MS All Star 2010

Brandi Childers Shappley's

Teaching Philosophy, Program and Activities

Brandi Childers Shappley's Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is for every student to be ACTIVE. I do this by exposing them to a variety of skills and activities so they will enjoy being physically active throughout their adult life. I want all students to work hard and enjoy physical education (PE). I believe PE should be a positive experience for everyone so student’s will want to make good nutritional choices and enjoy being active. To me, PE is a class that incorporates lifelong skills along with preventing and learning about healthy growth and development. Students must succeed to stay interested and to boost their self esteem. I like to incorporate students’ interest into activities. Making the student feel important and having a choice will improve overall success.

The Project Fit America (PFA) program has been an exhilarating professional growth for me. It has allowed for so many possibilities for my students and has made me a better educator. I am dedicated to educate students why and how to be physically fit, and the PFA program has helped me succeed.

The students are motivated by the recognition of completing a challenge and the encouragement of each other. It’s so exciting looking at a student’s face that has just completed a challenge they have never been able to complete before. The sheer sense of accomplishment is a great motivation.

Our PE program has grown so much by having the PFA equipment! I now have more accurate records of students’ growth. Students now have an understanding of their body development and how the activities/equipment helps them in all components of physical fitness. The development of students’ knowledge about nutrition has also been something in the past that I’ve never been able to spend much time on. Now I can because of the PFA activities that involve learning about nutrition.

The obstacles I have encountered include the amount of time I have with the students each week and choosing what activities to do considering the facilities at my school. My students have PE once sometimes twice a week and I have a multi-purpose room. The wonderful outdoor PFA equipment has been a blessing and helped to overcome our obstacle of limited space. I am still working on the amount of time available for PE.

I have set goals to improve students’ BMI, endurance and upper body strength. This year I am sending each child’s BMI pre and post scores home to parents. Running has been a weakness for students so I have given incentives while running the mile run which I will mention later. We do modified pull-ups and push-ups to work toward reaching our goal of better upper body strength. All components of fitness will only improve if students continue to do activities outside PE. Students are highly encouraged to do physical activity in addition to the regular school day activities.

My students love Chart and Challenges. I did my Chart and Challenges the way my PFA instructor advised last year, but this year I decided to do something different to see how it works. I have posters that look like a page in a grade book. I color coordinated the posters with the color hallway each grade is on (e.g. red – 3rd, yellow – 4th, green – 5th and blue – 6th). Every students’ name is on the poster, such as a class roll. The student receives a checkmark for each challenge they complete; a hard copy is also kept. This is a way they can see their progress throughout the year. I don’t have enough wall space in my room to leave the charts up as advised last year, but using the color posters as you see in the pictures, I can leave them up all year. (see below). They love seeing their name on the charts and checkmark beside their name. I give an overall PE award at the end of the year to the students who meet every challenge we have throughout the school year (we have 12). In 2009-2010 of using PFA, two students received the Overall Star PE award. This school year, 2010-2011, there are many who are on their way to become an Overall Star PE student. The TCC has been such a positive impact on my students. It has fit into our PE curriculum well because I teach character education with every lesson. The TCC lessons and choosing yellow brick students have really improved behavior issues in my class and that means more time to focus on the lesson.

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Our PE program consists of many PFA Curriculum activities. I have a scope and sequence planned for the year and each 9 weeks I incorporate 3 challenges into my lessons. If they did not get bronze when I tested for bronze they are able to achieve bronze and/or silver when I test for silver. This helps them to have a realistic goal and try hard to achieve it. I give ribbons to the students who achieve silver (see photo at left) or gold during a challenge, and if they complete their Smile Mile without stopping. 

 Students engage in the outdoor stations during bunko and circuit training in preparation for their fitness test. The students love the outdoor workout. We do a lot of challenges with the different stations so even when they are practicing they are always trying to reach their goal as if they were participating in the challenge at that moment. Some other chart and challenges we do throughout the year are Ab fitness. I adapted the Ab fitness for my group of students and raised the bronze level to 30 sit-ups instead of 20.

Hubba Hubba Challenge is probably their favorite. They walk into class and they are excited when they see “Hubba Hubba Challenge” written on the board. So many students have improved with the Hubba Hubba Challenge. The main challenge is teaching students how to hoop correctly. When we are inside doing the Hubba Hubba Challenge the students who are not participating are required to do a certain exercise until their teammate stops hooping. This is an adaptation to keep everyone moving and on task.

circuit training

circuit training

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circuit training circuit training circuit training
Students engage in outdoor stations during Bunko and Circuit Training
circuit trainingcircuit training
Hubba Hubba Challenge

My students absolutely love the PFA cups “Line Jump” cup build is a great activity to get the students warmed up at the beginning of class. Sometimes I let them build cups around me (see below). Students participate in the “Rope Jump Challenge.”  We do this challenge during our jump rope unit and Jump Rope for Heart Event. I incorporate the challenge with the Jump Rope for Heart event. This event is very dear to my “heart” because my dad passed away last year from a heart attack at 60 years old. I put a lot of my energy into jump rope and the event. 

