SPOTLIGHT on PE at Holy Spirit High

 Iceland Adventure 2012
For a group of Physical Education students from Holy Spirit High School, Easter 2012 will be one to remember. Jason Desai along with three teacher chaperones and twenty six students went on an unforgettable adventure to Iceland. Students were given the opportunity to participate in a multitude of physical  activities at some breathtakingly beautiful locations!  On glaciers and mountains where they hiked and ice-climbed, lagoons where they kayaked and swam in geo-thermally heated waters to placing one foot on the tectonic plate of North America and the other on Europe. From the unique architecture of Reykjavik or sea stacks and Basalt columns not far from beautiful Selfoss to deep underground in lava caves, students took in as much of Iceland as they possibly could. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Submitted by Jason Desai who teaches Physical Education at Holy Spirit High in CBS (ESDNL)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SPOTLIGHT ON PE at Northern Lights Academy

Spending a day skating on the harbour was lots of fun for some staff and students of Northern Lights Academy.
Submitted by Ms. Jessica Letto who teaches physical education at Northern Lights Academy in Rigolet, LSB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPOTLIGHT on PE at Holy Spirit High

 Iceland Adventure 2012
For a group of Physical Education students from Holy Spirit High School, Easter 2012 will be one to remember. Jason Desai along with three teacher chaperones and twenty six students went on an unforgettable adventure to Iceland. Students were given the opportunity to participate in a multitude of physical  activities at some breathtakingly beautiful locations!  On glaciers and mountains where they hiked and ice-climbed, lagoons where they kayaked and swam in geo-thermally heated waters to placing one foot on the tectonic plate of North America and the other on Europe. From the unique architecture of Reykjavik or sea stacks and Basalt columns not far from beautiful Selfoss to deep underground in lava caves, students took in as much of Iceland as they possibly could. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Submitted by Jason Desai who teaches Physical Education at Holy Spirit High in CBS (ESDNL)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SPOTLIGHT ON PE at Northern Lights Academy

Spending a day skating on the harbour was lots of fun for some staff and students of Northern Lights Academy.
Submitted by Ms. Jessica Letto who teaches physical education at Northern Lights Academy in Rigolet, LSB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARD

 

Congratulations to Debbie Shortall, the 2012 recipient of the Physical Education Teaching Excellence (PETE) National Award.  This is a tremendous honour as it is the only national award in Canada that recognizes physical education teachers for their hard work and dedication in helping to build strong, healthy and physically active children.  The award honours exceptional teachers for their excellence in teaching physical education and their ability to motivate children and youth to participate in physical activity.  Debbie exhibits these qualities and more at Vanier Elementary in St. John's where she teaches K-6 Physical Education.  

As part of the award, Debbie receives an all-expenses paid trip to PHE Canada’s National Conference, A Harbour of Hope: Health and Physical Literacy, May 10th – 12th in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  

For more information on this award and how you, a parent, a student, a principal, a co-worker, and/or a colleague can nominate someone, please go to http://www.phecanada.ca/awards/pete-award.

PAST PETE AWARD RECIPIENTS

In the last 8 years, NL has had 7 National recipients. This is a tremendous testament to the quality of Physical Educator in NL as there is only 1 National winner from each grade level (k-6, 7-9, 10-12) per year for a total of only 3 National awards per year Canada wide. 

See below for a list of National and Provincial PETE award recipients over the last eight years.

2012 Debbie Shortall           Provincial & National
2011 Jason Desai               Provincial & National
2010 Mike Butler                Provincial & National
2009 Ellis Coles                 Provincial & National
2008 Loyola Fitzpatrick       Provincial
2007 David Constantine       Provincial & National
2006 Kellie Baker               Provincial & National
2005 Ben Osmond              Provincial & National

The physical educators above have been nominated by students, principals, co-workers, and other physical educators.  There are many more deserving Physical Educators in our schools, but it takes a nomination for them to be considered.  The next call for nominations will be late fall but it’s never too early to have a look at the nomination form and start preparing an application for a worthy teacher in your school.  For more information on the award go to this linkhttp://www.phecanada.ca/awards/pete-award.

