Friday, December 7, 2012

Encouraging Kids to be Physically Active

Third-Fifth Grade PE Physical Activity Calendar
Third, fourth, and fifth grade students are currently working on tracking their physical activity outside of school. They have received a 4 week physical activity calendar to help keep a log of activities they have participated in, and students also have a daily suggested activity to try out as well.

Check out the calendar to learn more about the physical activity assignment. Physical Activity Calendars are due by Friday, January 4th. Be sure to keep them in a safe place during winter break!

SPARK PE recently shared a blog post about how parents can encourage kids to be physically active. Check it out!                 SPARK PE- Encouraging Kids to be Physically Active

Monday, December 3, 2012

Family Candlelight Snowshoe Night

Family Candlelight Snowshoe/Hike Night
Friday, January 11th     6:30-8:00pm

Come explore Thorson’s Nature Center and enjoy the stars at night while participating in a family candlelight snowshoe night. In the event of no snow, the featured activity will be a candlelight hike.

Dress appropriately for the outdoor adventure with a winter coat, hat and mittens, snow pants, and a pair of boots. Chili, cornbread, and juice will be served that night.

Sign up for the event ASAP so that we can plan to have enough snowshoes and chili available for all who are interested.

Cost to participate is $5 per family. 

Save the Date- Family Wellness Night Friday, February 1st

More information to follow! 
Mark your calendars!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cooperative Learning in Physical Education

21st Century Skills in Physical Education- The Cooperative Activities Unit

In education today, all curriculum areas in school encourage 21st century skills with students. 

Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity, or the four C’s, are one aspect of 21st century skills we strive to teach our students. Educators also focus on making learning rigorous, relevant, and meaningful for students.

In physical education this quarter, Thorson Elementary students had a chance to develop 21st century skills in the Cooperative Activities unit. Through a variety of cooperative, problem solving challenges, students developed their communication, problem solving, and collaboration skills. Students learned that there are often many creative solutions to problems/challenges, and had multiple opportunities to practice appropriate conflict management skills. Students had a chance to develop and build their leadership and people skills, as well as demonstrate social and personal responsibility.

Through multiple cooperative activities this past quarter, students learned what it takes to work through challenges as a group, and how to manage and learn from situations that arise. It was awesome to see creative problem solving happen before my eyes, as I watched students work together to find solutions to challenges they were given! These activities provided some of the most important teachable moments that I can share with students about how choices and decisions they make and follow through on affect more than just themselves, and how important communication and problem solving skills are for all areas of their life. 

Communication and critical thinking skills are essential tools that helped Thorson students succeed in these cooperative activities in PE, but even more importantly, students have begun to build a foundation of thinking and problem solving skills they will be able to use throughout their lifetime.

To learn more about the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, check out this link.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall, Apps, and Halloween

Happy October!
It has been a great fall season for getting outside for Physical Education class! Thorson Elementary School has the BEST playground ever to use for Physical Education and recess. The Nature Center foliage is simply amazing at this time of year! I hope your family and you have had a chance to enjoy the great outdoors this fall!

(App)les for the Teacher :)
I am SO EXCITED to be using the new iPad I have for physical education. There are so many great educational apps that I have already been able to take advantage of, and students have already benefited from it as well.
Here are a few of my favorite apps so far that may be of interest to you as well:

  • CoachMyVideo- This app is great! It is my go-to tool for helping students visually see what their skills look like when they perform a task, and after giving them feedback and having them try again, I can share a side to side progression for them to see the positive changes they made. This has been very exciting to share with students! I also use CoachMyVideo to videotape students doing their skill assessments, and then take the time later to view it closer as I evaluate their skills. Very useful!!
  • Educreations- This app is similar to a whiteboard presentation, but has some cool features that have allowed me to drop in a picture of a soccer field this fall. We have used it to label the field markings, draw x's and o's in different colors to discuss offsides rules, and to explain how the ball is inbounded during various parts of a soccer game.
  • Keynote- This app is like powerpoint for the iPad. We planned our social contract while I typed in the  students' responses. I was able to print out the social contract for my classroom from this Keynote activity.
  • Heat Pad HD- No, this app is not meant to "warm up" your fingers when you type :), but rather it has some really cool color features that change colors to the pressure of your fingers as you move it along the screen. I use this app to motivate my special needs students after a great SDPE session. It is a GREAT app to help kids get excited about spelling out letters/words with their fingers. Very cool...check it out!

Have a Healthy Halloween!
I subscribe to a blog with SparkPE, and this month they have an awesome article I would like to share with you:

Enjoy the rest of the fall season and get outside before the snow flies! :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Welcome to the Thorson Elementary Physical Education Blog!

I am so excited to begin another successful school year here at Thorson!

I love this time of year when we get to continue being active outdoors throughout our beautiful fall weather in Wisconsin!

We are going to have a great time being physically active, learning new Physical Education skills, and developing our strength, flexibility, and endurance. We will also have many chances to incorporate cooperative team building and personal character skills, as well as have a chance to demonstrate good sportsmanship skills throughout the year.

Don't forget to check your class schedules and wear your tennis shoes on your Physical Education days. Have your parents send me a note if you have any restrictions or medical illnesses I need to be aware of.

Let's get moving and learning together, Thorson Elementary students!