Summer time is here, and so is the time for renovation. What will I renovate? Well, for starters, I'm working on a pilot program that we will have at school next school year.
We are planning on having a before school physical activity program. The details are still in the works, but the rationale behind it is to offer the activity to a group of students that are at risk academically. According to Dr. Ratey and many other researchers, being physically active, especially with cardiovascular activities, will greatly enhance learning. More brain connections will be formed, alertness will be increased, and a healthier student will come out in the end.
I am also attending a PE Technology workshop presented by Rich Butterworth. It is being held at Crystal Lake Middle School in Lakeland. Today we had a blast participating on a circuit with a variety of stations, some of which were incorporating different technological devices (like an iPad for videotaping, X-Box dancing, etc.).
I will also begin training to become a Guardian at Litem next week. It is something I've been wanting to do for a while and having the time during the summer vacation helps.
The heat is on! (Literally!) and I will continue to pursue one of my "hobbies" which is to follow the weather and become an amateur "weathergirl" trying to predict which way storms will move this hurricane season. At the beginning of this blog entry is a picture I took yesterday just down the street. Awesome cloud formation!
I will also continue with my nature walks (heat permitting) and taking photographs of animals, plants, and in general any form of living things and natural phenomenon.
'Til the next one!
Wow! Long time no write! Life's been quite busy, but I will try once again to write as often as I can.
At the present I'm getting ready for my Fahperds 2012 presentation. I will be sharing ideas to work indoors when inclement weather does not allow us to enjoy the outdoors or our covered courts.
In school we have just finished our Y-Ties fundraiser and made a good amount of $$$$ to purchase new equipment. We have also just begun our soccer skills unit, just as we finish our Fall Fitnessgram tests.
My students sincerely love the Pacer test! It is surely their favorite! They have been improving each year and focus more on their jogging instead of competing against others. Not that competing is not good, but some try so hard to get to the opposite line before the others that they forget to "pace" themselves and end burnt out.
One of the most difficult tests to monitor is the Curl-ups, but I allow my students slight modifications in order to comply with the objective of letting them participate in the fitness test, learn from their strengths and weaknesses and establish their personal goals.
Now all I need is for the Central Florida weather to remember that we are in FALL, and that it needs to begin cooling off! We were melting today, in particular because of the high humidity. Oh well! Soon we will have cooler weather!
Till the next one!
Once more we will be having a Jump Rope For Heart event. We have been working on different jump rope skills and somehow the students seem more motivated this year to learn and improve their tricks (although we might not collect as much money as in years past).
One of the activities the students have liked the most has been watching a JRFH skills video for about 5 minutes, then going and trying out new tricks. A very popular one is the Traveler, in which several students jump without rope, in a line, while the one with the jump travels down the line jumping and including each one while he goes behind them.
We will also have the Smoker's Circulatory System. You can find this activity in my Games, Activities &
Well... I did it! I managed to have a good presentation (or so the audience said). As PE teachers we need to adapt constantly. The sound was terrible with and without the mic, there was no way to hook up a CD player to the overhead loudspeakers and not even at 10 feet away from the player could I hear the music. That's too bad, because I really tried to choose the music carefully to go with the activities.
But... I managed to pull it off. The audience was great and asked very interesting questions. I presented Fit in a Minute stations, the Constitution Stations, Make it Stack it, TicTacToe Basket, Body Builders; I also presented the 5,6,7,8 dance and the Beep Beep pre-packaged warm-up.
I hope my colleagues took some new ideas with them and understand that the key lies in adapting any activity to our reality in the schools.
I know I have come away with great ideas from other presenters that I will include and adapt for my classes
Well, it's almost here! Two more weeks of vacation and it will be back to the court, the field, the equipment, but most important: the kids!
I'm planning different activities, going through my books, printing signs, brainstorming on new ways to do old things and improve on the ones that I know work.
There are some new groups on Facebook. The PE Central is one of them. While it's not the same as the PETalk, it's more fresh and I don't have to go looking for archives. I think it is a more "direct" way of talking to other teachers and share our concerns, our findings, and what makes us go on in our professional lives.
