Kindergarten Updates

Netta's 1/2-Day Kindergarten on Mondays
Trish's Kindergarten- Sneakers on Wednesdays
Karen's Kindergarten- Fridays

October 13, 2017  Rolling!
We've had 2 lessons now with our complete Warm Up Routine in place.  Circle Warm Up.  Square Warm Up (for a variety of locomotor movements). And Personal Space exercises.  I can see the children's stamina and knowledge of movement skills growing!  This week, students practiced skills at stations, with several stations focused on Rolling:  log-rolling on a mat, rolling a devil stick with 2 sticks and your arms, and rolling a ball on the floor at a pin.  We're also exploring opposite sides of our body.  If you want to roll the ball with one hand, stepping with the opposite foot toward the pin.

September 2017  
Kindergarteners are in the building!  When the K classes come to the gym, they have been learning about identifying spaces in the gym by colored lines on the floor, shapes of lines, and locations to travel and gather.  We do a brief "Circle Warm Up" and then practice moving in different ways across the gym.  One of our goals is for children to be able to identify the different ways to travel:  marching, walking, jogging, galloping, sideways shuffling, hopping on one foot, skipping, and jumping and perform them on cue.  My goal is to develop a routine of practicing these for brief periods around the gym as part of our warm up.  I've identified children who are not yet skipping and will help them learn to skip throughout the year.  

Safe travel with a variety of modes of locomotion is an early goal in PE, so practicing the different modes is essential.  Next, developing stamina for sustained activity is another essential goal.  Until the stamina is evident, we can practice skills in Personal Space with our bodies and equipment.  We have learned exercises and stretches:  mountain climbers, downward dog, table pose, straddle stretch, seated bicycles, butterfly, and jumping jacks.  Children have also learned to hula hoop and toss and catch a scarf in Personal Space and are beginning station work for practicing other skills like balancing on balance boards, using ribbon wands, stepping up and down a step, and traveling across mats.

The week of Sept. 25-30, all Ks got to traverse the climbing wall at a low height, log roll across a mat, and practice other skills in personal space.  The kids have been so excited to get to climb on the wall and are already showing their improvement and persistence with hula hooping!  Off to a great start!!

Dec. 4, 5  All Ks Practice Underhand Tossing!
Each lesson was a little different, but each featured some practice for Underhand Tossing at a target.  I helped children identify their opposite foot for stepping.  Nice work!

Nov. 22 All Day Ks:  Bowling Game + Eating your veggies!
I challenged students to try 3 bites of a new vegetable at Thanksgiving.  I said, "You never know how yummy something like Brussel Sprouts might be."  Simultaneously, one child said, "Eww," and another, "I love brussel sprouts!"  So I gave them a Thanksgiving challenge.  We talked about 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day to help get your vitamins and minerals.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Spiderball Tag: a bowling game

Nov. 7 All Day Ks:  Practicing Bowling at a Pin & Bowling Game

Oct. 25 AM K Mat Travel- Today, children remembered the rules for safe travel on mats and then practiced Log Roll, Egg Roll and Pencil Roll.  
Oct. 24 All Day K Stations
I could see from last week's stations that children need opportunities to work on a range of skills.  So, students explored the same stations with new expectations as well as a new station.  My focus was to observe children stepping with their opposite foot while bowling a ball at a pin.  At other stations, children:  climbed sideways on the wall with feet below tape, hula hooped, ribbon wands while standing on a balance board, and tossing & catching to 10 then switching (scarves, beanie fruits/veggies).

Oct. 18 AM K Mat Travel- Alligator Crawl & Log Rolls on Mat, Jumping to New Mats

Morning K: Mat Travel

Oct. 17  Skill Stations:  Learning rules & routines to PE Stations
 Choice for ribbon wands:  on balance board or off
 Nice start!  Keeping feet under tape is difficult.


All Day K Skill Stations

Sept. 26, 2016  Excellent effort today on Hula Hooping and using hoops safely in Personal Space!

YouTube Video: Hooping!

Sept. 12, 2016  All the Kindergartens are off to a great start!  We're establishing our Warm Up routine and learning about space.  Not outer space but personal space.  :) 
Children need to take equipment (like Hula Hoops or a Scarf) to Personal Space before beginning to use it safely.  We're off and running (and sideways shuffling, galloping, and walking on our heels) in the gym for Phys. Ed.  Loved finally meeting the All-day Ks!!

2016-17 Kindergarten Updates begin here and continue above.  Visit again!

