PER GRADE LEVEL
The main focus for our KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS, is to learn basic movement skills such as jumping, hopping, catching, and throwing, which also assists with their academic instruction in counting, following 1-2 step instructions, and taking turns. Good sportsmanship is not only encouraged, but modeled and taught, on a daily basis.
FIRST GRADE students are emerging as individual learners, who are ready to improve basic movement skills. Student’s at this age are introduced to jump roping skills (single ropes), different throwing patterns, batting (from a Tee), and 3-step instructions. Students also learn simple facts about how their body moves, spatial awareness, and how to participate within a group.
SECOND GRADE students are now ready to try individual skills, work in partner activities, and put 3-4 step instructions together. Second Graders are beginning to have the ability to combine skills and understand basic (oral) directions that can improve their gross motor skills. In all instructions, good sportsmanship is encouraged.
THIRD GRADE students are learning ‘how-to-be’ more manipulative with movement skills (dribbling with one hand, kicking a rolling ball, running longer with purpose, playing games with more rules). During this year individual skills are focused on to develop more accuracy and speed. Students learn to perform traditional exercises, experience games from other countries, and learn why it is important to have good sports habits. They also have become more aware of their responsibility in a team setting, for their overall fitness level, and the importance of good sportsmanship.
FOURTH GRADE students are ready to participate in group and game situations, as well as individually. They are able to understand and accomplish 4-5 instructions together, perform independently in stations, and confidently be peer helpers. Students are now aware of spacing, direction changes, tempos, level of movement, and the importance of health and fitness as a continuous lifestyle. This is the grade where students begin to realize that practice can improve a skill, manipulation of equipment is easier, and knowledge of body management is evident. It is also the grade level where sportsmanship has become “teaching lessons”.
FIFTH GRADE students are beginning to understand that practicing a skill will make you a better athlete. They understand the difference between offense and defense in a game situation, and the concept of playing as a team. Fifth graders are able to lead class ‘warm-ups’ (under the direction of the teacher) and help their peers during skill practice. Students are able to focus on a sport for a longer period of time, which leads to more competitive game situations. At this age, they are expected to play with good sportsmanship and respect each other’s skill levels. Also at this level, students are beginning to demonstrate the motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.
** In Middle School, the standards emphasize working together to achieve a common goal, meeting challenges, and making decisions at the individual and team level. By this age, good sportsmanship is expected and modeled. For those students who ‘think’ Win-At-All-Cost is okay, class consequences are given.
SIXTH GRADE is a year that students become very aware of the athletic abilities of their peers. They are faced with making individual decisions that will benefit themselves and the team. It is the time when they realize that in order to achieve the common good in a team situation, they must work together. Their individual skills become more developed and they (usually) begin to become sport specific in their training. They are beginning to obtain and realize they can have a high level of achievement in an activity with practice. It is also at this level, students are beginning to understand the value of a good ‘Captain’.
SEVENTH GRADE students demonstrate more advanced techniques for throwing, kicking, punting, catching, and volleying. They are able to memorize complicated rules, instructions, and sport drills. They like to be with their peers and most enjoy competitive situations. Some Seventh Graders begin to choose a lifetime sport. Here at St. Mary’s, they are instructed in a variety of team sports, such as Broom Hockey, Volleyball, Softball, Basketball, and Track. Students are able to accept increased responsibility for their own physical fitness, demonstrate skills to their peers, and take the role of Captain as a ‘leadership’ position.
EIGHTH GRADERS are able to model, and practice learned skills individually and in group settings. At this level, they are able to explain and (in some cases) diagram offense and defense strategies. This knowledge helps them begin to develop interest in increased performances, as an individual, and on a team.
Students are also beginning to understand the team concept, their contribution to that team, and how their improvement of skills can enhance the game. Most Eighth Graders have acquired the understanding that conditioning, practice, and overall fitness are key ingredients to success in competitive sports. This is also the age to stress the importance that physical exercise is not just a class, but a lifestyle. Good sportsmanship is expected at this age and grade level.