One of the things I'm looking into is types of activities that can be carried out in the smothering Florida heat! We've had many days in the 100's and with the humidity, it is even worse. I only wish we had more water fountains at school. At this point we have only one and a half (one works and the other gives out warm water...)
I will try to write more often. I've been neglecting this dear blog.
Til the next one!
Long time no write!
I've been quite busy, but here I am again.
This time we're getting ready for Jump Rope For Heart. Our event will take place on February 22, 23, 24, during my students' Physical Education class.
The children are very excited and even began signing onliine before I gave them the information! Today, there are 14 students signed up. I believe that's the total we had last year, but we've only just begun.
We also just purchase new Football balls that are easy to throw and catch, as well as many frisbees. We purchased these with the money we collected by selling Y-ties. Awesome program.
Another bit of good news is that through DonorsChoose.org we obtained the SPARK curriculum for K-2 and 3-6. I'd been wanting to have this program and have already begun to apply some of their activities.
Yesterday was our first "cold" day of this school year. Although it might not be considered cold in other parts of the country or the world, a temperature in the low 50's with winds of up to 15 mph are "cold" here in Winter Haven.
Many children do not come prepared, wearing a light sweatshirt or no sweater at all. Some parents do not understand how the weather affects our Physical Education class, so I'm preparing a newsletter to go home next week. They are fidgety, chatty, and in general over excited. It is difficult to explain the activity because they are not really listening. This is especially so in the 5th grade students, for whom talking is the focus of their daily lives. Since they are not allowed to talk much in the classrooms, and they come to PE during the last period of the day..... They think it is finally THE time to talk.
In all, in spite of the conditions, we had good classes this week. I worked also on the "Y-Ties" fundraiser for the first time and did not do bad at all! Next week I'll wrap up and will order more ties if I need to.
This week we worked on different stations. I included the StackSpots (like polyspots but they include fitness activities and speed stacking activities). The kids loved them and they had the chance to work on a variety of fitness activities and review their speed stacking abilities. The wind was not very cooperative, but in general it all went great!
Til the next one.
Children are natural movers. Almost since conception, a child, even before it is born, moves almost constantly. A pregnant mother feels it around the 4th month of pregnancy. They move in response to stimulus, and they move because they need to move.
After birth, apart from the natural resting time and the sleeping time, an infant moves in a general way. Toes move, fingers move, eyes, head, until the child gains more and more control. Crawling, taking its first steps... are major markers of different stages.
Why, then, do many adults insist in trying to reduce movement in children? Why the insistence in children being sitting, being quiet, and not being their natural selves?
Now, I do understand there are children who have a higher need for movement, and are sometimes classified as hyperactive (commonly referred as "hyper" child). But if you read the list of symptoms for a child with ADHD, most of the symptoms have to do with "excessive movement". When I grew up, some 50 years ago, movement was natural and expected, and life revolved around it. We climbed trees, rode our tricycles, and later our bikes, ran, pushed, pulled, wrestled, etc. Today, with life more restricted in small apartments and with insecurity outside our doors, more and more children are limited in their movement.
Til the next one!
Parent involvement... wouldn't it be great if more parents were involved in motivating their children to do their best, not only academically, but also socially, and in the realm of good manners?
Some parents are right on the ball. They talk to their children, and if their child brings home a Minor Infraction Note, they make sure their child understands the right way to do things.
Other parents, enable their children and make them feel they can get away with anything. For those parents, their child's behavior or misbehavior is always someone else's fault. Also, if their child gets admonished, they expect other children to be admonished as well, and they want proof of it!
It is amazing to see the change in children's behavior after parents have acted in a positive and nurturing way. Some children come with an apology, while others simply start acting the right way, listening and following instructions and class procedures.
The world would be so much better if more parents were more supportive! I saw a comic once of a child coming home with a bad report card some 20-30 years ago. In this, the parents were scolding the child for his lack of effort. The other half of the comic was an image of today, and in this one, the parents were scolding the teacher for the child's bad grades.... It is a big change, a big shift in how parents and children view teacher's responsibility vs. parent and student responsibility in the child's growth and learning.
Til the next one!
Physical Education has been my passion and my life for 30+ years. Providing children with a wide variety of movement opportunities and skills that will allow them to be healthy, and enjoy being active is what drives my classes.