Jenna Thomas

Jenna Thomas' and Thomas Notte's

Teaching Philosophy, Program and Activities


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Thomas Notte

Jenna Thomas' Teaching Philosophy

CupsI believe it is extremely important for a health and physical education teacher to promote success for each and every one of his/her students.  It is important for the teacher to treat the students in a uniform manner while adapting the curriculum to the different levels of a child’s development:  socially, mentally, physically, and intellectually.  Students should feel comfortable in the presence of the teacher as well as their peers.

A health and physical education teacher should create a safe, positive and friendly environment conducive to learning.  In both health and physical education, teachers should focus on building the self-esteem of all students.  In order to accomplish this goal, respect (along with safety) should be the most important rule in the gymnasium or classroom setting.  Students should have respect for themselves, other students and their teacher.  If respect is established in the gymnasium or classroom setting, then everything else should fall naturally into place.  Listening to others, raising hands in order to speak out loud, and appreciating others’ similarities as well as accepting their differences are all important measures of respect.  Students would then think twice before ridiculing another individual in the class.  However, if a student were to put down another student, the rule of one put down requires the disrespectful student to give two ‘put ups’ should be applied.  A put up is a positive comment about another individual, but it may not be materialistic.

Parallel barsAnother important attribute for a health and physical education teacher is to be able to connect with the students.  It is important to be current with the interests of the students (ex. Jonas Brothers, Twilight Series, Wii, etc).  If teachers can relate what they are trying to teach to the interests of the students, they will be much more successful.  Teachers will be able to spark the students’ interest and motivate them in the activity/topic being discussed.  It would be even more beneficial to the students if the topic were connected to the other subjects in the school’s curriculum (integrated curriculum).

For example, in the elementary setting, I teach a lesson “$10.00 Mr. Potato Head”, which incorporates math involving money exchange.  In order to capture my students’ attention, I include an Indiana Jones Special Edition Mr. Potato Head for all 5 groups.  I tell my students there is a special surprise at the end once they complete their goal.  Critical thinking is also applied to my lesson with the following questions:

How were the muscles of the month used during this class activity?
What skills were performed during this activity?
Where do you deal with money regular basis?

What different types of bills do you use to make purchases? $1 $5 $10 $20 $50 $100
If you trade your $1.00 bills for bigger ones you would receive?

Examples:
FIVE  $1.00 bills = 1  $5.00 bill
TEN  $1.00 bills = 2  $5.00 bills or ONE  $10.00 bill

If time is permitted and class has completed the activity, I use flash cards for closure.  The cards have words that refer to my lesson; potato, head, dollar, money.  As a group, I have students say the words out loud and then go over each spelling.  Depending on the grade level, I have students either think of rhyming words or even put the words into a sentence (a complete thought).  This method can be put to use in any activity.  In a basketball lesson, words such as hoop, shoot, ball, net, point, etc. can be utilized.

i In health and physical education, I believe the teacher should stress the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle.  In addition, the teacher should try to eliminate competitive sports especially in the elementary setting.  A health and physical education teacher should instead focus on lessons involving critical thinking and cooperative learning.

Lastly, the overall goal of a health and physical education teacher is to assist in the whole development of the student.  Physical educators have the privilege to help the student develop physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, as well as intellectually.  I embrace the challenge and opportunity.

SitupsMy Background
I attended the University of Delaware under graduate program.  Upon completion of my externship at Morristown Sports Medicine, I realized physical therapy was not my forte.   I then attended Montclair State University for my Master of Arts in Teaching.  I then taught health and physical education for six years in Moorestown Public School district in Moorestown, New Jersey.  I thoroughly enjoyed each year and realized I had found my calling.  I then applied to Bedminster because of the direction my life was heading, as well as the outstanding reputation of Bedminster School District.  I am now in my sixth year of teaching PE in Bedminster School District, Bedminster, New Jersey.

I have  participated in a variety of activities and sports since my time here in Bedminster.  This includes chaperoning field trips, coaching soccer, coaching intramural field hockey, girls on the run, jump rope for heart and organizing the ski club program with Mr. Notte. 

