3rd Grade Update

September, 2017
We've been working on establishing our Warm-Up routine and playing fun games for fairness and safety this fall.
In addition to practicing a variety of movement skills like Sideways Shuffling, Skipping and Jogging, the children have been learning or practicing Karioke and Inchworm.  Ask a 3rd grader what Inchworm looks like!

Favorite games so far are:  Ship Ahoy!, Pirate Ships, and Scatterball.  All are fun games for thinking about Teamwork, Giving All Kids a Chance to Play, and giving gentle reminders.  I'm loving my class time with 3rd graders!

June:  Soccer Skills and Games for Skills
After working on foot skills of stepping (with steps) and dribbling last week, students were more in control of their bodies and balls this week.  While many students have played soccer with a coach, most classes have just as many students who do not play soccer.  My goal in PE is to have all students controlling a ball by using taps with both feet, looking forward and developing peripheral vision (rather than looking down at their ball), and contacting the middle of the ball to keep the ball on the floor.  Wet conditions outside kept us inside on the wooden gym floor, a fast-surface for dribbling a ball.  On June 6, we played Soccer Bull in the Ring and a game with students passing a soccer ball (or softer foam ball) to knock over a pin.  I loved the excitement our soccer-playing students brought to all the activities!

May Wickets & Cricket!
We switched sides of the gym with the McCarthy-Towne PE classes so that older grades could access the climbing equipment on the other side.  The 3rd graders learned small-sided Cricket.  We even went outside for one of the lessons.  We started with some paddle skills and built to playing the roles of batter (defending the wicket), bowler (thrower- like the pitcher in baseball) and fielder.  The kids learned some adapted rules and "automatic" rules to keep the game moving and played 2-on-2 cricket.  Loved the kids enthusiasm and interest!

April: Striking with an Implement

March 23 & 28 First Belayed Climbs on Wall! Plus non-climbing choices
Finally!  All the hard focus on setting up mini-games, playing safe, and understanding rules for fairness are paying off!  
Kids have the choice of Climbing plus Belaying (with the Australian Belay), playing a scooter game (hockey or handball), shooting hoops, or using balance boards, ribbon wands, bowling equipment.  It's a little like a 3-ring circus, but I love that the kids are showing that they can be more accountable and responsible so we can have belayed climbing as an option.  Nice work today!

Scooter Games- Hockey 
I'm building student accountability for all children getting a chance to make and receive a pass, play goalie, and play with fair rules to give all children a chance to work on skills.  I'm also explicitly teaching safety guidelines so that kids can play without lots of direct supervision.  Basic PE rules are:  match up and stay with someone of similar experience on the other team, no contact, play with enough safety so no one gets hurt by your body or use of equipment, pass to all non-goalie teammates before shooting on goal, and only play defense on your team's half of the court.  These are similar rules to Community Ed's basketball games, so lots of students help to reinforce them.  

February  Fun Games for Building Trust
ASTERIODS!  This is an example of one of our games for helping others and playing fair.  Ask your child what the rules are for Asteriods.  :)

Jan. 10 Building Trust with skills:  Long Jumprope, Climb + Spot, Sleigh Ride
What a wonderful mushroom & igloo Jasmin's class made!!

December:  Climbing, Spotting, Harnesses, Hauling & Flying!
3rd Graders did a great job demonstrating proper form for spotting a classmate on our climbing wall.  All students took turns climbing and spotting.  Children learned to put on a harness and to help with the Haul Team for the Flying Squirrel.  Oh, and they got to choose whether to fly.  Ready to fly?  Fly away!

Nov. 15 & 22  Basketball Skills:  Dribbling, Bounce Passing, Shooting at Hoop

Nice control and spacing!

For our basketball skill work, children get to choose the ball they want to use:  a playground ball or a basketball.  We've worked on a checklist of expectations for dribbling in personal space, dribbling while traveling around the gym, bounce passing to a partner, and shooting at a hoop.  We have one 10-foot hoop, two 8-foot hoops, and one 4-foot hoop.  Children are showing nice progress with keeping their body and ball in control and safe.  
 Using strategies to shoot until you get ball in

Oct. 25 & Nov. 1/3  Bouncy Ball Skills
3rd Graders have been working on controlling their body and ball while dribbling, playing wall ball or ball tennis, and shooting at the hoop.  Last week, students explored stations, including climbing on the wall and long jumprope work.  This week, students played Dribbling Tag and took turns shooting at the hoops. 

Station Work: Oct. 25


Tag Game

Oct. 18 & 20  Long Jumprope & Dribbling Outside!  Not sure what happened to our sunny, warm afternoon forecast, but we went outside for PE anyway.  Lots of room for Long Jumprope work and some dribbling of playground balls.  For Kaitlin's class, Officer Luke joined in on the jumprope fun.  Good start to a new unit.  
 While students dribbled, they tried the counting challenges.  Nice work!

Oct. 13 Skill Stations for Tapping with Hands & Fitness Skills
We practiced our Volleyball striking with hands at 2 stations:  Beachball Volleyball & Cooperative Playground Ball Tennis.  Then, climbing on a low traverse, hula hoops, jumprope & ribbon wands.  Saw lots of nice moving to the ball for Volleyball!

Oct. 4 Volleyball passing:  Bumps & Sets

YouTube Video: Bumping Messy Backyard

September 2016  Get-to-know-you games and Volleyball Skills!
Toss & Bump with a Partner- Nice squatting!


YouTube Video: Self-Space Keep-it-up

New School Year Updates begin here and continue above for 2016-17.

May 16  Overhand Throwing Games #1
3rd graders are continuing to work on Offensive and Defensive awareness but now through Overhand Throwing games.
I tried a new game that the kids really enjoyed!  Look at those strong overhand throws and great enthusiasm!

