Thursday, January 12, 2012

Highland Middle School Experience day two

The big day has finally come! Today is the day I get to implement a game into the Highland Middle School program.  I brought a list of games and let my host teacher pick her favorite, I couldn’t pick!  She picked a game called Castle Crashers.  There are four teams in four equal territories, marked out by cones. The field is cut like a pizza pie, the center of the gym is the middle and the four teams each have a slice (territory). There are two “castles” on each territory.  The castle is three orange cones stacked on top of each other inside a hula hoop.  The object of the game is to knock the other team’s castle down by throwing balls at the castle, without leaving your territory.  Both teams are throwing balls so there is also a defensive part of the game, the students have to stand outside the hula hoop and guard their castle. They can use a ball to block the incoming attack or use their bodies.  Once I split the students into teams, they have to pick a country to call their team and make a strategy.  They have free will to pick their formation; they might have four on defense and two on offense or everyone on defense. I also gave them hints about working together, or using plays.  I gave them a few examples, one play could be rapid fire which would be all offensive players grab a ball and throw at the same time.  Another play is under over, one player rolls the ball while another throws it.  The pass worked very well, that’s when one student pretends to throw the ball but actually passes it to a teammate who attacks.  Also when one castle is knocked down the castle can be rebuilt, as long as the other castle is standing. Once both castle are knocked down they are not out, they can shoot a ball in the opposite basketball hoop and they are back in the game.  No one is ever sitting out and multiple times the teams made the basket and they were so excited.  The first game the two countries next to each other played, so two games were going on.  This was to allow the students to get a feel for a game and see if they can listen to the rules. They were use to playing dodge ball so they asked what happens when you get hit, nothing happens, no one should be sitting out in PE.  Also I had to remind them not to throw it at each other but aim at the castles.  This is a great game because the students who don’t mind getting hit with balls played defense and the students who disliked getting hit played offense. Of course I told them this when explaining the game. Once the first game went well, we played another game of battle royal. Now all teams can throw at one another.  Since the field is cut like a pizza, the teams have three teams to throw at but also three teams to defend from.  This threw another option into the game, they can make allies, and two teams can team up and throw at the same time.  This game was a huge hit, my host teacher loved it and so did all the students. One period I saw girl who hasn’t changed all year who sits out during PE running and helping a team grab balls, I asked her if she wanted to play.  She said yes and I let her join a team even though she had her school clothes on, I figured at least she can get some exercise and maybe she will change next class since she had some fun.  I was happy to see even the disengaged students like my game.  This game has a lot of benefits, from team work to manipulative skills when stacking the cones. Tomorrow we will play the same game so the other students in the school can see how it works.   
-Albert A. Mercado

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