Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Week of 5/23: Battleship and Helicopter tag!

Grades Y5, K, and 1:  Helicopter tag and more!  
1.  Pathways warm-up:  Students move in different pathways around the gym, staying inside the box (basketball court boundaries).  Pathways include a figure eight, circle, wavy line, snaked line, back and forth straight lines, random (everyone's favorite!), and more!
2.  Stretches
3.  Alphabet letters activity:  Students are assigned a partner.  They move around the gym to the music.  When the music stops, they reunite with their partner and look at me.  I hold up a letter for each pair to create with their bodies on the floor.  

4.  Months dance:  Students practice our months of the year dance.  Each month is said to the tune of a musical audio track, and each month corresponds with one move of the Macarena.  Ask your Y5, K, or 1st grade student(s) to show you this dance!  We have been practicing each class.  
  • January:  one hand out in front (palm down)
  • February:  other hand out in front (palm down)
  • March:  turn first hand over (palm up)
  • April:  turn second hand over (palm up)
  • May: First hand touches opposite shoulder
  • June: Second hand touches opposite shoulder
  • July: One hand behind ear
  • August: Other hand behind other ear
  • September: Hand cross to touch opposite hip
  • October: Other hand crosses to touch opposite hip
  • November: First hand to hip
  • December: Second hand to hip

5.  Helicopter tag:  Students start in a "helipad" marked with colored cones.  I call out which color moves to which new helipad.  One or two taggers are in the middle and have a pool noodle to tag (gently - no hitting) with.  If tagged, a runner goes back to the color they were just at.  For example, "Blue, go to red".  Players in the blue cones run to the red cones.  If tagged, they return to blue - they're still in the game, just wait for the next direction to move.  

Grades 2-5:  Battleship
Students have really enjoyed learning new games these past couple of weeks!  This week's game is Battleship.  As the week progressed, we made a few changes:

  • each team has ONE ship (rather than two separate ships)
  • each team also has two hula hoops - to use to rake cannonballs back to the ship within reach, and/or to contain cannonballs on/near their team's ship

Battleship Rules #1
Battleship Rules #2
Monday's classes all had two separate ships per team.  Tuesday - Friday classes then experienced one large ship per team (it made the game less confusing).   

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week of 5/16: Sinkerball! Beanbag relays!

Grades 2-5:  
For this week in PE, grades 2-5 played a game called Sinkerball.  I found the game on a site called  Here is the video description of the rules:  

Classes really enjoyed this game!  Classes played during both of their PE classes this week, with new teams each time.  This game works on throwing/rolling, and also strategy and teamwork.  We discuss how strategy is a plan to be successful - and how in this game, some strategies may include:

  • starting the game and staying away from the throwers as much as possible
  • protecting your pin with your body as much as possible while pulling it
  • if your pin is down, helping someone with fewer or no helpers protect their pin
  • tossing balls to the back or side of the playing area, rather than right back to the throwing team, if you are protecting a pin
  • coordinating with other throwers to throw many balls at once at one pin
Some adaptations from the video rules we used include: 
  • only throw/roll - no kicking, no hockey sticks
  • throw zone on one side of the gym worked best for our gym size
  • played for time (rather than points) - team with longest time with at least one pin standing won that round
Classes watched the video directions before dividing into teams and starting the game.  

Grades Y5-1: 
Younger classes worked on bean bag relays this week.  This activity helps younger students understand the concept of a relay activity - one person from your team leaves at a time, and the next person has to wait for them to return before leaving.  Beanbags were hidden under about 25 cones in the playing area.  Relay teams worked to retrieve one beanbag at a time, by looking under one cone per turn.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Week of 5/2 and 5/9: Fitness Testing & Centers

A kindergarten student made this for me.  :)  
Grades 3-5 Centers:
1.  Fitness Testing:  Flexed Arm Hang and Sit and Reach.  Students complete these tests with me, and then practice curl-ups on the mats.  For more information on Flexed Arm Hang and Sit and Reach testing, see my previous blog post (Sit and Reach) or the FitnessGram site.  
2.  Hula Hoops. 
3.  Jump Ropes. 
4.  Exercises:  jumping jacks, burpees, stretches, ski jumps, scissor jumps, push ups, ABC strong solders -- students choose which exercises to do at this center.  These exercises also help warm students up for the sit and reach test, as muscles are more flexible when they are warmed up!

FitnessGram reports for grades 3-5 will come home the last day of school, along with student final report cards.

Grades 3-5:  Curl-ups!  See the FitnessGram site for information on this test. :)  

Grades Y5-2 Centers: 
1.  Jacks:  Underhand toss and catch the jack back and forth with a partner.  Count how many catches you have in a row without dropping the jack!  Start over if one partner drops it. 
2.  Hula Hoops.  One hoop per person, choose between a large hoop or small one!  Have a contest with group members, roll it with a partner, jump through the hoop like it's a jump rope, or just plain hula hoop with it!  
3.  Jump Ropes.  Practice jumping!  Start with the rope behind you, swing it over your head.  Use your eyes to look 
4.  Balance boards.  Take turns balancing on the center of the balance board.  When you're finished, go to the other board to wait your turn (one board is slightly higher off of the ground than the other board, so I have students try both).  When you are up next, count to ten slowly so the person balancing knows when their turn is up.

Young fives learning how to participate at the balance board center.

Pathways/directions/statues warm-up:  Young fives

Underhand throw/catch the jack center:  First graders


Jump Ropes

Balance boards in action:  First graders

Grades Y5-2:  Hula Hoops and Jump Rope!!