SHAPE Michigan

Newsletter - December, 2020

Welcome from SHAPE Michigan!

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Welcome to SHAPE Michigan's December Newsletter!


SHAPE Michigan is dedicated to assisting and supporting physical education and

health education teachers across the state. SHAPE Michigan will provide you current resources, ideas, and connections to assist you through this period of distant learning.

We must continue to empathize the importance of social and emotional learning and

building a foundation for lifelong, healthy habits through health and physical education!


In this newsletter, read about member Aimee Taylor,

future professional Jane Ragains, and see the TriFound Grant winners as well as the

SHAPE Michigan Teachers of the Year. Mark your calendars and read about

the upcoming events presented by SHAPE Michigan.

2020 SHAPE Michigan's State Convention

Thank you to all of the participants, presenters, sponsors, and board members who made the 2020 SHAPE Michigan Convention an enormous success! The traditional on-site convention was modified to a very unique three day virtual event which was made possible by a new online platform. There was an array of exceptional presenters led by the keynote speakers John Kusku, Jamie Sparks, and Judy LoBianco.


The experiences from the 2020 Convention will guide SHAPE Michigan moving forward. Our new virtual knowledge and exposure will guide our organization as we continue to provide professional growth opportunities for all health and physical educators. Look for the upcoming opportunities coming in 2021 and mark your calendars for next year's convention...Nov. 3rd-5th.

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SHAPE MI VIRTUAL NETWORKING THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17TH

Please join SHAPE Michigan in our monthly virtual session on Thursday (12/17) at 7:00 PM. This is for all Physical Education and Health educators & students in Michigan! Spread the word! We will be discussing current topics in our profession.

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SHAPE Michigan's Walk in the Park

Join us and enjoy the collaboration and exercise!!

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Aimee Taylor - Whitmore Lake Schools

Hi My name is Aimee Taylor! I just celebrated my 30th Wedding Anniversary in November! I have two boys Nick and Alex! A little bit about my background,I graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1990. I majored in Physical Education with a minor in Biology. I received my Master’s degree from EMU in 1996 with a degree in School Guidance and Counseling. I student-taught in Ann Arbor Public Schools and my first teaching position was with Ypsilanti Public Schools at Ypsilanti High School and Ardis Elementary School (1991-1993.) Unfortunately I was laid off from YPS, but was very fortunate to receive an elementary/middle school PE position in Whitmore Lake Public Schools in 1993. I have taught mostly elementary PE at Whitmore Lake Elementary for the past 27 years! This is year 29 for me! WOW!


I have been a Shape Michigan/MAHPERD member for over 30 years! I remember going to the conference as a student! I have learned so much from so many Amazing PE teachers along the way, I could not imagine teaching without attending the annual conference. It is my lifeline to my profession! I am at a very small school and I am the only Elementary PE person (there are only 2 of us in the district!) Going to the conference not only gave me the most up-to-date information, but the networking was vital for me! I always come back to school extremely motivated and can’t wait to try new things with my students! I have also made some lifelong friends!! We look forward to attending the conference each year and making a little mini-vacation out of it! I have presented at Shape Michigan (Brain Gym Movements/Activities and how to incorporate a Motor Room for your students at school). I am Currently the VP of Dance for the Board of Shape Michigan.


I have coached at the middle and high school levels as well as one year as the coach of The EMU Dance Team. When I was young my Dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said “A Gymnastics Coach”, He said” nah, they don’t pay enough!” LOL! Well, I started coaching Gymnastics and Cheer at the high school level and that is what led me to study Physical Education. I followed my heart and did what made me happy! I believe that Physical Education is the MOST important subject taught in school. Besides the obvious benefits of exercise, I teach my classes that physical activity and movements that cross the midline of the body can increase brain function, create more neural pathways, and help with anxiety and depression which is becoming more prevalent in our society. Your health, both mentally and physically affects everything else you do! What is more important than that! I have taught my students about how their brain works and that certain movements (brain gym/crossing the midline, tapping, etc…) can help with increased focus and actually help improve memory retrieval for test taking and athletic performance! I love that I have the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of my students!


I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching at WLES, the students, staff and parents are Amazing! We are a small school, but we have a Huge Heart! I have been very involved in Jump Rope for Heart. I have participated in this fundraiser for the past 27 years! My school has donated over $200,000. It has been a way to teach my students about the importance of helping others less fortunate than themselves. My students also heavily participate as a way to honor their loved ones that have either passed away from or are struggling with heart disease. In addition to teaching PE, I have taught a community education gymnastics program, led the Peer Mentoring Program, the Builders Club Supervisor (5th/6th Grade version of the Kiwanis Club), the Safety Patrol Supervisor, a Mentor Teacher, a Supervising Teacher, Sunshine Committee (welcoming, celebrating milestones with staff members, retirements, etc..) and the Wellness Team Leader for my district.

