Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Best Parts of My Week! 10/20/14--10/24/14

Hi everyone,
     October is flying by!  Our cooperative unit is in full swing and is one of my favorite units to teach.  Regardless of the number of years I teach, I learn new ways to solve problems every year!

.....I began the week early Monday morning meeting with our new Student Ambassador group for our Fuel Up to Play 60 program.  A colleague and I decided to bring this program to North Park to allow students to be more involved.  What a wonderful group of students!  It was our first meeting and the excitement was in the air!  We are hoping to make a difference and with this group of students I am sure that it is possible!

.....Our Fitness Frankie to Go packs came back right on schedule on Monday morning!  The students had a great weekend with him and one student even made a video!

.....Physical Eddie arrived with a kindergarten class this week wearing a new shirt!  When I asked about it the teacher explained that this was his new lab coat because he is "Dr. PE"!  He is helping to teach the students about the human body!  How cool is that!  I love the collaboration!

.....As a result of a generous grant from the Southeastern Zone of NYS AHPERD, I was able to add three iPad minis to our program.  I love technology and I am so excited to add this technology to our program.  This week the iPad minis were used for a warm-up for the first time.  I told students of my expectations in terms of the safe and respectful use of the equipment and I was so proud of their use and care!  They were so excited to begin to use them!  They had a great workout and all students were able to take lots of turns during the warm-up.  I can't wait to use them again!

.....One of my favorite cooperative lessons involves tossing and catching rubber pigs on a garbage bag. It is such a silly but cooperative activity!  As a fifth grade class was participating in this activity, one of my students said:  "and my mom said I wouldn't get an iPhone until pigs fly!"

.....There is never enough time to accomplish all that I want to in a given class period.  During the cooperative unit, debriefing is important, but it is hard to find the time.  This week I ended some of the classes with a "Walk and Talk" during which students were supposed to finish the sentence "I liked it when......"  I sent the class on their way and it was so great to hear all of the talking.  When the students returned I asked for some students to share their responses.  The responses were amazing!  All of the responses were positive and many had to do with the cooperation that they used during the activity!

.....Our school received the Let's Move Active Schools 2014 National Recognition Award!  On Thursday night, the banner, certificate, and congratulatory letter from our First Lady Michelle Obama was unveiled at the Board of Education meeting.  I had the privilege to speak to the BOE about the award and was so incredibly proud of the team effort from our staff, students, families, and community that made this award possible....

.....At the end of the week I gave the Fitness Frankie to Go packs to the next two students for their weekend adventures.  They were so excited!  One of the students had a bike riding adventure already planned!

.....I finished off the week after school on Friday by taking a picture of my principal - dressed as Fitness Frankie for the evening Halloween party!  I am thankful everyday to work for such a dedicated, caring, and supportive administrator.  I know how lucky I am!

I hope you enjoyed the "Best Parts of My Week!"  To find out more about the PE program at North Park, visit my website:  North Park Physical Education

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Best Parts of My Week - 10/14/14--10/17/14

Hi everyone,
     The week began on Tuesday this week due to the Columbus Day holiday.  Still, the list of the "Best Parts" is quite impressive! 

.....As many of you are aware, teachers all over the country are struggling to implement Common Core.  I am working hard to find ways to support the Common Core without losing activity time.  I recently learned that one of the NYS Speaking and Listening Domains for first grade is the Human Body and one of the core vocabulary words is "joint".  During a warm up this week one of my first graders said "we are moving our joints!"  It was a terrific teachable moment!  We had a great discussion about what joints are and how we use them.  When the class was picked up the student proudly told his teacher about our discussion!

.....In the classroom, students are often asked to "think-pair-share" or "turn and talk" to discuss an important concept.  I like the idea but want to add the activity so I use a "walk and talk" technique when I want students to discuss a concept or work out a plan.  This week I introduced this idea to first and second graders and they had some amazing discussions about muscles and the heart!  I loved listening to their discussions as they passed me during the "walk and talk"!

.....Second grade students participate in a "Fitness Frankie to Go" program that I developed using our mascot bear - Fitness Frankie.  Each weekend two new students take Fitness Frankie home with them for a healthy adventure.  On Monday the students brought Fitness Frankie back and the healthy adventures were terrific!  One student drew a picture of bicycling with Fitness Frankie and the other had a photo taken while doing push-ups with Fitness Frankie on his back!  I can't wait to see the rest of the adventures!

.....I saw so many "butterfly claps" this week!  Students use this technique to show me that are excited about something without making noise or disrupting the class!

.....Our primary warm up this week was a song that allows students to be a leader and lead the class in exercises.  It is one of our favorite warm ups and this week one of the leaders used an exercise that he had recently learned -"bear push-ups".  The whole class was growling and getting strong!

.....As a first grade student left PE class this week she said "I like PE.  It makes me sweat!"

.....The PE password this week was Quadriceps.  Every time I saw one of my fifth graders this week he told me the password!  I must have seen him at least ten times!  I think he learned the word!

.....As we began our cooperative unit this week I tried a new activity with fourth and fifth grade students.  It involved using large tangram puzzle pieces and working together to get the pieces, choose a puzzle, and complete it as quickly as possible.  It was so much fun!  The communication and problem solving strategies were amazing and students competed as many as six or seven puzzles in a short period of time!  It's great to try new things!

.....One of my fourth grade students was warming up with a jump rope this week and said "watch this...."  She was jump roping on one foot with her eyes closed!

