Sara Kenny

Sara Kenney's

Teaching Philosophy, Program and Activities

Sara's Teaching Philosophy
Programs and Events

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Sara's Teaching Philosophy

As a physical education teacher, I believe first and foremost that it is my responsibility to make sure that my students obtain a love for physical fitness. With heart disease and obesity having an overwhelming effect on young children, it is my responsibility to teach my children how to maintain not only a healthy mind, but most importantly a healthy body. In order for me to foster a love of physical fitness and the knowledge to maintain a healthy mind and body, I have to start with the basics. When children learn the basics and become successful at those, they will be able to advance to more complex activities that can and should eventually become lifetime physical activities. Ultimately, it is my hope that I will foster the confidence in my students to enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.

HoopsWhen children come into my classroom, I want to offer them a quality physical education program, which will be the cornerstone for them to develop a healthy, active lifestyle. I will provide my students with an environment that will promote success. Each student will be provided with multiple opportunities to assess their own fitness level, to engage in activity that will strengthen already developed skills, and to help develop new skills. The children will develop lifetime fitness skills which will enable each child a full and productive life inside and outside of school. The physical education program that I teach will contribute to each student’s fitness, psychomotor, cognitive, and affective areas of development. Students will learn about personal health and fitness, basic motor skills, and the tools to promote a physically active lifestyle. Ultimately, I want to provide my students with the different skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will develop their mind, body, and character.

I believe that ever child in my classroom has the ability to learn. When given an opportunity a child strives to please their teacher. A teacher has to be able to expect the best out of each and every child. Usually when a child feels there is a lot being expected of him/her, he/she will try to fill that expectation. Giving a child an opportunity for success and having high expectations will lead a child to success.

I, as a physical education teacher, wish to provide my students with the most effective and efficient learning environment possible. I want my teaching to make physical education a positive and exciting experience for all. I enjoy teaching and love sharing, as well as, learning with my students.

Programs and Events

HoopsAs a newer teacher, I have made a promise to myself to take just a few programs or events and tackle them each year and build my self up. It is not that I don’t want to do a lot more, but I had to figure out what I could handle along with all the responsibilities and commitments of being a relatively new teacher. My first year, I decided that I would start my own running club and that I would tackle Jump Rope for Heart. This year, I have decided to integrate Project Fit America into my curriculum and really concentrate on one big idea (or theme) and bring it into all aspects of our curriculum.

The running program that I implemented last year was the Claxton Running Stars. This running club was started to give my students extra physical fitness. I only have a chance to see my students anywhere from 35 to 40 minutes a week. This is not enough time for me to teach and to provide enough physical activity for a child. By implementing this program, hopefully each child is getting extra physical activity beyond my classroom. Also, teachers and assistants like this program because it gives them a chance to get some physical activity themselves.

Bulletin BoardWhen I originally started the Claxton Running Stars, I had no idea how far the children would run. Our original goal (school year 06/07) was to run up the east coast. I created a route that is around 3500 miles. I personally thought this would be hard to accomplish, but the children did a wonderful job. At the end of last year, the school had run a total of 16,747 miles. A child in second grade ran over 100 miles himself. Also, we had a Kindergarten class who ran 1515 miles, which happened to be the most in the school.

Last year, I had a board that displays the top three runners in each grade. A poster displayed the total number of miles that each class had run. Finally, every time a child in kindergarten through second grade did 10 miles, he/she got a certificate. When a child in third through fifth grade did 25 miles, he/she got a certificate. Following are pictures of my top three runners’ board and totals from each class poster (from last year). Running Stars

The Claxton Running Stars worked out very well last year. I definitely learned several ways to better the program for this year.

This year, I put a bit of a twist on the program. Instead of trying to run around the world, each child is trying to gain access into a certain club. I have 4 different clubs: the Elephant Club, the Jackrabbit Club, the Cheetah Club and the Falcon Club. In order to become of part of the Elephant Club, a child must run 25 miles; in running cluborder to become a part of the Jackrabbit Club, a child must run 50 miles (and so on). After each accomplishment, a child receives a small certificate and is inducted to each club on our Good Morning Show ? I believe that this program has been a success and I will continue it because of its benefits for the children.

The main event that I decided to take on last year and will be doing again this year is Jump Rope for Heart. This event is put on by the American Heart Association. The students and I worked with this association to raise money for people with heart disease. Although there are many different ways to handle this event, I decided to have the event last one week long. Each class participated in Jump Rope for Heart during their class time.

During this week, students can donate money to the American Heart Association. When they come to my class during this week, we talk about what the American Heart Association is and what they do. We then discuss why jumping rope is so good for your heart and finally we do a bunch of jumping rope. For the older students, I set up stations to challenge their jumping ability. For the younger children, the aspect of jumping rope is challenging enough for them. Following is a picture of a board the children could sign for participating in Jump Rope for Heart.

I am proud to say that Claxton Elementary raised $3985.46. While this may not be quite as much as Claxton has risen in the past, the American Heart Association did say that this amount is way above the national average for first year teachers. I was very pleased with that amount. I can only hope to create more enthusiasm this year and raise even more money for a great cause.

I have learned multiple ways to improve this event from how to raise money to what sort of class activities to have. Although Jump Rope for Heart was very stressful, all the money the children and I raised went to such a wonderful cause. Also, it gave the children a chance to learn about working with the community for the good of others around them. This event turned out to be a great success.

Last year, I the wonderful opportunity to meet a wonderful PFA coach. When he came to my school, he showed me so many wonderful ideas that I promised myself I would implement into my curriculum this year. This year, I have started many of the indoor activities. Also, I have worked on teaching classroom teachers how to use the outdoor equipment and some teachers have begun using the outdoor equipment during part of recess. Next year, I am going to start using the outdoor equipment and mainly the STATION STARS ? The indoor PFA has become a huge success in our school. I love how the children are leaving my classroom exhausted!!

Crab WalkMy favorite indoor activity is the Scooch (Crab Walk) and Crawl (Bear Crawl) Challenge. The children absolutely love it. I like it because not only are the children having a great time while doing it, but it also brings in some competition to my classroom. Mr. BoneAnother activity that has become a favorite among my older children is Mr. Bone. The children love to exercise and build their own Mr. Bone.

I have also implemented the Shuttle Run Challenge, which has become a huge success in my school. I am amazed at how hard my children work for a rubber band. The smaller children love to build and be creative with the fitness cups…the harder they work, the more cups they can build with. Finally, the fitness wands and the paper ball and cup activity are wonderful. I have had teachers and others come in and ask where I got these wonderful ideas and tell me how much they love them, as well as their children.

CupsOur major theme for the year is the Building Blocks of Fitness. I created a bulletin board and a poster for my room to display our theme for the year. Every activity that we do, I try to relate it back to our theme. If we are doing station work, we take the time to determine and explain what building block each station fulfills. It has been very impressive how much the children have taken to this…even the youngsters are beginning to know the building blocks. Finally, 2 other aspects that resound in my room are the bad “s’s” (sugar, salt, soda, and sedentary) and the bossyship idea. I love how well children have taken to these ideas and plan to keep using them in the upcoming years.

Bulletin BoardThese are just some of the ideas that I did this year. While each seems to be working out wonderfully, I am planning on starting more programs and running events like this in the years to come. I would like to implement a fitness calendar to motivate the children and their families to be active at home. I feel like getting parents involved will only further my enthusiasm about physical fitness and health. Also, I very excited about implementing the station stars as well.


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