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Physical Education

Last year a law was passed in Florida that mandated students to have 150 minutes of physical education per week. Changes were made at my elementary school to meet this requirement. Physical Education (P.E.) classes have become larger. Our P.E. coaches teach three kindergarten classes at one time. We have two full time P.E. coaches and one P.E. assistant.

My students attend P.E. three times a week totaling the minutes to 120. That leaves 30 minutes for me to fill in. At this time, I am required to bring my students outside. My school has given us options like running our track or doing different exercises with our students.

My students like to do the "countdown" run. I line my students up and have them count down from ten. Once they count down to zero, they sprint out to the playground. We don't always count down from ten. Sometimes we count by tens or fives to one hundred. We also count by ones to ten or twenty. Sometimes I have the students race or do relay races.

I think this is a great time for the students to get exercise expecially on days when the students are hyper. It does get hard for teachers though. We have to record our minutes in our lesson plans and come up with activities for our students. For the most part I don't mind it. It's nice to get out of the classroom and be outside for 30 minutes.   

A Mixed-Up Week

My head was spinning when I left school today. It was one of those days when you blame the full moon or think every one of your students had Mountain Dew for breakfast. The surprising part was that it was a Thursday. Normally I have these days on Fridays when everyone is ready for the weekend. Instead, it was a Thursday and I was dreading Friday.

I had a hard time getting the students to pay attention today. I feel like I repeated directions over a dozen times to each student and every student forgot every classroom procedure. One student had a hard time in particular with his behavior towards his classmates. I had to give him more one on one time and I had to remove him from his friends at one point.  Now, we did have an unusually week of school. We had school Monday but Tuesday we had off for Rosh Hashanah. Every Wednesday every school in our district has a short day, so Thursday we were back to normal.

Today was hard for me because it was the first day I have had all year like this. My students are always well behaved. Today showed me how important our daily routine is with our students. An unexpected day off does throw not only my students, but myself too.

I did survive today though. Each week we are required to give our students an extra 30 minutes of physical education and luckily today was my day to bring my student outside. This extra 30 minutes was a life saver. My students needed extra time to run and play. Hopefully this will help me tomorrow.

Here are some tips for getting children to pay attention!

School Family

Kid Quote of the Week:

The students were making family trees and adding apples for each family member. One student asked for one more apple to add me. I told her that I was not apart of her family and she looked at me and said, "But Miss Germano, you're apart of my school family."

Throughout the school year, I spend countless hours focusing on creating a family atmosphere in my classroom. I always begin by explaining to the class that they have a home family and a school family. I emphasize that we treat our school family the same as we treat our home family. After hearing my student tell me I was apart of her school family my heart melted.

I have always ran my classroom like a family. My mom emphasized when I volunteered in her classroom to create a warm, loving classroom where the students feel safe. The following activities are from Dr. Becky Bailey.

School_family_2

Each student has a meaningful job that contributes to the classroom. As the students are doing their morning journals, they are signing in and our Morning Greeter is doing their job. Our Morning Greeter wears an apron that contains four symbols that represent a welcome. The symbols are a hand (a hand shake), the number 5 (a high five), a happy face (a smile), and a heart (a hug). The morning greeter visits each student and the student picks what greeting they would like. As the Morning Greeter is offering a greeting they always say "Good Morning". Every adult is always surprised when I tell them that the heart is picked the most.

Another morning ritual is our "Wish You Well" moment during our morning meeting. At this time, I bring out baking sheet that contains a magnetic picture of each student circling the outside of the baking sheet. When a student is absent, we take their picture, place it in the center and say the following chant "We wish you well, we hope you feel better." The students like to add a swishing noise like they are sending the chant to the student at home. As the year goes on, students who are absent, return to school and check to make sure we "wished them well".

                                                  School_family

A way I like to reinforce proper behavior is asking if the behavior was Helpful or Hurtful. I begin this as soon as the students walk through my door on the first day of school. For any situation, helpful and hurtful can be the answer. If the students answer hurtful, I follow up asking how they could be helpful instead of hurtful. By doing this, the students begin to understand what is accepted behavior and not accepted behavior. My students now are becoming used to accepted behavior. I rarely have to stop what I'm doing and talk about accepted behavior. Instead I can focus on lessons.

I suggest exploring Dr. Becky Bailey's website. She has great ideas and I was lucky to be introduced to her early on in my teaching career. 

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