Jennifer Hall

Jennifer Hall's

Teaching Philosophy, Program and Activities

Jennifer's Teaching Philosophy
Programs and Activities
Jennifer's Photo Gallery

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Jennifer Hall's Teaching Philosophy

I believe that physical education presents a unique opportunity to contribute to the overall well being and development of every student. I see teaching as a vehicle in helping students develop lifetime skills and a strong knowledge base in a variety of content areas. As a physical education teacher, I believe that the most important thing I can teach my students is a love for lifetime wellness. With heart disease and obesity on the rise, I feel it is my responsibility to teach children how to take care of the most important place they are ever going to live- inside their own body.

As a child, I always had a love for physical activity and movement. In high school, I wanted to be a coach. In college, I volunteered at a middle school where I met a teacher named Pam Riemer. Ms. Riemer taught me that “Everyone has had a bad experience in PE; a teacher’s job is to give them a good one.” I saw how much she inspired her students to be physically active for a lifetime and I knew then that I wanted to be more than a coach, I wanted to be a TEACHER.

I feel that what makes me an outstanding teacher is my philosophy that physical education is more than a time for children to play. It is an opportunity to develop life skills in which they will be tested for the rest of their lives. In my school, I have worked very hard to ensure that students, teachers, and parents respect physical education and its impact on their lives. I have worked very hard for this to become a reality through the use of cross curriculum connections and partnerships within the home. I have worked with teachers in developing physical education activities that support their core curriculum. In turn, general education teachers have sought ways to support physical education. Through this sharing of ideas and knowledge, my students’ experiences are enriched.

I feel that my single greatest reward in teaching is seeing students succeed by applying what they have learned in my class to the world outside the gym. I see this when I go outside to recess and students are being physically active demonstrating skills that they have directly learned in my class. I see success when I work at the local high school and I see former students participating in sports. I see success when I am on my way home and I see students out jogging or riding their bike. I hear success when my colleagues at the middle and high schools tell me how they never have a problem with my former students dressing out and being good participants in their physical education classes. And I see success when the fifth grade student who, in kindergarten, could barely run a lap around our small field without stopping, crosses the finish line at the end of our annual 5K Family Fun Run with the biggest smile on her face. As I gave her a high five, she said, “I did it!” I walked away from that moment feeling that I had just experienced one of the greatest moments of my teaching career.


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Program and Activities

PFA CURRICULUM ACTIVITIES

PFA ActivitiesWe use the PFA core curriculum throughout the year as part of regular lesson planning. Some of our favorite PFA activities are $10 and a Bone, Ornery Rabbits and Sleepy Bears, PFA Bunco, Progressive “Aerobic” Bowling, and Beat the Ball.

In addition, we have modified many of our own activities to incorporate the use of the cups and outdoor PFA equipment. When I go to conferences and workshops I am constantly thinking of ways to incorporate the PFA fitness equipment into the new games that I learn.

NEW ACTIVITIES

This year we started a new monthly warm up focused on fitness. After the students did their initial fitness testing in September, they each received a report indicating which health related fitness areas should be focused on throughout the year to improve their personal fitness. The monthly warm up gives students an opportunity to choose which activities they would like to do that relates to their personal goals. For example, if muscular strength and endurance is one of their goals they may choose between resistance bands, modified pull ups, push ups, heavy jumpropes,PFA Activities parallel bars, or the horizontal ladder. If their focus is on aerobic capacity they may choose between laps around the track, step ups, vault bar, agility ladder, or jumproping. Students focusing on flexibility have the option of yoga poses, stretches at the warm up/cool down sign, sit and reach test, stability balls, and resistance bands. Students then participate in various activities choosing where they would like to participate based on their personal needs. Students really enjoy the chance to choose the activities. They have approximately 15 minutes as part of this warm up and it takes place once a month.

Another one of our favorite games that we have modified is the $10 and a Bone game. We simply modify this activity by the core area content or a specific holiday. We have done this fitness activity using the regions and crops of Virginia, the solar system, a snowman for winter, a turkey for thanksgiving, and the steps of the scientific method.

