Friday, February 10, 2017

What’s Happening in Physical Education

    We are in the middle of another Vermont winter… one that doesn’t include SNOW (we should say much snow).  With each new dusting, hope rises and students repeatedly ask …..   “Are we skiing today?”  We will venture outdoors to cross country ski (xc ski) once snowflakes sufficiently accumulate (teachers can’t wait either).  Students were sized for boots in December (optimistic that lots of snowflakes were coming).  When the opportunity arrives, students will have an orientation on dressing for cold weather as to be prepared for the conditions.  During the XC Ski unit, 7th and 8th graders will work on a diagonal gait, kick turn, traversing up a slope, skiing downhill, braking and touring.  6th graders will receive instruction on choosing/returning equipment, getting in/out of their bindings, getting up from a fall, gliding, skiing without poles and then progress to skills the older students are working on.  All students will learn about XC Ski etiquette while touring.  
    We keep hope, an optimistic attitude and an eye to the sky while we wait...and wait...and wait…….  
Strength Training
    Students are currently in the midst of a Strength Training Unit.  Each year students engage in these classes to learn the finer points of exercise technique, programming, weight room etiquette, setting them up to be skilled future consumers of the fitness/gym industry.
    Strength training is a basic fitness component that allows an individual to increase physical work capacity and decrease the incidence of injury.  Those who partake in a strength training program have secondary benefits, such as increased aerobic fitness, flexibility and improved body composition due to increased muscle mass.


    7th and 8th grade students were divided by ability during the Basketball unit so as to provide a challenge and opportunity for success with skills and strategy development.  More experienced students worked at a quicker pace on advanced dribbling skills (spin and change of speed), passing (side, skip) and shooting from varying distances and angles.  These students also worked with more complex basketball strategies during modified games. Less experienced students focused time and energy on reaching proficiency with basic dribbling, passing and shooting skills.  In addition, beginners worked on using basic defensive strategies consistently during modified games.  All 7th and 8th grade students were responsible for and assessed on an academic piece which included fitness vocabulary and Basketball terms.   

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    6th graders in the Basketball unit learned about suitable equipment/size based on gender and experience level (junior, girls’ boy’s), ball handling skills for eye-hand coordination (around the waist,figure 8,flip/flop and spider), dribbling, passing and proper shooting technique.  Students worked on their skills through a variety of low key and fast paced activities including shooting races/contests.  
    6th graders, during a portion of one basketball class, used their Chromebooks to enter their 2016-17 fitness assessment data into a Google form.  The form is connected to the student’s individual Google spreadsheet which contains a formula that automatically updates when new data is entered into the form.   Over the course of their career at EMS, students will readily be able to access their performance results so they can monitor their fitness level, growth and development.    


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