Activities & Lesson Plans - 1st & 2nd Grade Newsletter 3/19/10 - Big Month For Basketball

Grade: 1st-2nd
March 19, 2010 | Grades 1&2
In This Issue: Charity Row, Coaching Recess, Bracketology 

A Record Row

Katie Spotz goes out of her way to help others—2,817 miles to be exact. The 22-year-old sailed the Atlantic Ocean blue from Africa to South America to raise money for a foundation that provides clean drinking water for people in need. Along the way, she became the youngest person to row an entire ocean solo and the first American to row a boat, without help, from mainland to mainland.

Activity Ideas - Math
Share this with your child: A typical day for Spotz included 10-12 hours of rowing, with time for sleep, navigation and boat maintenance. Part of her daily schedule is below. Help your child identify the correct time for each activity.

  • 6:00 a.m. Day starts. Spotz eats breakfast, checks weather and location. Thirty minutes later she starts rowing. What time does she start rowing? 6:30 a.m.
  • After two hours of rowing, she eats a mid-morning meal. What time does she eat? 8:30 a.m.
  • Thirty minutes later, she starts rowing. 9:00 a.m.  After two hours of rowing, it's time for her first lunch. 11:00 a.m.
  • Lunch lasts one hour. 12:00 p.m. After a half-hour nap, she starts two more hours of rowing. What time does she start rowing again? 12:30 p.m. 
  • Four hours and 30 minutes after she starts rowing again, Spotz will contact her land team. What time will she contact land? 5:00 p.m.

Recess Rules

Hundreds of schools across the country are redesigning recess, to maximize its physical and social impact. Nonprofit organization Playworks has placed recess coaches in 170 schools. 

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Imagine that you are leading a game of Mr. Fox/Clock. As recess coach, it's your job to teach the other kids to play.

  • Review the directions with your child. Read each step aloud; have your child repeat each one back to you. 
  • ASK: What is the object of the game? (To avoid being tagged by Mr. Fox.) What happens if Mr. Fox tags you? (You freeze until he turns you into a helper.) What does a helper do? (Tags people for Mr. Fox.) 
  • As your child becomes more familiar with the game, ASK: Do you think the directions are easy to follow? If not, how would you make them clearer?
  • Suggest that your child tell family members or friends how to play.
  • Have your child identify which of the following details players will need to know to play well: What time it is, according to Mr. Fox. (Yes - determines number of steps.) What Mr. Fox eats for lunch. (No.) Which players Mr. Fox tagged. (Yes; they might try to tag you.) Mr. Fox's favorite time of day. (No.)

 Learning TipsGive and Follow Multiple Step DirectionsFollowing Directions
GameCopycat Jack

Big Games

Over the next few weeks, people will be yelling, jumping up and down, and even painting their bodies different colors. It's not a case of spring fever gone awry; it's just March Madness, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, when the best college basketball teams join the Big Dance—sports lingo for three weeks of tons of games and rabid enthusiasm.

Activity Ideas - Math
Show your child what a bracket looks like. Tell him or her that the brackets show such information as matchups, final scores, winners and losers. 

  • Help your child print a bracket or draw one.
  • Point out the Round 1 matchups. Tell your child that the teams shown in bold have won the first games. Have him or her move the winning teams into the next brackets, for Round 2. Repeat as games are played.
  • Tell your child that 32 teams will play in Round 2. Only the winner moves to the next stage of the tournament. Write down the number of teams in each round: 32, 16, 8, 4, 2ASK: What do you notice about the number of teams per round? (Each number is reduced by half.)
Bonus: Not interested in bracketology at all? Then take part in a little-known activity called "creativology": watch part of a game or two. You're bound to see wild fans; together with your child come up with creative adjectives and adverbs to describe their behavior, appearance, etc. Be as descriptive as possible!Game of the Week

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