This week for the Featured PE Teacher section on the PE Central Facebook page, the spotlight is on Angie Ellis:
I teach Kindergarten and 1st grade at Washington K-1 in Tiffin City School District, Tiffin, Ohio. I am also the Chairperson of our District Wellness Committee. I teach approximately 375 students each year. I am currently in my 5th year of teaching.
Current Lesson Plan/Unit:
I am currently teaching my gymnastics unit. This is a 2-week unit that focuses on basic tumbling/rolls and balancing. The first week students learn and practice various rolls on mats (rocking horse, egg roll, log roll, forward roll—with support from myself, etc.). The second week, I focus on balancing. I set up an awesome balancing course that students rotate through throughout class, which they really enjoy. I also play a “Feed the Shark” activity that incorporates underhand tossing to a target on the balance beams that adds a fun challenge to the balancing skills we work on, which the students love to play.
PE Focus for 2017:
My goal is to introduce a wide variety of movement and fitness activities in a way that enables all students to have fun, feel success, and look forward to their physical education classes. When students leave my program, in addition to the basic fundamental movement skills, I want an intrinsic motivation and confidence to be in place so each child continues to lead happy, physically active, healthy lifestyles. In addition to being very passionate about providing a high-quality, enjoyable Physical Education program for my students, I am also very passionate about providing enjoyable physical activity opportunities for my students outside of the physical education curriculum because research has proven that active kids do better! I work very hard to provide my students with multiple enjoyable physical activity opportunities throughout the school day/year from which they benefit in numerous ways such as a daily Morning Movement Time routine, an annual Get Out and Walk Day event held in conjunction with National Walk to School Day in October, an awesome recess running program, annual super successful Hoops For Heart events that have raised over $23,000 for the American Heart Association the past 4 years, Family Fitness Fun Nights, and collaborating with classroom teachers on ways to integrate physical activity breaks into their teaching days. I am very proud of my efforts of providing high-quality Physical Education and fun physical activity opportunities for my students that has earned my Physical Education program and my school a lot of recognition and numerous district, state, and national honors and awards.
Favorite Lesson Plan/Unit:
My favorite unit is my Drumming With Fitness Unit that I developed specifically for physical education during my student teaching based off of the Drums Alive program. This is a 2-week unit that focuses on the rhythm benchmark. Students learn about rhythm and how it relates to physical activity by drumming and moving in time to a beat. After learning the basic drumming cues and fitness movements (jumping jacks, lunges, squats, arm raises, knee raises, etc.) that are performed throughout the drumming routines, students perform multiple fun drumming routines such as partner drumming routines, cognitive question and answer drumming routines, circle drumming routines, and scarf drumming routines all done to fun, kid-friendly songs. The unit culminates with an awesome drumming concert with the lights off where the stage is decorated with strands of lights and glow-sticks are attached to the drumsticks, which looks really cool in the dark while students are drumming. Students have a blast participating in this unique, out-of-the-box unit, getting a tremendous amount of FUN exercise, and I have a blast teaching it every year!
What is your favorite part about being a PE teacher?
My favorite part of being a P.E. teacher is being able to make a difference in my students’ lives every day helping them achieve success at their full learning potential, motivating them, encouraging them, and teaching them the fundamental movement skills, knowledge, and instilling confidence needed to lead and enjoy a lifetime of physical activity, good health, and wellness. I take advantage of every opportunity I can to teach and encourage my students to be physically active every day using this simple little rhyme I created, “60 minutes EVERY day; get up and move, go out and play,” whether they are opportunities I provide for them here at school or opportunities they participate in on their own time. I LOVE what I do, and I do what I LOVE!