- Standards &
- Grants, Programs
- Awards &
- Media &
Name: Andrea (Andi) McCarthy
I would have to say that the fitness component of my classes is one of the areas that is the most innovative and the one where my students are making huge strides towards meeting Standard 4. I started out using the Sport Xcel program, a science-based fitness training series that teaches full body/core strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, balance, coordination, and injury prevention. This training gives my students a solid foundation of beginner to advanced exercises. Once the students learn the fundamentals, I add equipment such as scooters, balance disks, body balls, and resistance bands. I've created workouts with cards, dice, cones, or warm-up games and activities where the students are the ones in charge of their own fitness. I love that I am able to step back and see my students push themselves and others to work hard and improve daily. The learning of new full body exercises and the variety of different workout alternatives that can be performed outside of school has definitely paid off for the majority of my students. This enables them to see the changes in their bodies over time and ultimately accomplish their own personal fitness goals.
The second innovative activity that I do with my students is engage them in several non-traditional team games. After teaching them how to move as offensive and defensive players through warm-up activities, skills, drills, and some team games, I teach them how to play "Ultimate Ball" (Ultimate Frisbee rules with a ball). To modify the game, we use different objects such as rubber animals, mini nerf footballs, nerf soccer balls, volleyballs, team handballs, bouncy balls, and four to six pound medicine balls just to change up the game. We then change the rules and the ways you can score to create games such as Eclipse Ball, Ultimate Bowling, Ultimate Football, Ultimate Medicine Ball, Flickerball, Speedball, and Speedkitball. What my students love about these games the most is that the rules are simple, all students can use their individual skills from different sports and activities to be successful, and because you can't run in most of these games, students develop great teamwork and cohesion. Most importantly, they display good sportsmanship because of the self-referring component of the game and the fact that we play for the "spirit of the game" without keeping score.
My particular expertise in regards to teaching physical education is the emphasis I place on teaching my students both the physical and mental side of fitness. The name of my class is "Lifetime Fitness" and I want my students to leave my class knowing how to exercise, what kinds of exercises and sports/activities they can participate in to stay fit and healthy, and why it is important to include fitness in their daily lives.
My students are active in the gym four days a week and we spend a day or part of a day learning the fitness components and concepts. I feel they need to know how to be able to be design their own workout plans and be able reach and maintain a health-enhancing level of fitness for the rest of their lives. I tell them that they are becoming "mini personal fitness trainers" so they can help others become more fit with the knowledge and tools they learn from this class. They have to complete a journal every week as well as an exercise log to show they know and understand how the mental and physical side of this class interrelate and ultimately, how devoting a small amount of time everyday to taking care of their minds and bodies through fitness will impact the rest of their lives.
I believe our ultimate goal is to find ways to get our students moving and to keep them moving, as well as enjoy being active for life. For the students participating in our physical education programs, it is imperative that we promote physical fitness in ways that help them to understand these three things: 1) "How" to be active for life through exercising and the learning of basic to advanced skills through participation in a wide variety of exercises, sports and activities. 2) "What" types of exercises (with and without equipment) exists and the many different ways they can exercise to meet their personal fitness needs. It is also up to us to expose our students to as many different kinds of team sports/activities (traditional and non-traditional) as well as dual/individual sports/activities as possible. This way, all students can find something they want to participate in outside of class in order to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical fitness for the rest of their lives. 3) "Why" it is important to educate them on the benefits of fitness and provide them with the knowledge, skills, and tools to be able to design their own fitness plans to be able to stay physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially healthy for the rest of their lives.
I am truly humbled to be recognized as a TOY this year. To be a part of an elite group of teachers at the national level is a tremendous honor. Doing something I absolutely love to do each and every day has brought great pride to me, my students, and my school. This is the perfect platform to allow me to share my love and passion with other professionals and to learn from them as well. I am so excited to learn from and present with the other TOYs this upcoming summer and become an even better teacher in the process. I will continue to strive to be the best physical education teacher I can be for my students and the profession and continue to advocate in my district, the state, and nationally for PE2020 though my presentations.
In my district, we have professional development opportunities in the spring and fall for both elementary and secondary levels. I have presented at those dialog classes and for three years (2006-2009), have served as the middle school teacher leader. In that role, I focused on the implementation and fidelity of our newly adopted curriculum, mentored new teachers, co-planned our one day in-service and new teacher orientations, and assisted with the integration of technology. Since then, I have demonstrated appropriate practices through professional development opportunities and share as much of my program as I can with other professionals through presentations and sessions.
I love Ms. McCarthy's class because she helps me get active and she helps us get fit. –Brandon B.
Ms. McCarthy's class helped me through the last two schools years in a row by showing me how to stay healthy and fit. She is the most amazing teacher I have ever met in whole entire life. –Brianna G.
I think this class is AWESOME! Ms. McCarthy is a GREAT teacher! She makes getting healthy fun! -Samantha L.
Ms. McCarthy has taught us many exercises. She has helped me stay fit. –Aaron L.
Ms. McCarthy always motivates us to do our best. She is a great teacher that shows us how to be healthy through our whole lives. –Eric L.
I loved Ms. McCarthy's class because she helped me get healthier and learn new exercises for every part of my body. –Rosario G.
Ms McCarthy is awesome and she doesn't just tell you how to do exercise, she also tells you how to eat healthy. –Sofia P.
I think Ms. McCarthy is the best teacher. Every time I come to her class my day gets better. Every day I look forward to this class. –Chris T.
Ms. M is like an awesome second mom. She has made my life better. –Jasmine C.
Ms. McCarthy is the best because she supports me a lot. She is like my mom. –Vasti T.
"Everything Fitness" - Getting Started, Warm-Ups, Fun and Fast Fitness Workouts, Ultimate and Mass Class Games, and Incorporating Fitness Concepts Learning into your PE Classes.
"Fundamentals of Total Body Fitness" – In this session, you will be learning basic to advanced body exercises. Designed to develop upper, core, and lower body strength and endurance, balance, and flexibility through dynamic stretching. This information will give your students the foundation to begin developing workouts that help them to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of fitness now and for the rest of their lives.
"Ultimate Games" – Tired of traditional team sports? Check out this session…Take the essence of the game of "Ultimate Frisbee" with its simple rules, skills, and self-refereeing to the next level to create new and exciting games that help our students develop teamwork, sportsmanship, and improve their skills at the same time. By changing the equipment, means of scoring, and adding alternate ways to move the ball, you can create any ultimate game that you and your kids will absolutely love to play over and over.