Week 38-39

During the last few weeks of school, as long as Fitnessgram testing is complete, the students have the chance to do some fun games and activities that we don’t often have time for.  Since the “Boot Camp” obstacle courses were such a hit at field day, I decided to use some of the equipment, and set up the obstacle course in the gym.  The students worked so hard during this activity!

A pull-up station was one of the indoor obstacles.  This is a really tough skill for most people, but we have a handful of students in each class that were able to conquer the pull-up bar!  The rest of us will have to continue practicing “Squatting pull-ups” for the time being.

Classes played some Big-Ball-Dodge-Ball as another fun, end-of-the-year, game.  This is also an activity that gets students’ heart rates up.  Students throw foam dodge balls at a large cage ball, and try to get it to move toward another team’s line.  If the ball hits your line, your team must run a lap, and then the game begins again.  This game provides me with a great opportunity to watch students throw, and allows me to see who still needs help with this skill.

The final week of school, classes played Crab Soccer using the Big Ball, and also had a free choice activity day.  Typically the students select dodge ball on a free choice day, but this time several other fun games were chosen!

Sleepy Hollow students have grown in so many ways during the past nine months…and for our fifth graders, over the past SIX years!  It is such a blessing for me to get to be a part of the process. Best wishes to our fifth grade students.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the DMS Midnight Mile next year, or maybe in the musical.  Kindergarten-fourth graders, I’ll see you, ready to work, in August!  I hope everyone has a safe, fun, and active summer.

~Mrs. Meyer

Week 36-37

 

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During these two weeks, we finished up mile and pacer testing in the classes that had not had the opportunity to do so.  We also wrapped up the Fitnessgram push-up and curl-up tests, and did Fitnessgram make-up testing.

While some students were testing, the remainder of the class rotated around racquet, paddle and scoop stations.  At the lower grade levels, students practiced underhand serving with badminton racquets and birdies as well as lollipop paddles and yarn balls.  They played catch with a partner using scoops.  Scoops are great for beginning lacrosse skills.

The older kids served birdies to one another, and then worked on hitting them back and forth.  They played scoop ball catch as well.  Rather than using lollipop paddles, the older students used tennis racquets and balls, and worked on controlling the ball and racquet, hitting the ball up in the air and down to the ground consecutively.

Our racquet~scoop~paddle unit was short, but I hope it gave students a fun experience with these skills, and the motivation to work on them outside with friends this summer!

~Mrs. Meyer

Week 35

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The spring weather is so unpredictable that when it’s a nice outside, I have to seize the opportunity to test the students in the mile.  This past Monday was a beautiful morning to run.  Fifth grade, first grade, and Mrs. Waterman’s 4th grade completed the mile test. Many students achieved a personal record, and will receive a certificate of improvement before the year ends.

It was actually quite warm outside on Monday afternoon.  Second grade classes attempted the mile, but I’ve decided to call that one “practice.”  The hot weather and the excitement of their second grade musical did not help too many students break their record.  I know that second grade students have had a lot of practice running this year.  Most of them have done at least 15 miles in Mileage Club.  We’ll give it another shot on a day when they have p.e. in the morning instead of the afternoon.

After Monday, late winter weather came back, so the remaining classes did not get the chance to do the Mile.  I did get the Pacer (cardiorespiratory endurance) test finished with most classes though.  I was excited about the improvement that so many students showed in the Pacer this time through.  I had two classes in which every student in the class had 20 or more laps, and one class that had 100% of the students show improvement!

Kindergarten and first grade students practiced basketball shooting, playing “Popcorn.”  I also assessed them in their basketball dribbling skills.

~Mrs. Meyer

 

Week 32-34

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Following spring break, all classes jumped into a basketball unit.  In kindergarten, first and second grade we worked on bouncing and catching the ball, tossing the ball up in the air and catching it, dribbling with one hand, dribbling with the other hand, switching hands when dribbling, dribbling while walking, and dribbling while jogging or running.  I expressed to the students that when dribbling, it is important to use a firm, not floppy wrist, fingers should be spread out, not together or curled under, the ball should be pushed down using finger and thumb prints, not the palm of the hand, and that the ball should be kept below their waist.  The students practiced their dribbling skills in their own space to start, and then I made it more challenging and also more fun through practice in a game called Feed the Frogs and Flag Pull Basketball.

Third, fourth, and fifth grade students practiced dribbling as well.  They played more competitive Flag Pull Basketball, Partner Sharks and Minnows, and Bulldog.  All of these games required that the students protect their ball while dribbling.

 

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Students at all grade levels practiced bounce, chest, and overhead passing.  Kindergarten and first grade students used a Nerf style ball to practice these skills with several different partners in their class.  Second grade students had the option to use a Nerf ball or a basketball.  Third-fifth grade students practiced passing with a basketball in a game of Hot Potato.