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The most challenging events for my students are the “Smile Mile” and the “Pacer Test.” Cardiovascular endurance is a weak area with my students. To motivate them to run they are allowed to bring earphones and music to listen while running their mile. This has helped tremendously, because they don’t stop to walk and talk with friends because they are enjoying the music playing. I have also been working with the Cross County high school coach to get more students involved in running. He donated t-shirts to give to the top 5 students in each grade who improve their mile run pre to post test.  

push ups

Beyond physical education programming: I have started an afterschool Cup Stacking Club with speed stacks and PFA cups that meets once a month. Students work on all areas of fitness with building and building. Cup building is a great activity that works on coordination, speed, reaction, and ambidexterity. In the photo at left, students are doing pushups and building a 3-6-3 stack as they do in Cup Stacking, a unit they enjoy. I have been a Jump Rope for Heart Coordinator for the following years: 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. I assist with Special Olympics. 

Listed below are activities and programs I am affiliated with that go beyond what is required of me as a physical education teacher:

  • District Physical Education Coordinator where I organize and develop the physical education program in my district Mississippi Department of Education Physical Education Frameworks committee. I am helping to write the frameworks in PE for our state for 2012-2018.
  • In November 2009 I became a National Board Certified physical education teacher which has made me a better teacher.
  • Member of American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) and Mississippi Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (MAHPERD). Being involved with these organizations keep me current on new ideas and activities for my students.
  • I am a board member for MAHPERD
  • I have attended numerous workshops
  • Actively involved in my school’s Health Council and Tate County Community Heath Council by sharing ideas on how to improve health among our students and community
  • School Health Fair presenter 2011
  • Wrote and received grants from Project Fit American worth $25,000 and Endowment for Excellence $3,000 used for SPARK curriculum.
  • Fundraising for our PE program, this year we raised $1,000!
  • Senatobia Middle School Teacher of the Year 2009-2010
  • MAHPERD Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year 2010
Praise Board


TCC is very important to me so I have a Praise Board to recognize the Yellow brick student of the week and the class of the week. I have another board with quotes and rules to remind students how to be a yellow brick student.

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Rhythms/Dance is one of my favorite units. When I start the song ice cream and cake it makes everyone in the room smile and laugh. I don’t know if they are laughing at me making a fool of myself or because the song is so fun. I incorporate modern day line dances and folk dance. Line Dances that we do include Cotton Eyed Joe, The Electric Slide, Cupid Shuffle, and The California Strut. The Virginia Reel is a great folk dance I teach every year. It takes a lot of time, but it is remarkable to see the end result. I let my 6th graders (oldest in the school) perform the dance during awards banquet at the end of the year and they love it.  

I had a wonderful in-service instructor last fall to learn how to utilize all the PFA equipment and curriculum. It has been a wonderful positive experience working with PFA. Everyone is always so willing to help in anything me or my school needs. PFA has increased our PE program because of the wonderful, useful curriculum and equipment. My students have the tools to reach their personal fitness goals thanks to PFA and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi. In the short time we have had PFA at our school I have learned so much and met so many physical educators. Thank you PFA for all you do! You do an outstanding job reaching our youth to become physically fit.

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Some of my favorite Lessons outside of the PFA Curriculum

Fitness fun cards: 

Fitness fun Fitness Cups Exercise Fun

About 300 PFA cups
3 deck of cards
Activity Sheet posted on the wall for students to see


  • Divide the teams into groups of 4-6
  • Place decks of playing cards in the center of the room/gym
  • Have one member of each group (the leader) draw one card from the deck of cards
  • The leader and the members of the group will perform an activity designated by the number on the card that was drawn. You can see an example of the wall chart for all cards in  picture 2

2=8 jumping jacks; 3=8 squats; 4=8 heel touches; 5=8 star jumps; 6=8 wall push-ups; 7=16 jumping jacks; 8=16 squats; 9=16 heel touches; 10=16 star jumps; jack=16 wall push-ups; queen=jogging in place for 30 seconds; king=8 hops on each foot; ace=free choice of any activity.  (A star jump is a jump with arms and legs spread: an exercise in which a person jumps in the air with legs apart and arms extended out from the shoulder in a comparable direction.)

  • Once the entire group completes the activity task, the leader will get 5 cups for his/her group to begin building.
  • After the leader gets back with the cups and the team builds, a new member (new leader) of the group will draw a new card from the deck.
  • This activity continues until all members of the group have had an opportunity to be the leader.
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Bonker Ball

1 ball (tennis or ragball) per group of 5-6 students
1 foam or plastic bat per group of 5-6 students
1 batting tee or tall cone per group of 5-6 students
2 bases (or spot markers) per group of 5-6 students
4 cones for each group of 5-6 students (for boundaries of grid)

Adaptation to the lesson - If you don’t have a safe foam or plastic bat you can have the student students to throw the ball instead of hit the ball and follow the same rules below. 

