Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What's a Pirate's Favorite Letter?

 Pirate Day at St. Mary's focused on the run, gallop, and hop.

The day was a lot of fun. The kids really seemed to enjoy the games. The game I played was called Islands. Basically, I had a bunch of hula hoops spread out from each other and when the music stopped, they all had to find a hula hoop in five seconds. There could be multiple kids in a hula hoop as long as they all fit nicely and didn't push each other. After each round, I took away the hula hoop. I didn't want any of them to be eliminated so when there were only a couple hula hoops left and all the kids still fit, I declared them all winners.

If I were to do this game again, I would come up with variations for each round to keep it interesting and maybe come up with a way to keep the kids involved and participating in the game even if they get eliminated.

 In this first picture, I am explaining the game to them

 I am counting down from 5 to let the kids know their time is almost up. Get to a hula hoop fast!

 Holly is giving me feedback during the game, which was really helpful!

Here, I am playing with one of the kids at the end of the day. She wanted me to spin around in a circle with her!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hall of Shame? or Hall of Fame?

Certainly some of the classic games I grew up with were voted into the Hall of Shame. Musical chairs is one of my favorites on that list. Survival of the fittest; I was good at it. I never had a problem with playing these games and my perception was that everybody else enjoyed it as well. Looking back, I can understand why it earned its place there. It involved little activity and when it does, it can be quite physical. Let's face it, we've all either been squashed by someone or come too close for comfort. On top of that, it is an elimination game. It does nothing to teach us a specific skill set which is what the purpose of physical education is.

The difference between games like this and the games found in our textbook are significant. The games in the text are designed to set the kids up for success, to work on specific skills with a clear progression of movement that increases their heart rate. Hall of Shame games can be physically dangerous with little activity, wild and uncontained movement, or simply single children out.

Admittedly, when I read the description for a couple of games, I thought to myself, "Wow, that sounds like fun!" Of course, I also agreed with the reasons for the game being on that list. Messy Backyard sounded like it had potential. If I were to play this game, there would be important modifications. My students would get 1 minute to discuss their game plan. And, instead of objects flying randomly, they would need to demonstrate a certain skill set during the game. For instance, for the objects thrown to other side to count, they must make them into a bucket or a hula hoop or something of that nature, giving them a more specific goal. Maybe even instead of having random objects, Team A can have red bean bags and Team B can have blue. Any enemy bean bags that miss their target may be used for double points, but to use them they must first run them to a certain point and back. Some type of modification must be made to include more activity. I believe the basic idea of this game is good, but it needs those modifications to become successful.

As Phys Ed teachers we need to provide our children with the best environment possible. We don't need to be another stressor in a child's life. Which of these faces would we rather encourage?