Monday, December 8, 2014

Floor hockey

More action shots from Floor Hockey...THANK YOU Chicago Wolves for the cool jerseys and certificates!!

Floor Hockey!!

The last 2 weeks we played some serious floor hockey!!  We worked on stick handling, holding the grip and shaft, keeping our sticks down, passing, shooting and goaltending.  Kids had a blast...I use 3-8 soft foam dodge balls to keep the kids spread out around the gym.  The goalies also get a workout being shot on from all angles!  What a great time, kids really got their heart rate up too!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Closer to the heart

Wouldn't that make a good song name?  This week and next we are working on the  "Heart Course" in PE class.  Kids do an obstacle course that helps them learn about their heart, how it works, and why they need to exercise to take care of it.  Kids move around the gym as blood cells carrying oxygen or waste.  Kids love learning about their most important muscle...their heart.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Trick Or Treat

O.k. cool fun variation on an old game of "ARMY/NAVY."  This is a listening game like Simon Says where the most athletic kid does not guarantee a win.  Kids pick Halloween words and make up "moves" for them like : Dracula, Pumpkin, Ghost, Scary Movie, Skeleton, Black Cat, Graveyard and many, many others.  Be safe and TRY to stay warm on halloween!!

Habit 7

We also covered Habit FAVORITE!!!  SHARPEN THE SAW!!
They talk about not only getting your body, BUT also your mind and spirit in shape!!
You must make time to develop these elements in order to be effective!
Wow, a whole Habit dedicated to physical activity...humm....

Indiana Jones Part 1

O.k., so Indy needs to navigate poison darts in order to get the gold statue and get out of the temple...with quickness!!  Kids will get to be Indy as he tries to "steal" the gold ball from the other side of the gym.  To play safely, we replaced the poison darts with rolling hula hoops (district rules ya know) and the kids had a blast not only being the "dart shooter", but also as Indy.  If time allowed, we played "team Indy" where 2 kids got to go at once!

Fitness Stations

Fitness Testing and Stations

For the next few weeks we will be working on Fitness Stations and skills testing like Jump Rope, Pushups, Situps, and Line Jumping.  Our Stations we rotate to each 3 minutes are Boxing (on a bag), Jogging, Light Weights, Stretch Bands, Traverse Climbing wall (sideways climbing, not up and down), Jump Ropes and Wii Dance.  We also covered Habit #6 = Synergize... this one really fits into PE and teamwork.  Together we are stronger as a whole than as an individual...if we work together as a team we will be able to develop each other strengths!  How Cool!!
Some kids on base for "Big Base Kickball"

Big Base Kickball

With some crummy weather and wet grass in the morning, we have been working on more eye-foot and running games like Big Base Kickball...or BBK.  This game is crazy, you can have as many kids as you want on a base.  You can keep running bases to score as many "runs" as possible, etc.  Totally insane and a blast to play.  We also covered Habit #5 = Seek first to understand, then be understood.  In other words, listen to each other before you share your ideas.

Long distance Running...

NOW we are working on long distance runs...1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders do the 1/2 mile... 4th and 5th graders run the full mile.  Kids will attempt to pace themselves... use their SLOW energy and sprint the last 100 yards (FAST energy.)  This week we also covered Habit #4 Think Win-Win. about paradigm shift from traditional PE....this principal states that we can exercise (win for body) and have fun (win for mind) at the same.  Keep up the good work kids!!  You guys are doing great!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Short distance running...

For the end of September we have been working on short distance sprints.  Ask your kids about burning FAST energy versus SLOW energy.  Short 50, 100 and 200 yard races are FAST energy races.  Kids were supposed to record their fastest time on their fitness sheets.  Then using begin with the end in mind...habit number 2...we will set a goal to beat these times in the spring!!
This week we have been working on Habit #3 - Put First Things First - Do homework, then play...along with other examples.

Soccer is upon us...

We have been working on Soccer dribbling, passing, shooting and goal keeping these last few weeks.  We sometimes play "full games" but mostly play modified games with 4-5 balls, have 4 goals, 2 goalies, no out of bounds, etc.  The main object is to get as much eye-foot skills during the short time we have classes...this week we are working on Habit #2 Begin With the End in Mind = Plan and set goals, then work towards them!!

The 7 habits

With the building initiative to incorporate the 7 habits into the WHOLE curriculum...we will be covering all the habits in PE class and reinforcing them in the curriculum!!  First week is Habit #1 BE PROACTIVE = you make your decisions - be responsible for them and make good ones.

The Frost Wizard

For the first weeks of school kids are playing the ever popular Frost Wizard game (basically freeze tag) and covering all the safety procedures required by the state.  Kids really love "unfreezing" their friends and trying to "catch" kids while playing the wizard.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Welcome Back!!

