But before we get in trouble with Led Zepplin for stealing their lyrics, we should get back to the blog information. 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls PE finished our dance unit. We had all kinds of fun – we stayed active, and we even learned some things along the way.
This 3-week “mini unit” is always welcomed with great anticipation by the girls. 8th graders choose their own (appropriate) music for their dance routine, and they also have the privilege of choosing the music that the 6th and 7th grade groups will use in their routines.
Each group (ranging from 3 to 7 girls) was required to include four specific dance moves in their routine. They all did this well – check out the videos.
At the elementary level, my main goal in Physical Education class is to make exercising fun. If students learn at a young age that exercising can be fun, they are more likely to have a positive association with it and carry that habit into adulthood. Just like any subject in school, PE has state standards for each grade level that need to be met. Students also learn how to create goals for themselves, learn about the different muscles they are strengthening, and the importance of taking care of their heart.
There are tests in PE as well! However, mixed throughout all of this is a fun and energized environment. We make sure we have fun while learning. Every holiday season I implement activities that cover the standards yet involve that particular season. For example, during the week of Halloween we did a “Pumpkin Patch” relay races and “Pumpkin Patch” fitness. The students really seemed to enjoy both activities. For our “Pumpkin Patch” relay, each team had one pumpkin, they had to push it on a scooter all the way down to the opposite side of the gym and back. This activity really worked on their core and quadriceps. They also had to carry the pumpkin down and back without dropping it. This worked on their upper body strength. Next PE class, students asked if they could do the relay races again! Next up: Thanksgiving. Look for pictures on our sjls Instagram pages involving our Thanksgiving activity: “What’s on my Plate?”
It brings me great joy watching the students exercise with a smile on their face. Learning that exercise is important at such a young age is fantastic and I am thankful that God allows me to be a part of that everyday.
Ever wonder how the kids make it through a Physical Education class during the month of September? Well, here are our strategies on how we BEAT THE HEAT..
When focusing on the goal of each class engaging in vigorous activity, we must take into consideration the weather for that day. For example, currently grades 6-8 are engaged in Volleyball (girl’s) and Soccer (boy’s), both activities require a lot of effort, movement and engagement while being outside in the sun for a considerable amount of time. In order to combat the heat of the day, we use 3 simple strategies:
Strategy 1: Hydration: Encouraging students to bring their own water bottle or hydro flask to P.E. is a must. We teach students to moderate their water intake. Students are given frequent water breaks to make sure that we our doing our best to stay hydrated through the class period.
Strategy #2: Short Activity Bursts: Skill development and drills are timed, and set to maximize output through shorter activities. Our goal during these hot days is to figure out how to get the most opportunity for each student to grow through participation, while being mindful of the importance of breaking for hydration and some quick time in the shade. For example, rather than working out for 20 minutes before a water break, we cut it down to every 5-7minutes.
Strategy #3: Education: We take the time to educate the students about the importance of proper hydration throughout each day. That water consumption should be regular and balanced to keep their body hydrated. Remember, if you are feeling thirsty, your body is telling you that it has already entered a state of dehydration. Preloading your body with water consumption is just like filling up your gas tank in your car before a long trip. You would never start that road trip with your fuel light flashing, yet we regularly see kids start their activities while already thirsty. A great formula for daily water consumption for the average person is to take your body weight, divide it by two and that number is how many ounces of water you should consume daily. For example, 200lbs divided by 2 equals 100, so at that weight, the average person should consume 100oz of water per day.
So as you can see, with these three strategies in place, we are able to run an educational yet vigorous physical education program; while maintaining proper hydration to help with success for students battling the heat.
Mr. Harrison, 6-8 grade Physical Education Department