I want students to have fun while learning! If they are
having fun, and feel safe and respected, they will learn.
I also feel that it is my responsibility to teach the whole
child: socially, emotionally and physically. This is why
I teach the Michigan Model Health Curriculumduring
my physical education classes. Michigan Model is
a nationally acclaimed school health education program.
It facilitates skill-based learning through lessons that
address both National and State of Michigan Health Education
Standards. The PFA Curriculum is a nice blend of all that
I try to accomplish. I love the PFA concepts of “Teamwork,
Communication, and Cooperation”, “Yellow Brick
Students" and being “Team
try to move each student as far forward as possible. My
goal is to make them successful people, not just successful
athletes. However, I do help promote and encourage those
who are athletic to get better and become the best they
can be! My adaptive PE skills are continually being challenged.
We have quite a diverse group of students. I have students
with physical disabilities and cognitive impairments. I
try to work closely with our OT & PT staff to best
meet the needs of these students. I’m fortunate to
have my students from kindergarten through sixth grade.
This allows me to work with them for seven years. I love
seeing the growth that they make!
I also feel very strongly about teaching students to help
others who are less fortunate. We have a variety of activities
that the Barth students participate in to achieve this
goal. Annually I conduct a Charity Spirit Week where we
earmark a different charity each day as we have fun with
spirit activities like pajama day or crazy hair day. Some
years we include a Jump Rope for Heart event without giving
student prizes. Our students also collect food items, scarves,
hats and mittens, which are then donated to Goodfellows.
The Barth community is very generous!
This year, in an effort to stress the importance of physical
activity and education, we now call our program KINETICS-Kids
Into Nutrition and Exercise To Increase Cardiovascular
Our motto is now “Last Longer, Do More”.
The PFA curriculum also supports KINETICS!
How the PFA programs work for
What an adventure this has been! From the moment I saw the
grant, I wanted this equipment for Barth! Project Fit is such
a great organization to be involved with. They almost wrote
my grant for me over the phone. I’ve never had that kind
of support and help before with a grant.
Our district agreed to install the equipment if we were awarded
this grant, but when we received the news we decided to have
our parent volunteers do the installation. I really appreciated
being involved in every aspect of this project. There were
times when the “guys” wouldn’t let me do
anything to help, but I was still there!
We even had the students during their PE classes help move
the mulch around. (see photo right) That was a blast!
This is my second year with Project Fit America. Over the
past 35 years, I have switched between being an elementary
classroom teacher and being a physical educator. This is my
twelfth year back in physical education.
The PFA curriculum and Ken Chambless, my trainer, were
like a breath of fresh air! I felt like a new teacher again,
excited about all the possibilities. I’m still discovering
new activities and ideas every time I go to my manual.
I also remain amazed at how hard my students will work for
a few fitness cups! Their favorite indoor game by far is “Double
Track Cup Attack.” I love having the “Stasak
Specials.” We have also had fun with, “$10
and a Bone,” “Indoor PFA Bunco,” “Scooch
and Crawl” and “Tummy Toughy.”
Now that we have our “Fit Pit”, we
are definitely outside more often. It is incredible how much
more running the students will do on our track when they know
they can go to the “Fit Pit” when done. The station
activities, like “Red, White and Blue” or “PFA
Outdoor Bunco” are great ways to keep the students involved
with the “Fit Pit”. I find myself doing more station
activities even indoors now. Stations definitely keep students
more active while in class.
Fitness testing in the fall and spring has always been a
part of my PE program. These past two years I have attempted
to test all first through sixth graders on all seven outdoor
stations and the mile. Needless to say, it is very exhausting,
especially considering the weather in Michigan! Next year I
will try the following testing rotation:
- First-Smile Mile, Step Test, Sit Ups, and Horizontal Ladder
- Second- Smile Mile, Step Test, Pole Climb, and Horizontal
- Third-Mile Run, Step Test, Sit Ups, Pull Ups, and Horizontal
- Fourth-Mile Run, Step Test, Sit Ups, Parallel Bars, and
- Fifth-Mile Run, and All “Fit Pit” Stations
- Sixth-Mile Run, and All “Fit Pit” Stations
Double Track Cup Attack
$10 and a Bone
Outdoor PFA Bunco
Team Building - "The
Medals and Mottos . . .
After each round of testing, I present each student with a
fitness log to take home, which includes his or her weight,
height and fitness scores. We also do a Medal Awards
Ceremony, where I pass out Bronze, Silver,
Gold, and Red Kong medals. Our school
colors are red and white. The medals are made and strung on
ribbon by our awesome parent volunteers.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
(Mascots and Dignitaries)
Presentation of Medals
Kinetics Bulletin Board
Chart and Challenge
This is our first year trying the Chart and Challenge. We
are doing Noodle Hop, Pacer Challenge, Sports Hoops, Jump Ropes
and the Shuttle Cup Challenge. Students practice and are tested
during their Kinetics classes. Students that reach the gold
level are then invited after school to try out for the Kong
and Top Kong positions. The students are really excited!
