Each year the running challenge starts with many of the younger students focused on their individual goal of completing their running log (running 26 miles over 10 weeks). Very quickly they start to notice that their peers are in the same pursuit. Some learn to put competitiveness aside to slow down and run a friend’s pace, while others learn to push themselves a little harder to keep up with a friend. Some shout encouragement across the field or give out high fives once they have finished their laps. This provides a strong foundation for a successful running community in the middle school. By 6th grade, the idea of running with peers is well established and students provide accountability for each other as they complete their miles.
Watching all of the different ways that the students support one another as they work to achieve their individual goals reminds me that although a single child’s name is written on the running log, there are many others who helped their accomplishment become a reality.
When I look back over the pictures from the first week of the running challenge I see joy. In some images it is more apparent than others and is clearly seen on the child’s face and in their body language. In other photos their faces and bodies are focused and deeply engaged in the movement of running. The joy is still there. I see it after they are done and realize they have gone further or faster than they thought they could. I see it when the tension they brought to class fades and they are completely engaged in the moment, in tune with their body and with nature. I am excited for the students to take on this challenge over the next 10 weeks.
The first few days and weeks of school tend to be very warm and humid (and in this year’s case… wet!). In previous years I have felt a little frustrated by this and concerned that the students were not able to get as much exercise as they could on a day where the weather is cooler. Over time I have realized this time of year lends itself to something just as important as moving your body, it sets the stage for working with others as a team. Many of the activities we have done so far this year may be lighter on fitness but they are strong on building teamwork. The transferable life skill of working with others to reach a common goal is an added bonus to exercise and living a healthy lifestyle.
We have also just dipped our feet into this year’s umbrella project theme of research. The kindergarten and first grade students are often interested in lifting my bags of equipment. One day they had a discussion about why it was easier to hold the bag from the bottom instead of with the handles.
The middle school students had a similar conversation later that day on our forest walk. “Why is my backpack so heavy but I can lift my sister?”. These questions are a good start into inquiry for understanding complex strength training principles. Stay tuned…
If I were to pick one word for bike week it would be resiliency. Whether it was taking off training wheels for the first time, learning to make a tight u-turn around a cone, or pushing themselves during the duathlon, I consistently saw the students showing grit and determination. Watching their faces when something finally clicked and they mastered a skill is one of my favorite parts of being their teacher.
The second word that sums up bike week is fun. Students had a whole lot of fun over the past two weeks. Check out the photos below to see the students in action.
The Running Challenge this year has gotten off to a wet, muddy and snowy start but that can’t stop a group of very determined Sabot students. In a week and a half the students have run 347 miles. Our goal this year is 3,080 miles. On our virtual map we will attempt to run from California to Washington, D.C.
Here are just a few images of our determined students.
If you passed by me in your car today you might have wondered if I was celebrating Halloween a little early because I came to school dressed in my bike kit (complete with aero helmet and cowbell). I did it to get students talking about the UCI races happening in Richmond this week. It is pretty exciting that the best cyclists in the world are putting tires down on our streets. If you didn’t get the chance to check it out this weekend here is the schedule for the rest of the week. Also be sure to grab a “Sabot Welcomes the World” t-shirt for sale in the main house.
We had some fun in PE today playing bike themed games like “scooter time trial”, “mechanic wheel fix” and the “jersey run”.
During the first week of school students across the grade levels spent time working as a team and encouraging each other. Each grade also had a healthy dose of silly, with games like tooth fairy tag in the lower grades and a scavenger hunt in the middle school. This week of fun is forming a great foundation for the year in PE.