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Thomas Notte's Teaching Philosophy

Pole climbTumbling

John Albert Michener once said that “character consists of what you do on the third and fourth try.”  This very quote is the essence of my teaching philosophy.  For the past six years, I have been teaching Physical Education and Health at Bedminster Township School.  I began this profession with a preconceived philosophy.  While maintaining a framework, my philosophy is consistently being shaped and remains fluid.  After teaching for a year with the help of my parents, whom are both Physical Education teachers, as well as my colleagues, my teaching philosophy changed once again.  The cornerstone is a constant.  My students must be active.  It is my desire that each student is active and at the same time making fitness a part of their daily lives.  While instilling the necessity for healthy lifestyle, it is important to allow ample time for fun.  It is my experience that students work harder, are more active, try new things and cooperate effectively if they are having fun.  If these are securely in place through effective instruction and modeling, student progress is inevitable; even if it takes the third or fourth try.  Working with PFA equipment and lessons affords me the opportunity to have each student active and showing signs of success.

Soccer BlitzIn order to achieve my goals delineated in my philosophy, I believe in a positive approach when communicating with my students.  This includes accolades as well as constructive criticism.  This gives the students a chance to enjoy success, but also understand what it takes to improve. Acknowledgement student various achievements is a big motivational tool for my students.  My favorite award to give out is called a “Super Effort Award.”  This award is not confined to the best free throw, the best spike, or the fastest runner.  This can be earned by the most helpful classmate, the biggest accomplishment, or showing good sportsmanship.

Teaching is ongoing.  On a daily basis, I strive to serve a strong role model for my students,  Since I have became a part of the Bedminster family, I have participated in a variety of activities and sports.  This includes chaperoning field trips, coaching lacrosse, soccer and basketball, organizing the ski club program with Mrs. Thomas.  Additionally, I coach two competitive soccer teams.  On a personal note, I have always loved playing sports and maintaining an active lifestyle.  I want my students to experience this very same passion. 

My Goal is to make each student enjoy the time the spent in PE class and with the help of PFA I have been able to reach this goal.

Note:  Tom is also the head women’s soccer coach at Felician College. View article featuring Tom on the Felician Athletics website.

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Bedminster Student Favorites

The Pacer Elite has been a favorite for the 5th – 8th graders. We have the students participate in the pacer exercise once a month. The students can keep track of how they are doing and if they are making progress with the activity. The students that finish in the top 5 can put there name on the Pacer Elite Poster. Once your name is up on the poster it stays for a year. This is a great activity because students can learn to pace themselves during the run. The learn not to just go out and sprint until they are tired. Students also can see the changes in their aerobic capacity and fitness level every month. We also look to push our more advanced athletes to beat the level they made it to the previous month. It is great to see the look on a students face when they beat the level they made it to last month. This is a great activity for all students at all levels.

Bucket BlitzBucket Blitz is also a big hit among 4th - 8th grades. This activity not only incorporates basketball but includes fitness as well. The students don’t even realize how hard they are working until the end. We have many spots to shot from and each spot has a number on it. When the student makes a basket they pick up the spot and get the points of the number written on the spot. The higher numbers are further away from the baskets. So strategy also plays a part for the students. Do they want to shoot close and get a lower amount points with a better chance of scoring or shoot far away and try to get a higher amount of points but a lower chance of scoring. Then the students have to add up there points which incorporates math (cross curriculum) and it is not easy to think when you’re tired. Every time we use this activity the winning group puts their name on the Bucket Blitz Poster. The smile on student’s faces during this activity is wonderful. We have also added some extensions to this activity. When the students are waiting for their turn they have to complete 1 of 3 activities: 10 push-ups, 20 jumping jacks, 30 flutter kicks.

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Lesson Plan - 1st Grade Physical Education: Physical Fitness for Cups

Lesson 2  (NJ standard 2. 6  A B C)
Objective:  Students will participate in an organized fitness Project Fit America activity.  Students will understand the importance of  SAFETY, HONESTY, FRIENDLY TEAMWORK, ETIQUITTE and PROPER TECHNIQUE during this activity.

CupsEquipment:  Project Fit Cups, stereo, music, jump ropes, cones
Warm Up:  Teacher will have students perform a light aerobic activity to get muscles warm.  In addition students will perform a group stretch. 

