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Name: Deanna Castelvecchi
This year I taught Geocaching to my 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. It was so much fun and the students loved it. They were able to use a handheld GPS to locate their cache and then complete an activity or answer the question inside the cache. This is also a great activity to use for review in other subject areas and allow the students to move!
Upon request of many students, I started a morning Dance Dance Revolution and Climbing Wall intramural. My student teacher, Samantha Contomanolis, and I developed a super hero themed climbing wall program adapted from a program developed by Chad Eirich, Physical Education Teacher in Chesterfield County, VA. This program helped to motivate our students and get them excited about using the transverse climbing wall.
To teach Nutrition in my 8th grade Girls Fit for Life class, I developed a café project that is designed by my students. They learn nutrition information and apply it by creating a healthy café. The project includes creating a theme, finding healthy recipes, advertising the café, creating invitations, decorating a bulletin board and the room, creating menus, selecting appropriate music, developing entertainment through a powerpoint presentation about their year in the class, and opening and running the café for service to faculty and staff in the building.
I focus on teaching activities and skills that students can use throughout their life. This includes teaching bicycling, inline skating, swimming, outdoor adventure activities, weight training, stability ball workouts, step aerobics, heart rate monitors, Dance Dance Revolution, and integrating technology into my daily lessons.
I use downloadable heart rate monitors and a pocket pc to assess my students. It is a great way to teach my students about cardiovascular endurance and assess their intensity during activities during class. Students can also self assess and have a better understanding of how much activity they need to do to keep their heart healthy.
My philosophy of Physical Education is to teach students, parents and the community a variety of ways to be physically active for a lifetime. This includes teaching team sports, individual sports, recreational activities, and fitness activities. I expose my students to new sports, new technologies, and new fitness trends. This allows them the opportunity to discover what they enjoy and what they can continue to enjoy throughout their lives.
This is an amazing honor. I am very proud of this title and hope to continue advocacy efforts to promote Physical Education and the importance of quality daily Physical Education programs in grades K-12.
I am very active in VAHPERD and present regularly. I also present at my county New Teacher Orientation to share ideas, lessons and help new teachers start their programs. As a Virginia Commonwealth University Clinical Faculty member I am able to mentor student teachers and prepare them for their career in teaching. Virginia Commonwealth University has also allowed me the opportunity to teach an undergraduate course titled Technology in Teaching Health and Physical Education to prepare students to be able to use pedometers, heart rate monitors, GPS systems, and various software. This will prepare these students to better teach the 21st century learner.
"Until this year, I have never been a huge fan of Physical Education. There were just too many serious workouts and not enough fun. That changed when Mrs. Castelvecchi became my teacher. Yes, we still have fitness tests and workouts, but she always finds a way to make things fun. Mrs. C is definitely my favorite teacher. I can't think of anyone else who deserves to be acknowledged for how much they do more than Mrs. Castelvecchi." - Morgan – 7th Grade
"Mrs.Castelvecchi teaches an amazing class. She knows how to have fun, but at the same time we still learn. The activities we do help us learn more on the subject. Mrs.Castelvecchi is the best PE teacher!" - Madison - 7th grade
"She is the only teacher who will let me dance and sing to White and Nerdy."- Andrew – 7th Grade
"I would like to say that Mrs. Castelvecchi creates a lot of enthusiasm, and I have enjoyed PE more than ever before!" Evan – 7th Grade
"Mrs. Castelvecchi's classes are fun, exciting and educational." - Matthew – 7th Grade
"Mrs. Castelvecchi rocks!! i was not going to do fit for life in eighth grade but because of Mrs. Castelvecchi I am!! And she's the best PE teacher anybody could ask for!!! Maddy – 7th Grade
"Mrs. Castlevecchi is one of the best teachers I have ever had. She makes every class fun and everyone loves her. Everyday that I have her class I learn something, but in a fun and interactive way. I definitely look forward to her class all the time!" - Rachel – 8th Grade
"Mrs. Castelvecchi makes PE class come to life and I always look forward to her class." - Sarah – 8th Grade
"Mrs. Castelvecchi is my Fit for Life teacher. She always makes the classes fun and she always puts a smile on my face, even when I don't put a smile on hers. She challenges and motivates us to accomplish things we've never done before. I learn a lot from her. She is the best P.E. teacher."Cierra – 8th Grade
"Making Fitness Fun" – This presentation included fitness games and activities that can be used to enhance students' fitness levels.
"Stations Approach to Using Heart Rate Monitors" – Participants used heart rate monitors while working at various stations. Each station included fitness activities with different intensity levels. The participants recorded their heart rates at each station.
"Your Bike Smart VA Certified, Now What?" – This session was an overview of what to do to start a bike program at your school. Topics included were ways to get equipment, organization of program and equipment, activities and how to teach the unit, storage of equipment, assessments, and how to handle problems.