Our 6th annual Running Challenge kicked off this week. This year the students will “run” loops of cycling’s 2015 Road World Championships course which takes place in downtown Richmond. The course for the road circuit is a little over 10 miles and I have challenged the students to run over 240 loops of the course (around 2,500 miles). Clearly, that was not enough! This week we set a new record for miles in a week with students in grades k-8 running/walking over 550 miles! Below are a few images from the week.
The umbrella theme this year for Sabot is “Our Richmond”. The middle school students got a little taste of “Our Sabot” during a scavenger hunt on their first day of PE. It proved to be a great way to get exercise and to explore their school. Some of the scavenger clues involved the history of our school. Did you know the slate in the Gillette garden came from Libby Prison, a prison and hospital during the Civil War? You can still see the jail cell numbers and the holes where the bars went.
Below are some of the clues and images of the fun.
The theme of this year’s Field Day was time travel. Each class arrived from a different time period. We had travelers from the 70s in matching tie-dyed shirts, passengers from the Titanic, soldiers from World War I, immigrants from Ellis Island, students from the future, gladiators from ancient Rome, guys and gals from Grease Lightning, New Yorkers in the 80s and 8th graders from 2014 who are ready to graduate. Upon arrival each class presented their time period and flag to the group.
Our station volunteers went above and beyond to make the day enjoyable. Several even came in costumes that corresponded with their station theme.
Students travelled back (and forward) to 7 different time periods.
Time Period # 1: The 1980s
Students rocked out to 80s music. Like totally rad.
Time Period # 2 The Oregon Trail
The students travelled to the river by wagon and then forged the river. After crossing the river they completed a series of obstacles down the trail.
Time Period # 3: Ancient Greece
Students travelled back in time to the first Olympics and participated in a toga run.
Time Period #4 1950s
Students travelled back to the hula hoop craze of the 1950s. They participated in a variety of hula hoop challenges, including a “shuttle relay”, racing their hula hoop and threading the needle with the hoop.
Time Period #5: Colonial Williamsburg
At this station students completed an egg and spoon and wheelbarrow race.
Time Period #6: Medieval Period
Students faced off in a head to head “sword fight”.
Time Period #7: Year 5120
At this station Robots of the future had taken over New York City. The robots’ weakness was water. Students tried to knock down the robots with water bombs.
Thanks to our many volunteers and teachers there were smiles all around!
Biking in PE is a highlight of the year for the students as well as myself. Students practice techniques that make them safer and more efficient on the road. They exhibit good sportsmanship and cheer each other on. They have fun and beg for more. The true magic happens; however, when a student learns to let go and trust their body. You can see it all over their face- the sense of accomplishment mixed with a bit of surprise and overall giddiness. In just two weeks I can see the students grow in their confidence. That confidence continues to grow from one year to the next. This year I had the joy of watching a student who learned to ride her bike in PE two years ago help another student learn to ride this year.
Each year we conclude bike week with a run-bike-run duathlon. On the day of the duathlon the students anxiously await putting their skills to the test. This is something I can relate to, finding joy in working hard and pushing yourself a little harder than you thought was possible. At the end of the duathlon they tell me how exhausted they are- with some of the biggest smiles I have seen all year.
We just wrapped up week six of the kids challenge and the polar vortex that has had a grip on our city didn’t stop the students from running- they are already up to 1,263 miles. It also didn’t diminish their enthusiasm for running and most students agreed that while running in the snow was more of a challenge it also added a greater element of fun.
In addition to running in the snow another highlight included 2nd graders running extra miles for a middle school student who couldn’t run due to a broken arm. There was also a discussion in kindergarten about what happens in your body when you run. Some of the most memorable quotes include: “you have to breathe harder”, “your muscles gets air”, “you feel warmer”, “your heart pounds faster” and “you get a runny nose”. As in previous years other highlights include students spending their entire recess running, begging “just one more lap” in PE and having students eagerly tell me about the miles they ran at home over the weekend.
Below are a few images from the first six weeks. I am looking forward to what the next four will bring.
I find this year’s umbrella project theme, “time”, to be very fitting for me personally. Time is at the forefront of my mind these days. I am acutely aware of how much time I have left until my first child’s birth. For the last nine months I have watched my belly get bigger and my running speed get slower. I am also aware that the time that lies ahead of me will be distinctly different from the previous time in my life. Much of this pregnancy I have spent reflecting on the past or looking forward.
My hope for students in PE this year is the opposite. It is my desire for them to be present in the moment verses thinking only about the past or the future. Bringing mindfulness to the body during exercise often has a way of making one present to the moment. It can be hard to focus on what might be going on later in the day when your legs and lungs are demanding your utmost attention. It is also difficult to draw awareness to your breath and think about what happened yesterday at the same time. Practicing mindfulness techniques can be a benefit in the classroom as well. Students learn how to pay attention on purpose in a particular way. It is one way to help students think about their thinking.
In addition to the movement aspect of PE, at Sabot we are blessed with the gift of expansive outdoor space. Being outside can shift your focus away from the stresses of the day to the birds overhead or the feeling of the sun on your skin. It alerts the senses and draws awareness to the body.
Don’t get me wrong, I see great value in learning from the past or setting goals for the future. But it is my desire to use exercise as a way to help students enjoy the moment that they are in.
This year’s Field Day theme was Community. Each class came as a town to visit Richmond, VA. We had visitors from Mary Land, Troy, Om Nom Nom, LaLaLand, Hillville, Ullypsis, La Seis, The Independent Republic of Swammerdamia and Las Vegas. Once they arrived in Richmond and presented their native flags they had several local attractions to visit.
Stop 1: Richmond International Raceway
Racecar drivers were transported to the track where they were dropped off at their race cars to complete 4 laps around the track.
Stop 2: Richmond Ballet
Town members danced their way to a good time!
Stop 3: James River
Town members walked on logs, hopped over rocks and paddled their way down the river.
Stop 4: Monument Ave 10k
10k runners participated in the Dress up and Run contest.
Stop 5: Downtown Y
Town members completed a strength and flexibility circuit.
Stop 6: St.Mary’s Hospital
Members of the town were responsible for delivering Renee’s baby safely home.
Stop 7: Fire Station 25 on Huguenot Road
Firefighters completed an obstacle course and carried hoses to put out the fire.
Thanks to our vounteers who braved the wet conditions. A good time was had by all!