Archive for October, 2011

Tour de PHS Continues

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

First Graders in Tour de PHSOur Physical Education teacher, Kim Nygaard, continued the theme of our Tour de France throughout our PE program. Kim explains, “I took the concept of the Tour de France and placed the children into four different teams: Team USA, Team France, Team Germany, and Team Sweden. Each team had children from all the grades.”
“As you know, the Tour de France consists of 21 stages – some on flat land, some in the mountains, some sprints, plus individual and team trials. Our students could choose from a number of stages using different kinds of bikes. The stationary spin bike was used for counting RPM’s, hill climbing (by adding resistance to the bike), and switchbacks (standing and sitting). Timing Stationary Bike RidersWe also used the spin bike for individual and team trials. Other bikes used were single and double-seated tricycles – double trikes for team time trials, single trikes for flat terrain, figure eights, endurance rides, and slowest lap. Our trick bike (a small bike with eight inch diameter wheels) was used for sprints, figure eights, rectangle rides, and line to line rides.” “I am now calculating the students’ points from each stage, and will be awarding at our November assembly the winning team, the yellow jersey, polka dot jersey, white, and green jerseys, and each will receive water bottles.”
“Our Tour de PHS is continuing in our Walking Club that goes through Spring Break – our children can walk the track before school, at recess, after lunch, and after school, and their distances are recorded.”
“Of all the stages, the children liked the spin bike best – they were amazed that with resistance on the bike, it was hard to go 30 seconds, and in the real Tour in the mountain stages, the bikers go hour after hour at this pace and with this resistance!”
“My goal is to show our students what is outside PHS and experience sports that they may not have been aware of. Now kids tell me that they were in their car going up a hill in Palos Verdes when they passed a large group of bikers. The children now know what energy and commitment that takes on the part of the bikers!”

Metric Week

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Metric Week with Jamie Staff & Daniel WalkerPHS Metric Week, under the direction of Helen Metzler, our mathematics specialist, just concluded. Helen explains, “The purpose of Metric Week is to give the children at PHS some hands-on experience in learning the metric system. For example, with a trundle wheel, we measured a distance of 20 meters. Then we had a relay race to that point and back, in order for the students to get the feel for the distance of 20 meters.”
“Our theme this year was the Tour de France, and we used the cycling and French themes throughout. Just as the Tour has 21 stages, we had 21 activities that included a French market where we measured the mass of fruits and vegetables, baguettes that were measured in length, a typical French children’s hopscotch game in the shape of escargot, a beret toss, and the game of petanque (French lawn bowling using 73 mm metallic balls). In each of these activities we were measuring length, mass, capacity, and temperature in the metric system. Our theme also carried throughout the curriculum. For instance, in art the students learned the meaning of the four different colored jerseys awarded to Tour riders, and our children made their own designs.”
“One of the highpoints of the week was a visit by Jamie Staff, an Olympic bicycling champion (2008 team sprint for Great Britain) and the young Olympic hopeful he is now coaching, Daniel Walker. They talked to the children about all types of cycling from BMX, the Tour de France, to sprints at the Home Depot velodrome in Carson. Jamie asked the children questions about the metric system and hands flew in the air in response. Each student had the opportunity to examine, up close and personal, Jamie’s Olympic gold medal!”

Outdoor Education Trips

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

We received rave reviews from the parents and teachers who accompanied our Fourth Grade students to AstroCamp and our Fifth Graders to Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI). Not only did the children enjoy themselves, but socially and emotionally they bonded with each other and created lifelong memories. In addition, each day was filled with classes and hands-on experiences that took advantage of the unique mountain and ocean environment. Fourth Graders learned about planetary atmospheres, the light spectrum, constellations, microgravity, and much more. Fifth Grade at CIMI
On Catalina, our Fifth Graders’ activities ranged from snorkeling through kelp forests to hiking the island, learning all about the flora and fauna of each ecosystem. In the process, they attempted feats that I doubt any of us could accomplish! Bravo to each of them and to the teachers and parent volunteers! This coming week is Metric Week at PHS, themed on “Le Tour de France.” With these activities, the children will be prepared to travel the world, ordering, computing, and measuring in the metric system. They will also discover that they weigh a lot less in kilos than in pounds – even I like that one! I’ll keep you posted on the details; be sure to read the blog next week – I know that it will be exciting.

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