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Jane Ragains - Hope College

Hi! My name is Jane Ragains and I am a current senior at Hope College. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and I now live in Leland, Michigan. I've been playing lacrosse since 2nd grade and I currently play on the Women's lacrosse team here at Hope. When I am not doing school work I love to go on runs and walks around town. I love biking, water skiing, and sailing with my friends and family in the summer, and in the winter I love to head to the mountains for some snow skiing.


When I was applying to colleges, I originally didn't want to go to Hope at all. Both of my parents, my brother, my cousin, and my aunt and uncle all went to Hope so I didn't want to just do what everyone else was doing. However, I am so glad that I did. After visiting some other schools I came to realize that there is no other place that has such a great location, town, and community of people. Hope is the place to be and I am so glad that I ended up here! I chose PE because I love health and fitness and was originally going to do exercise science. I also knew that I loved working with children, so I combined that with my interests of health and fitness and changed my major to physical education and health. I am so excited to begin a career as a teacher in this field!

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Watch the following video to learn more about

CATCH ReStart School Support Grants


https://vimeo.com/490247129


Download or click the the complete grant informational sheet below.

Did you know... 4th & 5th graders can ski free in Michigan?

Email lindsey.tocco@gmail.com if you need help applying

Learn tips about sharing your screen!

#ZOOMtip HOW TO TEACH ONLINE - Stop Sharing Your Screen!

Virtual Tennis Opportunities & Equipment from USTA

USTA VIRTUAL TENNIS CLASSROOM AVAILABLE NOW FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

The United States Tennis Association is excited to share our FREE Virtual PE Classroom for tennis. This is a fully developed Google Classroom platform ready for your students to jump right into! Originally, Learn to Play Tennis at Home was designed to be an online PE Curriculum during your virtual time. But with the structure of these 10-minute lessons, this program can be used as an after-school or outside of school tennis club, an enhancement to your in-person PE class or even as an option for recess!


This Google classroom is geared for students in grades 1-4. It would be an excellent tool to help your students reach their state standards. The classroom begins with showing students what household items they can use for a racquet (if they do not have one available) followed by the progressions of striking the ball with forehands, backhands and volleys. It includes the scoring of tennis, parts of the court and a story time with Billie Jean King. Each Google slide presentation contains a warmup activity, skill, game incorporating that skill and a fun “fact.”

If you are interested in being a part of this FREE program, please contact Susan Courtright (susan@midwest.usta.com). We look forward to sharing this opportunity with you and your students.


USTA FREE TENNIS EQUIPMENT KIT AND CURRICULA AVAILABLE FOR K-12 STUDENTS

Tennis is proven to be a great social distancing sport at home or in the classroom, so get your students on board with tennis! The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has the Net Generation School program, where K-12 PE teachers can register for our complete FREE tennis curriculum and equipment package. As a PE teacher you receive SHAPE America curriculum for grades K- 12, 30 size appropriate racquets, 36 tennis balls, net tape, chalk and a Net Generation roller bag to keep it all in. This is totally FREE! All you have to do is set up a FREE account on USTA.com, add your school program and return the attached School Partner Agreement signed to me and your school will be on the list for the equipment. This whole process takes about 15 minutes and here are the directions to guide on you how to register on USTA.com.


  1. PE Class Registration: Please go to USTA.com to register your PE class. Here are the step by step directions: PE Class Registration Directions. Please start at step #2 and be sure to add you school, program name, and Susan Courtright as your school partner.
  2. Net Generation School Partnership Form: Please fill out the “School/District” portion, print, and scan back to Susan Courtright: School Partnership Agreement
  3. School Benefits: Self-explanatory – the benefits of your free registration! USTA School Benefits


Once steps 1 & 2 are complete, you will be eligible to receive your free equipment and curricula.

If you would like to learn more about Net Generation registration, free tennis equipment, workshops, or our virtual tennis classroom, please contact Susan Courtright at susan@midwest.usta.com or call (317) 333-3558.

Read about how Health Classes are Leading us through the Pandemic.

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A society in which all individuals in Michigan enjoy an optimal quality of life, through appreciation of and participation in active, creative, health-promoting lives

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