Blog: What's special about our middle school?

Below are selected entries from Middle School Insight - our weekly blogs used for communication with our parents.


Beyond Traditional P.E.

In Physical Education, middle school students are off to a fast start. The focus in class is on staying positive, giving our best effort, and making the right choices even when no one is watching. Students started the year with small group games and team building activities. During these first few classes, students were able to try out the new Adventure Wall, work together to move with team walking sticks, participate in the hula hoop rock-paper-scissors craze, and work in small groups on other team building activities.

Students also began getting a taste of different fitness exercises that we will continue to utilize throughout the year. We have ended each class period with short mindfulness exercises that include box breathing, body scans, and silent reflection. The students have done an excellent job with this new concept in class.

Middle School students using the new Adventure Wall and team walking sticks during the first week of PE.

Soccer and Football

Students recently wrapped up their first full unit in PE. We spent 2 weeks covering the basics of soccer. During this time students participated in games like dribble tag, World Cup, line soccer, and full soccer games. We covered the different positions on the field and basic rules needed to play the game.

This week students began their football unit. We started with a game of Capture the Flag using the flag belts. We have different variations of the game, including using footballs and allowing participants to pass, punt, or run them back to their side. Later in the unit we will go over the rules needed to play ultimate football and flag football.

During the football unit, students will participate in a new class set up for learning the game. They will be split into 2 groups and given various roles involved in football. Sample roles for the students to assign to each other will include players, coaches, officials, sideline chain marker, and announcer. They will then participate in a game of flag football in these roles. Roles will switch throughout the unit. My goal for this type of set up is for the students to realize that if they are interested in sports, then there are a number of different ways to be involved besides just playing. I look forward to hearing reactions from the students to see if this is a worthwhile part of class.

Looking Ahead

Beginning in October, students will be participating in fitness testing. We perform this these tests every fall and spring as a way for students to access their physical fitness in different areas. We perform the following tests:

  • One Mile Run (cardiovascular endurance)
  • Pacer Test (aerobic capacity)
  • Push Ups (muscular strength)
  • Curl Ups or Sit Ups (muscular strength)
  • Flexed Arm Hang (muscular strength)
  • Trunk Lift (Flexibility)
  • Sit and Reach (Flexibility)

Students are NOT graded on these tests. The results are used solely for individual use. Students are able to use them to help set goals for their own personal fitness. My advice for students is to not stress out over the tests and to always give their best effort.

By Shane Woodcock, Physical Education and Athletic Director

Posted by Kristin Feddersen in PE on Thursday September, 20, 2018

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Countryside School
4301 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61822
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