Kindergarten: We have just recently introduced throwing to classes. With kindergarten students only having 30 minutes of physical education, each lesson seems to go incredibly fast! We spend a lot of time on spatial awareness throughout the year. We generally spend warm-up time moving, following directions, and working on not crashing while staying on our feet!
We have discussed the idea of watching our target, arm positioning, and stepping with our opposite foot. We have also spent time practicing throwing at targets on the gymnasium wall along with introducing mini games that have students getting a lot of chances to throw!
Students are excited to have 45 minutes in class this year! We review the spatial awareness concepts that we talked a lot about as kindergarteners, and practice those strategies in warm up activities. We have also covered the overhand throw and students have been able to participate in fun throwing activities such as "pin guard", "battleship", and "Oscar's Garbage Can". These are activities that students get a lot of movement in and a ton of practice on their throwing skills. We have also had students spend time practicing throwing at targets and with partners, so we have talked about catching skills as well.
As we know, each student is different and each classroom is different! Second graders have participated in many of the 1st grade activities listed above, but some classes have been challenged to try some more advanced games. The groups that do an excellent job following directions and try their hardest while being great sports will have opportunities to try games that I generally run with older grades. In 2nd grade, I start to introduce more fitness based warm-ups using signs and spots for various exercises.
3rd Grade - 5th Grade:
Students in grades 3-5 were given an overhand throwing assessment, which all classes competed. We spend more time talking about arm positioning, side orientation, oppositional stepping, trunk rotation, and follow through.
Many of the third grade classes have been introduced to basic football skills. We have had the opportunity to throw and catch with partners and in small groups. Some classes have practiced throwing to partners who are on the run. All third grade classes will have the chance to play "scooter football" in the gymnasium.
Our fourth grade classes spend a little more time on football, working on throwing in groups, and throwing and catching on the run. Defensive concepts are discussed, students in fourth grade will also play scooter football in the gymnasium, and some classes will have the chance to go outside for flag football.
Fifth grade students spend more time on defensive concepts, and will go outside at the end of the unit for a chance to play flag football. We have many students that either play football at recess or outside of school and are passionate about football, and understand many of the more advanced concepts and rules of the sport. Unfortunately, we only meet once a week, and like many sports, we I can't cover every little detail! At the end of our unit I provide students with different options. Students are not required to play flag football. For students that are interested in playing a competitive (healthy) game, I have that as an option. For students that want to learn more about the game, I have a "new to the game" flag football option. I also create an activity for students using footballs that is completely different from a football game.
Most classes are at the tail end of our football unit, and it has been a lot of fun! Our younger students have been having a blast with their throwing games, and will be using a variety of balls, but not footballs quite yet!
Before I end this update, I wanted to post a quick share. I have an application on my phone called "Team Shake" that helps create small station groups or even two large teams for classes. It is an amazing tool to have available for class! All of the students know about it and understand the process. Last week, in Mr. O'Donnell's 2nd grade class at Loker, I used it to create partners for a fitness activity. When I read each pair of students and gave them their assigned spots, the rest of the class gave each student a standing ovation as they went to their spots. They weren't prompted to do this, it was so organic and awesome. The smiles on each face as they trotted over to their fitness circle were priceless. It was five minutes of the day, but it absolutely made my day/week/month.