I am in my 25th year of teaching
and you can teach an old dog new tricks. I am always searching
for new ideas to use in my teaching. Project Fit America has definitely
been one of those wonderful new programs that I have been introduced
to and thoroughly believe is a helpful teaching tool in my program.
I have been teaching at Leaksville-Spray from it's beginning
in 1994 and before that I taught in our former Leaksville-Spray
Intermediate School. I first taught for three years at Northeast
Junior High in Pennsylvania and then moved to North Carolina and
taught for one year at Holmes Junior High. For the next several
I stayed at home and reared three terrific sons until I renewed
my certificate in 1985 and returned to teaching. As you can tell
my career has been spread out over 3 decades and that is why I
must stay attuned to the new ideas out there and try to see what
is best for my students.
One of the things I am known for here at school are may many costumes.
I dress up for almost all special occasions and love to greet students
and parents in the morning. We must bring smiles to others faces.
Smiles and hugs make the world go round. Thanks again for the Project
Fit America program.
HOW WE USE PFA
Our school, Leaksville-Spray Elementary,
received our Project Fit America in the fall of 2004. This is
our second year working with the program. I had tried for years
to get this wonderful program because I knew it would help to improve
the health of our students. Our children love the equipment and
work so hard to meet the challenges on each piece of equipment.
This year we have placed our emphasis on upper body strength
by doing the pole climb and horizontal bars as our special challenges.
Any classroom teachers are encouraged to use them for at least
one of their P.E. times during the week. They will be recording
pole climbing and horizontal bar challenges.
The Dolphin Mileage Club
Certificates and ribbons will be awarded
at the end on the year in our P.E. Awards Assembly. Another program
which is done by the whole school is our Dolphins
Mileage Jog/Walk Program. To get in the club, students
must complete 15 miles and then they receive a shoe on the bulletin
board with their name and a foot token. After the first 15miles,
a foot token is given for every 5 additional miles. Students
love to earn these tokens and they put them on their shoe strings
or make a necklace.
We also used our PFA equipment last year in our
end-of-the-year PE Day as a timed challenge between teams.
Other activities we do as part of the PFA program are cup
tummy toughie, and the pacer. They love all of them. I so enjoy
seeing students work to make these challenges.
Dolphin's Mileage Charts
I use the cups to reward for individual challenges as well as
group activities For example: One lesson we were working on striking
skills. I had 5 stations at which they could work.
- Station 1 - Paddle striking - Student must stand in a hula
hoop and bounce a balloon (K-2) a soft sponge ball (3-5) off
the paddle for a certain number of times. When they meet that
challenge, they may go get the number of cups I have designated
for that challenge. They then go to another station.
- Station 2 - Hand striking - same as paddle but must use the
- Station 3 - Beach ball volley against the wall
- Station 4 - Volleying back
and forth to a partner a designated
number of times
- Station 5 - Volley Up Challenge - in groups of 3 or 4, keep
the beach ball or light weight volley ball up for 10 hits
A group activity that they love to do, I made up
DOWN, SET, HIKE
The class is divided into 4 squads and the students line up one
behind the other. I have gym tape marks on the floor marked
center, quarterback, and receiver. I give each squad a different
colored nerf football. On my signals, down .set and hike the
center hikes to the quarterback, the receiver runs out toward
the other end of the gym turns and looks for the pass. The
QB then throws to the receiver who tries to catch it. Whether
it is caught or not the receiver must run around his/her teams
designated cone and run back to his/her line and put the ball
back in the QB hands. Points are received as follows: a catch
earns 3 points, back first and QB doesn*+ drop it in the handoff
earns 2 points and everyone earns one for a good attempt. That
player then gets his cups according to the points earned for
that round and everyone moves forward. The squads build a creation
together instead of individually. Example: the receiver goes
to the end of the squad line, the center becomes the receiver,
the QB becomes the center and a new person becomes the QB.
When I received my results from last years pro and post testing
I was glad to see improvements in all areas except upper body strength
and in the 1/2-mile run. These are the two areas we are stressing
more this year with our mileage club and PFA challenges.
I'm calling this the Year of Challenges. Another group of challenges
that I do with my 4th and 5th grade classes comes off the PE Central
website. Students can earn a PE Central Globe Logo pin imprinted
on a gold, silver or bronze background color. If all 6 challenges
are met, they receive a gold, five challenges met receive a silver
and four challenges met a bronze. These challenges are as follows:
- Balance Shuffle - Two children stand on
each end of an eight foot long 2x4 board placed on the ground
(4" side of the board
goes on the ground). Each child travels to the opposite end and
then back without falling off. Children start again if any body
part touches the ground. The board is marked with lines 12" from
each end. This is where he children start — both at the opposite
end — and finish. When they switch they travel to the twelve
inch mark on the opposite of the board before starting back to
their original position. (I use a low balance beam).
- Hula Hooping - Hula hoop for 20 seconds with the hoop starting
around the waist and remaining off the ground (floor) the entire
- Jump that Rope - Jump a single rope continuously (rope must
be in constant turning motion) for 90 seconds without a miss.
- Volley Up - (this is one a mentioned in my striking cup challenge)
- Three children stand in a triangle three giant steps from
each other. The challenge is to volley a ball (not a beach ball)
10 times in a row without the ball hitting the ground. Each child
must contact (volley) the ball at least twice but may not strike
it twice in a row (similar to volleyball rules).
- Partner Throw and Catch -Throw and catch an object with your
hands with a partner 30 times in a row without a miss from
a distance of 25'. Both catches and throws must be made behind
the line to be counted. Each student will complete 15 throws
and 15 catches for a total of 30.
- Paddle Striking - (this I also used in the cup striking challenge)
Strike a ball with a short or long-handled paddle or racket
in the air continuously for 60 seconds to yourself while remaining
in a 3 - 4 foot diameter, e.g. hula hoop, jump rope formed
into a circle. The circle must remain stationary for the entire
We also assess with the Presidential
Physical Fitness Test and
give residential and National badges and certificates. Awards for
all the challenges are given at a special Physical Education Award's
Assembly at the end of the year.
AFTER SCHOOL PE ACTIVITIES
Dancing Dolphins: It is an after school enrichment group of 5th graders who meet
every Wednesday from 2:30 to 3:30. Any 5th grader may be a part
of this group as long as they give it their best and maintain
good school citizenship. We, with our school's chorus, will again
go to Washington, DC to perform in the Pageant
of Peace. It is
quite an honor. We will perform eight different dances which
I choreographed with the help of a fellow teacher.
Jumping Dolphins: The second semester we will do an after school jump rope enrichment
group called the Jumping Dolphins. Certain requirements must
be met to a part of this group. In April we perform at the YMCA
for Healthy Kids Day. We also take part in Jump Rope for Heart.
Our art teacher is a breast cancer Survivor and we have a Relay
For Life Team. This year we also will do a mini Relay for Life
event for children.