Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity." -JFK

Today my class met up with the class of my super cool friend, Miss Smith, who teaches 5th grade. On Tuesday at our staff meeting, we played some of the games our students learn with our PE and recess coach, Coach Tes. We are lucky enough to have an amazing program called Playworks at our school for our students...and we are even luckier to have Coach Tes! She is phenomenal!

We had so much fun starting our day with 20 minutes of physical activity! My students only needed a minute or two to settle down when we returned the classroom, and I really saw a noticeable difference in their energy levels. Relative to last year, my students this year are younger. Last year I had 5 students who turned 6 in December, and by March over half of my class (more than 10 students) was 6! Tomorrow is the first day of April, and only 6 of my students are already 6! The age difference may not sound like a big deal to anyone besides parents and kindergarten teachers, but I can tell my students this year have extra energy to burn, so we do even more singing and dancing than last year (who knew it was possible?!). As a result, playing a game this morning with Miss Smith and her students helped burn some of that energy and let our bodies and brains really focus on learning.

Monkeys=better google
image results than
mosquitoes! :)
This morning, we played "Monkeys and Mosquitoes," a team game of tag. We split into two teams (see if you can guess what they're called...), and the teams stand facing each other. Then the teacher (or coach or game leader) calls out either "Monkeys!" or "Mosquitoes!" Whichever team's name is called has to chase the other team and try to tag as many people as possible. If a player is tagged, he/she freezes and then switches over to the other team. It's a little confusing to explain without any pictures or demonstrations, but it's a GREAT game to play with LOTS of running involved. Even more fun, at the very end we switched it up and made one team the long vowels and the other the short vowels. So, when we said "bit" the short vowels had to chase and to tag the long vowels. Gotta love sneaking learning into games!

...The learning didn't stop there though. Students then wrote notes to Miss Smith and her class to thank them for playing with us, and tomorrow each student will have a nice surprise waiting on his/her desk: a personal response from a 5th grader. I can't wait to see their faces when they find their letters!

To say that Miss Smith is awesome is an understatement--I am so glad my students spent time with her students since I know they now have great role models to look up to at school!

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