2nd Grade Tuesdays

TUESDAY is SNEAKER day for 2nd graders!  Thank you to parents who are helping all kids have their sneakers!

CRICKET!  Two batters swap places to score a run on a hit.  We adapted the game with just one wicket (bread tray).

June 23  Cricket #2 (Cricket Stations)
To help the kids understand more and get to practice the skills of the game of cricket, I set up 3 pitches and my projector for a video explaining and showing cricket.  Kids rotated through the positions of:  Bowler, Wicketkeeper, Fielder, Striking Batter and Running Batter as well as watched the 4 min. Cricket Overview video on the gym wall in two separate 2-minute stations to learn the basics about cricket.  Click here to see video links.  ...Or HERE.  More cricket to come in 3rd grade, but the kids showed nice effort!

June 16 Cricket #1 (1-on-1 at the turf fields)
Cricket is played in many African countries, as well as other countries all around the world.  Kids practiced the basics of Bowling at a Wicket (throwing a ball at a cone topped with a ball) and Batting to protect the wicket and also to try to score runs.  The second graders learned that the ball must bounce one time on the way to the wicket, but that the Bowler could get the batter out on the very first bowl if the ball did hit the wicket.  Pairs of kids had their own "pitch" with a "wicket" and cones to mark the creases.  Kids took turns batting and "bowling" and trying to score runs.

June 9 Playground Games Unit
We returned to skills with rubber playground balls today and practicing Partner Tennis-style Volleying as well as Bouncing off the Wall.  Plus, I added some favorite stations for the 2nd graders to practice:  Climbing the ropes, shooting at the hoops, and Traversing the climbing wall.  Partner volleying is a cooperative version of the skills used in 4-square.

June 2 African Games & last Bokwele adaptation
We finished our exploration of African games with stations and four activities:  the Stockings long jumprope game, Jumprope, Tug-of-War, and Numbers (a playground game from Africa where children gather in groups of different numbers).  Kristin had read a book to her class using the same numbers!  Then we played a 4-team version on Bokwele.  

May 26 Bokwele at the turf fields
Ask your child which American game the African game of Bokwele is most like.  We played with rules I combined from all the different adaptations
children suggested for last week's game after trying out the few-rules game of Bokwele.  So nice to go through the woods to the turf fields for all the space we need!  The kids have had fun playing African games!

May 19 African Games
Today, we played a couple of games from Africa.  One was a long jumprope game called Stockings where the kids had to jump higher as the swingers swung the rope slightly higher and higher.  Another was a playground game from Kenya that involves calling out an animal and jumping.  Here's a clip of the game:

YouTube Video

May 5 & 12  Individual Jumprope & Dribbling with Hands
I asked students to look at a photo I had taken in class and try to identify what kids were doing while dribbling with hands that I really liked seeing.  Students noticed:  using finger pads to contact the ball, bouncing the ball in between their feet, pumping the ball with bent arm motion, keeping control of body and ball, keeping the ball in personal space.  This week, I asked children to tilt their heads up so they could see where they were going and to try to stay more spread out.  While 1/2 the class practiced dribbling, I went to the other side of the gym with the other 1/2 of students to observe and give feedback for jumprope practice.  
I videoed groups of 2 or 3 jumping individual ropes the following week to compare with videos I took in September.  Take a look at the amazing progress the 2nd graders have made!  The three girls are the same in both photos but their jumping, posture and arm motions are so much more efficient in the spring!  What great progress from all their hard effort!!!

April:  Long Jumprope Challenge, Mat Travel, Land Mass comparison
I shared with classes the National PE Grade Level Outcome for 2nd Graders for jumping in a long jumprope: " jump 5 times consecutively inside a long rope with student turners."  I had a few students demonstrate with me, and then gave each group of 3
 students a long jumprope for taking turns trying the challenge.  Every student reached the milestone!  And many groups progressed to 10 jumps per jumper!  Turning the rope and trying to match the rhythm of the jumper is just as challenging as jumping for 2nd graders.  I saw excellent effort and teamwork!!  We later at a satellite photo map of the world and identified the places with the darkest green color 
(Alaska, Siberia).  Children identified animals that might live in those places and then practiced their movements across mats while practicing other animals movements between mats.  The kids were so imaginative!  The next week, we looked at Florida and Australia and thought about the animals that lived on land or on the sea and tried moving like those animals.  We finished by identifying Kenya on the map and moving like animals the children have been studying.

