Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Let's Get Physical!

Yes!  Let's Get Physical!  My name is Peggy Fifield and I am in my twentieth year teaching at Breck.  I have the great pleasure of teaching your child about physical education.  YES - about!  In class, we are very active, however, I also take pride in educating students about the "how" and "why" regarding physical education.  In this day in age where many of the schools are eliminating physical education classes from the curriculum, Breck realizes the importance it is in a child's daily life.  All students in lower school attend a physical education class 4 times in a 6 day block!  I am very excited to get to know your child and also play with them!

The first week has just "sprinted" by!  Many of the activities this week involved spatial awareness activities as well as understanding the expectations and procedures of our class.  My primary goal as a physical educator is too teach the students the importance of keeping fit throughout their lifetime.....and having lots of fun doing it!

I am looking forward to a great year with fun, exciting, and challenging activities.  Students will participate in manipulatives 1/2/3, rhythms, fitness related skills/evaluations, swimming, skating, gymnastics, movement awareness activities, multicultural gams, and track and field - have I missed anything?!  With all the great summer Olympic coverage this past month I am sure the children are motivated to give their best efforts!

As I mentioned, students in grades 1-4 participate in physical education 4 days out of the 6 day cycle.  Below are the times each class meets for physical education.

Pre-School/McCool - Day 1 (10:00 -10:30), Day 4 (10:00 -10:30), Day 6 (1:30 - 2:00)

First Grade - Murphy - Day 1, 2, 4, 5 from 11:05 - 11:45

Second Grade - Strochschein/Wright - Day 2 (2:15 - 2:55), Day 3 (10:05 - 10:45), Day 5 (2:15 - 2:55) and Day 6 (10:05 - 10:45)

Third Grade - Hunninghake - Day 1, 3, 4, 5 - 2:15 - 2:55

Fourth Grade - Nelson - Day 1, 3, 4, 5 - 12:40 - 1:20

The first day of class I stressed the importance of the KEYS TO SUCCESS IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION:

1.  Respect Rule:  to respect the instructor, students, and equipment
2   Safety Rule:  our actions do not endanger ourselves or others.
3.  Welcome Rule:  all children are welcome into any activity as long as they play by the rules.
4.  Hustle and give your best effort!

DON'T LEAVE THOSE SNEAKERS AT HOME!  That's right - for your child's safety as well as the liability involved, your child will not be allowed to participate without proper footwear in physical education.  Proper footwear includes tennis-type sneakers, those with flat bottom (no heel) and the foot fully covered.  Merrill shoes are not acceptable for class.  Also please make sure to label all jumpers, sweaters/sweatshirts and shoes.

Our first unit of the year is Body Management.  This unit will go through September 14th.  Each new unit lasts for 2-6 weeks cycles beginning on Day 1.


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.  This unit allows the students many opportunities to develop the basic locomotor skills such as galloping, skipping, hopping, jumping, sliding, leaping and, of course, running.  The students explore the relationships of different body parts to each other and to their environment. 

Students enjoy performing the various ways of traveling forward, backward, and sideward – at all levels (low, medium, and high.)  Pathways and different patterns are performed as students move while performing various locomotor skills in zigzagged, curved, straight, winding, and spiral routes.  Students’ work with partners as one another tries to guess what pathway/pattern their partner is performing. 

The students enjoy performing and “acting out” various animal walks and actions.  One can notice the noise level when a tiger is portrayed compared to a snake, insect, or kitten!   Relays are an integral part of the body management unit.  All classes enjoy the many tasks involved in different relays – but must understand how to perform the relays safely and efficiently. 

Children explore “body shapes”:  long, narrow; wide; rounded; twisted; crooked; small; tall; pointed; flat.   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.

All classes discovered new forms of balance stunts.  Students were challenged to balance on 1 body part, 2 body parts, 3 body parts, 7 body parts – I saw many creative and challenging balances at various levels.  They also worked with classmates to form static balances.

All classes are still working on performing the various warm-up fitness skills correctly.  The push-up or plank position is a great skill to build total body strength and demonstrate proper body awareness.  Tips to remember while performing the plank – STRAIGHT BODY, wrists under the shoulders, fingers pointing forward!  No banana back or drawbridge!   Flexibility exercises are incorporated into each lesson and students are working diligently to increase their range of movement.  Yoga postures have been introduced to students and they feel really “cool” performing the poses.

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

Our next unit beginning on September 15th is fitness.  Students will play several fitness related tag games, relay games, circuits,  participate in obstacle courses.  Throughout the unit, students will be evaluated on their cardiovascular endurance, strength, agility, and muscular endurance.  



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