Let’s keep our streak alive! 
Take the time to nominate someone in your area, or pass this information along to others and encourage them to nominate a worthy candidate.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHOOL OF HUMAN KINETICS AND RECREATION IN THE COMMUNITY
Brother Rice Junior High School helps MUN’s future Physical Educators 

Dance - Creative, Multicultural, Folk & Disco
As part of  MUN’s School of Human Kinetics 2210 course:  Movement Concepts, Folk Dance and Creative Dance, students volunteered to teach dance at a local junior high school, Brother Rice.  As second year physical education students this was the first exposure these students have had with teaching in a school setting during a physical education class.  It offered them a chance to provide dance instruction while interacting with grade 8 students.  They were up for the challenge saying that it was a better experience than they could have hoped for.  The two grade 8 classes learned how to warm up to music as well as have their ideas integrated into the warm-up.  Dances that were performed were The Hustle, to the original as well as current music, two multicultural folk dances, the French Canadian, Frère Jacques and The Agadoo, a Hawaiian folk dance.  A special thank-you to Ms. Trina Burry, Brother Rice Physical Educator as well as Mr. Cornellisen’s and Mme. Blundon’s grade 8 classes for providing us with this opportunity.

Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU):  More than just fun and games!
Physical Education at Brother Rice is more than just playing games.  It’s having fun with friends while gaining an in-depth understanding of the games they are playing.  Basketball is classified as a “territorial game” in the TGfU model and the concepts learned in the basketball unit can be transferred to other territorial games such as flag/touch football, hockey, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, and ultimate Frisbee to name a few.  Memorial University’s Human Kinetics and Recreation’s Physical Education classes and instructors have partnered with Brother Rice to provide students with new opportunities for both Brother Rice students and future Physical Educators within HKR’s PE program alike.  Students have rave reviews after only one class with comments such as “I really like the basketball class you did with us”, or “that was fun, I learned a lot!”  Fun and learning all in the one sentence!  Can it get any better?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPOTLIGHT ON PE at Sprucewood Academy (NCSD)

Getting Active at Sprucewood

Here are some pictures taken throughout a very exciting,and active year here at our school. We wanted to highlight just of few of our most memorable activities for you including Physical Education classes, lunchtime intramurals, and our living healthy commotions.
Submitted by Dana Pittman who teaches Physical Education at Sprucewood Academy in Grand Falls-Windsor –NCSD
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPOTLIGHT ON PE at Lake Academy

Some pictures of the Grade 6 class of Lake Academy as they enjoy a beautiful sliding trip.
Submitted by John Douglas who teaches Physical Education in Lake Academy, Fortune (ESDNL)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPOTLIGHT ON PE at St. Peter's Academy (WSDNL)

Getting Out There

Here are a few shots taken on December 12th of the grade 6  and 7 Physical Education class who didn't seem to mind blazing a 1.5 km snowshoe trail near our school. While the BIG wind storm had certainly affected the conditions on the trail, it had no bearing on the students attitude in pursuing it.
Submitted by Gord Casey who teaches Physical Education at St. Peter’s Academy in Benoit’s Cove –WNLSD
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GHOST OF THE CLASSROOM PAST

Jacinta McGrath, Trepassey 

If you are sitting right now as you read this article, I want you to think about the most comfortable chair you have ever sat on.  Think about how it contours the shape of your body as you sit down.  I want you to take a few moments to rate this chair out of a score of 0 - 10 ;  10 being the best, most comfy chair your backside has ever rested on.  

Switch back.  

Now think about the chair you are probably sitting on right now, or more importantly the chairs in your classroom that your students sit on – day in and day out.  Using the same rating scale as above, I now want you to think about the score you would give these delightful hard plastic, or better yet, wooden seats.  Probably not the same rating, right?”

