Debbie Mickens' Teaching
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
- Multiplication “Skip Counting
Charts” on the
- Certificates for Winners in various PE challenges.
PE / CORE CURRICULUM
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
PROJECT FIT PROGRAM / EQUIPMENT
“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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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