.....My upper elementary students use pedometers during almost every class period.  One of my fifth grade students asked if next time we could use the calorie mode during PE.  Of course I said yes and showed him how to check!

.....We are beginning a Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador program this year and I had a great discussion with one of our ambassadors.  Our first meeting is next week but she has already signed up and is ready to go!

.....I love technology and have recently joined a PE professional learning community on Twitter.  I have learned so much and had the opportunity this week to participate in a webinar sponsored by SPARK to learn more about using Twitter.  It was fantastic!  I am looking forward to using it more and learning from the amazing professionals in the PE learning community!  You can follow me on Twitter - @mrobPE #physed

.....The week ended with our first school -wide Fitness Friday!  We use our PA system to play an activity song and students and teachers participate together in their classrooms.  As I was going down the hall to take pictures one student was on his way to join his class and was dancing and snapping his fingers to the beat with a huge smile on his face! 

     WHEW!  What a week! I hope you enjoyed the "Best Parts of My Week!"  To find out more about the PE program at North Park, visit my website:  North Park Physical Education

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Best Parts of My Week - 10/6/14--10/10/14

Hi everyone,
     I can't believe how beautiful the weather has been this fall!  We have been outside so much my friends that I have not seen in awhile have been asking why I am so tan!

.....Our Healthy Highway program is in full swing and many classes have already earned enough miles to complete a lap!  When a lap is completed a sticker is placed on a class car.  I was happy to see a student putting a sticker on his class car this week!  I love it when the classroom teachers get the students involved in the management!

.....In an effort to increase student led conversations and still keep activity time at a maximum level I have begun to institute a "Walk and Talk" activity when students need to discuss things with each other.  This week students were creating their own 1 v 1 soccer games and I asked them to "Walk and Talk" to decide how the activity was going to work.  I gave them some discussion prompts and then sent them off.  This activity served a dual purpose and by the time the students returned they were warm-up up and ready to go!  I was impressed with the conversations!

.....The students in grades 3-5 have been working hard to learn and practice a variety of soccer skills and as they began their 1 v 1 soccer games this week and I was happy to see them using the skills!  When I asked them to talk about what skills they had improved in their practice, I heard a variety of answers and saw the improvement in action!  It was great to see them playing and having fun and some of the groups even named their teams!  One student group remarked that they were playing for the FIFA World Cup!

.....As I was circulating around our field watching and commenting on the soccer games this week one of the students was resting.  He smiled up at me and said "it's halftime!"

.....I always encourage problem solving and the fact is that some groups are better at it than others.  This week a student commented that she really needed to be able to see two sides of the story because in her quest to solve a problem she saw one side but did not see the other until it was pointed out to her.  How mature is that!

.....As a 5th grade passed in the hallway this week each and every student told me the PE Password and gave me a high 5!  YAY!

.....Several students took the time to show me the healthy snacks they were saving for later on their way back from the cafeteria!

.....The week ended with a half-day professional development afternoon.  I participated with a group of first grade teachers, reading teachers, and teaching assistants.  I am so thankful for the colleagues that I work with everyday!  They are talented, dedicated, professional, and always, always want to deliver the best possible education to our students!  As a result of this professional development and collaboration I am ready to try some new things!

I hope you enjoyed the "Best Parts of My Week!"  To find out more about the PE program at North Park, visit my website:  North Park Physical Education

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Best Parts of My Week - 9/29/14--10/3/14

Hi everyone,
     The gymnasium floor at my school has been under repair and as a result we have had to be flexible and make changes on the fly.  This week included a bit of a "PE Potpurri"  but there were still a bunch of "best parts!"

.....Early in the week we were unable to access any equipment and relied on classroom play equipment and the playground for our activity.  My rule for inclusion is that if anyone asks to join an activity the answer is YES.  I have made this very clear to my students over the years and the majority understand and include everyone.  It is always heartwarming to see this in action and this week I was able to see it in action quite a few times!

......During one of our outdoor activity days I noticed a group that was interested in learning how to throw a football.  This group included boys and girls and one of the boys was teaching the group how to throw.   He was being a great coach!

..... It's time for students to turn on completed Fitness Calendars and this week I received more than 50!  It was wonderful to create the first list of Fitness Fanatics!

.....Spontaneous "Thank you Mrs. Robelee" comments on the way back to class made my day!

.....After all these years I have seen the "evolution of play" if you will, in terms of boys and girls playing together.  As I observed my students this week I noticed that the boys and girls played together without a second thought.  This included jump roping, basketball, football, soccer and more!  ( a definite "PE Potpurri"!). How great is that! 

.....I was outside on the playground during one of our "no access to the gym or equipment" days this week.  One of my primary classes told me about a pole that had come loose.  I climbed up to check it out.  One of the students asked "How did you get up there?"  They were amazed!  Another asked "How are you going to get down?"  There were many possible options so I asked the student to choose for me.  She chose the "twisty" tube slide.  I had actually never been down that slide.  It was fun!

.....Physical Eddie is being hosted by a third grade class.  They brought him to PE this week and included him in every activity! 

.....As a third grade class was lining up at the end of class there was a discussion about being first.  It is no surprise that students want to be first and while some classes have line leaders this one did not.  With a smile on my face I asked students if there was a prize waiting in the classroom for those returning first.  Of course there was not but one student raised her hand and said that the real prize here was learning PE!!!!!!  That comment will make me smile for a VERY long time!

     I hope you enjoyed the "Best Parts of My Week!"  To find out more about the PE program at North Park, visit my website:  North Park Physical Education