Monday, February 20, 2017

Mustangs as Gymnasts!

Look at these Gymnastic Mustangs!

Show me a lunge 3rd graders!

Bridges - Back and upper back flexibility

Scale - airplane arms, 2nd graders

Handstands are always fun!  'TIMBER'

4th graders performing their balance skills 

Inverted balance - headstand, 3rd grade

Tripod - lead up progression to a headstand, 3rd grade

How lucky the students are to have the opportunity to do gymnastics in a physical education unit!  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 gymnastics skills learned are applied to everyday living - and 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!  The students acquire a knowledge of their body parts and how to move  through space.  Because of our wonderful space, and the spring floor, all classes enjoyed the activities that can be executed on the "bouncy" spring floor.  Some of the fun warm-up activities that were favorites are Snakes in the Grass, Wolfpack Tag, Natural Disaster, Tumbling Relays, and yoga stations.  It was pure fun to watch the students simply bounce, jump, and run on the spring floor - and it certainly is aerobic!  The general large muscle warm-up was followed by specific gymnastics stretches and positions.  All students learned some of the gymnastic language such as lunge, rear support, safety landing, tripod, tip-up, splits (OUCH!), pike, straddle, and layout.  Each day had a different focus of skills and apparatus covered.  Below I have listed the events and some of the skills that the students executed. 

Vault - springboard approach, straight body jump, correct safety landing with control
            running approach to the vault, hurdle to the springboard and squat up to the competition              vault
           * straight jump off with proper landing technique

Bars - Front support
          * leg swings
          * leg lifts side to side
          * forward roll off low bar
           *back hip pullover (3rd and 4th graders)

Beam - low beam skills (walking forward, sideways, backwards)
             *knee lift march
            * leg lift while walking
             *bunny hops - jumps
             *working on incline and decline beams
            * balance skills (v-sit, knee scales, standing scale on one foot)
            *  full turn using both feet to pivot
             *dismounting safely from the beam
            *stepping over an obstacle - bean bag, cone

Tumbling - many fun individual and partner stunts (great for coordination, balance, and cooperative skills)
                   *pyramids - Remember those?
                   *bridges - also with one leg lifted
                   *straight jumps, straight jumps with turns, tuck jumps, straddle jumps
                   *Scales - one legged balances, V-Sits with and without hands
                   *Egg Roll/Log Roll - down incline mat
                  * Wheelbarrow walk
                   *forward roll, down and up the incline mat, as well as simply on the floor
                   *tip-ups, tripods, headstands
                   *mule kicks - handstands

Every student had a favorite event.  However, I think the favorite event was the event we worked on that day!  Safety is a must in gymnastics.  Students quickly learned the safety issues and the expectations I had for them and others.  All students demonstrated confidence in many areas of this unit.  If you child is interested in continuing his/her gymnastics experience, I would be happy to give a recommendation of clubs that are available in the area.  Until next year in the gymnastics unit - Gymnastics Rocks!

Below are some fun pictures of our students in "action mode".  Let me just say - they LOVE being in the fieldhouse/gymnastics area.  For some they get lots of ENERGY!    ENJOY THE PICTURES!

Push up position - upper body strength, 2nd grade

Cardio portion of class - MOVE!   2nd grade

Tuck position - 2nd grade

Straddle sitting - ouch!  Inner thighs! - 2nd grade

Warm-up game, class favorite called "Snakes in the Grass" - snakes are the taggers - attempting to touch the students running through the meadow/grass!

Students stretching the arms - tricep muscle

Stretching the back, hamstrings, chest and shoulders

Pike sit

Preparing to do various jumps - Reach with the arms!