Posted on December 5, 2016
Physical Education Semester Overview
The elementary students at Mid-Pacific Institute are continuing their process of developing the proper motor skills, knowledge, and sportsmanship to attain lifetime fitness. All students in grades Kindergarten through 5 were able to monitor their fitness gains through their Fitnessgram assessments. Students have gained knowledge about proper techniques to perform efficient body movements leading to higher level performances. Team building activities reinforced concepts of sportsmanship and teamwork, which are necessary for students to successfully interact with their peers in physical activity.
Kindergarten through 2nd Grade
The kindergarten through second grade students focused on mastering locomotor skills while grasping the concept of spatial awareness and pathways. Students performed locomotor skills through various activities involving agility footwork on ladders and circuit training. Constant repetitions on the ladders during class warm-ups helped aide students in gaining control over their bodies. Complementing the ladder workouts, students utilized some critical thinking while participating in bucket stacking activities. The bucket-stacking activities reinforced patterns and balance. As students gained control over their bodies, dodging and fleeing games were incorporated to teach the concept of spatial awareness. The activities that reinforced spatial awareness were Mr.Fox, Sharks and Minnows, Capture the Flag, Cone Tag, and parachutes. Student spatial awareness allowed us to start working in stations because students could recognize proper personal space during rotations. As students became familiar with rotating during fitness stations, activities were transformed into throwing and catching stations. The levels of difficulty increased week to week for throwing and catching stations. The progression went from bean bags, yarn balls, and rubber balls to tennis balls, tail balls, and reaction balls. As students were able to progress, they improved their eye-hand coordination and recognized the importance of being in a proper athletic position to be able to catch and throw at various stationary and moving targets.
Currently, the kindergarten through second graders are in their soccer unit. The first couple of classes have been focusing on ball control. Students have been learning to dribble, pass, and shoot the soccer ball. We are working on gaining the concept of proper spacing from teammates during a game situation.
3rd through 5th Grade
The third through fifth graders started the semester with team-building activities, such as Lava Rocks, Human Chain, and Capture the Flag to increase the concept of teamwork and critical thinking. Students increase their agility and fitness levels by performing ladder exercises for their upper and lower body. Students made vast improvements in their Fitnessgram assessments, which were taken in August and November. Many students learned the concept of pacing themselves and improving their form allowing them to be efficient in their movements. As students improved their muscular strength and endurance, modified team and lifetime sports were incorporated into the curriculum that encouraged the development of motor skills, sportsmanship, and game strategies.
The third and fourth grade multi-age classes experimented with speedball in their first unit. Speedball was a combination of soccer, basketball, and football concepts. Speedball helped students review proper throwing, catching, and kicking techniques. Students had to compile all their skills to execute proper offensive and defensive strategies to play a functional game of speedball. Students applied the concept of passing and moving to open space on offense. Students gained knowledge on how to properly mark up on an opponent rather than following the ball.
Following the speedball unit, the concept of an athletic position was reinforced through a Triangle Ball and Tchoukball unit. Students practiced throwing at different angles and distances off the pyramid structure and rebounder net, while they were offense. The athletic position was utilized when students had to react to an opponent's throw off the pyramid structure or rebounder net. The concept of spatial awareness was visible as there was constant change of offensive and defensive possession during a game. Students were able to properly react to balls.
The fifth graders exhibited their throwing, catching, and kicking abilities through a modified handball and ultimate frisbee unit. Modified handball was a combination of soccer, basketball, football, and soccer skills. Students were able to demonstrate their knowledge of passing and moving with or without a ball. Multiple balls were used during a round of handball, which forced students to communicate with their teammates on defensive and offensive possessions. During possessions, each team experimented with their own strategies of getting the ball down the field efficiently. After students gained the concept of teamwork, proper spacing was reinforced during our ultimate frisbee unit.
In the ultimate frisbee unit, students learned a backhand and forehand throw at different distances. Catching the frisbees at different distances and speeds helped increase eye-hand coordination. While performing the skills, the fifth graders were able to pass and move without frisbee. Many students figured out that it is harder to play defense against an offense that is spread out and constantly moving.
Currently third through fifth graders have started a volleyball unit. Students have learned proper bumping, volleying/setting, and serving techniques. While performing the skills, students are starting to gain knowledge of the proper rotations and positioning involved in volleyball. Our goal is to work towards a bump, set, spike concept on each offensive possession. As we end the first semester, we will continue to keep striving to promote lifelong fitness.