MS All Star 2010

Charlotte Pickle

Teaching Philosophy, Program and Activities

Charlotte Pickle's Teaching Philosophy

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports printed a statement that said, “It is just as important to grow up fit as it is to grow up smart.”  Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Both of these statements emphasize what I believe to be true about physical education.  Teaching the “whole” student is not only mental training but also social, emotional, and physical.  Our program is not all about sports anymore.  We introduce activities that students’ can participate in for life.  It is not about athletics, it is about being active.  I want our students’ to enjoy physical activity, and what it takes to stay fit, so that they can continue to enjoy physical activity on into adulthood.

P.E. Program at Amory Middle School

We received the Project Fit Program at just the right time.  We were doing what we felt we needed to, to support our philosophy, but we needed more incentives and a new approach.  We have been doing Fitnessgram Fitness Testing for several years but the charting of their progress, putting their names on the wall for reaching higher levels, giving certificates and ribbons encouraged more participation and harder work to get to the next level.  Our students’ fitness levels indicated tremendous improvement. 

Our fitness level for upper body strength was extremely low.  The outdoor equipment gave us the proper means we needed to increase these levels.  The students’ did not realize they were working on this until we tested their upper body strength and the results showed improvement.  The students’ wondered how they had gotten better and we reminded them of the activities that emphasized it, and they too were amazed.

We were amazed at how hard the students will work for cups to build a pyramid or to build a track.  The Indy 500 indoor/Outdoor Cup Build is an activity the students love and it is a great activity for working on strength building and endurance levels. Incorporating Ten dollars and a Bone and Ten dollars and a Meal are just a couple of the students’ favorite activities.  We have also played this by letting the teams do the activities to collect as much money as possible until the bank goes broke.  They love this, and the winning team will then "bail the bank out”.  Another favorite is Indoor Soccer Battleball.  It is a high cardio activity with the best part being the students’ never get out.  Basketball Blitz is also a favorite.  We also use this as a lead-up activity for the annual “Hoops for Heart” competition to raise money for the American Heart Association.  We also support the Jump Rope for American Heart Association by encouraging jump rope activities.

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Thanks to Project Fit we have added Hubba Hubba Hula Hoop competition as well.  Before receiving the heavy hoops, our students’ thought hula hooping was too “elementary” for them.  However, the heavy hula hoops added excitement.  We had a contest where eight boys and girls tried to break the national record.  We had a girl, who was able to do that by hooping 5 hours, 54 minutes, and 58 seconds.  Her record has since been broken, but we have several who are looking forward to trying to beat the national record again.  

Wall of FameWe have the “Smile Mile” club for students’ who can jog a mile without stopping or walking.  We give ribbons or certificates, and they get to sign the Smile Mile chart.  We have “Level” clubs where the Pacer Challenge encourages individual achievement to get to the next level.  The students’ sign their name on the level chart and try to continue moving up to the next level.   The basketball pacer is a fun team activity to build endurance level.  We give certificates to the winning teams and they are posted on our “Wall of Fame.”

Every student eventually gets their name on the wall or a certificate on the wall.  This can be through team activities, individual accomplishments, or for being a respectful, cooperative student.   Recognition has added excitement to our program.

Wall of FameExamples of activities beyond physical education programming that we have had are a synchronized basketball dribbling team.  They performed at various clubs in our town and at half time of the basketball games at the high school.  We have a fitness room that is open for our students’, their parents, and faculty that has pieces of equipment that takes them through a 30 minute circuit providing a complete workout when completed.  This year our classes have access to an outdoor walking track that they are also able to use after school hours.  Students and their parents are taking advantage of this as well.

Lesson Plans

Basketball Pacer

Equipment: CD player; pacer CD; Measuring tape to mark off a 20 meter area; Cones; a basketball for each team (usually no more than six teams)

Skills: Builds aerobic endurance; encourages control dribbling; helps teach pacing skills; supports teamwork and cooperation.

Activity: Mark off a 20 meter course with cones. Divide the class into teams with no more than six on a team if possible. Three from each team will get on one end of the course and three from the same team will get on the opposite end of the course directly across from their teammates.. One basketball per team and all on the same end of the course in the hands of the first one in line. The CD will provide a 5 second countdown and instruct students to begin. Students will dribble the basketball across the area and hand the ball to their teammate in line and then go to the end of the line. At the sound of the beep, the second teammate with the ball will dribble across the course to the next teammate and hand them the ball and go to the end of the line. Students who do reach the opposite end 0f the course by dribbling before the beep are out and will sit down. The last team standing wins.

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Break the Bank

This is just a spin-off of 10.00 and a Bone. Instead of earning money to buy bones, the students will perform the activities to earn money to put under their team cone. They earn a dollar for each activity. When the instructor says, "The bank is broke! We need a bail out," each team will count their money to see who has earned the most. Each team will then return their money to the bank to bail the bank out..

Bulletin Board Bulletin Board Basketball
Hoops Weighted Hoops Hoops
Pyramid of Cups
Certificate Kong Kids


Our program would not be as successful as it is without the support of our principal, administration, and former nurse.  They have been instrumental in moving our program ahead of others.  Because of their leadership, the drink machines at our school are just water and juice.  Students’ are encouraged to carry bottle water with them throughout the day so as to be hydrated.  When the temperature is above 90 degrees our students are given bottle water to drink on the bus ride home.  Our food coordinator has been instrumental in leading this as well as revamping our lunch program to include less fried foods, introducing our students to healthy snacks to bridge the gap between breakfast and lunch and providing materials and websites to incorporate education in classrooms.

I would like to thank Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Their mission is to “improve the health and wellness of all Mississippians.”  This goal is reflected in the money that was given to bring the Project Fit Program to our state.  We have seen good results and a lot of improvement in our students’ health and fitness.

I would like to thank the Project Fit trainers for coordinating and demonstrating the activities.  Their advice and continued support has been instrumental in jump starting our program.  I feel because of Project Fit that I am a better teacher and that our students have a better understanding of how to be fit for life.

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