5th Grade Update

March  Lots of Mini-Games for Skills:  Hockey + Handball
Fifth Graders are working on so many skills in their mini-games:  set up, fair play, safe play, sharing contact so all students get chances to learn, assists, playing goalie, and cleaning up.  I'm looking for students to speak up with gentle reminders if students are not playing fair or safe too.  This will allow students to have mini-games as a choice when we begin our climbing unit in April. I see progress!

Feb. Hockey mini-games:  Scooter Hockey + Lane Hockey

Jan. Basketball Skills:
On Jan. 11th, students completed our Basketball Unit showing nice progress over the course of the unit!  Students dribbling with one hand while traveling safely through the gym, staying alert to where I was and turning sideways or backwards to protect the ball from my reaching.  Then, students practiced protecting the ball while dribbling with a defender shadowing who tried to defend and steal the ball.  Another partner watched from the sidelines and gave feedback to both players.  After each player got a turn at each position, we played Revenge Knock-out, a fun shooting game.  Kids also showed how they were using their shooting strategies by earning a bracelet to flash if they got the ball in the hoop on the first or second shot.  Saw some nice sportsmanship today, too!  :)
Last week, we had outside PE and practiced Statue in the Middle and built up to Monkey in the Middle.  It's been so nice to see all the steady progress of skills with our basketball unit!

Dec. Basketball Skills:  Dribbling, Passing, Shooting at Hoops
5th Graders have been working on dribbling a ball with hands, bounce passing, and shooting at the hoops.  We played Dribbling Tag for 2 weeks, with an exercise zone for climbing a rope, trying a pull-up or bent-arm-hang, squatting, and carpet push for the consequence if tagged.  Many students have been asking for some of those strength exercises for a few weeks now, so many students looked like they LOVED the chance to strength train if tagged.  :)

Nov. 9 Quidditch #2 6-on-6 Games

5th Grade Muggle Quidditch Game

First time playing mini-games 
this year, and the kids jumped
into games so quickly.  Loved
their quick starts and long
game play.

Nov. 2 Quidditch #1 Passing & Drills

Whole Team Passing for Quidditch Drill

Great day to be outside for PE!  We 
started a Muggle Quidditch unit with 
tossing & catching to a partner, 
passing & taking shots on goal, 
and brief team practice 
with a keeper defending the goals.
In Quidditch, there are 3 hoops per
goal.  I loved the enthusiasm of the
Harry Potter book fans.  :)  

 Here are some videos of full-on Quidditch at the Chestnut Hill College tournament in Philadelphia on Oct. 22.

Start of the Game of Quidditch

 Chestnut Hill College vs. Lafayette College.

Strategy & Scoring


Oct. 26 Lucky Break with return from field trip!
I got to see Kate's and Christy's classes for at least some of their scheduled PE time on Wednesday after they returned from the Old North Bridge.  We practiced ball skills with a partner (tossing and catching, bowling, protecting a pin like a goalie) and then played Pirate Ships.  :)

Oct. 19 End of Volleyball:  Review of strikes, practice, and 4-Square Volleyball

Oct. 5 Messy Backyard Volleyball-style
I loved hearing a few fifth graders get excited about playing Messy Backyard.  It was a chance for me to watch bumping form and control.  The 5th graders have improved so much with joined hands, straight elbows and controlled directing of the ball!  But I really loved their enthusiasm!  We played a Newcomb-style 6-on-6 game with catching allowed too while 1/2 the class practiced Keep-It-Up and 1-hand serving.  The serves were definitely improved from last week!  Next week, we'll finish getting all kids a chance to serve in a mini-game.

YouTube Video

Bump, Set, Spike or Serve Messy Backyard

Sept 14, 2016  Fantastic start to PE for the 5th graders!  We had our 3rd lesson today.  First two lessons had activities to review PE Rules & Expectations:  Listen & Follow Directions, Be Safe with Body & Equipment (speed, force, space), Kind/Nice Behavior, Try your best!  Lots of working with different partners.  Today, we began our Volleyball Unit with Passing and Bumping.  We watched a video demo.  Here's another one too and a great shot of 3-5th graders showing good stances and joined hands.  :)


Volleybal Bump: YouTube Video

Beginning of 2016-17 Update Posts!  (from here and above)

June 8- Last Belayed Climbs + Indoor Discs (Frisbees)
Tom's climbers were the Dust Crew!  A badge of honor was removing a wad of dust from the high-up window shelves in the gym.  Grace (middle, in gray) is holding the cumulative wad of today's cache of dust.  So many climbs & so much progress with each attempt!  Nice work!!  Meanwhile, for non-climbers, we practiced different catching grips and throwing styles for Frisbees indoors.