The above exercise was the opening of a Professional Development session that I attended in the fall of 2010 – lead by Mr. John Elkins, Program Specialist with the Eastern School District.  Thanks to John, every time I sit down on one of these not-so-comfy chairs the activity above resonates in my mind and I cannot help but to feel for our students who are expected to sit in these seats each day for an hour or more at a time and appear focused and content all the while.

The chair-rating-activity is not the only thing that I came away with after attending John’s session that day.  He also talked about how boys learn differently than girls do – how boys naturally need to be moving more to take in pertinent information.  John also discussed the importance of movement in education and how when our bodies are engaged, our brains are engaged.   

Fast-forward.  

Classroom setting, fall 2011.  Light green fresh paint, posters galore, vase of flowers, SMARTboard,  motivational sayings and seventeen bright orange, hard plastic chairs.   4:00 p.m. – I pull up a seat in my classroom to offer some extra help to a student in my Biology class.  Ten minutes in I am trying desperately to keep my focus on mitosis and meiosis when in the back of my brain I hear John’s voice whisper – ‘Rate your chair’… ‘Rate your chair’.  I get through the extra help session with some much needed stretching and toe tapping.  Immediately afterwards I say to myself – ‘Self, you must do something about this, or John Elkins and his chair rating activity will haunt you for the rest of your life’.  So I scurried about the school trying to come up with a solution and a fix for a better classroom setting for my eager to learn students – all the while, a miniature ghost of John Elkins sitting on my shoulder whispering…..’Rate your chair’…’ Rate your chair’!

Don’t you love it when you experience one of those Oprah ‘light bulb moments’?  In a hurry, I busted open the door to my Physical Education office and right there, right in front of me resting on the floor was the answer I was looking for;  two new exercise balls.  I had read some time ago about the benefits of exercise balls and how they were being introduced to many classrooms around the nation in an effort to help students focus better, develop better posture and concentrate more while in class.  So I decided to put the theory to the test. 

 That very evening I brought the exercise balls up to my own classroom and laid them on the floor.  The next morning I had Grade Eight Science, first period.  My first two students to walk into my classroom were active, fourteen year old boys bursting with energy.  They first eyed the exercise balls and then looked at me – “Cool, Ms., can we sit on those?”  “I guess so, if you want to”.  

And so the story begins.  Each child to follow that day was envious of the first two and immediately put a schedule in place as to who could sit on the exercise balls in the classes to follow.  Those two bustling junior high boys expelled a lot of energy that class as they were constantly shifting position and bouncing a little with every movement – but amazingly, they were focused and intent on what was being covered that day in class.  After a couple of classes, one of my students said, “Ms., wouldn’t it be cool if we could all have one of those exercise balls to sit on – that would be so awesome.  Then we wouldn’t have to argue over who gets to sit on them each day!”.  

The same reaction was garnered from my Sr. High Biology class.  “Ms., are you really going to let us sit on one of those for the entire class?”  “Can I take this with me to all of my classes?”  “So, we can really move on this during class time?”  “I heard somewhere before that these can actually make you focus more, Ms. is that true – can something so fun also be beneficial to our learning?”

With the success of the first week I decided this was worth a serious investment.  Two weeks after the initial introduction I had my classroom equipped with an exercise ball for every student.  The kids were ecstatic and eager to embrace this new classroom setting.  

As parents were walking into my classroom on Parent/Teacher night they were commenting – “Oh, so this is the class with the exercise balls, I have heard all about those and how much the kids love them”... “I wish I was only going to school now and not thirty years ago”.     

Outside of the initial joy my students experienced I have seen improvements in my classroom – kinesthetic learners who once had a difficult time sitting for any period of time do appear to be more focused, some have even made improvements on recent test scores. 

I also thought this would be a good opportunity to share some research material around the benefits of using exercise balls in the classroom with my students. They were so enthused and impressed with the findings that, one student even commented “Wouldn’t it be cool if we all learned better by having so much fun?”  With that said I brushed off the ghost of John Elkins from my shoulder and replied “Yes, that would be very cool”.

Jacinta McGrath is a Physical Education Teacher and Assistant Principal at Stella Maris Academy in Trepassey.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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