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Name: Dan Persse
One of the newest and innovative activities that I do with my 4th and 5th grade students involves the use of Fitfolios®. Students in physical education class work on Fitfolios® fitness assessments to coincide with their skill units (e.g. 1/2-mile run/jog with the soccer unit, shuttle-run with the basketball unit, etc.). After students perform a fitness pre-test, they are encouraged to practice during PE class and out of class. The Fitfolio® is a tool to help them, through written work, to identify the health-related component(s) being assessed (e.g. 1/2- mile run = cardiorespiratory endurance & muscular endurance), vocabulary specific to health and physical education, their state physical education assessments, and the FITT principle while improving for their fitness post-assessment.
Within Fitfolio® work students develop a (realistic) goal score to attain for each of the five fitness assessments (1/2-mile run/jog, shuttle-run, sit and reach, curl-ups, and push-ups), a plan on how to achieve that goal score, identify barriers that would affect their plan, strategies to overcome their barriers, and identify two physical activities that they can do outside of school to help with their goal score. Fitfolio® work is completed as homework and assessed on their report card. For assessment of their written plan I use our state's comprehensive writing rubric: Conventions, Organization, and Style. Students are also assessed on individual improvement for each of the fitness assessments in addition to their written homework.
Another innovative activity involves my 4th grade students. I have taken one of our state's Classroom Based Assessments for Health and turned it into a poster contest, "Stomp Out Second Hand Smoke". Students are given specific prompts, conduct research during and out of class to support their presentation, and then develop a poster displaying their information gathered. Each of the 165 4th grade student posters are displayed outside the PE classroom (the "Hall of Health") during the week of "Kick Butts Day".
Other activities include Jump Rope for Heart, PE Central Challenge, the Pumpkin Run, Project ACES, and Field Day.
My particular expertise to teaching physical education revolves our state and the national standards, and how I can use these standards to help ALL students achieve a quality physical education. I use seven enjoyable and challenging skill theme units throughout the year to help students throw, catch, dribble, kick, punt, strike, run, climb, dance, and tumble while incorporating health- and skill-related fitness concepts. My main focus during the teaching of these units is individual specific feedback that gains a child's trust while building their skills and confidence on their own level of proficiency.
I believe ALL students should know and be able to do a variety of skills that will lead to a healthy active lifestyle. Without these skills students will be less involved and less likely to become and stay active. With these skills students will become confident and competent movers for the rest of their life. As I guide students through my curriculum they, and I, uncover a variety of learning opportunities that lead to meaningful discoveries related to all aspects of health and physical education. To help students understand HOW and WHY we do what we do can they feel successful and supported as an individual learner.
Receiving the physical education Teacher of the Year award has been a humbling experience. This award represents many enjoyable years of working with a variety of dedicated professionals, mentors, and students that have helped me develop a better understanding of our unique and dynamic teaching profession, and the students I work with. Throughout this process I have become more focused and deliberate with my professional and personal responsibility to teach and learn the best I can for the benefit of my students.
I help other physical education teachers plan and implement exemplary programs in many ways. Through my physical education website I have mentored and dialogued with a variety of physical education teachers across the country at various levels of teaching – student teaching to the university level. I find that through these discussions I develop a better understanding of the variety of contexts teachers teach in. I also host student teaching interns to co-teach within my program. I find great value in pre-service teaching programs in that through active participation and dialogue I can develop close professional working relationships with other teachers as a mentor, colleague, and friend.
Another aspect to helping teachers plan and implement exemplary programs can be seen in the variety of presentations that I have done over the years. I very much enjoy going to various school districts across our state to deliver and receive teaching concepts and ideas that lead to better instruction for my students back in my classroom.
"I like how Mr. Persse has different units so we can learn different skills for exercising." - Jessica
"Mr. Persse is a great teacher because he always makes sure that we had fun learning the lessons." - Nick
"The unit we are in right now is rock climbing, this unit is really, really fun for everyone in our PE class and everyone enjoys this unit. Mr. Persse is the best PE teacher I have ever met in the whole world. Everyone at B.E.S., even teachers, enjoy him." – Olivia
"Mr. Persse makes hard games, that kids have never played before, exciting! He is also good at making the class fun and keeps us active" – Andy
"I like the games we played because we got to move around a lot with our friends. We learn these games so we can get out and play so we can be more active to have healthier bodies." – Madison
What parents have said:
"I think Mr. Persse does a wonderful job with the kids and is a wonderful and motivated fitness teacher."
"Mr. Persse does a good job of motivating the kids and providing useful information about the importance of an active lifestyle."
"I hear excitement in my son's voice when he talks of exercises he's done in PE. I also hear him talk of things he's learned about health and our bodies. He's active + positive. Thank you for that!"
1. Using a "Fitfolio®" To Help With Fitness Assessment and Goal-Setting. The Fitfolio® is used as a writing tool to help 4th and 5th grade students develop realistic goals towards their fitness assessments (Presidential, Fitnessgram, etc.). Students also discuss why their plan did or did not help with their post-test score. (Lecture Session)
2. Fitness and Skills Theme Curriculum This session is designed to provide a snapshot into the day and life of an elementary TOY and the curriculum designed around the Achievement Based Curriculum (ABC) model. Combining fitness with related skills theme students learn how to develop the five components of Health-Related Fitness within various skill themes. (Lecture Session)
3. Womba-ball™: A Great Way to Teach Softball-related Skills Womba-ball™ is a modified version of playground cricket. Students learn to throw, catch, bat, run, and field while learning to play a very fun and dynamic game. (Activity Session)