Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Friday Classes

We sure keep busy during our 55 minute P.E. class. Yesterday's agenda was 1)Warm-Up (Switcharoo) 2) Thanksgiving Match Game and 3) Battleship.

My Friday classes really enjoyed the Thanksgiving Match Game, and we took a few minutes to sneak in a nutrition lesson! We discussed the difference between proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables and what each one does to help our bodies. We also identified everything on our "plate" (game board) and classified each item as protein (turkey), carbohydrate (stuffing), vegetables (mashed potatoes, green beans, corn) and fruit (cranberry sauce).

At the end of class during our review time, many of my 3rd graders agreed that they would try some new foods this Thanksgiving (maybe something they didn't like last year)! We talked about how our taste buds change as we get older and many of them gave me examples of things they like to eat now, but didn't like before. But, of course, some still cringed their noses at the thought of eating green bean casserole. :-)

We concluded the lesson with Battleship which is a game which involves a lot of catching and throwing.  We've been practicing both of those skills since early October.  Below are several videos of my Friday classes playing Thanksgiving Match Game and Battleship.

3rd graders playing the Thanksgiving Match Game:

Another 3rd grade clip:

2nd graders playing Thanksgiving Match Game:

2nd grade Battleship: Towards the end of the video, the one team's ship sunk (all their bowling pins were knocked down), so the "crew" sunk to the bottom of the ocean to do ABC Push-ups, then they will come back to set up their pins again and continue playing.

The kids on the scooters are "lifeboats" and they bring "cannonballs" back to their ship. The team on the blue mat just sank, so they were doing their push-ups, then came back to set up their pins.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One of my favorite games!

For the past 2 months, we have been working on catching and throwing skills in P.E. class.  Today we played a game which involved a lot of catching and throwing, and it happens to be one of my all time favorites!  I call this game "Battleship".  I got the idea from  They call the game "Sink the Ship".  I have made a few  changes to this game.  If you would like to view the details of my throwing unit, please click here.  If you would like to view my catching unit, please click here.

Battleship - video - 3rd grade:  This video shows the Lifeboats (scooters) bringing cannonballs back to their ships.

Battleship - video - 5th grade: This video shows what the players do if their ship SINKS. (If all their bowling pins get knocked down). The "crew" sinks to the bottom of the ocean (the end of the gym), they all do ABC Push-ups, then they come back to their ship, set UP their pins and begin playing again.

Battleship - video - 2nd grade: This game is great for many grade levels. I even taught this to my Fab Five class last year!

Battleship - Video - 2nd grade: In this video, the student are setting UP for another round of the game. I give them 60 seconds to get a ball, set up pins, and choose a new person to ride their lifeboat. The groups who are ready in under 60 seconds earn a squad point (a reward system I use). I always give a TIME LIMIT for students to clean up/set up. This way they move quickly and no time is wasted! 60 seconds is generous.....usually kids can get ready in 30-45 seconds!

5th graders playing:

This team's ship sunk, so they are standing at the bottom of the ocean doing 10 jumping jacks. When they come back they may set their pins up again.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Match Game - P.E. Fitness Activity

Thanksgiving Match Game
This game is a great fitness activity that also teaches students about food groups/nutrition.  It is very easy to understand and it’s a lot of fun, so I played this game with ALL of my classes - ages Fab Five through 5th grade! 

Video of 5th graders playing this game:

3rd graders playing Thanksgiving Match Game:

Equipment Needed:
3-5 buckets or small storage containers (to hold flashcards)
4-8 game boards (1 game board per 2-5 players....depending on how small of groups you want.) My game boards are plastic or paper plates with one of each card taped or glued to it. 
50+ Thanksgiving flashcards (I made my own and laminated them-pictures of things we eat on Thanksgiving)  Download Flashcards-click here

Description of game:
This is similar to a relay race.  Each group is lined up on one end of the gym.  One person from each group runs to get a flashcard from the buckets, which are placed at the opposite end of the gym.  They may draw out ONE card, run back to their group and match the card to the picture on their game board.  As soon as they get back, the next person begins running.  Continue to take turns running to get cards until time is up. 

There are SERVERAL ways to play this game. 

Option 1:  I prefer to play this game for about 5 minutes.  After the time is up, students sit in their lines and I draw a card out from the container.  If I draw out the picture of  turkey, all groups count to see how many of that card they have.  Whoever has the most of that card earns a point.  I draw out 3 different cards to give 3 points.  The next card might be mashed potatoes, so whoever has the most of that card earns a point.  You may also change it to say whoever has the LEAST of a card (maybe the least pumpkin pie cards since that isn’t as healthy of a food).

If they draw the turkey card, but already have one on their gameboard, just put it on top to make a pile.  The team that earns a point can choose an exercise for the rest of the class to perform (10 push-ups, 20 crunches, 20 jumping jacks, etc).  I had the winning team roll foam dice to determine the number of exercises to do (7 jumping jacks, 3 push-ups, etc).

Option 2:  This could be played as a bingo game.  Give a point to whoever has a bingo after the time limit is up.

Option 3:
  Give a point to whoever has all of the vegetable side dishes (mashed potatoes, sweet pototoes, green beans, corn, etc).  OR the most total vegetable cards.

Option 4:  Give a point to whoever has the most protein on their plate/gameboard (count the turkey cards).

Option 5:  Count total cards, give a point to whoever has the most cards (this means the group was running faster than other groups).

NOTES:  Before, during, and/or after the game, discuss nutrition with the class.  Discuss which items are proteins, carbs, or fruits/vegetables.  Discuss their Thanksgiving family traditions...what do they eat on Thanksgiving?  What is their favorite/least favorite?  If there are foods they don’t like, will they try them again this year to see if they like them now?  (encourage students to taste a variety of foods!).

