Rivendell Physical Education

PE Vocabulary and Flying Discs

discWith the beautiful fall weather, we are outside starting a unit on flying discs. Did you know that Frisbee® is a trademark of Mattel Inc.? There’s a story behind the name, too.

We learned the word “apocryphal”, which means a story that may or may not be true and nobody knows for sure. But it’s said that in the early 20th century, college students on a picnic bought pies from the Frisbie Bakery in Bridgeport, Connecticut. After the pies had been eaten, students turned the empty pie tins upside down and threw them through the air, crying “Frisbie!” (which was printed on the bakery’s pie tins). Thus, supposedly, the flying disc came to be named.

We’ll be learning how to throw and catch the discs in different ways, and playing games like Ultimate, Double Disc Court, Schtick, and disc golf.

Off to the Races!

Ready, set, go! It’s time for another year of PE at Rivendell. I hope everyone had a great—and active—summer. As always, physical education classes will cover a huge variety of topics and activities, from badminton and flying discs to yoga to basketball to nutrition to track and field. There’s something for everyone.

Students should be properly dressed for PE on days they have class, with appropriate shoes, clothing and outerwear. Please see the links at left for the days each class has PE, dress guidelines, and policies for participation in PE classes.

I’m looking foward to all the fun and games!

Running, Jumping, Throwing

Spring brings us both the PSD Elementary Track Meet and the Fun Run, so we start to practice our track (running) and field (jumping and throwing) skills.

The track meet gives 4th and 5th graders from schools across Fort Collins and surrounding areas to have the opportunity to have fun and compete in various events. There are distance events (half mile and mile), sprints of various distances, a shuttle relay race, long jump, triple jump, softball throw and shot put. We practice these events for all age groups (well, okay, the 6-pound shot put is a bit heavy for the Younger Kids and Preschoolers!) and Older Kids who want may attend the District meet.

beamon_longjumpHave you ever taken a good look at the world records in events like the 100m sprint, long jump and triple jump? Time or lay out the measurement, and it’s simply astonishing what human beings can do. The picture at right is of Bob Beamon’s famous jump in 1968, the first to break 29 feet. The current record, held by Mike Powell, is 29 feet, 4.25 inches. Watching that jump is seeing the closest a person will ever come to flying without assistance.

This year’s District Track Meet is Wednesday, April 30 for distance events and Saturday, May 3 for the sprints and field events. For more details, see the “District Track meet” link at left. Good luck to all of our Rivendell participants this week!

Jump Rope

We did a short unit on jump rope to complement our health and fitness unit. Not only is jumping rope excellent cardiovascular exercise, it develops eye-hand coordination, rhythm, and is just plain fun. Here are a few video clips of the kids in class.

Older Kids demonstrate long rope with two turners and a traditional jump rope rhyme:

Middle Kids doing two people in and out of a single rope:

Older Kids jump two in a long rope:

Health and Fitness

Being active and healthy doesn’t just help kids play better… it helps them learn better too! Numerous studies show that kids who get plenty of exercise do better at reading writing, math and other academic subjects. We want kids to understand how the body works, how exercise helps keep them healthy, risk factors for poor health, and how to make physical activity part of their every-day life.

preschallengeAlong with learning about health and fitness, Middle Kids and Older Kids will get the chance to participate in the Presidential Active Lifestyle Challenge. By logging daily activity and healthy eating goals, they can earn a reward if they complete the challenge. Parents and other family members can particpate too, so work with your child towards the goals and make it a family affair.

Bricks and Balance

We use foam bricks as a fun way to work on balance and proprioception (a fancy word for awareness of the body in space). That even included trying to balance all 100 bricks on the PE teacher!20131212_112736 20131212_112240 20131204_115837 20131204_115335 20131204_115513

The History of Football

mobfootballDid you know that there are dozens of games today called “football”? Whether it’s soccer (aka Association Football), rugby, American football, Gaelic football, Australian Rules football or one of the many other variations, they all had their roots in the game called football played in England for hundreds of years.

This year in PE, we are including our school-wide theme of “change” by studying the history of football and how the rules changed and split into several games that are now very different.  We will take a look at soccer, rugby and American football. For rugby and American football, we will use flag (no tackle) variations for safety and for skill development.

For each sport, we go back in time to the mid-1800s. The kids will get a chance to play each game as the rules existed at various times up to the present, and experience first-hand how the change in rules changed the way the games were played. Set your way-back machines!

Respecting our ROOTS

Learning good sportsmanship is a very important part of our PE classes. Games introduce something not found in some other areas of academic endeavor: competition. Learning to win and lose gracefully can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s an important part of a student’s social and emotional growth.

To help kids understand how better to deal with competition, I use a framework developed by the Positive Coaching Alliance. In PE class we “Honor the Game” by learning to Respect our ROOTS.

ROOTS is an acronym to help remember all the participants in a competition:

  • Rules. If nobody followed the rules, we would have chaos! They keep it fair for everyone.
  • Opponents.  Without an opponent, many games wouldn’t be much fun. We respect our opponents for trying their hardest.
  • Officials.  It can be difficult if you disagree with an official’s decision, but we still respect their decisions even if they are not perfect (like us!).
  • Teammates. A team is working together for a common goal, and everybody has something they can contribute.
  • Self.  Honor the game yourself, even if others are not setting a good example.

If everyone respects their ROOTS, we will get the most out of our competitions, in PE and in life.

Back to School!

It’s that time again… welcome back to Rivendell!  I’m looking forward to greeting returning students, meeting new students, and getting moving!

This year we will get things rolling with the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award program, where kids can demonstrate commitment to regular physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. The activities are many, and up to the students—whatever gets you up and going.

We will explore the sport of football and its history, from the mob game of hundreds of years ago to its split into the branches of soccer, American football and rugby.

We’ll do some yoga, some basketball, some track and field.  And we’ll always have time for kickball, dodgeball, tag and other favorite games.

I’m excited to start the new year with everyone.

Congrats to our Track Athletes

trackmeet2013cA number of Rivendell kids participated in the District Track Meet this past Saturday, May 4, at French Field at Rocky Mountain High School.  Not only do we have smart, creative and talented kids at this school, we also have some pretty good athletes!

A couple of kids placed in the District Top 10 for the meet: Julia in the 75m and long jump, and Sofia in the 50m and 75m.

Congratulations to all the Rivendell students who competed!