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Name: Colleen Wegimont
Over the past few years, I have taken a new approach to physical education. My kindergartners and first graders are the Explorers and the second through fifth graders are the PE Scientists at Oak Ridge. The Explorers focus on movement exploration, locomotor skills, rhythm and dance activities, manipulative skills, and learning to move in personal and general space.
The PE Scientists wear pedometers. They are looking into the how's and why's of movement as they work on their motor, sports-related, and health-related fitness activities and skills. The children work on concepts, as well as skills, meeting the Pennsylvania State Health and Physical Education Standards.
I have worked closely with our music teacher in developing music and dance steps for my physical education classes. She wrote two songs, "Digi Song" and "Hoop It Up", specifically for our use with pedometers and hula-hoops. I wrote the exercise and movement cues for the "Hoop It Up" song. The inclusion of these songs into my curriculum has added a fun dimension to the learning and movement experience for all the children.
My strength is in my ability to collaborate with other professionals, and to model a lifestyle that promotes a healthy, active lifestyle. I teach on the premise that each child has a gift or talent. My job is to help my students discover their gifts or talents and be successful. It is all about the kids. I walk the talk and my involvement in a variety of school activities and clubs has helped to strengthen my rapport with my students, parents, and staff.
Dance and music are essential parts of my program. I collaborate with my music teacher and we have created songs and dances for our programs. Each of my students could be an active and successful participant at a wedding reception.
Recess is an extension of my PE program at Oak Ridge, with the children applying their knowledge and skills on the playground. Refereeing techniques have been taught in my PE classes, allowing the students to apply their leadership skills during self-initiated games and activities.
Physical Education is for every child, not just the athlete. Each of us has one body and we need to know how to take care of it. I believe that it is my responsibility to provide opportunities for each child to grow and to develop skills and talents at his or her own pace and ability. I want my students to be learners - thinkers as well as doers. My ultimate goal is to help my students strive to lead healthy and active lifestyles and provide them with the tools and knowledge to develop their own personal fitness plans.
Being a Teacher of the Year is a special honor and a humbling experience for me. This award validates my physical education program at Oak Ridge Elementary School. It pushes me to continue to learn so I can provide my students with a quality physical education program. It also means that I need to give back and share with other professionals in the field. I feel blessed to be a physical education teacher and have the opportunity to share this gift with others.
What do you do to help other physical education teachers plan and implement exemplary programs?
I am member of the Souderton Area School District's Wellness Committee and helped to create the monthly wellness messages for the classroom teachers. Each year, I make a presentation to the SASD elementary physical education teachers and update them on the sessions at the PSAHPERD, EDA, and AAHPERD Conventions that I have attended.
I also presented an Action Based Learning session to the Oak Ridge classroom teachers. This movement portion of the Tree House program helped our struggling readers with hand-eye coordination, balance, and crossing the midline.
I present regularly at the PSAHPERD and EDA Conventions for Jump Rope for Heart, in addition to physical education programs. I enjoy sharing and collaborating with student teachers and colleagues.
"Miss Wegimont is a great teacher who always supports others and helps if kids need help." -Ricki Lee, 5th grade
"I will always remember Miss Wegimont's sense of humor and our fun Field Day every year." -Ryan, 5th grade
"Miss Wegimont always makes PE safe, educational, and most of all, fun." -Sarah, 5th grade "
"Miss Wegimont is always encouraging people to try their best." -Jason, 5th grade
"I will never forget how Miss Wegimont is always eager to teach us new things. She makes learning fun and NEVER boring." -Caleigh, 5th grade
"Miss Wegimont always made things fun by always having enough energy to do everything. She is always upbeat." -Melissa, 5th grade
"Miss Wegimont is kind because she gives everyone a second chance at everything." -Kayla, 4th grade
"Ms. Wegimont is kind because if you don't get something right, she helps you get it right." -Katryna, 4th grade
"She cares because all kids are equal to her. She's kind because she makes everyone feel they can do it." -Maddy, 4th grade
"Collaboration: Music and Physical Education" The music and physical education teachers at Oak Ridge, shared their original songs and music using pedometers and hula-hoops. Other ways music is used in PE classes were demonstrated. This was an activity session and participants also viewed two DVD's created at Oak Ridge. - Presented at the 2008 EDA Convention
"Counting Your Steps to Fitness" Using a pedometer in physical education and the second grade classroom. This was a collaborative effort and the start of the "PE Scientist" concept. - Presented at the PSAHPERD Convention
"The integration of Math, Language Arts, and Physical Education" Sharing the Oak Ridge Tree House Program. This is a collaborative effort of the Title teachers, Language Arts Specialist, and the Physical Education teacher. This movement program is designed on the Action Based Learning concept. - Presented at the Tri-County Reading Council Literacy Fest