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Name: Jennifer Schnell
I have been teaching at Franklin Middle School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the past 10 years. Franklin Middle School has approximately 600 students from various ethnic backgrounds. Students have physical education twice a week of 50 minute class periods. The class size ranges from 16 to 40 students.
I believe that a physical education program needs to equip students with the knowledge and skills to feel comfortable in participating in physical activity. The fitness concepts, activities and methods need to fit the students you work with. As a teacher it is my responsibility to expose them to those activities and use methods that promote a respect for activity and their peers. Physical education is essential in developing a well-rounded student.
At Franklin students are assigned to the same physical education teacher for three years. Throughout the three years, students are exposed to numerous activities. I begin each year with team building activities. I teach the traditional sports with modified rules or adaptations, but the activities that are considered non-traditional make-up a good portion of my curriculum. Tchoukball, Socci, Omnikin and Tsegball are a few of those non-traditional activities. Games are always modified to increase participation. Teams are rarely over four and at times students will be able to place themselves in an ability group that fits their skill level. I use FitnessGram to test the students. In administering the mile, students wear a heart rate monitor watch to time themselves. When the student is warmed up I will start their watch. No one knows each others time because they start at different times. Students use the results to set realistic goals, develop a fitness plan and journal about it. Also, incorporating the health benefits of each activity has been a focus.
All objectives have to be assessed in some way. I use a variety of assessment tools in my classroom. I assess through activity logs, quizzes, event tasks and journals. The use of pedometers and heart rate monitors are used to monitor the student's participation level. Students have filled out self-evaluations as well as team evaluations on particular sport skills and team building skills. With the use of these tools I have been able to evaluate my units. The results assist me in determining what I need to focus on in order to improve my student's cognitive and psychomotor abilities.