Use the links above to see what’s going on in the gym by grade level.

Chapter 1. Monthly Newsletter

  • Physical Education News: October 2017

    Hello all, I hope everyone is getting settled in.  I am having a wonderful experience so far, and I am excited to see the positive attitudes so far.  I’d like to introduce myself to those who have not met me yet, my name is Tommy Magner, I am a native of Ann Arbor and recent graduate of Western Michigan University.  I have spent the last 9 years coaching swim and water polo, ages as young as 4 and as old as 40.  One thing I have learned is that attitude unlocks potential.

    Why physical education?

    We are working together to build health literate, respectful  citizens.  Students are expected to show growth in the following areas:

    1. Social skills — Cooperation, compassion, responsibility, and best effort (These are my class expectations)
    2. Motor skills — Different ways to move, balance, throw, kick, and much more
    3. Fitness  — Flexibility, strength, and endurance, heart rate
    4. Cognitive skills   — Tactics, game rules, problem solving, goal setting, how the body works


    Please read the 3 points below — some policies that may be new this year

    1. Water bottles

    Students need to have a water bottle in class.  This allows for more opportunity (reduced time for water breaks), and healthier students.  

    2. Pool/changing — Equipment, responsibility, and practice

    Students should have their own swim suit, towels and goggles.  Goggles help your child learn proper technique and see swimming skills underwater. It is the students “job/responsibility” to be prepared for class.  The pool locker room is a place for students to quickly and quietly change, without assistance from adults.  Please help your student by reinforcing this “job” at home, especially if they are not used to fixing inside-out clothes.  This one is mostly directed at the K-1s, 2-3s.

    3. Fitness testing/PACER — Next week!

    Students 2-3 and up will be conducting fitness testing this week, including the PACER.  Please be advised that students should have water and their best attitude with them.  Fitness testing:

    • Identifies specific strengths and needs
    • Lays the groundwork for many important life skills: goal setting, building resilience, self-confidence, achievement, work ethic, and more.  

    There should be no worries regarding your score.  We are only looking to learn more about ourselves.

    Why physical education?

    We are working together to build health literate, respectful citizens.  Students are expected to show growth in the following areas:

    1. Social skills — Cooperation, compassion, responsibility, and best effort (class expectations)
    2. Motor skills — Different ways to move, balance, throw, kick, and much more
    3. Fitness  — Flexibility, strength, endurance, heart rate, and designing workouts
    4. Cognitive skills   — Tactics, game rules, problem solving, goal setting, how the body works


    A small note concerning my teaching style:

    Physical education will be challenging, rewarding, and fun.  The games I design can often be played without referees, sports leagues, or even large numbers of participants.  We will spend time learning skills, not just “playing games”.  

    Like any class, there is an expectation that a student will show up and do the work.  I do my best to make sure there is always an opportunity for success, regardless of your child’s background in organized sports.  There will also be failure along the way, just as in life, and that is a good thing.  I hope to instill resilience and determination over the course of the year.  Please assist me by encouraging and rewarding health-enhancing behaviors, especially involving physical activity.  


    Health is not a destination, but a sum of your everyday behaviors, for better or for worse.  

    Happy moving!

  • Physical Education/Swim Newsletter: February 2017

    We have been having a lot of fun in the pool and the gym over the past couple of weeks.  All of the students, across all grade levels, have learned the steps to the same dance, “Shake a Tail Feather.”  The classes will continue to practice during warm-up in the gym over the next couple of weeks so that the steps become second nature for all of the grades.

    We have just begun our basketball unit at school.  The K1 classes will be mixing in some heart health lessons and jump roping along with an introduction to basketball skills.  The 2/3 classes will be focused on skills such as passing, dribbling, and shooting.  In 4/5 grade students will begin to learn more game rules and play in dynamic settings.  Middle school classes will be combining two units- net ball and basketball- over the next couple of weeks.

    Our middle school elective class this semester will be a conditioning class in which students will work to complete many different types of workouts and increase their level of fitness.

    In the pool, we are building up a lot more endurance and getting more swimming in this semester.  I would like to remind students to bring goggles if they need them as the longer we swim, the more difficult it is to improve if they have their eyes closed or head above water.

  • Physical Education Newsletter January 2017

    As the semester wraps up and a new year begins, I am thankful for all the Honey Creek students and families that make this school community so special.  I am looking forward to going back to school on Monday and excited to see what opportunities the rest of the year brings.