May- Belayed Climbs on McT side + 2-week mini Units for Summer/Outdoor Skills
 For the 1st two weeks of May, our mini-unit was Indoor Lacrosse.  I loved that the experienced students were eager to share the proper grip, hand position, catching, and cradling.  We started with yarnballs and progressed to foam balls.  The last 2 weeks of May were for Badminton serving & volleying.
 Meanwhile, our belayed climbers explored wall climbs and the Firecracker Ladder, one of the hardest climbs in the gym.  I saw safe & supportive belayers and excellent work on climbs!

April 28 Hockey Mini-Games

YouTube Video

I love how this 20 second video captures 
so much of the nice teamwork, offensive 
and defensive awareness, and safe play 
we've been building over the past few weeks.  
Excellent passing, spin move, and quickness 
in particular.  Even though I didn't manage to 
video every student in every class, I feel like 
this represents so much of the progress I saw 
all students make.  Even nice support from
the sidelines.  :)  We played two side-by-side
games of 3-on-3, maximizing contact with the
ball for students in games and following 
National PE Standards for "small-sided games."

April 7  Hockey #2 Passing & Protecting the ball

Students shared with a classmate what were posture, stick-handling and ball management goals for last week.  Then, students practiced stick-handling for a few minutes.  Next, I demonstrated passing with a partner and students practiced with a partner.  In a crowded gym with no helmets, mouthguards or pads, students are required to keep their sticks knee height or below.  We got to play a brief shift of 3-on-3 floor hockey to finish.  Kids are showing nice stick management, good ball protection, and excellent defensive readiness in goal.  Well done!

March 31 Hockey #1
We were so lucky to get the blast of warmer weather to go outside to practice hockey skills.  Kids looked at some photos inside the gym to identify the bent knees and bend at the hips for proper posture, positioning of the hands and 8-12 inch space between hands, and the tapping to the center of the ball from both sides to maintain control of the ball.  Gale force winds at times, but so nice to get outside for some skill work.  :)

March 24 Last Basketball Skills- focus on moving to get open
We watched two short videos of 6th graders passing and moving to get open in a Defender-in-the-Middle drill then tried the same drill in small groups differentiated by skill levels.  The skills practiced were:  dribbling while walking, using the pivot for one foot motion, turning your back to the defender, moving to get open, anticipating passes to track them down before a defender, and applying the right defensive intensity to appropriately challenge the passers.  I could see progress in skills from last week!

March 10 & 17 Basketball Skills:  Dribbling, Dribbling Tag, Bounce Passing, Statue-in-the-Middle
We were so lucky to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and a little more space for some basketball skill 
work on the 19th. Nice progression of skill work from dribbling to passing with a defender.  Good work!

March 5 Last Belaying & Climbing and Basketball
What an excellent job the 5th graders did with belaying teams taking turns on climbs and practicing basketball skills at stations.  Dribbling, taking banked shots, jumping rope, balancing on boards, practicing set-shots, and taking medicine ball shots.  I was impressed at the safety all the students showed!  And several students learned how to belay using a friction belay device!  Well done!
Feb. 4, 11, 25- Belaying & Climbing Wall or Balance Beam or Basketball Shots on Hoop

Since 3 fifth grade classes meet on Thursdays and one on Friday, I'll post updates that apply to all fifth graders.
Jan 21 & 22 Balance, Angles, Spotting- Math ideas in PE!  Students held balance poses demonstrating
Symmetry and Asymmetry and then identified angles between body parts as:
A (acute), O (obtuse) or R (right) angles.  

Jan. 14 & 15 Finish Flying Squirrel, Climb & Spot, Balance & Transferring Weight onto Hands
So much happening this week in 5th grade PE!  Check out the video from Tasha's class to see how much:  student caller for the Flying Squirrel element, students being safe on the Haul Team, Climbing & Spotting safely, and .... pulling your teacher to the rafters!  Tasha got her first ever flight at Merriam!  A few classes also tried transfers of weight onto hands (donkey kicks and cartwheels- risk-taking for many).  Loved how the kids were working to land on feet and taking safe risks for heads & necks.

Flying Squirrel for Tasha

Jan. 7  Harness & Belays/ Angles with Bodies Unit
Lots to cover today on our first day of a new unit:  how to put on a harness, how belays work to keep climbers safe, personal responsibility and respect for all with no announcing differences, different types of angles & balance challenges.  Then, most kids put on a harness properly and were part of the Haul Team for pulling up Flying Squirrels.  Some students got to fly and others will get to fly next week.  Others practiced balance poses on mats for 5-15 seconds.  Happy New Year!