Mar. 11  Stations for Striking & Jumping, Messy Backyard Game
With all the snow persisting outside, children need to jump, run and have fun!  
Children practiced tapping the bottom of a beachball for keep-it-up at a floor spot, running across the gym, step ups & jumping at steps, tapping small beachballs with paddles for keep-it-up, and Jumproping.  Then, classes played Messy Backyard.  I encouraged children to tap a ball as it came, catch it to toss and tap it, or picking up a ball and holding it up to tap it.


Mar. 4  Games for Running, Striking (tapping) with Hands
After weeks of terrific focus and exploration of Balance & Motion concepts, 2nd graders played some games:  Crows & Cranes morphing to Sometimes & Everyday Foods tag.  Other games of Straddleball and Ga Ga Go were introductions to striking with hands.

Feb. 24:  Last Balance & Motion Exploration with advanced challenges & partner challenges
Click on the videos below to see Second Graders partner work in motion!
 Partner carries of 1 ball:  which is easier?  why?

Balancing 1 ball

 Why is balancing 2 balls so challenging?

Balancing 2 different balls

 Why is it so challenging when a student is the caller?

Buddy Skiers with 4

 Why is matching steps easier when another person calls steps?

Buddy skiers with outside caller

Click on photo to enlarge
 Pajama day too!
Students thought working with unstable platforms on each foot (stilts) or even keeping a jumprope swinging while jumping on your own was difficult...

but working with 1, 2, or 3 partners on the same task was so challenging!  Whether carrying a ball using a surfboard, swinging a long jumprope for a jumper, or traveling on buddy skis, working together can be the most difficult task kids do at school.  


Feb. 10  Balance & Motion #4:  Motion to help Balancing + Balance for Climbing
This week, children explored how motion can help maintain balance.  Children explored using hula hoops of different sizes and weights to feel the differences for balancing around their bodies.  They also tried out stilts!  They prepared by balancing on balance boards with two feet, then with one foot.  For stilts, they tried to make many contact points with their bodies to help stabilize the wiggly stilts.  And they tried taking frequent, small steps to use motion to stay atop the foot-holds.  Additionally, they explored the difference between climbing on the climbing wall and climbing up the ropes.  Such terrific persistence I observed!

Jan. 20 Balance & Motion #3:  Motion & Momentum
I loved that when I asked each class what exactly balance was, children described it as something being frozen or stopped for a few seconds.  We balanced on our bottoms, with our legs and arms in the air, as well as tried Crow Pose- balancing on hands but staying at a low level.  Then children explored concepts of motion, stillness and momentum on scooters, with jumpropes, while spinning plates, and standing on balance devices.  Click on the Integrated Learning tab for more photos.  Curiously, many children broke their previous jumprope tally records at today's jumprope station.  :)

Jan. 13 Balance & Motion #2:  Balance, Balance Points, Instability!
Second Graders explored the concepts of Balance and Stability and, of course, Instability!  During our exercise portion of the warm-up, I asked children to balance on 3 body parts. Then we tried a Donkey Kick on 2 hands.  Moving our legs in the air, like a donkey, made balancing easier.  Children explored Balance Points for many objects at several stations and discussed which was most challenging to balance.  

Jan. 6  Balance & Motion #1:  Force, Friction & Motion
We started a new unit integrating balance & motion concepts that are part of the upcoming 2nd grade curriculum.  This was our first of 5 weeks of exploring the science curriculum in PE.  We counted how many body parts we balanced on for downward dog, table with a leg raised, and butterfly with raised legs, during our warm up.  Then we explored concepts of friction, force & motion with Sleigh Ride.  We also used force and friction from our bodies to overcome gravity with Hula Hoops.  We later played Helicopter with a Wand (more friction and slower speed) & Rope (faster speed to keep it outstretched) to explore these science concepts with exercise.  Science is fun!

