Once again the Horizon PE program is up and running. After a day of those first of the year “housekeeping” activities, we have finally started the “real” PE program.
                  Primary classes will be starting out with some “Safety and Following Instruction” games and activities. Don’t be surprised if your child comes home with a new word, “Collision.” Collision happens to be the name of movement safety game. The purpose of this game is to teach children collision avoidance skills and appropriate movement for different situations. Quiz your children on this.
                  Each Class begins with warm-up exercises. I have developed a battery of 12 warm-ups that covers the Fitness Components.
                   The first few months we will be concentrating on basic locomotor and movement skills. Running, jumping, hopping skipping, jumping, sliding, leaping, galloping, dodging, throwing, catching etc.
                  Because we are doing such movement oriented activities I recommend the children remember to wear proper clothing on their PE Days, especially proper footwear. Dress shoes, Sandals, boots , highheeled shoes and heelless shoes, many times, do not provide the proper traction, support and flexibility needed to safely run, jump and leap tall buildings in a single bound. I would recommend an inexpensive athletic shoe that supplies cushioning and support for the feet. Also if your daughter is planning to wear a dress on a PE day, have them wear shorts underneath the dress. This way they can move freely without embarrassment.
                  In the Intermediate class, we’ve started the Fitness Test. This is a battery of seven fitness tests. They are the Flex Arm Hang (to test upper body and arm strength), Sit-Ups (to test Abdominal Strength), Shuttle Run (to test Speed and Agility), Standing Long Jump (to test explosive Leg strength), 50 yd. Dash (to test speed and leg strength), 600 yd. Run (to test muscle and cardiovascular endurance) and lastly the Mile Run (to test cardiovascular endurance). There are several things that can aid your child when taking the fitness test. Proper clothing, especially good athletic type shoes, will help. A positive attitude and also practice will help your child to do better on the fitness test.  We will also take the mandated Fitnessgram Fitness Test which include the running Pacer test, the Sit and Reach, Situp Pacer and the Flex Arm Hang.
                                                                                       Looking Forward to a Great Year,
                                                                                       Tom Higashi, PE Specialist

                The primary classes are just beginning a unit on following instructions. So if your child comes home claiming that the gym has been turned into the “Starship Horizon” don’t be surprised. Also, if your child has been named “Commander,” count it as a great honor because it means he/she has earned the position by being able to follow instructions the best in our “Starship Horizon” game.
                If you hear strange words emanating from your child, like “G’nips and G’nops,” don’t be concerned. It’s just an imaginary group of little people who are having difficulty getting along. “G’nips and G’nops” is also a game that gives your child a fun way to practice their throwing, catching and dodging skills. (Don’t worry about the animosity between the “G’nips and G’nops.” Everything comes out all right in the end.)
                The intermediate classes have just completed the Modified Presidential Fitness Test to a lot of cheers and fanfare. This year the highly motivated students did very well.
                Parents of Fourth Graders don’t be too concerned if your child didn’t do too well on their first Presidential Fitness Test. There always seems to be some drop in scores because the fourth grade students are unfamiliar with this new test. The 3rd grade is taking the those fitness test as well so the can become familiar with it. 
                What I try to do is to encourage everyone, from children who didn’t do well on the fitness test to those who did extremely well, to improve. One of the end of the year awards is “Most Improved” in the fitness test. We’ve gone over several ways to improve their fitness test score in the PE classes. The best way is to practice the test. Another way is to turn out for the Horizon Track Team or any other sport. Exercising with their parents is also a good way to become more fit.   The key is to try to keep them physically active through the day and throughout their life. Probably the easiest way for some children to do better is to have a positive attitude about the test. Many dislike the test so consequently they don’t do well.
                The intermediate classes will be starting their first sports this month starting with football and Frisbee skills. Skills such as throwing and catching, kicking, punting etc. will be part of the skill learned. Hopefully the weather will improve so we can do them outside.
PS. Parents, if your child cannot participate in PE because of illness or injury, please send a note to school. Otherwise I will assume they can participate fully.

NOVEMBER   School seems to be just rolling along. Before you know it the holidays will be upon us.
          Finally those G’nips and G’nops have seen the light. They have discovered that even though they are different, they still have more things in common and still can get along. They celebrated together by having their first “Choice Day.” A “Choice Day” is a day when as a class they can choose an activity or game they learned earlier in the year.
      Coming up next will be the Primary Fitness Test. This test consists of five (5) simple fitness tests: rope climb for upper body strength, jogging for cardiovascular endurance, running lines for speed and agility, sit-ups for abdominal strength and a locomotor skills test. For any for any of these tests, I am looking for improvement.

        The Horizon Volleyball Team will be starting soon.  This volleyball program is an after school activity which is open to 5th and 6th grade students. (Sorry, 4th graders. I get too many participants with just the 5th and 6th grade.) Practices will be TUESDAYS AND ALTERNATING WEDNESDAYS.  (SEE VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE IN THE DOCUMENT SECTION OF THIS WEBPAGE) We will teach basic and intermediate volleyball skills. The basic requirements are: 1. a genuine interest in playing competitive volleyball, 2. a willingness to work very hard, 3. transportation home after practices and matches (car pools are encouraged) and 4. good behavior because I will discontinue any student who cannot behave. SEE VOLLEYBALL DOCUMENT
        In the PE Classes we will also start volleyball and most likely basketball as well. I teach the fundamental skills in PE. If your child wants to do more, have them look into the after school programs through Kent Parks or Covington Community Center. 

   The primary classes are really into their first sport, Soccer. We have been playing the indoor variety of soccer. Once I was able to get the kindergartners and first graders to kick the ball the right direction and not use their hands they are having lots of fun. (Actually, I think they would have lots of fun even when they didn’t know which way to kick the ball) Some time in January you will get a chance to see first hand your child’s skills when we have our “Annual Parents and PE Night”. 
   The Volleyball Team are just finishing up their volleyball season. They would like to show off their skills by challenging their parents to a “friendly” volleyball game.  Your child can also coach you in all the volleyball skills



                The primary classes will be starting the New Year with the fun and very active sport of Floor Hockey.  It's one of the kid’s favorite sports.  Oh, you think putting sticks in the hands of 6, 7 and 8 year old students is a big mistake and maybe a little dangerous.  Well, don’t worry. The most important rule in floor hockey is "no high sticking".  This means the student may not bring the blade of the hockey stick above their knees while trying to hit the puck.  In a hockey game "High Sticking" is a "time out offense" until the child’s turn comes up again. We concentrate on safety, stick handling, passing, and scoring goals.



The intermediate classes will be beginning their basketball unit.  We will be concentrating basic basketball skills such as ball handling, dribbling, shooting, passing and teamwork.  If your child is interested in playing competitive basketball Kent Park and Covington Community Center have after school programs.

                Also, many thanks to all who attended the PE and Parents Volleyball Night.  A fun time was had by all.  The kids and parents volleyball skills improved over the course of the night which was one of my goals for the night.





we will be starting some tumbling and gymnastics this month interspersed with the rhythmic activities of jump roping and hula-hoops.