Dec 18 Tchoukball Mini-Game + Strength/Fitness Station
Today, I was looking for students to put together many expectations for game play:  Advancing the ball toward the target with passes, Moving to get available for easy passes from teammates, Anticipating the shot on goal and positioning yourself to try to catch the rebound, Standing in "Ready" position for catching rebounds, Throwing with 1 hand and Stepping with Opposite Foot.
Nicely done!  Kids waiting to play had a checklist of strength exercises, skill practice, or fitness exercises to perform.

Dec 11 Outside PE:  Tchoukball Games of 6-on-6
Dec 3 Stations for Practicing Components of Tchoukball with Mini-game Prep
Nov 12 & 19 Overhand Throw Assessment Scoring, Results Share, and Skill Station Practice for Improvements
I explained the scoring for Form/Technique and Accuracy for the tennis ball Overhand Throw Assessment we did this fall and then shared my scoring sheet with individual students over the course of the 2 lessons.   Then, students practiced skills to help improve their throws.  They threw a yarnball with force at a near target, a tennis ball at the tarp target (from 25 feet away), stepped and tossed 4.4 lb medicine balls to a partner, jumped rope, balanced on wobble boards and shot baskets at mini-hoops, and pressed up weights, climbed the rope, and did floor or wall push ups.  I took the time to share with each class my expectations around my options for a particular skill and reminded students what is helpful for them to comment on and what is not.  I reminded students that students should not be judging or evaluating the right choice for an exercise, the same way students don't do that about the right Math activities in the classroom or Reading materials....helping to keep the mantle of Respect for all and give all students a chance to learn!  They usually do a great job at this, but it looked time for a reminder :)
Form Criteria are:  a) Letter L arm, elbow at shoulder ht, b) body sideways, 
c) transfer of weight onto opposite leg, 
d) follow-through with differentiated trunk rotation (shoulders twisting with hand toward opposite hip). 

Oct 29, 30  Fitness & Soccer Skill Stations + Soccer Ghostbusters

Fitness and Soccer Skill Stations


Tasha joins her class for Soccer Ghostbusters fun!

Oct 22, 23  Soccer Passing & Receiving + No Goalie Mini-Games

October 15, 16  Soccer Dribbling, Passing, Receiving & Shots on Goal
I see improvements with dribbling with feet criteria!  Students are trying to demonstrate:  use of each foot, taps using the inside, outside, laces & bottoms of feet, jogging with increases and decreases to speed, maintaining control of body and ball, keeping ball within 2 feet from their feet, and keeping chin up a bit to see and protect the ball.  Check out the nice close distance the ball is from their feet below.  :)  We also practiced shots on goal (with a moving or stopped ball).

October  8, 9
 Perfect day for a 1/2 lap jogging start to PE class
Soccer!  Many fifth graders have been waiting a few years for a unit on soccer skills.  We began last week with dribbling, passing & receiving, and punting.  Something for everyone!  Even experienced soccer players have had limited opportunities to practice punting the ball.  I'm using the National PE Standards to guide instruction and learning expectations.  The kids are off to a great start!

We started by learning some fitness exercises we would later use in Fitness Bingo.  Then, students worked in groups of 4 to complete a group assignment.  I had written out the 5 National Physical Education standards and asked groups to align past or future class activities or goals with one or two standards that it best matched.  Another class reflected on last year's lesson activities to try to recall an activity for each standard.  This was meant to have students working in cooperative groups with their new classmates as well as to reinforce our PE learning categories for the year.  All 4 classes did a nice job on this challenge!  

When classes played Fitness Bingo, the performance of exercises looked so fun!  Loved the kids engagement!  After a few winning rounds, each team reviewed the exercises to pick the ones they liked best or one they wish they had gotten to do.  Some favorites were:  Mummy Kicks, Supermen, Plank Pose, Squats, and Karioke.  This was an example of Standard 5: Recognizing that fitness activities can be fun, a way to challenge yourself, and a chance to enjoy the company of friends.  :)

Fitness Bingo Exercises


More Fitness Bingo Exercises


Fitness Bingo 5th Grade


Fitness Bingo 5th Grade

We finished September with a lesson at the Turf Fields.  There, fifth graders practiced skills at stations and were videoed Overhand Throwing 2 tennis balls at a 6 foot X 6 foot target that was 25 feet away.  I will be scoring each student's throws with a rubric adapted from the national association, the Society of Healthy and Physical Educators, assessment protocols.  This year, the A-B elementary schools will be assessing 4th graders as part of our District Determined Measures, but we had assessed 5th graders for the past 2 years.  So, I wanted to provide the same learning tool and assessment so this year's 5th graders could also benefit from this format.  The space at the Turf Fields is ideal for students to perform with little attention from other students on each student's performance.  This was the Pre-instruction assessment that will serve as the baseline against which growth from a post-instruction performance can be compared.