Back to 2005 All Star Teachers Showcase | Back to Arlean Christman

Arlean Christman's

Lesson Plans, Activities, Curriculum, and Teaching Philosophy

Arlean Christman

How We Use PFA
PFA Activities
Down, Set, Hike
Challenge Activities

After School PE Activities
Arlean's Philosophy

Halloween PFA Style: Graveyard, Touch A Ghost, Alligator Swamp & More!

PDF: Arlean's Lessons & Activities

HalloweenI 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.


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.

Dolphin Club
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 challenges, tummy toughie, and the pacer. They love all of them. I so enjoy seeing students work to make these challenges.


Mileage Chart

Smile Miles
Dolphin's Mileage Charts
Smile Miles

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 hands
  • 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

top of pageA group activity that they love to do, I made up and call

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:

  1. 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).
  2. Hula Hooping - Hula hoop for 20 seconds with the hoop starting around the waist and remaining off the ground (floor) the entire time.
  3. Jump that Rope - Jump a single rope continuously (rope must be in constant turning motion) for 90 seconds without a miss.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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 60 seconds.

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.


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.

Arlean Christman's Teaching Philosophy

The longer I teach and the more I interact with children the more I realize how much children want to please and how they look to adults for discipline, direction, support and love. We educate not only the mental, but the emotional, physical and spiritual elements of a person. Physical education allows us to do just that. Children love to play and have fun. If we can make physical education fun and enjoyable in elementary school hopefully they will realize that keeping active can be enjoyable all the way through their lives. Children need to realize that being active and staying healthy go hand in hand. It is my belief that a teacher should teach values through actions.


Smiles & Hugs!

My goal is to present information which motivates students to gain healthy habits which can be applied to their lives. I work on self-esteem by trying to help students create a healthy self-image. Through positive motivation, students gain skills that enable them to lead healthy lives. I have a saying on my wall that about says it all, "If you don't take care of your body, where are you going to live?"

All students should be challenged to do their best. We know that all students were not created equal and each one was born with different gifts and body structures but even in those differences there is an individual level of success to strive for. "Always do your best and strive to improve on that best. You give me all you've got and that's your best." That's all I ever ask of my students.

Students learn best by doing and at this age it is essential that children get adequate activity and exercise daily. It is not a state mandate in North Carolina that all children get 30 minutes of activity everyday. Since I do not see them but once a week, the classroom teachers help in supporting the PE program by helping with a mileage program and the outdoor Project Fit America Fitness equipment.

Along with my goals for physical fitness, I encourage exercise as an outlet for stress relief and character education. PE activities encourage respect, good sportsmanship, and co-operation with others, thereby building the whole individual. Lessons learned from PE classes are closely related to how we handle ourselves in everyday life. My hope is that the lessons learned in PE will help my students lead productive healthful lives.

What I tell my students is "Keep a positive attitude, do your best, never give up, and if you had fun in class you're a winner."

top of page
Back to 2005 All Star Teachers Showcase | Back to Arlean Christman