Set up fields:

  • Create 1 large rectangular grid per group of 5-6
  • Place 1 tee or tall cone at home base/plate in the middle of baseline, and the other base 10 paces toward the opposite base line. The pitcher stands in front of this base, but is free to move back if they feel too close.
  • Groups of 5-6: 1 catcher standing 5 giant steps behind batter, 1 batter (can bat off tee or ask the pitcher to pitch to him/her) 1 pitcher (can pitch and not use tee with older students), and 2 fielders per field (3 if playing with 6 per group).
  • Small games are spread out on fields with catchers’ backs to a fence or wall, if possible. Batter hits be ball off the tee or from the pitcher.


  • The object of the game is for the batter to score as many runs as possible.
  • Play begins with a hit which is hit into fair territory. Batter then runs around the 2 bases as many times as possible.
  • Fielders, relay the ball to each person in the group. Last person to catch it throws it home to the catcher.
  • The batter has 3 chances to hit the ball fair, and it must travel at least as far as the pitcher. No “bunts” allowed. There are no fly-ball outs. The ball must be relayed to everyone on every play
  • Catchers, when you catch the ball, touch a foot on home and shout “Stop!” to stop the batter from running any further
  • The batter keep circling the cones until you hear “Stop!”
  • After each play, rotate in the shape of a question mark: L Field to Center to R Field to Pitcher to Batter to Catcher to L Field. (see diagram below)

Bonker Ball

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Virginia Reel Dance:

Recommended song is American Folk Dance Medley (Spark Music CD)
Partner students with boy and girl facing each other 8 steps away from each other. Place spot markers or tape to determine home (start) position.

Virginia Reel

Part 1 – “The Turn”
Honor your partner – walk forward – boys bow/girls curtsey on count 4 and walk back to your home position. (8 count)

  • Allemande Right (R) – walk forward meet partner, join R elbows and turn 1 full circle: Walk back home (8 count)
  • Allemande Left (L) – Same as above but with L elbow (8 count)
  • Join hands – Walk forward, meet partner, join both hands, and turn 1 full circle clockwise: walk back home (8 count)
  • Do-Si-Do – With arms across your chest, walk forward passing partners R, When back to back, take 1 step to R, and walk backwards passing L shoulders and walk backwards home. (8 count)

Part 2 – “The Reel”

  • Head couple (red X) – Link R arms in the middle
  • 1 ½ turns around (similar to Allemande)
  • Head lady turns to the second boy in line and link L arms and do a complete turn
  • Head Boy turns the second girl in line and link L arms and do a complete turn
  • Head couple return to the middle and turn each other again with R arm
  • Continue with each swinging the next in line until you reach the foot (end) of the line where they swing (turn) each other ½ a turn this is so the lady finishes on her own side and the boy on his.
  • Chasse (slide sideways with hands joined down the middle) to the head of the set then Cast Off (girl turns to the right and all the other girls follow her while the boy turns to the left and the other boys follow him).
  • Make and Arch with your arms and hands
  • Each couple will Chasse under the Arch and move up one spot toward the head couple (toward the red X) After each couple has finished, the head couple will back up at the last spot. Everyone has a new home position.
  • There is now a new head couple and the dance starts over the Part 1 – “The Turn.” Continue doing the dance over and over until each couple has had a chance to be the head couple. 

Cotton-Eyed Joe

    • Heel, heel, toe, toe 1-4
    • Heel, heel, toe, toe 5-8
    • Grapevine right 1 clap
    • Grape vine left 1 clap
    • (Repeat)
    • Two-step right left right
    • Two-step left right left
    • (Repeat)
    • Turn and face your partner
    • 2 hand swing your partner
    • right elbow swing your partner
    • Left elbow swing your partner
    • Do-si-do your partner
    • Make a bridge with your partner, other partners go through

Repeat the whole dance and have a knee patting good time!!!


During these lessons everyone is always ACTIVE and MOVING! I LOVE IT!!!


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Thank you Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi for supporting our school!!

We appreciate that you see the need for this wonderful program and your efforts to improve the health and fitness of our future generation. 

I would like to give a special thank you to Superintendent Michael Hood, Principal Ms. Mazie Lamb, past Principal Dr. Angie Brock, Assistant Principal Dewayne Herrington, Nurse Teresa Roberson, and Nurse Angie Crockett. You have all helped in making Project Fit America a part of our school and community. Thank you for all your patience and hard work in preparing for the grant! I appreciate the faculty and staff at Senatobia Middle School, parents, and the community for all your support. We couldn’t have made PFA possible without you!


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