Sunday, January 22, 2017

2017 - Let's get busy in the pool!

  We are presently in our second swimming unit of the year.  For many, this is the favorite unit of the year.  This unit concentrates on more advanced strokes, dives, and fun warm-up activities.  First and second graders are becoming more confident in the water - deep and shallow.  Rhythmic breathing is the big challenge for most lower school students.  The use of noodles and kick boards enhances the learning and makes the process fun!  The main strokes covered in first and second grade are the front and back crawl.  Many things need to happen in order to perform each stroke.  Students enjoy the various floats:  turtle, star, superman, jellyfish, and the back float.  Bobs encourage the students to work on the rhythmic breathing as well as feel more comfortable in the water.  JUMPS are the favorite of students.  I incorporate different jumping games to encourage listening skills, various body positions, and safe entries.  In second grade, all students had the opportunity to learn the correct diving technique.  I was impressed to see how many students are able to dive!  It looks like we have some parents that have done some coaching in that area! 

Third and fourth graders continue to work on more challenging strokes:  front and back crawl, elementary backstroke, and the sidestroke.  At this level, most students enjoy performing skills in the deep end.  Treading water, surface dives, platform dives, and deep water bobs contribute to making the lesson fun!  I have also witnessed some gigantic cannonballs!  Several of the warm-up activities utilize foam noodles, foam floating mats and kick boards.  The students loved the relays using the kickboards and floating mats.  Their heart rates were UP!  The relays that require teamwork, alertness, and hard work.  Students are frequently asked to feel their heart rates, as swimming is definitely a vigorous aerobic activity.  The students also worked on various practical lifesaving practices.  They learned the phrase - "Reach, Throw, don't Go!  That means a student unless lifeguard certified should NEVER enter the water to save a struggling victim.  We practiced various throwing and reaching assists.  Students were engaged in great discussion as to what is possible and how a rescue can be executed safely.  Below are some pictures of the students working and having fun in the swimming unit!

Fourth Graders getting ready for the fun!
2nd Graders - silly, right?!

More silly 2nd graders!

Don't forget the girls!

I got it!  I dove for it!  I captured the ring! - 1st Grade

Noodles are great training aids - 1st grade

Last day of the unit - FREE SWIM - the floating mats come out in full force!
May the FORCE by with you!  2nd Grade

Look carefully - two divers (2nd grade) practicing their dives from a low level squatting position -
Lifeguard Bob is there always!

2nd grade - diving off the springboard - tight arms, tuck the chin, now just lift the hips and you've got it!


Jumping is always fun!

More dives!

More Jumps!

 CANNONBALL!  And YES, there was a BIG splash!

At the end of each class period, third and fourth grade students have the choice of free swim or lap swim.  The majority of students have chosen to improve their fitness by swimming laps (cardio swim)  - I was very impressed with their over-all skill, endurance and determination.  Students will receive a certificate with the lap swim accomplishment - so proud of them!   We are certainly blessed to have a swimming pool available to students at Breck.  So much fun - such a great experience - in the land of 10,000 lakes! 

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