Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The progression of Volleyball

Physical Education is approached from a sequential direction of learning based off of age and development. Our volleyball unit gives the perfect example of how these skills are broken down into developmentally appropriate levels. 

The youngest members of our school practice volleying with balloons. They try to keep the balloon in the air and eventually volley it over the net for their partner to catch. The use of the balloon is a wonderful adaptation that allows for a slower fall. This allows the students time to react to the balloon coming towards them.

As the students get older we switch out the balloon for a volleyball. They practice some of the same skills and also work on catching, passing, and setting the ball to team members. 

Students in 2nd-4th grade play a game called Newcomb. It is similar to Volleyball but includes catching the ball vs hitting it. This modification allows for the game to be slowed down so the students can strategize their next move.

This year we also explored other versions of volleyball.  Students in grades 5th-8th were able to also play a game called Hoover ball.  This game is similar to Newcomb but is played with a 6lbs weighted ball instead of the volleyball. 
Communication and working together is key in any of these games. It is crucial to understand the skills needed at any level. At Pathfinder, we strive to meet the needs of all of our students depending on their developmental levels. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

First grade Gymnastics field trip

The kids in first grade have become master of balancing.
We spent the end of October and November working on balancing and tumbling. Here are a couple examples of the fun poses we learned. 

The students were over the moon when they found out we would get to go on a field trip to Grand Traverse Gymnastics to learn more about tumbling and gymnastics. 

We tested our strengths by doing chin ups and somersaults.  

We also got to use the funniest long trampoline. 
Flips on the uneven bars were a blast!
Jumping into the foam pit might have been the highlight of the gymnastics room. 
When we were done testing our bodies and learning new ways to use the fun gymnastic equipment our trainers opened up the back door. This is what was behind the door...

What a great field trip. Thank you to Grand Traverse Gymnastics for having us visit again this year. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sugar filled

Our 8th graders have been learning about Nutrition. We have been talking about nutrient dense foods and empty calories. Through a class discussion the day after Halloween we were left with some big questions:
1. How much candy do most kids collect while Trick or Treating? 
2. How much sugar is in all of that candy?
3. Do younger or older kids receive more candy and why might that be? 

We sent out an online survey and collected responses for four days. The survey reached several different families with data tracked from 40 kids collections. 

From the data we realized that the average child collects 104 pieces of candy. The younger children (8 and under) only collected 72 pieces on average. However, the older kids (9+) received more than double that with 145 pieces of candy. The girls concluded that the difference might be in part to older kids trick or treating for a longer period of time. 

But really how much sugar is that??? 

Our next big question was a little harder. We had to figure out the average sugar content of Halloween candy (9.4grams).  The numbers were shocking! We measured out the sugar to see what that much sugar looked like.

Here are a few pictures for perspective
Older kids receive 1,363 grams of sugar from their 145 pieces of candy

Our younger kids collected 676.8 grams for their 72 pieces of candy. 

What about the average kid? They collected 977.6 grams for their 104 pieces. 

Note that a single fun size candy bar contains 9.4 grams of sugar and though numbers vary, the max amount of daily sugar intake is around 25 grams. 

What do you think about the amount of sugar kids are consuming??? 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Yoga field trip

The students in second grade have been working on further developing their balancing skills. We have used this as a transition into Yoga. In class we learned around 10 different poses which all require concentration and balance. 

We were beyond excited to take our new found knowledge of yoga to the next level by visiting Yen Yoga. 
In class we were able to explore many new moves thanks to our amazing teacher. 

At the end of class we even got a chance to be instructors and show our friends our favorite moves. 

Some of the kids can be quoted saying...

"It was peaceful and fun. We got chocolate there! I love yoga"

"It was awesome! I really want to do yoga classes!"

"I learned new moved. I learned a new tree move." 

A huge thank you to Yen Yoga for helping us to explore new ways to move our bodies. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

How much Halloween Candy did you collect?

Students in 8th grade have been learning about nutrition. We have been talking about the amount of sugar in candy and eating empty calories.  Through this we came up with a big question... How much candy does the average kid bring home on Halloween?  The even bigger question is how much sugar is in all of that candy?  

We would love if you could help us answer this question by filling out this survey.  We encourage having your child help tally the numbers.  What a great time for a family talk about eating sugars in moderation.  

****All entries must be submitted by November 4th, 2015****

Please feel free to share this post on social media or via email.  The more responses we get the more accurate our data will be. 

---- We will post our results in the gym at The Pathfinder School and on this blog ----

Are you already starting to worry that you have too much candy? Fear not --- Eastern Elementary can help! They are holding their annual Trick or Treat for Troops event, and we would love to take your candy donation and send it to troops serving overseas. They are collecting NON-CHOCOLATE candy from November 2nd-4th.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tennis is in full swing

Students in 3rd-5th grade have been exploring the world of tennis. We learned about the history of the sport and found out about its French orgins. 
They even had a chance to play jeu de paume (game of palm) which was a precursor to tennis. 

We enjoyed playing on our outside courts that receive a fresh new coat of paint this summer. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Create a game

Students in the upper grades start off the school year exploring the classifications of sports. We review the 8 different categories that athletics/sports might fall into and how they are classified.

After learning about these classification we explore our creative side by creating our own games. This is a fun unit where students work in a small group to create a fun unique game. It must be different than any other game and they must be able to identify what category the game would fall into. 

Here are a few pictures of them teaching their fellow classmates how to play their games.