showing how the students practiced keeping the beat with a partner before we added the music.

Partner dance to the song "Buffalo Gals".  This was so fun with the music!

Next we did this dance in a CIRCLE formation.  Circle dances take a lot of teamwork and cooperation!

Our third graders did a fantastic job with SQUARE dancing!
We used this as a demonstration video.  The students enjoyed seeing their friends in the video.  It helped them learn the moves!

The students enjoyed this aerobic dance to the song Magic.   There are some great P.E. teachers who post awesome dances on youtube!  Thanks to Chad Triolet and his crew!

chicken dance
1st graders doing the Chicken Dance with a partner.

2nd graders getting ready for a circle dance.

Line Dance

Partner Dance to Buffalo Gals.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Volleyball / Newcomb and Germ Ball

ready position
This week my Pre-K thru 3rd grade students learned about germs and proper HAND WASHING!  We played a game called "Germ Ball" where students who were hit with a germ ball had to sit down and wait for the "soap person" to come give them soap.  (see video below).  Then they had to practice washing their hands for 20 SECONDS to be sure all the germs got off.  We had fun!  We also talked about the proper way to COVER YOUR COUGH as a way to not spread our germs to others.  We called it the "germ catcher" or "chicken wing" (covering with your elbow instead of coughing into your hand).

ready hands for catching

My 4th-5th grade students continued learning about the volleyball underhand serve and played Newcomb, which is a modified volleyball game.  See the video below!  I love Newcomb because it involves a HUGE variety of skills including:  serving, catching, throwing, teamwork, math smarts to keep track of rally scoring, and good sportsmanship! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Jump Rope for Heart, Special Guest, and Volleyball

I love how Valentine's Day at my school is celebrated with a "Healthy Heart Day".  The students
long jump rope
Long Rope Jumping at JR4H
spend half of the day doing activities that teach them about having a healthy heart.  This is when I hold our Jump Rope for Heart event in the gym!  We also have a Yoga/Dance center, and a Nutrition center in the cafeteria.

We had a JR4H assembly in January, and a group of my students performed a Jump Rope Routine.  I think it turned out awesome!  See the video below and here!  (practice video here- this one shows the cool cartwheels some of them began the routine with). All of my 3rd-5th grade students were able to do this routine together in P.E. class for the month of January.  It's a fun way for them to practice their skills together.

THANK YOUs - I would like to thank Mrs. Fisher for volunteering twice this month!  Mrs. Fisher is a parent and also a fitness instructor and personal trainer at the YMCA.  She led my classes for a whole day and taught them a variety of fun activities.  See pictures and videos below!  She also spent the Healthy Heart day with us leading a Yoga/Dance session.  She is amazing!

I would also like to thank all of the parents who came to volunteer for our Healthy Heart Day!  You are very much appreciated!  See pictures and videos below of our JR4H event.  Our school raised over $7,600 for the American Heart Association!  Thank you to all of our families who donated.  This is our highest amount ever raised, and that is all because of your generosity.

Other activities my students participated in this month include:  Volleyball activities, (Underhand Serving, Newcomb - Video), Obstacle Courses Video, Catching/Throwing.

Since we had 100+ in the gym for Jump Rope for Heart, I had these short obstacle courses in our upper level.  I taught all of my students this in P.E. class, so they would know what to do on our JR4H day.  

Hungary Hippos with Mrs. Fisher

Relay Activity with Mrs. Fisher!

Tug of War with Mrs. Fisher


JR4H - A parent volunteer playing a jumping stick game.  The kids LOVED this!

JR4H Long Rope Jumping

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Happy New Year! Jump Rope Activities: Long Rope and Partner Tricks

Happy New Year!  
This month all of my students are learning how to jump rope.
Before Christmas,
partner jump rope trick
Switching Handles is one of the partner tricks the students learned. 
the 1st-5th grade students learned about single rope jumping and partner tricks.  This month they are practicing with long ropes and Chinese jump ropes.  All of my 3rd-5th grade classes have been practicing a Group Jump Rope Routine as our fitness activity.  This is the same routine I will use for our jump rope assembly at the end of the month.  We will have Jump Rope for Heart on Valentine's Day again this year!  I hope to post a video of the group jump rope routine soon!  I choreographed it to the song "JUMP" by Van Halen.

Fellow P.E. teachers - to view all of my posts regarding jump rope activities, click on the link JUMP ROPE.

Long Rope Jumping Game:
Pre-K - 2nd grade students learned a game called "Snake in the Grass".  This game idea came from one of my favorite authors, Robert Pangrazi, in his book "Dynamic Physical Education".  I have included many videos of this game below.  Students move the "snake" side to side while the jumper jumps or leaps over it.  If the jumper successfully jumps OVER the snake without touching it 5 times, they "win" and the turn goes to the next person.  If they jump and land on top of the snake, the snake wins and they lose their turn.  They must also land on their feet and not fall down on the floor!

Twirling and jumping a long rope:
1st-5th grade students practiced twirling and jumping a long rope.  We used the cue words "rainbow-click" to remember how to have good form (rainbow at the top, hear the click on the floor).  They have a lot of fun jumping with long  ropes, and it's a great way to practice cooperation and teamwork!

