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Name: Erin Washkuhn
*I have developed a parent night for our At Risk Pre-Kindergarten program. I do not teach physical education to the Pre-K class at my school but I volunteer in offering a parent night to educate parents on the benefits of proper nutrition, development of fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Three and four year old students placed in this program are considered at risk for academic difficulties. I know that providing parents with an opportunity to learn nutrition and the benefits of physical activity is valuable in the development of their child. Our parent night is designed to treat and respect parents and other family members as valued partners in students' development and education. * I have started a pedometer activity called "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" For one month out of the year, my students will wear a pedometer during every class. At the end of class, I average the number of steps and then add grade levels together. Next, we track the steps on a map of Route 66. As we pass through cities, we perform an internet search. My students find key facts about the city and then they share it with the class. The goal is to walk as much of Route 66 as we can by the end of the month.
I want my students to know the importance of lifetime physical activity. I emphasize the importance of transferring skills in their future personal fitness plans. I provide them fun activities that they will apply outside of school which also promotes lifelong physical activity. Giving my students the foundation to live an active, healthy lifestyle will give them skills and knowledge needed to be healthy adults.
C=Community communication: I believe in communicating with parents about the benefits of physical education instruction and how children's interests can help to motivate them to be more active. By communicating, together we can enrich the quality of Physical Education and promote physical activity for each and every student not only within the walls of the school but also extend it out into the community.
I=Innovative lessons: I strive to inspire my students to learn new things through creative and innovative lessons based on Illinois Standards, District Standards and NASPE Standards. In planning my lessons, I incorporate nontraditional items such as cloth pins, rubber chickens, towels, sponges, plungers, pop cans and swim noodles, allowing my students to recreate the games at home.
E=Environment: I believe the environment of the classroom should be welcoming, safe, and challenging—where all students engage in and truly enjoy physical activity. My students are encouraged to take risks as they know they will be fully supported. The physical environment is important, but the emotional environment is equally important. My students know they are valued and trust is developed the moment they walk through doors.
The DuFour's have four key questions to guide teachers' work regarding student learning. These questions includes: what is it we want our students to learn, how will we know if each student has learned it, how will we respond when some students do not learn, and how can we extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency. Based on this philosophy, I volunteered to be the facilitator of PLC meetings of elementary physical educators to help focus our attention to be more student centered as opposed to teacher centered. As facilitator for our district, I set agendas, establish and facilitate the protocol that drives the PLC meeting for our PE staff. After each meeting, I summarize the discussion and develop an action plan to follow up on what curriculum needs to be addressed, questions that need to be answered and the learning we need to achieve by our next meeting. I ensure that our teaching priority is student learning.
"The games are fun and you don't even realize you are exercising!"
"We have a say in the games we play and she asks us for feedback about new games that she tries."
"I had Mrs. Washkuhn as a teacher when I was in elementary school. I'm a sophomore in high school now. I always remember her laughing and being energetic during class. I will never forget facing her for the championship round in DDR in 4th grade. She is easily the best P.E. teacher I've ever had!"
"Cleaning out the PE Closet" This session provide a variety of activities that can be used at various grade levels and settings. Health related concepts, cross-curricular, team building, and skill development games will be presented as well as some just old fashion fun. So, get ready to get active and have a fun with these games and activities that can be easily incorporated in any curriculum.
"Moving Words" Making letters, words and children's books come alive in the gymnasium is the main focus of this session. Students will learn and use a variety of motor skills to enhance the learning of Reading comprehension as well as having active fun.
"Health in the Gym" This session provides a variety of health-related activities that can be used at various grade levels and settings. Topics include body systems, fitness components, nutrition, hygiene, bike safety, and drug awareness. Activities are fun, energetic and will keep your students moving while being motivated to participate to their fullest.