OPTIONAL Swim & Water Polo Activities: Downtown Parade

These events are optional and extra and are NOT a part of the normal Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Summer Dreamers events. Families are invited to participate in the following community events on your own. No transportation is provided by PPS. Questions should be sent to Coach Mark Rauterkus, 412-298-3432, (cell) or

Downtown Parade for Pittsburgh’s Bicentennial down Liberty Avenue, Saturday, July 9, 2016. Arrive after 10 am. Parade begins at 11 am. After the parade, play aquatic games at Northside, Citiparks’ Sue Murray Swim Pool, Cedar Avenue, across from the Giant Eagle / Sunoco gas station.

Tip: Our parade position and meet-up is going to be at Liberty Ave and 11th Street. We will meet behind a school bus that is to be decorated for PPS and the Pittsburgh Promise.

Tip 2: Park your car, if you drive, near CAPA or else on the Northside by the swim pool. then walk to Liberty Avenue and 11th, near the Strip District.

Swim pool
Northside’s Sue Murray Swim Pool has plenty of space for various aquatic games in deep, middle and shallow water.

Swimmers from Summer Dreamers with Athletes United for Clean Air are going to march with Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Pittsburgh Promise to celebrate the city’s history. 

Update: Due to parade protocol, the message for the parade is about Pittsburgh Public Schools and Summer Dreamers — and not about, “Go USA! Go Leah!”

Olympic schedule insights:

Cheer for Leah Smith and Katie Ledecki as they race together in Rio on:

  • Sunday, August 7th – women’s 400m freestyle prelims/final
  • Wednesday, August 10th – women’s 800m freestyle relay prelims/final
  • Thursday, August 11th – women’s 800m freestyle prelims
  • Friday, August 12th – women’s 800m freestyle finals
  • Prelims begin at 10 am EASTERN time while Semis & Finals begin at 7 pm EASTERN.

More Swimming, Water Polo and SKWIM opportunities in Pittsburgh this summer:

  • Tuesdays, 6 to 7:30 pm, Citiparks Ammon Rec Pool, Bedford & Memory Lane, Hill District
  • Wednesdays, 6 to 7:30 pm, Citiparks Ammon Rec Pool, Bedford & Memory Lane, Hill District
  • Thursdays, 6 to 7:30 pm, Citiparks Sue Murray Pool, Cedar Ave. Northside

* Additional events always published at the open google calendar at

Warm Up Arm Swing Routine

See the 47 exercises in the warm-up routine. This is the first post that blends the  wiki and the blog. Photos and videos for all exercises are expected in the days and weeks to come.


1) Gentle Neck Rolls (exercise)

Start with the chin on the chest. Slowly, easily, calm-like, move the head around the shoulders.
Do some to the one direction and then reverse. Okay to look far to the right, then far to the left.
Okay to look far up, and then far down. Heads need to be attached to the bodies. When the neck is hurt or injured, comfort is absent. The mind leads, the body follows.

2) Reverse Gentle Neck Rolls

Could do variation with 1 roll to right and then 1 roll to left. Body is complicated in holding one’s head in place. We need our heads to be in the game. Water polo players have head on a swivel!

3) Trunk twists (exercise)

Put both arms on one side of body. Kick opposite leg to the arm side while swinging the arms in front to the side of the kicking leg while standing on the other leg. Kick higher. Twist farther. Kick and hold for 3 seconds. Kick and re-kick higher. Point toes on kick. Flex foot on kick.
The spine and back are precious, often a place for injury, especially if conditioning isn’t done. Have a backbone!

4)Reverse Trunk Twists

Other direction with other leg and motion.

5) Leg swing forward and back (exercise)Edit

Stand on one leg. Swing the other forward and then backwards in toe to heel directions.

6) Other leg swings forward and back

7) Leg swings lateral with abductor and adductor motions (exercise)

8) Switch legs and swing laterally.

9) Foot Spins (exercise)

While seated hold two hands on one foot with one hand on toes and other hand on the heel. Spin to loosen foot, ankle and other soft tissue for increase flexibility and warm-up. Often done while sitting. Could be done while standing. Kicking speed is about flexible flippers. The tail fin of a fish or shark moves the water for propulsion.

10) Foot Spins with same foot in the other direction.

Spin the toes in the other direction. Change to or from counter-clockwise to the other direction.
Could micro-manage what foot to grasp and what direction to spin.

11) Foot Spins on other foot

12) Foot Spins on other foot other direction

13) Kneeling position (exercise)

Place tops of feet and toe nails onto ground with knees bent and body weight on the feet. Works on toe point and quad flexibility. Can have a soft surface or towel, with or without shoes. Can ask swimmers to lay back with head then shoulders to the ground with legs bent fully at the knees.
Legs! Feet! Whatever is tight gets attention with this position. Do it at night and in the morning in a soft bed or with a pillow and improve your comfort in a week’s time.