June 8 Skill Review or Games
This week, I catered the lesson to what was best for each class.  But each class did some skill and vocabulary review from the year (Personal Space, Travel Space, Safe and Fair Play reminders).  The All-Day Ks and AM Ks played favorite games:  Ga Ga Go, or Parachute Sharks & Lifeguards.  The PM Ks reviewed cues and practice for Climbing on the Wall, Underhand Tossing at a Target, Tapping and Catching a Beachball, Hula Hooping, Agility Ladders, and Bouncing a Ball at skill stations.  (They were also singing a bug song from Friday's All School Meeting.  "Itchy, itchy, Scratchy, scratchy.  Oo- I got one down my backie..."  They were singing with gusto and cracking me up.)  Love how the kids and their equipment are in control.  :)  Great week!

YouTube Video

 Ga Ga Go Game- tapping and dodging skills

YouTube Video

Ghostbusters Game!  Protect your ghost and try to bowl at someone else's.  


June 1 Bouncing a Ball & Ga Ga Go Game
I informally assessed students on hopping 3 times on each foot during the warm-up.  Then, kindergarteners practiced the right challenge for each child for bouncing and catching a ball or trying to bounce it and maintain control more times.  Then, we played the game Ga Ga Go- tapping the ball with a hand and then dodging oncoming balls.  Ask what kids should do if they get hit in the foot, ankle or shin with a ball.

May 25  Bouncing a Ball
We had practiced bouncing a ball at a station during Skill Stations before April vacation, but we had not practiced it as a whole class.  Today was the day!  All children started with dropping the ball out in front of their feet, letting it bounce 1 time, and catching it.  Everyone did that for 10 times, then children progressed to what was the right challenge for them.  Keeping the ball and your body in control in your personal space was the number 1 goal.  Some children tried bouncing the ball with their hand pushing on top 2 times and catching the ball.  Other children tried bouncing continuously.  Children got to pick the ball they wanted to practice with- basketball, rubber playground ball, or over-sized rubber playground ball.  If you don't have a rubber playground ball to bounce at the park or in the driveway, this would be a fantastic ball to have!  Like other skills we've explored, practicing bouncing a ball will improve kids' ability and confidence.  Great idea for summer!

May 18 Parachute- last time
Sharks and Lifeguards is a favorite game, and everyone wants a chance to be both a Shark and a Lifeguard.  Both AM and PM classes did a great job taking turns and coming out quickly and finding your spot when the whistle blew.  (The All Day Ks will do this on June 7 but did some skill stations with bouncing a ball added for this week.)

May 11 Fitness + Parachute
What nice persistence the Kindergarteners showed while doing our 1-minute Fitness Stations (Running Laps, Hula Hoops, and Jumprope).  Jumprope is an exploratory activity in Kindergarten, but look at how persistent the students are!  Fantastic!  We didn't quite finish the Parachute game Sharks & Lifeguards, so looks like one more week of Parachute fun. 

YouTube Video


April 13 Catching & Tapping with Hands #2

YouTube Video

Kindergarteners practiced catching a ball tapped to them and holding it up to High-5 it back to their partner.  Afterwards, we played Messy Backyard (Beachball Volleyball style).  Love how many of them contact the ball in a brief video clip, even though my comments in the video were addressed to two students who'd been having a little trouble.  No throwing!  Only tapping!  Nice job!

April 6  Beachball Tapping
Before starting a unit on Tapping with Hands- volleying a balloon or ball upward- kids had a chance to practice the skill at a station for just 2 students.  They practiced it again at the next station too, without my supervision.  This way, children felt some confidence before trying the skill on their own.  Balloons break too easily in PE, so we used small beachballs instead.  If you have a balloon and a safe space for your child to practice, playing "Keep-it-up" is a great home activity!

March 30  Catching a Soft Toss and Tossing Back to Me
We practiced one of the essential skills for PE at stations today.  I got to toss a soft ball, from about 5 feet away, to each child, aiming for the chest.  Every child caught!  Tossing the large ball back to me was a little tricky for their small hands.  But kids figured out the right speed and force.  We've already lost the stepping with the opposite foot for many K students, so that will be a recurring theme for the next few years.  Lots of other fun stations for the kids to explore.  The big ropes are a favorite, and it helps improve grip strength- so important!

YouTube Video

March 23 Overhand Throwing & Fitness
The Kindergarteners did a terrific job working on their "follow-through" on the Overhand Throw skill.  Kids worked on continuing to twist their body and balance on one foot after they let go of their ball during Messy Backyard.  This is our first whole class game since December.  Then, after cleaning up their backyards, I divided the class into 3 groups for:  running laps, hula hooping, and jumping rope.  We only practiced each skill for 30 seconds each.  But we'll build up for longer intervals over the next few months.  Nice work!

