Greenville Elementary Intramurals Turns Learning Into Child’s Play

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014 Every sports team needs some cheerleaders to keep them motivated. These third grade girls did their best to keep their team moving.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014
Every sports team needs some cheerleaders to keep them motivated. These third grade girls did their best to keep their team moving.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014 Each member of a team was required to run to the center of the gym and pop a balloon by sitting on it before answering a math equation in the Math Balloon Burst game. Shown here, Ariah Louden anticipates the bursting of her balloon.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014
Each member of a team was required to run to the center of the gym and pop a balloon by sitting on it before answering a math equation in the Math Balloon Burst game. Shown here, Ariah Louden anticipates the bursting of her balloon.

If you walked into Greenville Elementary school’s gym the day of their inaugural Academic Intramurals, you would think you were walking into an indoor playground, especially when seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of the students, but it was instead, a new and creative way for learning to take place at the school.

On Dec. 17, students in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades were grouped into teams with names such as Hercules, Orion and Scorpius and competed in games that involved balloons, basketballs and relay races.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014 The excitement and enthusiasm was evident in all the students when it was their time to participate during the academic games. Javontae Wagner shows eagerness as he reaches out to tag a team member.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014
The excitement and enthusiasm was evident in all the students when it was their time to participate during the academic games. Javontae Wagner shows eagerness as he reaches out to tag a team member.

Greenville Elementary School Principal Barbara Pettiford created the Intramural games, combining recreation with education, that resulted in a fun way for students to learn.

I was working on my doctorate in Educational Leadership, and was asked to create an activity that would spark the interest of struggling students in reading,” said Pettiford.  “Most research states that struggling readers are not motivated, so I decided to join low-organized relays with learning vocabulary and foundational reading skills to make learning fun.  I used this activity in 2001 at Eighth Street Middle School in Tifton, Ga. and the students fell in love with it. The students at Greenville were just as excited. Academic Intramurals also sparks healthy competition between students, teachers, and parents and encourages students to study and retain the content in their long term memory.”

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014 After students successfully completed a fun activity, they ran to the opposite side of the gym from where they started to answer questions, scoring points for their team with correct answers. Roselyn Neal studies a question before writing her answer on the board in front of her.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014
After students successfully completed a fun activity, they ran to the opposite side of the gym from where they started to answer questions, scoring points for their team with correct answers. Roselyn Neal studies a question before writing her answer on the board in front of her.

School Superintendent Doug Brown, who was present to watch the academic amusement, thought the Intramurals were a great idea and stated, “It’s a mix of fun and learning; that’s what it should be.”

Science, Math, Language Arts and Social Studies questions were shown to students after they successfully relayed from one end of the gym to the other, where they would answer the question for team points, but not before participating in a fun activity first. Students dug for their shoes that had been piled in the center of the gym floor and put them back on before running to answer a Social Studies question in the Shoe-Find Relay;

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014 After answering a Language Arts question, Asia Fead tags Rondrick Spearman who is preparing to do a Crab Walk across the gym floor.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014
After answering a Language Arts question, Asia Fead tags Rondrick Spearman who is preparing to do a Crab Walk across the gym floor.

Crawled backwards on their hands and feet to answer Language Arts questions in the Crab Walk; Lined up as a team and passed off a basketball over their head or under their legs in the Over and Under Science game; and ran with a balloon to the center of the gym, popping their balloon by sitting on it in the Math Balloon Burst.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014 Orient Livingston (left) and Varian Terry (right) run to find their shoes in the Shoe Relay before racing to answer a Social Studies question.

Greene Publishing, Inc. Photo By Rose Klein, December 17, 2014
Orient Livingston (left) and Varian Terry (right) run to find their shoes in the Shoe Relay before racing to answer a Social Studies question.

Pettiford said GES plans to review again, using the Academic Intramurals, right before the FSA (Florida Standard Assessment Test) in March.

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Rose Klein

Written by Rose Klein