Activity:  Physical Fitness for Cups
Procedure:  The cafeteria will be divided into three working stations.  Teacher will break students up into groups of three and four.  Students will be given a fitness task in a specified area in the cafeteria.  Each time the task is completed by the students as a group they each receive a certain amount of cups from the specified cup area.  Remind students these cups are somewhat fragile and need to be treated with great respect.  The students as a “GROUP” together decide where their group will begin their building in the cup building designated area.  When the students are done building, they run back to fitness task area and begin doing round 2 in which at that point the teacher will designate the new number of cups.  Teacher can also have groups add or subtract cups to the original amount to come up with the number to incorporate math into the lesson.     In addition, teacher will vary the fitness task i.e. jumping rope, sit-ups, ski jumps depending on the classes

Theme: to build something found in the sky

4 Fall Rule:  if, while a group is building, 4 or more of their cups fall to the floor, they must immediately grab all cups that fell and return them neatly to the cup wall.  Cups that did not fall may stay! They then return to the fitness area and begin the next round.

Interference Rule:
If your carelessness causes another group’s stack to fall.
They do not have to take back the cups that fell.
They may have all of your cups, except for your bottom row.
Your group MUST START OVER AT ROUND ONE LEVEL!!!

Safety: Students must be aware of the people around them, and must not hit anyone else’s cups.
Assessment: Teacher will observe students to see if they are active the whole time as well as follow directions.  In addition, teacher will observe whether the students work well with their partners/groups.
Assessment: Ask the students the following questions:

  1. What do you think gained from participating in this cup activity?  (working together as a group, allowed for creativity,
  2. How was the muscle of the month (HEART) involved during this class activity? 
  3. What skills were performed during this activity? 

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Lesson Plan for 3rd Grade Physical Education - Bedminster Island

Lesson 2  (NJ standard 2. 6  A B C)
Objective:  Students will participate in an organized group activity.  Students will understand the importance of COMMUNICATION, COOPERATION, and TEAMWORK during this activity.

cupsEquipment:  gymnastics, steps
Warm Up:  Teacher will have students perform a light aerobic activity to get muscles warm.  In addition students will perform a group stretch.  Teacher will simultaneously quiz all students verbally the location of the “muscles of the month”.

Activity:  BEDMINSTER ISLAND
Procedure:  Approximately 6 tumbling mats and 2 or 3 steppers will be placed strategically throughout the gym floor.  Teacher will describe the scenario of what is expected of Students will be given a fitness task in a specified area in the cafeteria.  Each time the task is completed by the students as a group they each receive a certain amount of cups from the specified cup area.  Remind students these cups are somewhat fragile and need to be treated with great respect.  The students as a “GROUP” together decide where their group will. 

Rules:
If your carelessness causes another group’s stack to fall.
They do not have to take back the cups that fell.
They may have all of your cups, except for your bottom row.
Your group MUST START OVER AT ROUND ONE LEVEL!!!

Safety: Students must be aware of the people around them.
Assessment: Teacher will observe students to see if they are active the whole time as well as follow directions.  In addition, teacher will observe whether the students work well as a group.
Assessment: Ask the students the following questions:
 

  1. What do you think gained from participating in this cup activity?  (working together as a group, allowed for creativity,
  2. How were the muscles of the month involved during this class activity? 
  3. What skills were performed during this activity? 

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Lesson Plan for 3rd Grade Physical Education - Aerobics Scrabble

Lesson 2  (NJ standard 2. 6  A B C)
Objective:  To incorporate spelling into a physical activity.

Equipment:  Scooters, hula hoops, 28 poly spots, music, letters, buckets  cones
Warm Up:  Teacher will have students perform a light aerobic activity to get muscles warm.  In addition students will perform a group stretch.  Review the two muscles learned. (Name and location) 
Activity:  Aerobics Scrabble

Procedure:  – Students will be divided into 4 teams.  Each team will be given a name.  Each team will stand behind a cone in a line.   One at a time each student will:

  • hop scotch
  • hula hoop 5 X
  • ride a scooter down until they reach the bucket containing letters.   Student will pick one letter out of the box without looking and bring the letter back to the team.

The objective of this event is for the students to create words out of the letters obtained.  The team with the most words at the end of the time wins. 