    Physical Education

    All grade levels (K-8) will begin a dance mini-unit in January.  We will have a lot of fun creating our own dances, learning choreographed dances, and listening to music.


    The first week back will consist of a swim review for the grade levels that will include: water safety and pool rules, strokes learned, and getting comfortable in the water again.  As we move forward, the K1 classes will be doing a lot of freestyle progression drills as well as fun water safety lessons and toy collection games.  The 2/3 classes will begin to focus more on short axis strokes including breaststroke swim and dolphin kick.  The 4/5 will continue to build on stroke technique as well as endurance but will also be learning the basic rules to water polo this semester.

  • Physical Education Newsletter, December 2016

    The K1 students have been working really hard in the gym on various skills including: overhand throwing, underhand throwing, kicking, dribbling, and striking.  We have done a number of different games to help improve these skills as well as various “station” days in which they mix in fitness activities during class.  They will begin to focus more on side-arm striking over the weeks before break and will complete some teamwork challenges as well.

    2/3 classes have done a great job working on their endurance in the pool.  This week, we did a freestyle progression in which they swam a lot!  They will work on frog and dolphin kick over the next two weeks.  In the gym, the 2/3 classes have been working on practicing their overhand throwing skills in a more dynamic setting.  They will begin side-arm striking games with paddles next week.

    The 4/5 students are in the middle of their first volleyball unit.  They are doing a great job challenging themselves to learn new skills and encourage one another throughout the process.  We will be continuing volleyball and ending our unit with a game of Eclipse Ball the week before break.  In the pool, the 4/5 classes have been working on transitions when swimming multiple lengths in a row.  They have been practicing both open turns and flip turns, as well as breakout strokes.

    In middle school, students have also been working on a volleyball unit.  The middle school students will be focusing a lot on volleyball rules next week and getting into more of a scrimmage setting to put their skills to work.  They have been practicing: overhand serve, spike, set, bump, and block.

  • Physical Education Newsletter November 2016

    Students across all grade levels are working on finishing up their FitnessGram assessments.  Last week, students completed the PACER test during class to help them set goals throughout the year to increase their cardiorespiratory endurance.  This week, students have worked on finishing up the following components of the FitnessGram test: curl ups, back saver sit and reach, push ups, and trunk lift.  The Honey Creek students have once again impressed me with their focus and effort during these assessments as well as their constant encouragement to their classmates.

    K1 classes have worked a lot in the pool on streamlining off the wall, challenging themselves to see how far they can glide with a single push.  They continue to make improvements in their flutter kick and get more comfortable in the water every week.  In the gym, we have been practicing our underhand and overhand throws by doing both partner skill work as well as various games.

    2/3 and 4/5 classes were challenged in the pool to kick on their backs and balance a cup on their foreheads.  This encouraged students to focus on body position during backstroke; some students even swam entire lengths without the cup falling off!  We will continue to progress in backstroke as well as work to increase our treading endurance and learn some open turns over the next couple of weeks.

    Middle school has done an excellent job on FitnessGram in the gym.  They have taken a lot of personal responsibility in regards to their individual fitness levels.  Next week, students will begin a volleyball unit in the gym that will continue throughout the month of November.

  • Physical Education 2016

    It has been an exciting start to the year for Honey Creek in both the pool and the gym.

    K1: The K1 classes have been doing a great job this past month focusing on developing locomotor skills, spacial awareness, following directions, and practicing sportsmanship.  The locomotor skills that they have begun to learn include: skipping, galloping, running, and shuffling.  They have had both individual practice with these skills and practice in a dynamic, game environment.  Over the next couple of weeks, students will be introduced to the overhand throw as well as various fitness concepts.

    The K1 classes continue to make improvements in the pool as they work on floating, flutter kick, sculling, and gliding.

    2/3: Students in the 2/3 classes have done great work so far this year.  We are finishing up our soccer unit in which students got to practice dribbling, passing, and shooting.  They were introduced various positions and put into a game setting as well.  2/3 will begin to complete more fitness circuits over the next couple of weeks and will take part in the FitnessGram beginning the week of October 24th.

