The kindergarten students have continued to work on improving their ability to perform selected locomotor skills such as galloping, skipping, hopping, and jumping. The students have been introduced to some of the basic skills used in the game of basketball. They have been working hard to complete specific challenges such as “Try to dribble the basketball at least 5 times using each hand,” or “Try to perform a crossover dribble by switching hands.” The students also demonstrated their ability to dribble the basketballs in different pathways (straight, curved, and zigzag) as they moved through general space at a selected speed. The students in kindergarten also worked on practicing the skills of chasing, fleeing, and dodging and then used them in a “Spongebob Squarepants Tag” game.
The students in the first grade have been showing a lot of enthusiasm for the basketball unit we recently started. The students have been putting a lot of time into specifically practicing the skill of dribbling. The students started by completing stationary dribbling challenges that I had for them and progressed to games such as “4-Corners,” “Dribble Tag,” and a modified “Red Light, Green Light” activity. The students also enjoyed competing against themselves to see if their class could keep getting a lower score in the game, “Freeze Dribble,” as they were timed to see how fast everyone could stop moving and hold their basketballs when the music stopped. The students also experimented dribbling balls of different sizes and textures and were able to make their own conclusions about the difficulties or ease of each one.
The students in the second grade have been working on improving their fitness levels through stations and practice in selected cardiorespiratory activities. Students played “Beat the Bell,” a game which required them to perform as many repetitions of a specific exercise before the child whose name I called out was able to run to the corners of the gym and set up a bowling pin in each location that had been turned on its side. Students have also pretended to be a video game character trying to collect as many coins as possible by stepping on polyspots. They continued to add their “coins” to their total, however, had to subtract them if they touched another person or went outside of the boundaries. The second grade students have recently started working on balancing using different bases of support and using those skills in games such as “Crazy Shape Tag.” The second grade students also started their basketball unit and have had extensive practice on dribbling, passing, and shooting. The students have been working on controlling the basketballs and protecting them from being stolen as they dribbled around stationary defenders who were positioned on polyspots.
The third grade students also started their basketball unit and have been working on improving their ability to dribble the basketball while keeping their head up and gradually moving faster. The students have had a lot of opportunities to practice shooting the basketball using the specific cues that we discussed in class. The students have been very cooperative working with others as they have often been grouped together to make teams for games such as “Sideline Scoring Challenge” and “Make It, Take It.” In “Sideline Scoring Challenge,” I called out two numbers (of students on each team) to run out, grab a basketball that is positioned across the gym, dribble it back to where their sideline players are standing and make a pass to anyone one of them. The student on the sideline must quickly pass the ball back and that player can then try to score by taking a shot from any distance. There are times when I have required the student to make passes to two different people on the sideline just as a way to work on improving teamwork. The students are able to earn points for their team based on how quickly they can score. The students in the third grade worked on conditioning their hearts and leg muscles for the sport of basketball by running and getting in a low level position by bending their knees to touch the top surface of as many polyspots as possible in one minute. Students then tried to beat their personal bests by resting and then completing the challenge again.
The fourth grade students are continuing to work on improving their ability to perform a set of push-ups and complete as many sit-ups as they can in one minute. The students are tracking their progress knowing that it is not a competition against anyone else, but rather a challenge to see if they can personally improve. The students have also participated in a series of fitness stations which have included pull-ups and the shuttle run. As with the other grades, the fourth grade students have also started their basketball unit. The students have been doing drills to improve their ability to dribble such as “Musical Polyspots” and have worked on passing the basketball around a defender in small group games of “Keep Away.” The students learned about the importance of making pump fakes to draw defenders into moving one way and getting them off balance. The fourth grade students have also worked on passing the baskeball (demonstrating their ability to make chest passes and bounce passes) and then moving to the unoccupied polyspot in their group (to simulate the need to move without the ball and getting into a better position for a shot). The students practiced the skill of shooting the basketball from different distances in the game, “Make It, Take It.” This game required the students on each team to shoot from the location of any polyspot that was on the floor (there were 8 spread out in front of each teams basket from different distances). If a student made the shot they removed the polyspot and dropped it in their team’s hula-hoop. The first team to have all of their polyspots in the hula-hoop won the game.