Gym class is up in the air this year at Oxbow Creek Elementary School and staff and students are loving it. It’s all thanks to a joint effort between 5th grade teacher Keith Rose and the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).
The PTO established a fund to offer mini-grants to school staff for items or materials that enhance the learning environment and experience at school. According to Kris Shommer, school secretary, the PTO granted funds to teachers last year for digital cameras to help document activities going on in the classrooms.
Earlier this year, Rose brought the idea of bringing a new game called 9 Square in the Air to the school. It’s a game he owns and plays at his cabin. He approached the PTO asking if they would purchase one of the games while he sought out fundraising to purchase a second one.
The game, Shommer said, is a great addition to gym class and can even be used for staff development. During a non-student day when teachers were working at the end of the first trimester, they had an opportunity to experience playing the game themselves.
“There’s a communication and problem-solving aspect to it,” said Shommer. “It also goes very quickly and can bring out your true colors when you participate in a competitive activity with others.”
Both Rose and Shommer find the game to be a great staff development tool.
Physical education instructor LeMoyne Coregard uses the two 9 Square in the Air games during gym class with students.
“I think the kids really enjoy it, look forward to it and appreciate playing it,” Shommer said. “It’s a new game, something different than what they might play at home since not many families likely own a game like this.”
Coregard said he was very grateful to the PTO and Rose for bringing about the idea and funding the purchase of the two game systems as he believes it meets the PTO’s goal for the grants in enhancing the educational experience for students.
HOW TO PLAY:
Goal: Be the “King” of the game for as long as you can.
• The “king” serves the ball from the center square to any other square they choose by hitting the ball up and out of the top of the center game square.
• Players must return the ball to another player’s square.
• If a player fails to return the ball to another player’s square, that player is out.
• A double hit results in elimination.
• During game play, players are not allowed to touch the game structure. Touching the game structure results in elimination.
• When a player is out, they leave their square and move to the end of the line. The other players advance to fill the square of the player who just got out.
Contact Mindy Mateuszczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org