PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY



Greetings from the gym in BSI. I have been holding off on posting for a while as we worked to complete our “Hula Ball” Tournaments in Grades 4-8. We have dealt with fire drills, picture days, absences and a host of other obstacles that have popped in front of us during our quest to complete our Hula Ball tournaments in each of the aforementioned classes. However, we were able to have a lot of fun completing the tournament all the while. 

“Hula Ball” is a sport/game that calls for tremendous teamwork and cooperation in order to be successful. There are various movement and shooting restrictions that really cause our students to be strategic in how they move around the gym and attempt to score. Each class was divided into 5 teams (Blue, Yellow, Green, Orange and Purple) and they stayed with their teams for the duration of the tournament. Working with the same team every class allows our students to really work on building camaraderie and chemistry among their classmates, figure out each other’s strengths and weaknesses and work together to develop strategies to be successful in the game.  

While 2 teams were playing at the time and the music was blasting in the gym, bringing the energy, the other 3 teams had various tasks they were assigned to perform during each game. Each game, one team was responsible for officiating the game (enforcing the rules of the game, keeping the continuity of the game flowing, ensuring fair play, etc). The other two teams were stationed at each end of the gym as (goal monitors/scorekeepers). 

Having each of the students engaged in every game in some capacity was a tremendous success for many reasons:

1. It called for the students to take ownership of each game/their class in general. Students quickly learned that the quality of the games, efficiency of time management between games, overall tone of the class became largely dependent on their level of engagement in their jobs during each respective game. As students learned this, the games began running a lot more smoothly, and we were able to get more games played with every passing class.

2. Having students engaged in a task during every game, even when they were not playing, forced the students to WATCH THE GAME. This allowed them to better learn/understand the rules, to learn the tendencies/strengths and weaknesses of opposing teams thus enhancing their strategies, forced students to advocate for their knowledge of a rule or interpretation of a play, communicate with one another and so much more. 

There are many other great outcomes of the implementation of the Sport Ed model, these are just a few of the highlights.

Now that Hula Ball is over, we are moving on to “European Handball”, which is a fast paced game that is similar to the handball that is played in the Summer Olympics. 

During European Handball, we will choose new teams in every class so that students get a chance to work with different classmates than they did during Hula Ball.

I’m very excited for this school year and the continued growth in our students. 

    Always have to keep the energy going! 

Until next time….

Coach Shea