YouTube Video

April 25- Mini 3-on-3 Floor Hockey Games!  
Now that 3rd graders are holding the sticks properly, traveling safely, and passing better, conditions are safe enough for playing 3-on-3 hockey games.  My rules require a student to stay in an assigned lane (or goalie zone) with an assigned "match" to give all students a chance to learn and make contact with the ball.  Kids rotate into a different lane or goalie each time they return to play but always with the same match.  Nice job moving the ball, staying in lanes, and developing offensive and defensive awareness!  Still working on keeping sticks below knees.  :)

YouTube Video

Mar. 21- Moving on to Hockey!
I showed students how to properly hold the stick and guide a ball.  Kids did a nice job on first day!  Love how kids are so nicely spread out! Jumprope & Dribbling too.

Mar. 14- Basketball Skills- Dribbling, Bounce-Pass, Shooting Strategies
Kids continued to make progress on basic basketball skills by practicing at stations and receiving feedback from me on shooting strategies.  It's fun to see the kids' confidence growing with their increased skill levels!

Mar. 7- Basketball Skill Stations- getting feedback on shots at the hoop
Students continued dribbling and bounce passing to a partner.  Then, I offered individual feedback at the 8-foot hoop shooting. I could see students thinking of moving in closer and trying to use the backboard if their first shots missed.  We finished with a game of dribbling tag where students tried to stay away from the pinney-wearing taggers and help out frozen players.

Feb. 29- Basketball Shooting Stations-  focus on moving closer to the hoop and aiming at backboard box
Students practiced shooting at hoops with my feedback.  I taught where to aim when using the backboard and how to keep trying with varying force to find the "just right" force.  I stayed at the 4-foot high hoop to show how to take the shots and to offer feedback for each student on changing the force or the target.  We finished with an adapted version of Knock-out.

Feb. 22- Basketball Skills #1: Dribbling, passing, shooting
I demonstrated dribbling a ball with hands (pumping arm action, finger pads touching the ball, bending knees and keeping head tilted to you can see in front of you).  Everyone dribbled, then students dribbled while walking around the room and keeping control.  Later, we bounce passed to a partner and then practiced shooting at hoops with a rainbow ball path.
Feb. 8 & 15- Snow storm and Winter Break
Jan. 11 + 25 and Feb. 1 Belayed Wall Climbing + Scooter Games
At Merriam, climbing with a harness is "Challenge-by-choice."  Children choose if they want to climb and how high they want to climb.  For our first few climbing classes, we've also had scooter activities.  This week, students not climbing practiced throwing and catching with a partner, then students played Monkey-in-the-Middle on scooters.  Climbers and belayers did a great job taking turns and demonstrating safe practices.  Nice work!

Dec 21 & Jan 4  Flying Squirrel!  All students properly put on a harness and helped with the Haul Team for the start of roped elements and Challenge by Choice.  Students showed nice respect for classmates and patience waiting for their turn.  :)
We've got some new vocabulary too:  Haul Team, Harness, Carabiner, Tension, and Slack.  

Nov 30  Start of Climbing Unit
This is one of my favorite units/lessons!  We played the yarnball throwing game Asteroids, about throwing yarnballs at kids' legs to get them out and giving kids a yarnball to show generosity to get them back in the game.  Even though yarnballs are flying around the room and children are running here and there, kids' kindness shines through too!  We're developing caring behaviors that will translate to respect in our climbing unit, where children will work together to keep classmates safe and will learn to respect others' choices about whether and how high to climb without comparison to your own choices.

3rd graders were then invited to join the S.S.S.S. (Secret Society of Super Spotters).  Children learned the most important things for spotting a climber on the climbing wall (being in a position to protect the head, back and shoulders) and practiced getting into proper spotting position. Students got a chance to later apply that form by spotting a climber (under my supervision) as well as a chance to be the climber and take the right kind of risk for having a child spotter.  I also asked partners to work on a joint drawing with stick figures showing the most important things to show when you are spotting a partner.  I loved the details kids portrayed like in the picture.  :)

Oct. 26- Mini Cricket Games or 2-Person Pirate Ships
Third graders got started with Agility Ladders as their "Entering Activity" at the start of the lesson.  Then, 1/2 the class played 2-Player Pirate Ships (lots of teamwork, throwing at a target, defending a target) with students accountable for fairness and reminders.  The other 1/2 played 2-on-2 Cricket with some basic rules for taking turns.  Nice job!  

Creative Footwork Patterns!

Oct. 19- Cricket Practice & Cricket Pirate Ships:  Teamwork, Overhand throw at a target, Safe play
I showed the third graders how to build a target with 3 hula hoops, leaning 2 hoops against each other in a triangular shape.  One partner was the bowler, using the overhand throw to try to hit the target.  But the ball must bounce once in cricket.  The wicketkeeper partner threw the ball back if it was a miss.  After 3 throws or a target hit, they changed places.  After several minutes of practice, we added a partner to the pairs to make a trio and played Cricket Pirate Ships.  We used the overhand throw with a bounce to the target and added a look-out to play goalie on the mast pin.  

September 28- Passing, Throwing, Scatterball    A perfect day to be outside!  That's what the hawk thought too!
Nice job tossing gentle passes to a partner for Tossing & Catching.  During my instructions, a big hawk swooped to a post very close to where we were gathered.  The kids jumped right into the activity.  Then, we finished with Scatterball, a fun fielding/scoring game.

We finally had our first Monday classes on September 21, the 4th week of school!!  During that first class, children used Hula Hoops for the "entering activity," learned the warm-up, and reviewed my expectations for being safe, respectful, and open to working with many partners and teammates.  We did a Puzzle Partner activity and then People-to-People.

Subpages (1): 4th Grade Update