Partner Tricks and Partner Routines: 
Check out the videos below.  I taught the students how to build a partner routine.  This includes a beginning, 3-5 tricks, and an ending.  They were also encouraged to build their own "freestyle" routine which consists of the same skills - beginning, tricks, and an ending.

Chinese Jump Ropes:  Click the link Chinese Jump Ropes for more info.
These work well with all age levels.  Some students have begun to learn a basic pattern, "Americans" pattern, and the Name Game.  I will continue to teach this to my students later this month.  Chinese ropes are a good option to have at our Jump Rope for Heart event because they involve no twirling!

Daily Dozen:
All Pre-K-5th graders do the Daily Dozen every day!  The students are becoming stronger!  Their form is getting better, and I am so impressed with their push-ups!  They are working on touching their nose to the floor. The student in the picture below had light up we turned the lights down and did the daily dozen so we could all see his shoes light up.  It was pretty cool!
Light up shoes with lights dimmed - looks pretty awesome!

Check out some videos!

Long Rope Videos

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thankful for my school and SHAPE Michigan!

This Thanksgiving, when my family took turns going around the table saying what we are thankful for, my answer was 1) my family and 2) a job that I LOVE!  I remember when I was in college at Grand Valley State University, one of my Movement Science professors said his favorite day of the week is Monday because he loves coming to work so much.   I remember thinking he must be stretching the truth...........who doesn't love Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays the most?  But he was sincere!  I do enjoy my weekends, but I am truly thankful for a job that I love coming to!  I am so blessed to be able to teach almost 700 students each week, and have the space and equipment I need.

Speaking of equipment, I am also thankful for SHAPE - Michigan, who fulfilled a $500 grant I wrote last spring!  I have been using the new equipment on a daily basis for a variety of activities.  The grant I wrote was for "Color My Class" equipment, and also two "Cone Qwik Netz".  This year I started organizing my class by rainbow colors, and it has been great!  The equipment I ordered is all in rainbow sets, so this helps the students stay organized, and also teaches colors to our youngest students.  See the pictures below of just SOME of the new things!
I love these cones I bought with my grant money.  They hold signs on the top!

Cone Qwik Netz
2nd graders playing tennis with our new nets from SHAPE - Michigan!
2nd graders playing tennis with our new nets from SHAPE - Michigan!
I came up with a new game called "Color Collection Relay".  We used lots of our new equipment from SHAPE - Michigan!

Color Collection Relay Set up.  Each rainbow team had to take turns collecting objects of their color and put it in their hula hoop.  The last few minutes, they worked as a team and played with the items they collected.
After the relay they played with their team and the things they collected!

After the relay they played with their team and the things they collected!

After the relay they played with their team and the things they collected!

After the relay they played with their team and the things they collected!

After the relay they played with their team and the things they collected!

Students playing "Thankful Tag" the day before Thanksgiving break.  Players who were tagged had to sit down.  Someone helped them by sharing what they are thankful for.

Students playing "Thankful Tag" the day before Thanksgiving break.  Players who were tagged had to sit down.  Someone helped them by sharing what they are thankful for.

Students playing "Thankful Tag" the day before Thanksgiving break.  Players who were tagged had to sit down.  Someone helped them by sharing what they are thankful for.

Thankful for our Watchdog program and the fathers who come in to volunteer!  This Watchdog is doing the V-Sit during our Daily Dozen Warm-Up!
Check out our November Daily Dozen!  Next is a video of my "Thanksgiving Dinner Relay".

Sunday, November 13, 2016

November Activities in P.E. and Thanksgiving Game Ideas

I wish I had more time to post!  I can not believe we are already half way through November!  We
Arm Hang Underhand Grip
Flexed Arm Hang - underhand grip
have been doing so many fun things in P.E. class.  Since the last time I wrote, my students have participated in the following activities:

1.  Centers activities in our upper level (log rolls, somersaults, balance beam, tunnel, hula hoop, etc)
2.  Flexed Arm Hang  -Thanks to Mr. Basaiga for helping with this!  See pics below....
3.  Exercise Balls - Thanks to Mrs. Fisher for leading small groups!   See pics below...
4.  Monkey Bar Ladder (Upper Level - 2nd-5th)
5.  Soccer Skills and Games
6.  Spider in the Web and Halloween Tag Games

For the rest of this month, my students will participate in Relay Activities, and Thanksgiving Fitness games such as Thanksgiving Tag, The Turkey and the Farmer, or the Thanksgiving Match Game.

Here is another video of The Turkey and the Farmer which shows the students playing in real time.  Thanks for Tracy Zappone for this idea!

Thanksgiving games are not only fun and great exercise, but they provide an opportunity for a mini history lesson on our first Thanksgiving!  It's also a great time to have students share their own stories about what their families do to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Thank you Mr. Basaiga for volunteering!

She makes it look so easy!
Mrs. Fisher is a personal trainer and instructor at the YMCA.  She is also a parent of two of our students!  Thank you Mrs. Fisher for leading small groups.  The students really enjoyed it!

Students learned about goalie stance and had turns to be goalie in the game "GO SCORE".

Students learned about goalie stance and had turns to be goalie in the game "GO SCORE".

We pretend that the black mat is a huge soccer net and use 2 goalie here!