Great to have the kids back and get in the "swing of things" at school.  Summer was a lot of work, but it paid off with some great memories which I will post soon...keep an eye out for them!
Remember to bring gym shoes to school for SAFETY during PE AND recess.
Parents, I look forward to meeting you tonight at Parent Night.
Coach K

Parent-Teacher Conferences

November Parent-Teacher Conferences… Sign-Up Genius
We will continue using Sign Up Genius ( for both the Fall and Spring conferences. Parents will not need to rush to school on Parent Night or Open House to sign up for conferences. Please take time to review the website (you will not be able to sign up for conferences yet.) More information will be available in upcoming Westgate Weekly and on teachers’ websites. There will be provisions for parents without access to the internet to sign up for conferences. We will share more details with parents in the Fall.

Lunch Times

Lunch Times
1st & 2nd Grades 11:35AM-1235PM
5th Grade 12:05PM-1:05PM
3rd & 4th Grades 12:35PM- 1:35PM

Westgate Parent Night


PE, Art, Music
10-minutes each

Grades 1, 1/2 , 2 AM Kindergarten information sessions in classrooms

Principal Welcome, PTA Greeting, and Introductions in Commons

Grades, 3, 4, 5 and PM Kindergarten information sessions in classrooms

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lets keep active!!!

As summer rolls around, remember to keep active, get outside and exercise!!!
Try something new, a new sport, new hobby?  Give it a try and see how things go.
Keep reading and writing over summer.  I practice with my son all the time!
Just because we are on "break" from school doesn't mean you are on a break from learning!
Have a Fun, Safe, Active summer!!!
Coach K

Field Day

We did it, and in style!!
FINALLY got some decent weather and pulled off a good field day.
I would like to thank ALL of the parent volunteers who helped make this day possible for the kids.  I would also like to thank food service for being able to make 2 BUSY lunch schedules instead of the usual 3.  I would also like to thank Dawn Dalton for creating the signup genius...3 TIMES and for all of her help on Field Day!
Thanks to all of your help the kids had a great time!
Coach K

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Field Day...

The saga continues with the silly weather...cold Tuesday + rain, freezing on Friday....ugh.
So, I moved Field day to a NEW rain date right.... after Memorial Day weekend.
Hopefully, it will be nice and warm.  The new and LAST try for Field day is Tuesday May 27th.
You can sign up to help here:

Coach K

Rocking with the Fitstix!!

5th grade track meet

Thanks to all those who participated in the 5th grade track meet at South Middle School!  What a great time and many, many kids broke their records!  Way to go!


So...mother nature doesn't know it is Spring yet....
so we worked on some volleyball skills using beach balls.  They are
a bit slower and easier to hit, giving the kids some pretty nice volleys!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fit sticks!!!

This week we did our warmup to our fitsticks, and then worked on some basketball skills.
When oh when is spring going to come?
We are supposed to be outside working on Our track and Field stuff!!!
Mr. Helmann busting out some nice moves with the fit sticks!!

Indiana Jones Part 3 Pictures

Indiana Jones Part 3

Indiana Jones part 3!!!!  Are you crazy?!?!  Kids had a blast playing the brand new part 3...they had to jump or slide around jagged rocks, leap into Hula hoops, squeeze thru the cavern, cross the small bridge, leap over dangerous snakes, avoid the boulders and cross the lava bridge.  Once they got the crystal skull THEY HAD TO GO BACK!!!  Kids had a blast trying to see how many skulls they could steal in 3 minutes, then switched and became the "traps."
Look for pics coming soon!!
Coach K

Lunch $ for Parents

To the Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of School District 25 Elementary Student(s):

It is your responsibility to monitor your student(s) lunch account balance(s) using an on-line account at  The ID number needed to add each student to your account is the same number students use as a “server password” to log on to school computers.  There is no cost for setting up an account.  Only if you decide to pay on line is there a fee.  You are always welcome to send in checks to your child’s school to add funds to your child’s lunch account.

If you have any questions about how to set up an account, please refer to the district website at, select departments and then food service.  On the food service home page select pre payment options.  If you need additional assistance please call the Food Service office at 847-758-4883.

Starting April 16th the District will be using an automated phone message to let you know when your child’s account is negative more than $2.65.  Calls will be made between 8:00 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.  Once your child has a negative account balance in excess of $7.95, they will be called to the office and given an alternate meal.  When adding money to your child’s account online there is a twenty-four (24) hour delay in the money showing up in the account.  You must print your confirmation letter or send a check with your child to school to avoid the alternative lunch. Alternative lunches are the same price as the regular lunch and will meet nutritional guidelines.

If your family is experiencing financial difficulty, please complete an application to see if you would qualify for free or reduced price meals.  Applications are available on the District 25 website or from the office at your child’s school.


Coletta Hines Newell

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Break 3/24-3/28

HOW ABOUT SOME WARM WEATHER!!!  This winter has been brutal!  Lets hope for some nice warm weather for spring break so we can get outside and start exercising!!  Remember to stay active and don't forget to sign up for the ABC/25  Just Move It challenge on April 12th.
Spring break will be from 3/24 to 3/28.
Because of the snow days, we will have school with kids on Thursday and Friday 3/20 and 3/21.


