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Tuesday September 27, 2016 at 1:35pm Age: 2 yrs
Category: Otisville Elementary


Games of cooperation have been the focus of this year’s first physical education unit at Otisville Elementary.  In Mrs. Giufre’s gym class, students have been playing “King Kong's Skyscraper,” an activity that integrates aspects of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) with physical education, and requires cooperation and teamwork.


Before the activity begins, students are asked a set of questions to prepare them for the dynamics of working as a group, such as, “Will your idea always be the one that gets used?” or “How can you let someone know why you think something will or will not work well?"


The challenge for each group is to build a stable structure, as tall as the tallest group member, from objects that do not stack well together. Before testing the possibilities and frustrations of their building materials, they race each other to fetch these objects, one at a time, on the opposite side of the gym. The tower must incorporate all of the materials, ending with a gorilla bean-bag, and stand on its own. If they conquer the first challenge, they qualify to try for the next challenge, with an even taller structure.


“Playing and competing as part of a team is a great way for students to get to know each other and to learn to work together,“ Mrs. Giufre said.