14) Right Arm forward Arm Swing (exercise)

Full range of motion with shoulder swinging so it touches the ear. Hand goes past hip at bottom of circle. Do some slow, some medium and some fast. With or without milk jugs as weights.
ROM = Range Of Motion. Shoulders and backs are points of power when attached to the base of the body and core.

15) Left Arm Forward Arm Swing

16) Right Arm Backwards Arm Swing (exercise)

17) Left Arm Backwards

18) Right arm swing in a Sideways Figure 8 Motion (exercise)

The sideways 8 is also a math symbol for infinity.

19) Right Arm Figure 8 in the Reverse Direction

20) Left Arm Figure 8

21) Left Arm Figure 8 Reverse

22) Up the Sides with both arms (exercise)

Begin with hand down with hands near pockets. Swing arms up the sides and touch overhead with the back of the hands together. Shrug the shoulders and pinch the ears with every movement.

23) Up the Front Arm Swings (exercise)

Hold one thumb in the other hand and keep the arms straight. Lift the arms from the shoulder and back. At the bottom, let go of the thumb and allow the arm to swing past the hips to the back before stopping.

24) Horizontal Arm Swings (exercise)

Start in a T position with hands outstretched. Bring the hands together, always keeping them as high as the shoulders. Hug yourself. Swing them apart and try to clap and touch the hands together at shoulder height.

25) Opposites Arm Swings (exercise)

One arm swings forward while the other swings backwards, in the opposite direction.

26) Opposite-Opposites Arm Swings (exercise)

The one arm that was moving forward goes in reverse and the opposite arm goes the opposite direction too.

27) Wrist, door-knob open (exercise)

The rotator cuff gets attention with arm forward and slightly down. Twist.

28) Wrist door-knob closeEdit

Close the door knob.

29) Wrist range of motion (exercise)

Handshake up motion. Quickly lift the hand. Shake.
Handshake down.
With wrist range of motion, spin or twist wrist, both directions. Stretch fingers to back of forearms of both tops and bottoms. Do one hand. Or, do both hands together.
Palm up motion with hands. Sculling and pulling on the water takes strong forearm coordination to get the hands pitched in the proper positions throughout the underwater pulling stroke.
Palm down shake. Passing the ball and even a disk ends with the finger tips and wrist flick.

30) Other wrist range of motion

Hands control our pencils, keyboards, water polo balls and even give a grip on the water — one of the hardest elements to grab and control.

31) Sit ups (exercise)

Do sit ups all different ways. Bent leg, straight leg, crunches, legs apart, twisting at top. twisting at bottom, pike, and elevated flutter kicks, and rower style are a few.

32) Yoga Cobra (Exercise)

Lay on floor with face down. Interlock fingers under the chin. Keep hips down but lift upper body and shoulders so the elbows get straight and hands are stationary. Look to the sky. Look to the sides. Stretch the abs and move the back with smooth and slower motions.

33) Rattle Snakes (exercise)

Prone, with head and upper body down along the floor, lift your thighs and feet up. Do both legs. Then single leg lifts.

34) Hamstring Stretch with Legs in Figure 4 (exercise)

Sit with one leg straight. The other leg bends at the knee and the foot of the bent leg crosses onto or else over the straight leg. Bend your head lower to the straight knee. Hold the stretch for time, even up to 2 minutes.

35) Other Side, 4 for Legs

Switch legs so the other leg gets straight and move to stetch that hamstring.

36) Yoga Butterfly Stretch (exercise)

In a sitting position, bend both knees and put the soles of the feet against each other. Pull your feet close to your bottom. Gently stretch by pressing the bent knees closer to the floor. Easy on the groin muscles.

37) Knee to ear (exercise)Edit

Sitting, bring a bent knee to touch the ear.
Hold knee to ear. Then twist and touch the knee to the other ear.
Could be done standing if advanced for balance.

38) Other knee to each ear

Do the same with the other leg to one ear, then the other ear. Inserts a twist to the back and neck.

39) Butterfly arm motion (exercise)

Standing, swing arms in the butterfly stroke. Be powerful like Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte.

40) Backstroke arm motion (exercise)

Standing, move arms in a backstroke form like Missy Franklin. The recover with fast handspped so quickly that the fingers are a blur. Then do some double-arm backstroke to cool down. Make a bent elbow pull.

41) Breastroke arm motion (exercise)

Standing, do the motions for a breastroke underwater pull out that follows a dive: Dive, glide, pull, glide, kick-arm-head, come to the top, start to swim. Then do 15 strokes of breastroke making a small pulling pattern and breath with every pull. Glide with hands forward in a “V.”

42) Freestyle arm motion (exercise)

Standing, make the arms swim like freestyle as fast as Cullen Jones. Take 10 strokes without a breath and the head looking forward and still. Then breath on one side. Other side. Then both sides, ever 5th arm recover. Then 3rd. Finish the race with out a breath, touching the wall on your side and then give a fist pump and sign of emotion.

