Week 4

This semester is kicking my butt. I am spending quite a bit of time trying to get the space cleaned up that will be the new weightroom. I've been throwing out dumpsters full of trash and sawing off bolts and ducts protruding from the floor and ceiling. I've done all of this after teaching 5 periods of PE. I am not complaining though. This is what I have wanted for a number of years and now I have the chance to fulfill my dream of "my gym."
As far as the classes go I have come to realize that CrossFit has increased my workload. That is workload not work capacity. In years past I have been able to teach the same thing to each class but this year I can't do it. My students from last year actually learned something........ and still remember it. I need to spend a lot of time on Squat mechanics with the 9th graders but the 10th graders and even the 11th graders repeating the class only need a little prompting to correct their form. This is a good thing but now I am planning 3 different lessons for the three levels of class. I can't just show up in the morning and quickly throw a class together on the fly. Not only is CrossFit making the students fitter it is making me a better and more dedicated teacher. Hence the reason for the limited blog updates.
My class tip for the post:
Animal moves
Spend a class or two having the kids move like different animals. This will be a very challenging WOD. Have them do Crab Walks forward, backward and sideways. Bear Crawls forward and back, Frog Hops, Gorilla Walks, Inchworms, Duck Walks and Bunny Hops. Do this over a relatively short distance of 10m. You will also get a good workout over the course of a day demonstrating the movements. These animal moves work quite a few of the 10 components of fitness: strength, flexibility, agility, balance, coordination, accuracy, power, speed and stamina. Not too bad for acting like an animal.


A new year

The 2009-2010 school year has officially started. Well it started last Monday but we didn't really do much . Today was the first day off dressing/activity and a day I have been anticipating for quite some time now. Try as I might, I was thinking of things I wanted to accomplish and new ideas to try out all summer.
I committed to tracking my data this year so today was the first day of data gathering otherwise known as pre-testing. Each student was given a 5" x 8" card to record their results. I pass them out at the beginning of class and collect them at the end of the period. This ensures that I get the data and I don't have to spend class time asking each student for their results individually.
The 5 test I am using for the general PE classes are; one set of Max Pushups, 1 minute of Situps, 1 minute of Squats, a 400m run and a mile run. Each class completed at least two trials today without any major problems. I was surprised that the 400m run was a crippler. A number of the kids were completely incapacitated after the run. I have two thoughts on this. One thought is that I have a lot of work to do get these kids into shape. My other thought is that I am excited for these guys because they want to work and they want to work hard. They will eventually raise the bar for the entire class. I plan to spend the next couple of days to complete the pre-testing and then in about 8 weeks we will retest and once again 8 weeks after that so I have three solid data points. So Mikki, if you read this, I'll be sending you some hard numbers come January.

An update on my new weight training/CrossFit class. The class has approximately 46 students and they all show up for class. I hope it stays that way. I'm a bit disappointed that there are only 6 girls in the class but I am glad they are there. I have seen over the past few years that often the girls in my classes are the best performers and the most receptive to coaching. The space we are supposed to have the class is still up in the air.I'm taking over the old wood shop which has approximately 3500 sqft of space with a vaulted roof. The problem right now is the equipment is still bolted to the floor and they each weigh a ton. We are also waiting for the locks to be rekeyed so the new equipment doesn't walk away. Hopefully this will be ready to go soon.