Debbie Mickens

Debbie Mickens'

Teaching Philosophy, Program and Activities

Debbie's Teaching Philosophy
PE / Core Curriculum
Project Fit Program / Equipment

Lesson Activities
Additional Activities

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Debbie Mickens' Teaching Philosophy

I have been teaching Physical Education at Lee Hill Elementary School for the past 10 of my 14 years in Spotsylvania County. During this time, I have worked diligently to teach my students how to live an active, healthy productive lifestyle. As a physical education teacher, I am committed to developing the whole child, cognitively, socially, physically and emotionally. We work on Team Building, conflict resolution and character building through various activities. We as physical educators often become and adult that the students can relate to and feel safe and comfortable with.. Often times we are teachers, coaches, moms / dads, and even nurses!   Students perform better when they feel safe and can have fun! My students love to come to PE and often times see me in the halls or at bus duty and either say, “I can’t wait for PE” or “What are we playing today”? I have created and maintain an exciting learning environment for all students for maximum success. I believe that the elementary level is where the foundation is built and I try to prepare them with the right attitude so they can lead a healthy active lifestyle. I try to be an example for them by being active and sharing with them the sports and activities that I participate in to stay healthy. Some have seen me cycling outside of school or jogging in the neighborhood. I stay involved with the classroom teachers to integrate core subject material into my physical education program to improve SOL and AYP scores. With the constant “change” in our schools and new programs and initiatives being introduced, I continually assess my program according to the needs of the students and the means by which I can accomplish my teaching goals. There are many tools that I use to motivate, enhance and maximize participation in my PE program:

  • Music Motivates!
  • Current dances for warm-ups. Students can “cut loose” with creativity during this time!
  • Daily Quotes for motivation.
  • “All Star Student” bulletin board – displays names of students demonstration exceptional character traits.--
  • PE Snapshots Bulletin Board - students can visualize the activities they are involved in. It also give the teachers and parents a look at what their children do in class.
  • Golden Shoe Award - positive class reward.
  • Word Wall - Reinforcement of  PE activities and vocabulary
  • Weekly Sports Trivia Questions
  • Record Holder Wall of Fame-students who hold records for “The Presidents Challenge” and “Project Fit” Fitness Course are displayed on the wall.
  • Chart and Challenge - students LOVE writing their name on that chart!
  • Multiplication “Skip Counting Charts” on the wall.
  • Certificates for Winners in various PE challenges.
Golden Shoe Mickens Displays PE Snapshot

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Working closely with the classroom teachers has helped me create (including making all the equipment)  games and activities to reinforce and enhance math, social studies and core subject material into the physical education curriculum to improve AYP and SOL scores. “Word Search Relay”, “Show Me The Money” are just a few of the activities I created to help students learn facts in an environment other than the classroom. I use visual graphing techniques, and multiplication fact charts on the wall as a means of counting repetitions. I have created a graph that the students use to sit on as they enter the gym. Instead of having them sit on a piece of tape or a “spot”, students are given a “coordinate” just as if they were plotting themselves on a graph. On the main wall are letters for a squad. On the side wall are numbers. They are given a “coordinate” such as “B5”. I tell them to imagine drawing a straight line from their letter and their number until they meet and that is their coordinate just as if they were plotting it on a graph. Even the Kindergarten students can do it!! My 2nd grade students actually created a game of “Battleship” using their coordinates!

Mickens Displays Chart & Challenge Skyline Ball Champions

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“Project Fit” has been an awesome addition to my program. All classes including Kindergarten are scheduled for 30 minutes each week on the equipment. All students and teachers were trained on the equipment and the proper way to use each piece. PFA Fitness Cups are a huge “hit” at Lee Hill. I play several games using the cups including but not limited to, Double Track Cup Attack, Scooch and Crawl, Individual Challenges, 10 Bucks and a Bone, PFA Bunco and Texas Hold’em. These are great activities that challenge them  to be as creative as possible and gives them an opportunity to improve physical fitness within themselves as well as feeding the competitive nature of children to be the best they can be!

Mickens Cups Mickens Cups Mickens Hoops

The Double Track Cup Attack is their favorite activity. I challenge them to be as creative as they can with their cups. It allows them to put their creativity to work with other students and they even amaze themselves with what they come up with. Students will also keep a count of the number of laps they do and then I have them calculate it at the end of the class into miles. The possibilities are endless with these activities.

Outdoor Equipment Pole Climb Situps

Students master the skills needed to stay physically fit and they challenge each other for the “record”! Slapshot was a hit at the opening ceremony!top of page

Running Outdoor Exercise Outdoor Exercise


I have a lesson plan that I created for fitness using a large variety of equipment that was donated to my program. The fitness stations include, mini trampolines, stair steppers, stationary bikes, home made weights for building the lower and upper arms and wrist areas, medicine balls, stretch bands, exercise balls and many more. This unit is an excellent way to expose kids to some of the equipment that they may not have access to at home. The addition of my Traverse Rock Climbing Wall has added another dimension to my program. As most of us know, kids like to climb! My rock wall is also a chalk board that opens up endless possibilities for integrating core subject material into these lessons.

Climbing Wall Stationery Bike Mini Trampoline
Tennis Ball Challenge Parachute Indoor games

Recreational games is a big hit with my students. They play a variety of games that engage their minds as well as their bodies. The Tennis Ball Challenge is a favorite for my 3-5th graders! This game was introduced to me by Ken Chamblis. What an awesome Project Fit Trainer! Parachute is an activity that all students grades K-5 can enjoy!!


In addition to being a physical education teacher, I am also involved in many other school activities. I have been a mentor teacher, a member of the School Improvement Team, School Yearbook Coordinator, CPR Instructor Trainer, Emergency Response Team Member, SOL Blitz Coordinator, and a member of the Specifications Committee.


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