.....This week we finished up our Gymnastics unit and students were enjoying using the high balance beam. While some students can't wait to get on the beam, others are hesitant but willing to try. Students participate without sneakers for this unit, and because I was spotting students I happened to notice the variety of socks that students were wearing. I smiled when I saw "minions", spider man, batman, rainbow, mis-matched, and many colorful socks! When I was a child, I only remember having white or blue socks. When I commented on the terrific socks, students were happy that I noticed and it also made of few reluctant beam walkers a little more relaxed!
.....Speaking of reluctant beam walkers, I was so proud of one of my students in particular this week. This is a student who was reluctant to walk on the low beam when she was younger and this week she walked on the high beam all by herself! We exchanged high fives and smiles when she finished!
.....Operation Healthy North Park concluded on May 31st, so at the beginning of this week I was counting the final total. I am pleased to announce that we broke last year's record! This year we collected 5,242 "Coop Cars"! While it may be hard to believe, I do count every car. The Operation Healthy North Park bulletin board is in the hallway and as I was finishing the task, a student walked by and said: "that must take forever!" I was actually pleased that he recognized the work that it takes to complete this project. This new record will be hard to beat! One fifth grade class collected 795 "Coop Cars" all by themselves! I sent thank you emails to those outside our school who participated and I received some great replies. A colleague in another school facilitated participation by our varsity girls' crew team. She replied that many of the girls are North Park alums and they were very excited to join in the project that they remembered doing when they were students here!
.....As a kindergarten class arrived this week one of my students looked me in the eye and said: "Nice to see you Mrs. Robelee". Yes, this is a kindergarten student who has some great social skills already!
.....I am always interested in learning new activities and this week I had a chance to try out a new activity that I learned from a colleague. While this idea may not be new, it was something I had not tried yet and a conversation with this colleague spurred me on to try it. I always tell my students that if they have a disagreement, "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is always a great way to solve the problem so my students are very familiar with the traditional game. In it's original form, "Rock, Paper, Scissors" is not physically active but I learned a new way to use the game, while increasing the activity levels for all students. Instead of just hands being used to make the symbols for the game, the new way involves students using their entire body to make the symbols for the game. Students make "Paper" by holding arms and legs out wide, "Scissors" by putting one foot in front of the other with legs straight, and "Rock" by crouching slightly with hands together. To begin the game, students jump with feet together four times and then create the symbol with their body. Students who win the round advance to the next level (a designated line in the gymnasium) and those who don't go back to the beginning to play another student. My students had so much fun with this game but more importantly, they were breathing hard and tired at the end! I asked them which version of the game was more active and they looked at me like I was asking them a trick question!
......At the end of the week our Gymnastics unit ended. While students are sad to see the unit end, it is time to move on to other activities. I asked some students what they thought they had learned and what activities they thought they were better at now than at the beginning of the unit. I received some very thoughtful responses. Students said that they were better at strength, pull-ups, "possum hangs", landings, vaults, and balance. When I asked them how learning Gymnastics could help them in other sports and activities they had some great responses. Among the responses were that getting better at balance helped them in dance, and that improving their strength could help them shoot baskets better. I love it when students make connections!
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.