43) Toe raises (exercise)

Stand on one leg and lift the toes of that standing leg off of the ground to balance on the heel.

44) Other leg toe raises

45) Heel raises (exercise)

Stand on one leg and lift the heel of that standing leg off of the floor. Balance on the toes.

46) Heel raises with other leg

47) Squat stoop (exercise)

Feet flat on the floor, bend down into a deep squat like the Pirates starting catcher, #55, Russell Martin. Stay there for extended time. Put knees apart then together. Keep feet flat.
Logo of Summer Dreamers Academy, logo, bottom right corner

Journal Input Form for Summer Dreamers

Students and staff with Swim & Water Polo Camp get to offer input and reflective writing with a web form. One beauty of the form is its accessibility. Make use of thedreamer_past_LM form while in school on the camp’s Android tablets and while at home. Use a smart phone or home computer and submit your work.

All are encouraged to take the necessary time to make plenty of good submissions and attempts.

Go to the Input Form


Seeking test content: Got quiz?

We are seeking helpers and partners who have written tests, exams, quizzes and other clever-input, review, guessing-games that are freely able to be shared — especially in the subject area of sports, fitness, health, wellness, active-lifestyle and games. Youth technology and young career content welcomed too.

No promises, but we’d love to host your test or quiz on these pages and then share the process and results with you too.

Call Coach Mark Rauterkus, 412-298-3432.

Email is Mark -at- Bloomfield-Garfield dot org.


Teacher Badge

LiveCode students did well in big exams in Norway

Tore Nilsen, a teacher in Norway, reported news of student performances in coding to the list.

The results from national and local exams in the subject Information Technology in Norwegian Upper Secondary schools are now in. I am happy to say that my students scored well in their exams, with an average of 4.4 out of 6 for all students who had to either sit through the national written exam or the local oral/practical exam assessed by external teacher.

60% of the students scored 5 or better, which puts them at the top of the scale. Compared to last years national results, the overall average would put our school at a fine top 6 spot nationally. With a top 5 spot for the national written exam and a top 6 spot for the oral/practical exam.

These results are unprecedented at our school, and in my opinion, very much a result of our choice to use LiveCode as our programming environment. Due to the nature of LiveCode we have been able to focus on the principles behind good coding, and use both time and resources to become better at problem solving rather than to learn the intricacies of a specialised programming language. As far as I know, we are the only school in Norway to use LiveCode as the preferred tool in this subject.

On behalf of my students, I am very happy with the results, and I very much look forward to teach programming with LiveCode to yet another group of students next year.

Tore also posted, “Luckily we enjoy a fair degree of freedom, as long as we can reach the competence aims in the national curriculum.”

Meanwhile, Kevin Miller, CEO of LiveCode, posted from his iPhone, edited slightly:

This is great news Tore. We have seen similarly good results here in Scotland… LiveCode has become something of a standard in Scotland. It is in the main textbook and exams.

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Housekeeping with Digital Badge Creation with

The artwork for the banners with the various XP has shown some weirdness, and I did a bit of question asking and now some tinkering.

The banner box, if set to 7.5 inches across and 2.7 inches tall will fit as designed.

The transparent background to the banners is grey, not white.

final-banner-7.5by2.7inch 1

Screen shot of the creation process.

Fullscreen capture 632016 122141 PM.bmp

I do not recommend making a hard border, as above. But, it is nice to have a clue as to where to put the art so it displays well.

Now, back to the grindstone!



Update: The reopening in Robinson is tomorrow! See the posting at this blog.

Originally published on May 25, 2016:

The construction team is hard at work getting the new 9,000 square-foot flagship store in Robinson Township ready to open. New lighting, floors, display walls and a brand new sales space will be like nothing the Pittsburgh running market has ever seen. Add in more than 5,000 square feet of bikes, and this will be one incredible location for all your families fitness needs. Stay tuned for more updates. Expect that the present shops will be closed for a short time in late May or early June to facilitate the move. In the meantime, their Facebook and Instagram pages show videos and pictures of the pending updates.

Track Tuesdays events are now held at West Allegheny High School.

Lifeguards_well_rounded-button 1

Lifeguard gear and name of badge

Nice prices from our friends at eLifeguard.

Making the decision to use Jedi-Like Lifeguards, or else, Well-Rounded Lifeguards as the name for the digital badges at

Hearing that Disney is protective of the Jedi name. Hence, this image below is going to be retired. Perhaps the Jedi-Like Lifeguards name can be used in the future after a dozen lifeguards from Pittsburgh go to work at Disney Water Parks.


Proposed digital badges for technology that utilize LiveCode


It might take a year to do the associated tasks with each of these proposed digital badges. They progress, of course, from easy to more difficult.

The focus goes beyond the technology and the computer programming. This aim is to also blend in sports and personal development.

Each stage has other skills beyond LiveCode in the mix as well. Editing wiki pages, using teleconference tools and making changes to networked concept maps are part of the process.