Another video of 3rd graders playing this game:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Warm-Up Activities for Elementary P.E. Students

Warm Up Activities

NOTES:  I ALWAYS put a sign on the gym door where the students enter for P.E.  The sign tells them the name of the warm up we are doing.  I also try to greet them at the door as they are coming in, and make sure students have gym shoes.  This procedure allows students to get moving the moment they come to P.E.!

We do the same warm-up activity for the entire month, then at the beginning of each new month I teach them a new warm-up activity and show them the new sign that they will see on the gym door.  (1st-5th grades)  I do not recommend changing warm-ups this often for Kindergarten students.  I use the same warm-up activity for the entire semester. 

Below is a month-by-month warm up calendar.  

September Activity:  Move and Stretch

Sign on the gym door:   STOP sign (you can buy a red stop sign from the teacher store, or make your own)

Procedure:  Students STOP when they get to the gym door.  Teacher greets students at the door and tells them to walk in on the black line.   Check to make sure all students have proper shoes. 

Next, the teacher holds up a “GO” sign and students start jogging, in line around the gym.  I do not allow students to pass each other on the first lap for safety reasons.  They have to all jog one time around, then they may start running faster to pass other runners.  

Move and Stretch
- students will be moving around the perimeter of the gym while the music is on.  Teacher can specify the movement such as jogging, walking, running, skipping, galloping, crab walk, hopping, etc.  When the music stops, students stop and do a stretch.  Teacher calls out the name of a stretch such as butterflies, hurdlers stretch, arm scissors, arm circles, picking apples, etc.  I play music for about 30-45 seconds and then pause for a stretch.

After this activity we meet on our squad spots for 3-5 minutes to introduce/practice new exercises.  Here are some ideas of exercises to teach them:

Arms:  Push-Ups, Mountain Climbers, ABC Push-ups, Spider Push-ups
Legs:  Scissor Kicks, Crab Kicks, Leg lifts, Windmills
Trunk:  Knee Raises, Crunches, Planks
Others: Jumping Jacks, Balancing Activities, Yoga poses

October Activity:  Switch-a-roo

Sign on the gym door:  The sign should list what girls will do and what boys will do when they enter the gym. 

Girls = running / Boys = Push-Ups
Boys = skipping / Girls = Windmills

If girls are running, they enter the gym and run aroudn the perimeter.  The boys will go to the center of the gym to do their push-ups.

Explanation of activity:
Play the music for about 45 seconds, then pause it as a signal for students to SWITCH (so boys are running and girls are doing push-ups in the center).  Every 45 seconds I pause the music and either say “switch” or after both groups have done that exercise I will give them a different combination such as “galloping and crab kicks”, then “skipping and crunches”, then “running and scissor kicks”.  We do 3-4 combinations and then meet on our squad spots for a few quick stretches.

I tell students we call it Switch-a-roo because we are switching every 45 seconds (boys/girls switch jobs, and we also switch exercises and movements).

Switch-a-roo video = girls are jogging and jumping over hurdles, boys are doing ABC Push-ups.  Video doesn't show it, but when I yell "switch", the boys will begin jogging and the girls will come in the middle to do ABC push-ups.
Here is a video of this.

November/December Warm-Up:
Warm-Up Centers. Please click on the attachment "Warm-Up Centers" for more details. Please click on the link "warm-up center VIDEOS" to view videos of this activity.

January-May Warm-Ups:   Coming soon!  Check back later...

Overhand and Underhand Throwing Lesson Ideas for Elementary Students

Throwing Unit

Throwing - Instruction (cue words used to teach proper form)

Underhand throw = Tick, Step, Tock
Overhand Throw (K-2nd grade)= T position, Bend (elbow), Twist
Overhand Throw (3rd-5th grade) = T, Tilt, Bend, Twist

T- position= Both arms are extended so the body looks like the letter T.  Non throwing arm is pointing to the target.  

- tilt body back so your non-throwing arm and foot come up (foot comes off the floor).  The tilt gives more power to your throw.

Bend - Bend elbow of throwing arm.

Twist - twist body as your bend your elbow.

Throw - release ball and follow through. 

Throwing Practice - individual (overhand throw):

I give each student a foam or yarn ball.  They stand behind the side line and aim for the opposite wall.  You can hang targets on the wall (big papers, hula hoops, or maybe there are already painted targets on the walls) for them to aim at. 

We practice individually this way for about 5-6 minutes each class period during the throwing unit.  This gives me a chance to give feedback and help students who need reminders about their form.  You can also use this time for assessment. 

Throwing Games:

Star Wars:  I make one huge spaceship (with 4-5 mats) or many separate spaceships.  Mats are set up as ships against the wall, standing tall.  Players throw foam or yarn balls into spaceships.  Mark 3 different colored lines running down the length of the gym for this game.  Depending on grade level, students must stand behind the line while throwing.   Specify underhand or overhand throw.  Good time to pass out sparkle notes for good form or distance of throws into the spaceship. 

I choose 4-5 kids to be the “astronauts”.  They stay inside the ship and throw balls back out. 

This is one of my favorite games ever! See for the  instructions - search for “Sink the Ship”.
Video of Battleship - 2nd graders

Search for the folllowing games:

Beginner Games:
Two Pass Catching
Hot Potato Tag
Throw and Catch Medley
6 and Switch with partner
Sink the Ship (Battleship) - all grades enjoy this game


Birthday Cake - good for underhand throw
Throw Everything
Healthy Eaters
Catch 100 with partner
Wishing Well
Indoor Snowball
Bean Bag Battle - good for 3rd-5th grades