March 16 Overhand Throwing & Climbing Stations
What a fantastic job all the Ks did trying out Climbing the Ropes!  Even though a few Kindergarteners declared, when I demonstrated the station, "I'm not doing that!" nearly every Kindergartener gave the ropes a try.  :)  That's what K PE is all about!  Lots of exploration!  Check out the stations the kids did.  I LOVE their sharing, persistence and focused effort, especially cleaning up their Messy Backyard.  :)

YouTube Video


YouTube Video

March 2 Overhand Throwing Stations
The kids reviewed the cues for Overhand Throwing and threw at different targets at stations around the gym.  It seemed like they had been waiting all year to finally do overhand throwing!  Nice work.  :)  I was at the big tarp station and providing feedback on their sideways stance and stepping with the opposite foot.  

Feb. 23 & 24 Moving in Open Space + Overhand Throwing
Each of the Kindergarten classes had a different activity for Moving in Open Spaces, either a Tag Game or Whistlestop Game.
Then, we practiced the cues for Overhand Throwing, throwing a yarnball and counting steps to reach the thrown ball.
The cues were:  
  • Start Sideways, arm back
  • Step and turn
  • Reach to target & release

Feb. 3 & 9 Helicopter & Jumping Rope
 What great persistence the children showed!

K Helicopter Jumping Game

Jan. 20 Scooter Star Wars with additional details
Each of the 3 Kindergarten classes added something to their class version of Scooter Star Wars.

Step Version of Scooter Star Wars

Jan. 12/13  Scooters, Steps, Star Wars Level 2

Nice PM Kindergarten Stepping!

What a nice job the Kindergarteners did with challenging themselves with stepping
and jumping onto steps, traveling safely on scooters, and playing the game fairly!

Kindergarten Scooter Star Wars

Happy New Year!  Jan 5/6:  Scooter intro, Step practice, Scooter Star Wars Game
Steps are a fun way to add some exercise to any lesson or rainy day!  I encourage children to try to make a pattern and count
to 10 rounds before changing the pattern.  I showed 1-foot steps of up, up, down, down.  Then, try jumps- jump up, step down.  Last, try- jump up, jump down.  If kids need some balance help, they can just touch the wall with hands.  Half the class practiced steps to music, half practiced safe scooter travel on bottoms and bellies.  I asked kids who had used scooters before to share the safety rules:  Careful with fingers (not near wheels or on outside of handles), No crashing, Never stand on a scooter.  We finished with Level 1 Scooter Star Wars.  (You'd think we actually had X-wing fighter crafts for them to fly!)
Dec 22 Sleigh Ride & Underhand Toss Stations for All Day Ks
Wow!  Such nice work on stepping with the opposite foot for Underhand Tossing.  And who works harder on Sleigh Ride?  The rider or the puller?  What a great job all the Ks did on Dec 22nd & 23rd, with the excitement of the holiday building to a crescendo.  Love the kids' focus and hard work!

Dec 16. Skill stations with catching a ball from Teacher & Underhand Tossing back
I also had a visit from PM kindergarteners to interview me.  They asked about my most important tools for my job (cones, soft balls, hula hoops & cell phone).  In PE, the kids were outstanding in their efforts all around!  Check out the photos of students thinking about stepping with the opposite foot, keeping feet below the tape for traversing on the wall, building their bowling cup stack with 3 on the bottom, neatly returning ribbon wands after using, trying their best....!  Outstanding effort!  Every Kindergartener caught a few gently tosses to their chests and underhand tossed back.  :)
(click on a photo to enlarge)

Nov 25. Spiderball Tag
Children learned a game where you try to dodge rolling balls (spiders).  If a spider hits you on the foot, you need to go to the hospital for medicine.  Toss and catch a beanbag fruit or veggie 5 times, then you're back in the game.  If you pick up a spider, you have to roll it quickly.

Nov 17/18  Opposite arm & leg Underhand Tossing
I reminded children of the poster of the Left & Right sides of the body then showed my bendy skeleton to show the form for Unerhand Tossing at a Target.  The steps for using your favorite hand are:  1) Arm back, 2) Step with Opposite Foot, 3) Reach and Lean toward the target.  Each child practiced tossing beanbags at a Hula Hoop and at a Box or Bucket.  