WOW!  Did you happen to come to All School Meeting on 12/19 and see Fran's class' dance?  What a fantastic effort!  Everyone loved it!  What a terrific example they are for how dancing can be such fun exercise!  To see the Just Dance video, click on my Dance Videos tab and scroll down for "That's What Makes You Beautiful."  Otherwise, use Fran's class' performance to inspire and lead you into some fun:

Fran's Class at All School Meeting

Dec. 16  11 Skill Stations to Anchor Skill Progress before Vacation:  Jumping Rope & Underhand Tossing
I've found over my 13 years of teaching that, just before the holidays, younger children crave somewhat structured, fun & challenging physical activities. This week's lesson had 11 stations with a few to solidify the excellent progress the kids have made jumping ropes and underhand tossing.  Here's what the kids practiced:  Swinging the long jumprope with a partner for a jumper, jumping in the long jumprope, turning short rope bits with bent arms for improved efficiency, turning and jumping their own rope, underhand tossing balls at a big bucket, balance walking across stepping stones, low traverse climbing on the wall, underhand tossing beanbags at a box, climbing the ropes, tossing a 4.4 lb medicine ball at a big bin, feeding the shark (underhand tossing beanbags at my shark target), underhand tossing and catching with a partner, and, of course, sleigh ride.  Click the Favorite Games & Activities tab above to see how kids simulate a one-horse open sleigh in the gym.  :)

Dec. 9 Jumprope Exemplar Video, Brief Skill Stations + Lots of Time for Tag Games
2nd graders watched a short video of last year's 5th graders jumping rope.  After seeing the efficient, low jumps and small hand motions, many 2nd graders had their best consecutive jumprope tallies yet!  Later, lots of time for Turkey Tag or Jingle Bell Tag.  Here's the video they watched:

6th Grade Jumprope Examples

Dec. 2 Skill Stations with focus on Jumprope & Underhand Tossing, Turkey Tag
When kids ask what do I like most about my job, I say it is teaching kids to do something they really want to be able to do or think they can't.  And jumprope progress is my all-time favorite skill to help kids make.  Today, I felt the joy of helping many 2nd graders make a break-through to a new achievement with their jumproping.  Whether children were able to jump 3 times in a row for the first time or 30 times, their enthusiasm was contagious and I loved offering feedback- maybe about how they were jumping, which rope would be best for them, or that they try to slow their hands down a bit- and seeing kids apply that to reach a new consecutive tally total.  Students visited 11 stations, ranging from climbing low on the rock wall or up the ropes to underhand tossing at targets.  But I set up 4 stations in a row to maximize rope-turning and timing for jumping a self-turned rope.  Swinging the long jumprope with a partner for a classmate to jump, jumping inside a long jumprope, swinging two 18-inch rope lengths simultaneously with elbows bent and still, and individual rope jumping were the four, and I was stationed at the individual rope jumping station.  I had videoed groups of 7 students jumping rope for 1-minute the previous week and watched those videos over the weekend (see an example below).  I could see each child's jumprope abilities and was prepared today to offer individual feedback to 2 students at a time.  What strong efforts, steady persistence, and excellent focus I saw!  A great day for personal bests today!  We even had time for a game of Turkey Tag too.

Nov. 25  Hoops, Ropes & Laps and then Underhand Tossing Competition (against yourself)
Wow!  2nd graders know PERSISTENCE!  Check out Alyson's class at 1-minute stations.  All 3 second grade classes demonstrated this essential Merriam School value at stations for hula hoop, jumprope, and jogging laps.  Well done!  We later reviewed the cues for Underhand Tossing and had a tossing competition...against ourselves.  1st round self vs. 2nd round. :)

YouTube Video

Nov. 18
After not having PE for a few weeks because of Professional Day (Voting Day) and Veterans' Day, we finally had a Tuesday at school again.  We practiced jumping side-to-side over a line on the gym floor to work on our double-bounce rhythm.  Then we jumped in the double-bounce rhythm to music.  1-2, 1-2...    Students then used that double-bounce rhythm in their jumprope practice at a station.  Kids also explored a stepping stone/obstacle course station, hula hooping, and bowling at pins.  I was watching for children to step with their opposite foot from their bowling hand.  We finished with a fun game of Ghostbusters.

Oct 23   2nd Grade visit to the Old Schoolhouse...my favorite day so far this year!
I LOVED seeing the students dressed up like children of long ago and having fun with many of the old-fashioned skills we've been practicing for the past month!