    In the pool, we have had many days dedicated to flutter kicking and developing more endurance with our legs.  The students have begun freestyle progression drills and have taken the deep end test one time.  We will continue to practice freestyle swimming as we add in more backstroke drills and treading practice over the next couple of weeks.

    4/5: I have been very impressed with the focus of all the 4/5 students this year.  They have shown great teamwork and dedication to making improvements in both the pool and the gym.  Students in the 4/5 grade levels have finished up their soccer unit and will be working on exercise technique.  Again, beginning the week of October 24 the 4/5 students will take part in FitnessGram testing.  This year, they will complete 5 components of this including: PACER test, trunk lift, sit-and reach, sit-ups, and push-ups.

    The 4/5 graders have done a fabulous job in the pool.  We have been able to complete drill progressions for freestyle and have begun to build in some endurance work by swimming multiple lengths in a row.  Next week, students in these classes have earned a game day and will be playing water basketball.

    Middle School: The middle school classes are always a lot of fun to teach.  In the elective class we are focusing on team sports this semester.  They seemed to have had a lot of fun during our time playing eclipse ball and are always eager to get to the next game.  In the middle school PE classes we have just finished up our soccer unit.  This week, students are working on technical aspects of 3 exercises: the squat, burpee, and push-up.  Students will complete a squat clinic in which they work in groups of 3 to practice form.  Next week, they will learn about and complete a Tabata circuit during class and will begin FitnessGram testing on October 24th.

  • The students have continued to make so much progress in the gym over the past couple of weeks. In the K1 classes we have been practicing a lot of overhand throwing by playing various games. Students have also been doing a lot of relays and locomotor skill practice as a daily routine. Our focus over the next couple of weeks will be teamwork as well as skill development. In the pool, the K1 classes continue to build on their freestyle and flutter kick technique. This week, students are being introduced to gliding and will focus on streamlines under the water.

    The 2/3 students began working on striking in the gym last week. Over the next month they will work on improving their side-arm strike technique. Students will begin to build more running endurance when they come to class through various warm-up activities and games. In the pool, the 2/3 classes have been working on various details of swimming including: open starts, streamlines, and open turns. The 4/5 students are also working on open turns and will be beginning flip turns next week. They are starting to build up more endurance in the pool and swim multiple lengths in a row for warm-up every day. In the gym, the 4/5 classes will be doing a striking review as well as a mini team handball unit this month.

    The middle school classes have just started a team handball unit that we will finish up right before break. While students will learn the rules and set up of the game, their main focus will be on passing and working as a team during this unit. They continue to work on fitness levels during play as well as their daily dynamic warm-ups. In the elective class we will be introducing some water challenges including diving bricks, kicking, and circuits. When in the gym, students will be completing various partner circuits (focused on skill technique and increasing fitness levels) and mini games.

    Please remember that the weather is changing and students need an extra pair of shoes for the gym.  Boots will not be allowed on the gym floor.

  • Physical Education and Swim

    The students have been really busy in the gym this year. Recently, they have been working on their overhand throw technique with a mix of skill practice and games. Starting this week, across all grade levels, students will be participating in the Pacer Test as part of the Fitnessgram in order to help assess aerobic capacity. This is done more as an introductory for the K1 classes where we view it as a game to “beat the beep.” They are focusing on organization, sportsmanship, and counting with tallies for a partner. As the grade levels increase, students run in groups and we record the total number of laps for each student. This helps students set fitness goals for themselves as we work more on cardiovascular endurance next semester and complete the Pacer Test again in May.

    In the pool, our 2/3 and 4/5 students have been working on long axis strokes. This past week they began backstroke progression drills, focusing on body position in the water. I challenged the classes to balance a cup of water on their head while kicking down the pool, and they did not back down! We will focus on backstroke for the next two weeks before introducing open turns and starts. The K1 classes are doing a great job in the pool as well. They have been working very hard on their flutter kick and are beginning freestyle drills as they progress.

    The gym/swim elective continues to be a blast to teach. We have split time and are now in the gym on Mondays and in the pool on Wednesdays. In the gym we have done a lot of circuit training focusing on various fitness components using bodyweight exercises with minimal equipment. Students continue to show improvement in their endurance levels and skill technique every week. I have been impressed with the enthusiasm in the pool during activities such as water polo, water games, and lap swimming. Students will be introduced to water aerobics and specific stroke clinics over the next couple of weeks in the pool.