At all grade levels we have worked on basketball shooting.  I put the baskets at a variety of different heights, and use different sized basketballs so that everyone is challenged, yet has the opportunity for success.  When I teach the students to shoot, I have them start out using only their dominant hand. I tell them to hold the ball on their hand like they’re serving a pizza at Pizza Hut.  This helps to prevent them from having “chicken wings.”  I tell them that we have chicken wings when we pass, and pizza when we shoot.  Other cues I use:  Feet apart, knees bent, elbow straight, push, and reach into the cookie jar (follow through.)  As the students get more proficient, I allow them to use their non-dominant hand to balance the ball.  If I see that they have “chicken wings”, or are not following through properly, we go back to one hand until they get the hang of it.

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This spring I started teaching the students the names of the bones.  We have been playing “Mr. Bones Says,” like Simon Says, to practice them.  So far we have learned cranium, mandible, clavicle, sternum, ribs, vertebrae, humerus, radius, ulna, carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges.   The kiddos are catching on more quickly than I anticipated!  If your child would like to practice, they can click on this link:  https://shespe.wordpress.com/health-resources/

While students have been practicing basketball in such a focused manner, I have taken the opportunity to start fitness testing.  Most classes have completed the Modified Sit and Reach (flexibility) test.  Depending on the weather, we will be moving on to the Mile (cardiorespiratory endurance) test, or the Push-up (muscular strength and endurance) test next.

~Mrs. Meyer

 

 

Week 31

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We wrapped up our k-1 soccer unit and 3-5 hockey unit during week 30, so week 31, the last week of school before spring break, was a “break week.”  The classes played a variety of different games.  Third, fourth, and fifth grade classes squeezed in some soccer, playing 4-corner and zone soccer.  These games were set up the same way as the hockey games they had played a week earlier, so there was a nice transfer of learning between the activities.

animated-bowling-image-0073Students in 2nd-5th grade played an exciting game of Hyper-Bowling.  Each team began the game with 5 bowling pins set up on their side.  The object of the game was to bowl down the opponent’s pins, and set them up on your own side.  The team to collect all 10 pins won.  This game went back and forth, and was a huge challenge for the students…a great workout too!

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Kindergarten and first grade students played an egg hunt memory relay game.  The object was to be the team to find all of their colored eggs first.   The youngsters found this game to be very exciting.  They also played a fun game of rainbow flag tag, in which they had to steal flags from teams wearing a different color flag.

~Mrs. Meyer

Week 29 & 30

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Kindergarten and first grade students completed their soccer unit this week.  The past two weeks they played a game called Expressway, in which they dribbled down the center of the gym, made a shot at the goal, and the returned on the outside of the gym to a partner at the beginning of the course.  Like on the real expressway, students just keep moving continuously.  Everyone moves at a pace that is comfortable to them, without holding anyone else up…unlike many parts of I90.  Classes played a game called Bulldog as well.  This was Expressway, with a twist.  We added “bulldogs” to the middle of the game.  Their job was to try to kick the soccer balls away from the kids as they attempted to dribble across the field, and try to score a goal.  The final game of the unit was 8-goal soccer.  Students dribbled around the gym and attempted to make a goal at the different goals around the gym.  This time, there were goalies.  Every student had a chance to be a goalie during this game.

The second-fifth grade classes continued on with their hockey unit playing a Hot Potato passing game, Circle Chase (students stick handle around the outside of the gym as quickly as possible, and then go to the center of the gym to shoot down bowling pins,) and Crossy Road Hockey (students attempt to cross the gym and shoot at a goal at the end, without being hit by balls shot from the sidelines–parents, you would recognize this game as Frogger.)  To wrap up the unit, second and third grade classes played two days of 4-Corner Hockey.  It is a modified hockey game in which their are four teams and four goals.  Students have the opportunity to play on the field and on the sideline during this game.  Fourth and fifth grade classes played 4-Corner Hockey one day, and then finished off with  Zone Hockey.  This is a favorite game for the students because there are two teams, and it looks like REAL hockey to them.  I like it because everyone must stay in their own zone, which prevents anyone from taking over the game.  Everyone gets to play in every position for one minute.  All students have an equal opportunity to contribute to both offense and defense.  Best of all, it gets heart rates up, and it’s really fun!

Mrs. Meyer

 

Gym Shoes

                    
GYM SHOES

I know that the ABCDE schedule this year makes it challenging to remember what days students need library books, gym shoes, instruments, etc.  It remains important though, that students come to school prepared to work.  A lot of boots have been worn to p.e. this winter.  As the weather warms up, this will switch to flip flops and sandals.  It would be very helpful if students left an old pair of gym shoes at school so that they are always ready to participate on p.e. days…or when the schedule has to be adjusted due to PARCC testing or other extenuating circumstances. 

SHOE TYING

Between the ages of 4 and 6, most students have the ability to tie their own shoes.  It is a skill that does not come naturally, and must be taught and practiced to achieve success.  If you have a child who has not learned this skill yet, please take some time over spring break to work on shoe tying.  If you click this link you will find some YouTube videos showing different techniques…if one seems too challenging for your child, there may be another that comes easier.   https://shespe.wordpress.com/how-to-tie-shoes/
Thank you for your support in these two areas!

Mrs. Meyer