November Gym/Swim News

Hello all,

We have brushed off the dust and are in the full swing of things.  I have plenty of students working with me at recess on all sorts of skills from frisbee to climbing to basketball skills.  It is great to see students take time to learn something new outside of our class in a relaxed setting.

The big picture this month: How can I make learning number one?

I look for real, measurable improvement in my class.  In a class setting, meeting only once per week, our students face a lot of challenges in the pool and gym.  Every student needs to be their own coach.

Students will break down their skills into manageable pieces that help us learn and grow.  The end goal is for each student to hold themselves accountable while loving what they do.  Learning comes from lots of success, failure, and tiny adjustments along the way.  The more involved the student is in that process, the more they will value their health, improvement, and self-worth.

Notes for all:

If you have an old girls suit that is not overly stretched out, we are short on sizes 8, 10 and 16.  I always welcome suit donations.

Thank you for reducing the laundry load, we average about 38/40 of students showing responsibility and bringing their suits.

Kindergarten-1st grade notes:
Please help us work on responsibility at home.  Teach them to change on their own.  Many do not know the simple tricks we take for granted (ie. arms before head for a t-shirt).  Independence and self-motivation will give us 5-10 minutes more of practice time in the pool.  Students at this level are working on comfort in the water, streamline, and breath control.

In gym, we just finished up our bowling unit.  We have very accurate rollers who are listening to directions, and taking turns.  When we work on manipulative skills (catching, kicking, throwing, rolling), students are building coordination, creativity, and having fun.  We continue to work on keeping our personal space through various tag games and using our imagination.

2-3 notes

2-3 students should have goggles every day, as we want to keep our eyes still while our body rotates and stretches through the water.  We have all taken our deep end test and are working towards building up strength and skill.  Students are working on cooperation (relays), manipulative skills (water polo), swim skills, and building confidence underwater.

In the gymnasium our 2-3’s are rolling along as well, and did a very nice job of cooperating and staying on task during bowling.  We have finished fitness testing, although as a word of warning, fitness testing at this age is more a measurement of listening skills and following directions.  At this stage we are really trying to build the fun-level up, but also understand why the ball rolled the way it did.  We are also trying to connect how our heart rate changes when we move.  If you have any HR monitors, fitbits etc, kids love to see the data visually.


4-5 notes

4-5s have taken off in the water, we have a high percentage of our swimmers passing the deep end test.  Front crawl, treading, and a self-directed warm-up is I really recommend getting your child to a pool at least once a week outside class, as it provides and opportunity for your child to build strength and reinforce what we are working on. Have them swim a 2-4-2 when they get in.

In the gymnasium, students have put forth both patience and effort.  Our fitness testing is a slow, meticulous process that can definitely be a struggle.  I was proud of the responsibility shown by most of our students at this level.  Underhand roll was a big focus in our bowling lanes, do not be surprised to see lots of pins knocked down if you end up at a bowling alley in the near future.


6-8 notes

My middle school class is always interesting to see the range of skill levels in one setting.  Many of my games and activities have a challenge designed to motivate students to improve.   I am looking at cooperation and compassion, and asking our students to find improvement there.  Our biggest focus for middle school is building the social skills needed to compete in a positive, healthy manner.  We want to make sure that everyone feels confident enough to stick out.  Our next piece will be working in more peer evaluation, giving feedback and working through problems.   Thank you for all the middle schoolers that have asked me for additional help on their sport skills, fitness testing, and class activities.  You are doing yourself a huge favor by being your own coach.

After playing handball and speed ball, our world sports class turned the tables on the school and worked together to design their own games.  We found out that making a game that is fair, safe, and competitive challenges your brain to think ahead.  I was happy to see the cohesion of this group in particular.




Until next time,


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