Nov 10  Opposite arm & leg! (Bear Walk & Underhand Tossing at target)
The All Day Ks were so funny on Tuesday.  When they arrived in the gym, a few students were at the bathrooms.  I announced that we would be practicing Bear Walk and Tossing at a Target.  When each missing child arrived, a different child announced to each what we would be doing.  So hilarious!  Whatever that stirred in their brains, it worked!  Children had to think- take a step with a foot and the opposite hand at the same time.  They were very focused.  Then we took that opposites focus into Underhand Tossing with the opposite foot stepping with the hand swing at hula hoop targets.  Nice job!  
Look at how nicely the partners waited for the Bear Walking partner to finish on the mat!

Oct 22 Rolling, Weight Transfer, Balance & Skill Stations
Log roll became Mummy roll!
            (click on any photo to enlarge it)
Loved all the feet staying below the red
and green tape for the climbing wall traverse!
  Nice waiting for your turn!



I could see that all the Kindergarten classes had made progress on Safety, Spatial Awareness, Working with Others, and demonstrating Appropriate Behavior for visiting stations.  Children got to explore many skills:  low climbing wall traverse, rolling like a log and a ball, moving like an alligator, balancing on wobble boards and stepping stones, hula hooping, & tossing & catching.
Oct 21 Rolling, Weight Transfer, Spatial Awareness
This week, the Kindergarteners continued to work on established routines in our lesson (locomotor movements like galloping and skipping, hopping on 1-foot, and lunging, as well as our "Freeze Pose" and jumps) and progressed on Spatial Awareness.  I added mats to the gym and established the order for mat travel.  Then, I challenged the Kindergarteners to try different kinds of rolls (log roll and ball roll) as well as animal movements.  Hope you can come check out what P. E. (Physical Education) is like at Merriam by coming to our P.E.Night on Monday, Oct. 26 at 6 pm. Wear sneakers too! :)

Oct 14 Safe Travel (Controlling body & speed) & Friendly Partner Work

Improved Galloping in Shared Space

The Kindergarteners are building endurance along with their repertoire of exercises and locomotor skills.  I see better body control and speed regulation for Galloping in General space.  Watching where you're going and being able to slow down and/or change direction are still works in progress, but I see improvements!  We also practiced friendly partner work with identifying parts of the body.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Oct 7  Safe Travel through Shared Space
Kindergarten added to our warm-up routine by learning about the Freeze Pose and practicing Hopping on 1 foot.  I encouraged children to touch a few fingers or a hand to the wall to hold for hopping.  We practiced hopping on each foot.  This is a great skill to practice at home too!  Our main lesson activity was traveling safely through general space, watching where you're traveling, and slowing down or stopping if you get close to others.  We started with deep sea diver (putting on our imaginary suit and oxygen helmet first!), swimming like fish and then galloping like a horse!  (To see some of our PE learning outcomes, check the page for National Standards & Learning Outcomes and scroll down through the 5 standards.)

AM Ks Swimming without touching


Safe Galloping in Shared Space

Sept 28

We tossed and caught a scarf, did our 3 components of the warm up, and moved 
safely through the gym with the Pink Panther song/dance.  The kids pretend to have a 
magnifying glass and are searching for Open Spaces to travel to safely.  I also explained 
we have 2 sides of our body, a left and a right and showed an easy way to to hold up your 
pointer fingers and thumbs to see which looks like the Letter L.  The one that looks like the 
letter L is the left!  I also added a Freeze Pose- the pose my bendy skeleton is holding.  :)
Sept. 8 All Day Kindergartens come to P.E.!
Sept. 22 All Day Ks learned the full Circle Warm Up, Square Warm Up & Personal Space Exercises and visited 4 stations:  Hula Hoops, Ribbon Wands, Obstacle Course, Scarf toss & catch.  I'm establishing expectations for respectful use of equipment and safe controlled body.

Sept. 2  
I loved seeing Kindergarteners on their very first day of school!  I saw eager, attentive children, most of whom wore sneakers!  Step 1 is being prepared to move and learn. Thank you to all the parents who helped children arrive prepared!  I noticed a few girls in dresses also wore stretchy shorts underneath the skirts.  Great way to be comfortable in all movements! 

Step 2 is moving your body and equipment safely in a variety of ways. Children learned about Personal Space and General (or Shared, sometimes Crowded) Space.  We practiced Locomotor Movements (marching, galloping, jumping on 2 feet, skipping, and running) for traveling across the gym.  We also practiced Non-Locomotor Movements when staying in your personal space.  We practiced Hopping on 1-foot - challenging for some children, especially on the non-dominant foot- but every child tried!  I loved the earnest effort by all!  Fantastic start!!  We finished with Hula Hoops in Personal Space.  Every child was safe!  Every child tried his or her best!  What more could I want! ...well, every child in sneakers.  
 Click on a photo to enlarge it.

 Hula hooping requires
 coordination, balance...
 and rhythmic movement!