The last couple of week we have been working on BASIC gymnastics moves and mainly focusing on BALANCE.  This is really the only time of the year where we really focus on this area.  Kids are able to tumble, work on the wedges, balance beam (low), climbing wall, parallel bars, the climbing rope, and the vault.

Thanks Coach D!!!

Thank you Coach D for all your work at Westgate!!  Coach now is at South Middle School and should graduate in late May from Illinois State University! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dance City!!

This week and next we will work on some groovy dance moves!  Younger kids will work on the hokey pokey, tooth-ta and bunny hop while older kids will do some cool line dances like the cha-cha slide and cupid shuffle.  Next week we will build on these songs and work with ribbons and do a little square dancing with the older kids (3,4,5th grade).

Fastest hands in the West!!

After some practice with the speed stacks…kids were turning some REALLY good times with the 3-3-3, 3-6-3, and 6-6.  The fastest times are listed below for grade levels:

1st grade:
3-3-3 Alyssa D. 6.813 seconds

2nd grade:
3-3-3 Kyle T. 5.248 sec
3-6-3 Kyle T. 6.657 sec
6-6 Kyle T. 9.034 sec

3rd grade:
3-3-3 Samantha M. 4.493 sec
3-6-3 Grace F. 7.589 sec
6-6 Samantha M. 10.368

4th grade:
3-3-3 Vasi UJ 4.501 sec
3-6-3 Vasi UJ 6.654 sec
6-6 Vasi UJ 7.753 sec

5th grade:
3-3-3 Max C. 3.753 sec
3-6-3 Max C. 4.520 sec
6-6 Max C. 4.543 sec
Cycle Max C. 15.156

Coach K -
as hard as I tried, I could not beat Max C!!
Way to go MAX!!!!
3-3-3 3.883 sec
3-6-3 5.277 sec
6-6 5.859
cycle 27.024 sec

Friday, February 14, 2014

Stack Em Up!!

This week the kids had a great time working with the "Speed Stacks" cups.  Kids were expected to work on their 3-3-3, 3-6-3, 6-6, and cycle times on the floor, and then even had a chance to use the "official" timer they use at tournaments!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


This week kids are working as a team to manipulate the BIG parachute in PE class.  We are switching positions, making mushrooms, launching balls (some even hit the ceiling and got stuck!!), and playing "lifeguard" if time allows.

Fun Fair this Friday!!!

Westgate PTA will host the fun fair this Friday 2/7/2014.
Hope to see everyone there, it is always such a good time with games, face painting, a DJ playing music and food.  Make sure you pre-order tickets to save $.
The event will run from 6:30-8:30.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Westgate Welcomes Coach D!!

This Spring I will have a student teacher Ms. DiGregorio or "Coach D" from Illinois State University help out in the gym!!  Coach D is very excited to be at Westgate Elementary before she moves on to South Middle School in 8 weeks.  Coach D. also enjoys working out, movies, and playing with her black lab puppy.  During the summers she runs a day camp and enjoys working with kids!

Bowling at Westgate!!

Students just finished up our traveling bowling unit!  The equipment goes to each school and students learn the history, proper grip, stance and delivery to try and get strikes and spares.  If they do get a strike or spare, they are allowed to sign a large sheet and keep track of their progress.  The second week of bowling we did "cosmic" bowling and "wacky pins."  Cosmic bowling has laser lights and LED's while wacky pins allows students to setup the 10 lane pins in combinations like letters, numbers, or shapes!

Indiana Jones Part 1

As Indiana Jones makes his way into the temple to steal the gold statue...he notices pressure plates in the floor...he/she then has to navigate darts to make it to the gold...grab it, AND make it back!!  For "darts" we use rolling hula hoops, and a gold dodgeball for a love trying to make it back without getting "hit."  We then did some "team" runs with 2 people at once!!

Pacer Test!!

In order to test student cardio levels during the colder months, we run the "pacer" test where kids run from line to line before a bell sounds.  If they get 2 misses - they are out.  At the end of each round, the CD speaks and tells them what their score is.  Students work on improving their score each time, and setting goals.  Some of the highest scores are:
3rd grade: Jimmy 60, Tyler 60
4th grade: Bernie 61, Ethan 85
5th Grade: Alex 82, Aidan 84, Wade 62, Ethan K. 93
Great job everyone!!  Keep up the good work!!

Fitness Stations

Recently, the kids worked in fitness stations...just like "Club K" in PE class.  Stations included jogging, weightlifting (light weights), dance, steps, exercise bands, climbing wall, jump rope and boxing.  This year I left out the fitness balls because I am working on a video to properly instruct them on use!!  More to come on that in the new year!

Basketball Skills

We worked on some basketball skills including dribbling, passing, and shooting.  Because of the wide range of abilities the baskets were lowered to heights from 7 feet to 10 feet.  Kids enjoyed playing "knockout" or "lightning" and younger kids played 4 team shootout where each team would work together to make baskets.  Remember when shooting to spring load your wrist, arm and legs...then release.