Sport Hoops and Noodle
Hop Challenge Practice
Sheila's Additional Activities
S.T.E.P. (Students & Teachers Exercising with
Pedometers) is a program that I developed and use
with my third through sixth graders. I was frustrated because
these students only receive physical education twice a week.
In an effort to offer something for students to do every
day, I developed this program. Students wear pedometers during
every Kinetics class and also at lunch recess. At the end
of use, they record their distance and steps. Periodically,
I tabulate their steps and distances. Each student has a
laminated footprint up in the gym where they show off mileage
achieved. Every three miles they also receive pedometer awards.
These incentives are chains, plastic feet, shoelaces, mileage
charms, t-shirts and water bottles that we purchase from www.fitnessfinders.net.
Our parent group, PTC (Parent,
Teachers, and Community for children) financially supports
Tennis Shoe Awards-Individual students K-2
are able to earn “Tennis Shoe Awards.” In
an effort to reward good behavior, I give a piece of paper
with a tennis shoe on it, to each student who behaves in class.
Students write their name on the back and return the paper
to me for the end of the month drawing. I purchase items that
encourage physical activity; a variety of balls, jump ropes,
hula-hoops etc. If their name is drawn, he/she gets to select
something out of the shoe award box. I usually select a winner
per grade. The PTC financially supports this project.
Adventure Challenge Education-Our local intermediate school
district used to have an adventure challenge program that schools
or business could take groups to. The activities of the program
fell into three categories: 1) team building, 2) trust and
3) individual challenges. I was trained as a facilitator so
I could train my own students. The program is no longer there,
however, I still use many of the team building activities with
my older students.
A great resource for activities is the book,
Team Building Through Physical Challenges
by Daniel W. Midura and Donald R, Glover.
Team Building - “The Snake”
A.C.E.S.-(All Children Exercising Simultaneously) -
Every first Wednesday in May, the Youth Fitness Coalition,
Inc sponsors ACES. It is an international event to promote
proper health and fitness habits and has been labeled “the
world’s largest exercise class”. Barth students
have been participating for many years. Staff & students
alike go outside and spread out in our parking lots to exercise.
We time it to coincide with the rest of the world-10 am. If
it’s raining, we stay inside and spread out in the halls.
Walk To School Day-This is another international event we participate
in. This is usually the first Wednesday in October. However,
the whole month is listed as International Walk to School Month.
The purpose is to bring awareness to safe routes for walking
to school in communities. Due to the fact that all of our students
ride buses or are driven to school by parents, we use the subdivision
next to the school. Fourth through sixth grades students who
have permission from parents are dropped off about a ½ mile
from school. Staff and parents walk with them to school. The
students love it.
Family Fun & Fitness Night - Annually
in February, I schedule a night where families can come for
a fun filled night of physical activities. High school students
run each event so that the parents can participate. Last year,
the fitness cups were a big hit. This year our event (2-11-10)
will revolve around the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.
We will have ice skating on paper plates, curling with shuffleboard
cues on carpet, ice “floor” hockey, and skiing
with carpet squares down a ramp, just to name a few. We will also
have a local chiropractor who will serve as our Olympic Doctor
to make sure every one is able to participate. Participants
will have the opportunity to win official Olympic merchandise
during a raffle.
This year I started a Girls On The Run after
school program for our fourth, fifth and sixth graders. It
is a national program for girls that is designed to encourage
the development of their physical, emotional, mental, social
and spiritual well being. I felt it was a natural compliment
to the concepts that my students receive with the Michigan
Model Health and Project Fit curriculums. I just love being
a part of such a great program and a movement that is spreading. (See
photo at right as Girls on the Run leave for a race.)
Ghostbusters - this is an all time favorite
at Barth every Halloween. I scatter all my pylons around the
gym. Randomly I hide ghosts (tennis balls wrapped in paper
towels) under the pylons. I then turn the lights off (safety
lights are still on) and play the theme song for the movie
Ghostbusters as students take turns looking for ghost in Stasak’s
Cemetery. I’m not sure what they like more, finding the
ghosts or being able to hide them for the next group!
Supportive People That Have Helped - I would
like to thank Oakwood Annapolis Hospital for sponsoring
our PFA project here at Barth. It has turned
into a great partnership. They have been very supportive of
everything we do. We also had an opportunity to give back this
fall when our students, parents, and staff participated in
their annual Red October Run. We had over 50 participants,
many who trained over the summer, who ran or walked a 3.1-mile
race on a very dreary wet day. We look forward to joining them
again next October
I also need to thank Mrs. Golka, our principal, and Gerilynn
Baty, a fellow teacher, who helped me write our
grant. Big thanks also to our awesome parent
volunteers who helped install our equipment
and who help throughout the year with whatever I ask for.
Without them our program wouldn’t be as great! Also
a big thanks to my Mom, who has
spent many hours cutting ribbons and tying them on to our
The only problem that I have is that I have too many
ideas to try and not enough hours in the day!
Sheila Stasak's Philosophy and Lessons (pdf)