Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fieldhouse - finally! Gymnastics unit!


           Students performing a "candle" - looking for high hips, straight legs and pointed toes!


                                           The very challenging Tri-Pod balance!

We have just completed a gymnastics unit in the fieldhouse.  The students love units in the fieldhouse - I think it makes them feel "older"!  Anyway, it is alway fun in that large space. Court number 4 is reserved for the gymnastics unit.  The students have the opportunity to learn skills on the varsity girls' gymnastics apparatus.  Yes, all four Olympic events - vault, bars, beam, and floor exercise are introduced and students discovered skills that are exciting, challenging, and fun!  Gymnastics plays a role in sports and everyday life by helping people learn to manage their bodies efficiently and safely.  Many of the gymnastic skills learned are applied to everyday living - situations that require a safe form of landing or rolling.  At the beginning of the gymnastics unit, students are given a brief orientation of the various men's/women's events.  With that, the students understand the skills required to become skilled in the sport:  focus, strength, balance, coordination, agility power, flexibility, and COURAGE!

Due to the wonderful space, and the spring floor, all classes enjoyed the activities that can be executed on the "bouncy"floor.  Some of the fun warm-up activities that were favorites are:  snakes in the grass, wolfpack tag, natural disaster, tumbling and locomotor relays, and pyramid type activities. It was fun to watch the students simply bounce, jump, and run on the spring floor - and it is certainly aerobic!  All students learned some of the gymnastic language such as lunge, rear support, tripod, tip-up, splits (OUCH)!, pike, straddle, tuck, lay-out, and candle.  Each day had a different focus of skills and apparatus covered.  Please enjoy the many pictures and videos that I have added to this blog. 
                                                         Abdominal Strength! and cooperation

                                            PUSH-PULL- muscle endurance, power, fun!

                                          Handstands!  Who is that?  (we'll never know)!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Body Management Unit - what does that mean?

What?  Body Management - what do you mean by that?  Well, the body management  unit is crucial to body awareness, spatial awareness, and the ability to perform locomotor and non-locomotor skills well.  This unit allows the students many opportunities to develop the basic locomotor skills such as galloping, skipping, hopping, leaping, jumping, sliding, and or course, running!  The students explore the relationships of different body parts to each other and to their environment.  The students have many opportunities to be creative and work cooperatively. 

Students enjoy performing the various ways of traveling forward, backward, and sideward--at all levels.  Pathways and different patterns are performed as students move while performing various locomotor skills ins zig-zagged, curved, straight, winding, and spiral routes.  Students work with partners as one another tries to guess what pathway/pattern their partner is performing.  I love this unit!

The students enjoy performing and "acting out' various animal walks and actions.  One could definitely notice the noise level when a tiger is portrayed compared to a snake, insect, or kitten!  Major muscles are recruited while performing the animal actions.  One is never to old to enjoy the "Animal Action" music!

Children will explore body shapes: long, narrow; wide; rounded; twisted; crooked; small; tall; pointed; flat.  One of the activities the students enjoy each year is performing shapes to resemble certain letters.  The culminating shape activity is when the boys join to create a letter shape - versus the girls shape!  It gets quite competitive in a healthy way! Statue tag was a favorite as students incorporated the various body shapes in a fun tag game.  If a student was tagged, he/she needed to "freeze" in a shape and wait for a classmate to rescue her by performing the same shape for 5 seconds.   
           Tree Pose - 3rd grade students! - then we tried it with eyes closed and also on the
                                                           ball of the foot!

                                           Flexibility - and a very cool shape - 3rd graders!
                                           Can you guess the letter shape?  Yep - "V"

                                                           A "terrific T!"

All classes discovered new forms of balance stunts.  Students were challenged to balance on one body part, two body parts, three body parts, up to 7 body parts - I saw many creative and challenging balances at various levels.  The also worked with classmate to form static balances.
                                                The Orbital letter "O" at a low level!
                           A very "handsome" lower case "H" at a low level!                                    
                                        Partners working together to form a lower case "d"

Students enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate shapes that are symmetrical vs. assymmetrical.  Isolations were fun to perform.  Yoga postures as well have been introduced and they feel really cool performing yoga poses!

Lastly, a HUGE obstacle course was set up in Gym C that the students absolutely loved!  Obstacle courses are a great way to challenge the heart, a well as improve coordination, balance, muscular endurance/strength and lots of fun!  Ask your child about it.......please!

Enjoy the pictures/videos above illustrating the fun experiences the students have during the body management unit.

Key words in the body management unit:  pathways, patterns, acceleration, deceleration, symmetry, assymmetrical, hopscotch, cross lateral, down dog, range, warrior, and body control!