Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Annual Jump Show!

Hi everyone,
This week our annual Jump Show definitely stood out as "The Best Part of My Week! In an earlier post, I talked about our Jump Rope for Heart event. The Jump Show is a celebration of all of the hard work from our students and staff that make Jump Rope for Heart a success! Believe it or not, this started out quite a bit smaller, but then, these things usually do! We held our first Jump Rope for Heart event in 2005. We wanted to provide an incentive for students to do their best for this event, so our principal offered to jump rope during dismissal if we met our goal. Sure enough we met and exceeded our goal for the event! Everyone was so excited about the success that many more adults, myself included, offered to jump rope for the students. One thing led to another and before we knew it we were putting on a Jump Show! That alone speaks to the tremendous support that I receive from my colleagues for this and many other events! The first year we extended "CAUTION" tape as a joke to ensure the safety of all of the adult jumpers! Over the years, the event has grown to involve students and staff. This year, students from every grade level; Kindergarten through Fifth grade, performed during the show. Students and staff alike have improved their jumping skills and this year we were able to perform tricks like the Traveler, Rope in Rope, one-footed Front Cross, 2 in 1 Face to Face, and more! Many of our staff participated in our long turning rope jumping and we were able to get as many as four jumpers in one rope at a time! We even have one staff member who is amazing at the Chinese Jump Rope and she willingly performs every year! We are still working on being able to do Double Dutch......there's always next year! Judging by the applause and cheers from our students, we have their support to persevere! Thanks to everyone at North Park for your unending support and your willingness to be "Heart Heroes"!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Best Parts of My Week....

Hi everyone! These were the best parts of my week! Feel free to e-mail me with the best parts of yours!

........March Madness has arrived at North Park! I was playing a game called Dribble Tag to help students learn and practice basketball dribbling techniques. The basic idea is that all students dribble a ball while two other students are "it" and attempt to tag as many students as possible while dribbling a ball as well. If a player is tagged, or loses control of the ball, he/she must "take a knee" and wait for another student to complete three passes, either chest or bounce pass, with the tagged student so that he/she may rejoin the game. During one of my classes, the classroom teacher came in to play! The students were thrilled! The teacher clearly enjoyed the game and tried to include everyone in his area of play! It was terrific to see the enjoyment on everyone's face! I think he made their day! I know that he made mine by caring enough to participate!

........One day this week I had the opportunity to provide a yoga session to a Girl Scout Troop trying to earn a particular badge. I was asked by the leader if I would be available to teach the students some yoga and I was pleased to be asked! It was scheduled for this week and it was a terrific experience! The girls were attentive and interested and event the leaders participated! A fun and relaxing time was had by one and all and I was grateful to be asked to help!

.......Fitness Friday was alive and well at North Park this week! This week I invited two grade levels to join me for Fitness Friday in the gymnasium where we spend about 15 minutes doing some form of exercise. Usually it involves a dance or two and upwards of 100 students at a time. Classes earn a point for participation in Fitness Friday (classes can participate in Fitness Friday on their own as well) and points can be redeemed for different types of equipment like balls, jump ropes, frisbees, etc. This week I taught a new dance that I just learned called "Walk the Dinosaur"! What fun! Not only did all of the students participate enthusiastically but the classroom teachers and other adults did as well! Some people stopped in just to see what all the activity was about! We ended the session with the ever popular "Monkey in the Middle" which involves one student at a time being the "monkey" and the rest of the students following the monkey because "monkey see monkey do!" I Love Fitness Friday!
Visit the following link to view different Fitness Fridays in action!

Visit my blog each week to find out about "The Best Parts of My Week!"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Message Received.......

Those of you who have been following this blog are aware by now that each week I try to captivate and post the best moments of the week. This week is no different, but I am entitling it "Message Received" because, as teachers, we are not always certain that our students truly internalize the larger messages and lessons that we try to teach. This week I received wonderful feedback that validated for me that my message was received! Here are a few examples.......

- A student giving a tour of our building to a prospective student and family asked if the visitors would like to hear about some of the special events that we hold at our school. The visitors responded positively and the tour guide began to tell them about our recent Jump Rope for Heart Event. The visitors asked if this event was a competition between groups and the tour guide responded emphatically that Jump Rope for Heart was definitely not about winning and losing - it was all about helping other kids with sick hearts! That was absolutely a message received and it warmed my heart to know that!

- After playing a game called Artery Avengers, during which students were learning about how fat can clog arteries and that exercise and good nutrition can block fat and keep arteries clear and healthy, a student commented to me: "I don't want my arteries to get stuck, I love my arteries and veins!"

- As part of our character education program, we sometimes meet with small groups of students to obtain feedback about the program. I was having a discussion with a group of primary students this week regarding what they have learned from our program. I was so impressed with their responses! Students were able to discuss the focus of our character education program, as well as when they were most likely to use what they have learned. One student told me that she was most likely to focus on Doing Your Best (this month's focus) during Morning Work, because sometimes the work was hard. Another student responded that he had to "Choose a Positive Attitude" in the morning when he got up for school!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jump Rope for Heart Was the BEST Part of my week!

This was a special week! We held our annual Jump Rope for Heart and it was definitely the BEST part of my week! Our students have been preparing for this event and they did not disappoint! Each and every student gave his/her best effort during the event. In our building, Jump Rope for Heart is held during the day, so that everyone can participate, regardless of their ability to donate to the cause. As a result, students are made aware of the need to participate in their own heart health, in addition to the need to help others. This year's American Heart Association theme is "Be a Heart Hero", and everyone at my school is definitely a "HEART HERO"! Thanks to all who helped with this event! We had support from parents, colleagues, former students who made donations, administration, and the American Heart Association! I continue to be overwhelmed with the generosity of our North Park community! In these economic times, it is heartwarming to know that there are still those that believe in the mission of the American Heart Association and the importance of teaching our youth about the value of healthy hearts!
Pictures of our event can be viewed at