Oct 14
Finally, we had good conditions outside to draw some Hopscotch games in chalk on the front walk area!  
The 2nd graders loved practicing the egg & spoon and three-legged buddy walking for relays at their upcoming Acton Long Ago field trip visit to the old schoolhouse next week.  Plus, they all practiced swinging a long jumprope and jumping inside one too.  I am so proud of all the effort the 2nd graders have put into exploring these old-fashioned games!  I think they are going to love dressing up next week!

Oct 7
We added to our jumprope skills today by adding the beloved Helicopter station!  Today's focus was true old-fashioned skills with hoops and ropes.  Climbing ropes, swinging ropes, jumping ropes.....shooting at hoops (the bucket) and rolling hoops.  I LOVE seeing how hard the children try and work on these!  Plus, we finished with another round of Tug-of-War, with much better persistence this week and more evenly matched efforts!

Sept 30
Old Fashioned Games and Skills unit added again to our skills experienced.  On Tuesday, children climbed on the big ropes, hopped and jumped through an indoor Hopscotch, jumped ropes, flicked "giant marbles," tried hula hooping for 1-minute, and shot balls at a basketball hoop similar to that first peach basket target!  The bottom of the basket was not cut out, and neither was the bottom of our bucket.  The balls piled up during each round of the station, and the challenge was for the two or three children at the station to get all of the balls in the bucket.  Then, I climbed up, just like James Naismith did back in 1891, and emptied the bucket.  He had nailed the peach basket to the wall in the gym and the players used a soccer ball!  I don't think that his students enjoyed it as much as the second graders did!  What vigorous exercise the 2nd graders have been enjoying with their skills from long ago....that the children are keeping current!

Sept 23
Second graders are improving on maintaining proper space for warm ups as well as at all our Old Fashioned skills. It is just perfect when we can go to the turf fields and spread out during warm up and with our equipment!
Downward dog with a raised leg, or 3-legged dog.
Keeping up with the rolling hoop is tougher outside than in the gym!

Such terrific helpers at clean up time too!

Sept 16
We continued our progression of "Old School" physical Activities.  First, though, I took some photos/video during the warm up for each class to see if classes are performing locomotor movements (sideways shuffle, gallop, skip, hop) in a mature pattern as is the expectation for the end of 2nd grade.  I will use the photos/videos for assessment for end of the year comparison.  I'll post a few photos below.  The other skill is identification of personal space and ability to move safely in shared space.  I wondered, Do children keep enough space between themselves and the next child when moving with speed throughout the warm up.  

Our "old school" activities progressed to:  rolling a hoop with a stick, jumping rope, bouncing a ball with control, tossing and catching two scarves, and swinging the long jumprope with me for a classmate to jump inside.  Nice job, especially on the swinging and jumping with me!

Beautiful lunges!  Is there enough space between all children?
Nice skipping and spacing!
Step-together motion for Sideways Shuffle to the left.  Is there enough space between all children?
Hopping on one foot to Personal Space.  Excellent spacing!

Nice Downward Dog and preparation for Mountain Climbers in Personal Space!

Sept 9
Today was finally our first P.E. lesson for 2nd graders.  Since the 2nd grades will be exploring Acton Long Ago very soon, we explored some "old school" physical activities in our lesson today.  First, we saw where the lesson plan will be listed each week on the gym's whiteboard and got out the wiggles with an Entering Activity (running laps or hula hooping).  Then, we got lots of range of motion and all joint mobility in our Circle Warm Up and Locomotor Skills Warm up (with jogging, sideways shuffling, galloping, skipping, walking on heels, and lunging).  Then we finished with exercises and stretches in Personal Space.  Students were then ready to try out some "old school" stations:  giant marble flicking, hula hooping (and spinning), scarf juggling, bouncing a ball, and jumping in a long jumprope that I attached to a volleyball standard and swung.  If you have a 12 foot long rope at home, you could try that one at home.  Children LOVE when a skilled and patient grown-up swings a rope for them to jump!  I make large circles at a slow to medium speed and closely observe the child's timing to match it.  With little or no practice over the summer, every child looked more comfortable with timing and jumping than they did last spring!  Ah....growth and maturity!  We'll continue to explore some of those wonderful old-fashioned children's skills and games over the next few weeks.  In the mean time, ask your child what we used for "giant marbles" in the gym.

Kudos to Alyson's and Kristin's classes for having all children wear sneakers!!