One of our favorite activities that we did before we received the PFA equipment was Bombs Away. Since then we have modified it to make it a PFA activity. In this game about half of the students are standing at a spot that has a bowling pin on top. The rest of the students are on a line waiting for their turn to enter the game. If we are inside, we set up a fitness break area, if we are outside the fitness break area is the PFA equipment. The object of the game is to protect your pin while trying to throw a ball to knock other pins down. On the signal to begin students at a pin may leave to go pick up a ball and return to their pin to throw at another pin. If their pin gets knocked down for any reason they must leave the pin on its side and exit to the fitness break area completing a specific amount of repetitions. Then a student waiting in the line will replace them in the game by standing the pin back up on the dot. This is a very fast moving game and once it gets started students do not wind up standing in line. It usually works out that by the time they return from their fitness break there is a pin down and they can head right back into the game.

Another activity my students really love to do is Activityland. I saw this at a workshop and immediately adapted it into a project fit activity. The idea is to make a game board like the game CandyLand. Each group has their own game board. Fitness activities are assigned a color. On the signal to begin one member of the group runs to a container with colored dots. They get a dot and bring it back to their group. The group then moves a game piece on their board to the next available dot of that color. The whole group then proceeds to perform the activity that has been assigned to that color dot. When everyone in the group is done, they return to their game board and the next person goes to get a new dot. This process is repeated until they reach the end of the game board or a specific amount of time has expired. This is a very active game and the students are really engaged the entire time.

Chart & ChallengeCHART and CHALLENGE ACTIVITIES

We take part in many chart and challenge activities. In addition to the PFA equipment for chart and challenge we now use our fitness tests as chart and challenge activities. Since our school focuses on science we made our levels to incorporate a science theme. The earth level is the entry level, atmosphere level is the middle level, and space level is the high level. Students are given the amount needed to reach each level before participating in the activity. Then students that reach the various levels get a star that is posted up on the wall.

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS

Each year the physical education department offers various after school activities to encourage students to be active outside of school time. Activities that we have done include: Ultimate Frisbee, Physical Education Club, Flag Football, Noodle Games, Ultimate Football, Fitness club, Run Across America Club, Cup Stacking, and Climbing Club.

Fit Friday

PFA ActivitiesOver the summer I worked with a fifth grade teacher to write a physical activity curriculum for our school and hopefully Arlington County. This curriculum is geared towards classroom teachers and includes cooperative games, Project Fit broad based curriculum activities, fitness activities, and integrated curriculum activities. The idea of Fit Friday is that one Friday of the month will be reserved as a time that classroom teachers take their students outside to participate in physical activity. These activities are easy to teach and require little equipment. At the end of the activity they will have a healthy Fresh Friday snack such as fruits and veggies that have been provided by parents. This is just another way to promote physical activity outside of the physical education setting. It is also a great way for teachers to set a good example for their students.

Workout Wednesdays

This year we started Workout Wednesday. We use the Team Fit model every Wednesday during student’s lunch recess time. My principal After School Clubs

supported the idea by freeing up my schedule this year so that I could be outside to facilitate the program. Each week students can participate on the Project Fit equipment or take part in a running club.

They earn toe tokens and PFA ribbons for completing tasks. I am currently training parents in the hopes that the program will continue next year completely run by volunteers and expanding to more than just one day a week.

They earn toe tokens and PFA ribbons for completing tasks. I am currently training parents in the hopes that the program will continue next year completely run by volunteers and expanding to more than just one day a week.

PFA Activities

 

We have had support over the years from our PTA parents, community partners, and other volunteers. One of our most current sponsors that support the general physical education program is a local triathlon club called Team Z. This triathlon community has sponsored our program financially as well as members volunteering their time. These individuals have served as excellent role models of a healthy, active lifestyle. All of these supporters have shared the vision of an installation of a running track around our field. I felt that this was the final piece of our fitness area that would naturally complement the Project Fit Equipment and program. Thanks to their support we had our running trail installed over the summer.

 

 

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