Spelling Word List silent e words (prize, stone, etc) = 3 pts

Halloween related words (witch, pumpkin, ghost etc.) or colors (black/orange) are worth double points.  (2pts)

Halloween (5 pts)

Safety: Students must be aware of the people around them, and must stay in his her designated area
Assessment: Teacher will observe students to see if they are active the whole time as well as follow directions.  In addition, teacher will observe whether the students work well with their partners/groups at forming words.
Assessment: Ask the students the following questions:
 

  1. What do you think gained from participating in this activity?  (working together as a group, allowed for creativity,
  2. What skills were performed during this activity?  (spelling)

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Lesson Plan for 2nd Grade Physical Education - Bedminster 500!

Lesson 2  (NJ standard 2. 6  A B C & standard 3.11)

Objective:  Students will participate in an organized group activity.  Students will understand the importance of COMMUNICATION, COOPERATION, and TEAMWORK during this activity.

Equipment:  Cones, scooters, pedometers, poly spots, flags (green, yellow, white, checkered and red

Warm Up:  Teacher will have students perform a light aerobic activity to get muscles warm.  In addition students will perform a group stretch.  Teacher will simultaneously quiz all students verbally the location of the “muscles of the month”.  Teacher will then have students pick up their assigned pedometer.

Activity:  BEDMINSTER 500!
Procedure:  Make an oval track in the gym/cafe using cones, on the front stretch of the track and leave 2 openings, one for entering "pit row" and one for exiting "pit row". Place poly spots marking the spots for the "pit crew". Divide the class into groups of 3. One waits on the spot, while one on the scooter, the last person is the "fanatic fan" that is jumping up and down cheering around the perimeter of the space. All students are wearing a pedometer.

Start all scooters (2 abreast) down "pit row". Quickly go over the rules, must be seated on your scooter, pit crew needs to step in place while car is out on track, fans are jumping up and down around the perimeter. Talk about basic scooter safety rules. Teacher uses the flags.

Flags:

  • Yellow (caution) - slow down
  • Red - stops race for weather or bad crash
  • White - one lap left
  • Green - go fast and under control
  • Checkered - ends race

Each racer goes two laps. After two laps, rotations occur in the "pit row". The rotation is: driver to fanatic fan to pit crew to driver. Team sets a goal for the number of steps they will accumulate in one six lap race. Add all three teammates steps together. (*Incorporates math - adding up teams steps).

Safety: Remind students to be careful of equipment during warm- up(he or she may slip/trip).  Students must be aware of the people around them. 

Assessment: Ask the students the following questions:
Number of steps accumulated in a race?
Did the team set an accurate goal?
Can they exceed the number of steps in the next race?
How were the muscles of the month involved during this class activity? 

What skills were performed during this activity? 

Teacher may reward a student or students with a “super effort award.” if deemed appropriate at the end of the class.  A student receives a certificate for various reasons during PE class.  For example, a student may receive a certificate for displaying good sportsmanship or for simply assisting another student that may be having difficulty during PE class.  When a student accumulates five “super effort awards “a letter is sent home to notify the parents.

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Indoor Lesson Plan - Soccer Bowling Bucket Blitz

Soccer BlitzGrades:  K-8

National Standard:
The learner will demonstrate competency in a variety of movement forms and proficiency in a few to gain competence towards lifetime physical activities.

Equipment: 
Poly Spots scattered all over gym floor
Gator balls are to be placed beside of each cone
Cones are to be set outside the black court line around the gym
Bowling pins are place along the perimeter of the gym
The spots at mid court are worth 3 points.

Set-up:

Bucket Blitz setup

Procedure:
Try to make teams no bigger than 3.  Teams line up behind the cone.  Remind the kids that this is a TCC activity and that they need to use the Zombie Stare. (Teamwork, Cooperation, Communication)

Soccer Blitz

Game Play:
First player behind each cone picks up ball and jogs out to a poly spot.  Using the underhand throw, he/she will bowl trying to knock down a pin.  If the player succeeds, he/she will pick up his/her poly spot, get ball and return to his/her cone and place the poly spot under the cone.  The player will then hand the ball to the next player and wait for his/her next turn.  When all of the spots are under the cones, the game is over.  Have each team tally their poly spots to see who won.  Scatter spots again and play again!  For the upper grades, use a different shape or color poly spot to set in more difficult locations, those spots should be worth more points.

Safety:  Tell students to be careful, watching out for others as they jog to their spots -- Zombie Stare!

Download a PDF of this lesson plan.

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