By Derrick Hatch, National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award 2018 Winner
Mr. Derrick with his YAB leadership students.
A Job Or A Career?
When I began working in the afterschool field, I didn’t quite know what I was signing up for. Sure, I was excited about the job; but at the time, it was a placeholder until something better came along.
Oh how wrong I was.
In the beginning, I didn’t think I was quite cut out for the work. Here I was, a white 23 year-old from suburban Southern California. Was I really qualified to be working with kids and teens in the inner-city? What if they laughed at me? What if they made fun of me?
Well, they did laugh, and they did make fun of me. And I joyfully embraced it all. Continue reading →
A Literacy Night is a great way to show how integrating literacy through physical activity is simple and can improve reading and writing abilities. You can work with classroom teachers, the PTO, and the community to put this event together. Here are a few physical activity ideas to include in the event to support your school’s efforts.
This company called the Alphabet Workout has a number of free and affordable activities that focus on teaching phonics and letters to young children struggling to learn this topic. One great activity to get exercise and improve the basics of reading at the same time is yoga. In this activity, a set of cards with letters on them correspond to different yoga poses. Each card has a picture of a child doing the pose on the front along with a short story about the pose on the back of the card for the teacher to read. Older students can read the story themselves as well as do the poses independently. Learn more about the benefits and how to incorporate yoga into your classroom. Continue reading →
Communicating with others verbally in a variety of situations is one of the soft skills for students to develop at the elementary level. I like using blindfold activities help students develop verbal communication skills as they determine the best vocabulary words to use to reach a desired outcome. Through the years, it’s been rewarding to see kids start to understand the importance of their verbal communication through blindfold activities. Some students feel frustrated with each other and want to give up. Other students stop and problem solve by choosing different vocabulary. Other students find quick success when they choose not to rush and understand that “slow and steady wins the race.”
Prior to participating in the blindfold activities, students brainstorm together what words to use in order to successfully guide someone who is not able to see to perform a variety of tasks. In all the activities below, students are only able to use words to guide their blindfolded partners. They are not allowed guide by touch or using their hands. The blindfolds I used are from S&S Worldwide.
This is a great introductory activity. Students get in pairs and take turns guiding their blindfolded partner around the gym without running into anyone or anything. This activity enables students to practice and discover the best vocabulary words to use to guide their partner. Provide time for students to reflect and discuss with other students what words were successful for them.
Article by George Graham, Co-founder of PE Central
My grandkids have learned to read. They enjoy trying to solve math problems. But when I ask them what they have learned in physical education their answers are opaque. Mostly they tell me what they are doing in P.E.
In this short piece, I am suggesting that physical education teachers, and programs, should be able to describe at least some of what their students have actually learned in their classes. And the kids they are teaching should be able to show you what they have learned.
Physical education programs have a wide variability in the time allotted for classes, from a few days a year, to daily. Classes are also taught by specialists who have majored in physical education, and also by coaches and fitness specialists and classroom teachers. Continue reading →
For my K-2 students, I always want to try and see how their balance is. There are many ways I can test this, but the bucket stilts are the best. Hand-eye coordination as well as balancing are crucial for this activity.
I usually split the group into 8 sections, 4 at half-court, and 4 on the other side of the gym. The more groups you have the less waiting there is. Students are to walk to the group in front of them, and then hand the stilts off. It can be a challenge to get on them sometimes, but their partner behind them can help them out. To make it a little bit more challenging, I will add some noodles on the floor to have students work with pathways on how to get around the object or over. We call them logs. Students love the stilts once they get the hang of it. I have incorporated them into stations, if we do that for P.E. that day. Continue reading →