Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Curling In The Gym!!

I have always loved the Olympics, it's an opportunity to watch incredible athletes from all over the world compete in events that we don't always get the chance to see.  I think that the Winter Olympics are especially interesting as they happen during school days!  I have always been interested in the sport of curling, very much like shuffleboard, but on ice!  All classes have had the opportunity to "curl" in the gym.  I created curling stones along with making scoring sections of the gymnasium.  Many classes in grades 3-5 had the opportunity to participate in mini-tournaments.  Students in kindergarten used bean bags, and students in 1st and 2nd voted on what they wanted to try.  The vast majority of students voted to try the stones!

The curling stones that we have are frisbees filled with a pound of sand, cardboard tops, with a milk jug handle, duct taped to represent a team color.  Older students were taught the proper way to score, and we had some tournaments.  The younger students were taught the general concepts... but all groups were introduced to the "stones", "house", "button", and "hog line"!!

For the majority of classes, we had a live stream of the olympics on the gymnasium wall.  I am really happy with how everything went, everyone was really engaged!  Over vacation, the USA Men's Curling Team won gold, it was really cool to see!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Gymnastics & The Winter Olympics!!

I am occasionally asked by friends with kids or parents of students, "what do you recommend for a sport or activity at an early age?"  My answer is the same every time... gymnastics!!  (swimming as well, but we don't have that opportunity at school)

Gymnastics helps increase coordination, improve flexibility, and aids in strength development.  I wish that I was exposed to gymnastics at a young age!  Even though we only meet once a week, I believe that it's important to introduce basic gymnastics skills to all grades.  

We have some incredibly talented gymnasts at Loker and Happy Hollow.  I allow our trained gymnasts the opportunity to serve as coaches during our gymnastics lessons.  This has worked very well, the gymnasts have really enjoyed helping small groups of friends.  We introduce a variety of jumps, rolls, and balances.  Gymnasts with advanced training are able to showcase their special skills as well.  Older grades have the opportunity to create routines to show their classmates.  We also provide students with the opportunity to climb the rope (or swing), use the vaulting trapezoid, and monkey bars (HH).  

Another thing that I am really excited for is the Winter Olympics!  This is my first Winter Olympics while teaching in Wayland.  Next week, I will be live streaming the games onto the Happy Hollow projection screen and the Loker gym wall.  We will be participating in a variety of games related to the winter olympics, to celebrate!  

Pumpkin Smash!!!

Every October, I play a game called Pumpkin Smash.  When I first started teaching in Worcester, I learned the game from a co-worker.  The ga...