This year I have been working around two professional development goals – one is data driven and the other is to video myself teaching and work to see areas of strength and areas for growth.
I am on a quest to use data more effectively in my PE classes to really see if what I am doing has the desired affect on student learning. I have been sharing a lot of my thoughts, concerns and questions on Voxer and have been soaking up the commentary of others – one in particular, Dr. Stephen Harvey, a lecturer and writer working in the USA who is very vocal and uses research to discuss and share the merits of Game Based learning models.
I wanted to firstly set up my Grade 7 MS PE unit so that it met with the Inquiry and Conceptual learning I am familiar with using and also use Teaching Games for Understanding with a strong focus on Movement Strategies (both knowledge and practical application). I only have six lessons with the students and so sort information and discussion from Stephen as well as from my own practice around how to structure this unit.
I will add here that I always try to plan meticulous units but I am finding it challenging to set up really differentiated learning with specific standards-based learning and cover formative and summative exercises to allow for growth and familiarity of tasks in six lessons. I know that I will have to do less and this is another blog post for another day.
My Grade 7 students are working on Net Games, specifically Badminton. Using the Ontario Standards, the ones to focus on here are:
7B1.3 send, receive, and retain a variety of objects, while taking into account their position and motion in relation to others, equipment, and boundaries, while applying basic principles of movement.
And with these Strategic and Skill standards in mind I planned using the standards to guide instruction and used them to write my success criteria rubrics for my students. Dr Harvey shared some of his resources and I used my old Middle Years Program (MYP) from my previous school as well to help me round them out. You can see the finished SOLO-style rubric here (Google doc). Please do let me know if you use it or share it beyond your personal looking. I also spent time chatting with Jenn in my department and took from the SOLO rubric writing from Dr Dean Dudley and Jo Bailey.
I took the strands and took out the major key words that would inform my instruction and guide the lines of inquiry as well as the important strategies and skills that would need focus. But the concept that I wanted to umbrella this had to discuss how to make decisions and choices under pressure – time pressure seemed to be important here. How many times do we try and create or make plans when time is a factor and we can’t possibly fit it all in? I wanted students to make strategic choices, based on game play evidence, of what they needed to work on to strengthen their game, and to work on these areas for growth in their Badminton singles game play.
In lesson one, I set up the courts and after some basic sharing about my respecting-of-equipment expectations (90 seconds), I asked them to warm up with a partner. No doubles. Then I went around and watched and students and took notes on what I saw based on the rubric I had written about Movement Strategies and Skills. I then created a pyramid (see example above) of my class – I had not used this before – but the idea is that you want to be the player at the top of the pyramid. I ranked players roughly into 4 tiers – with the top player at the top of the pyramid ladder/ then the next 3 best players in the second tier/ the next 6-7 in the third tier and the remainder in the bottom of the pyramid. The rules were that they could challenge an opponent in the same row as them and the winner would go up a level or they could challenge one tier up to them and the winner would either stay up or swap out with the higher tiered player. This was a great system! It allowed for multiple games to occur and not have a round robin or King of the Court system and saw lots of discussion and good game play. I had my first pyramid about right – and there was a good range of play in that first lesson.
While the games played (half singles court because of lack of space), I videoed and then later graded 8 different players according to the Movement Strategies and Skills rubric I had created using the standards. This allowed me to have a baseline of data for these students in my class. I had not taught them anything – rules/ how to play/ how to use space – nothing. And now I have a lot of data about these kids and their Movement strategy use/ skills and whether they know rules or not. We played a lot of games in this lesson so I got to see a diverse range of game play.
I then asked them to watch a video of a World Junior’s Girls Badminton game for 5 minutes, and while they were watching I asked them to write a Claim/Support/Questions routine where I asked them to tell me why or why not, a specific player was an effective player. This also gave me a baseline of my class about knowledge and vocabulary of Badminton and Net Games. I quickly read and graded these papers (15 minutes) focusing on whether they gave Detail in their responses and if they asked a follow up questions that was engaged in our learning. I have recorded all my baseline data and my anecdotal evidence from watching them in that lesson to inform me of where to go next in our remaining 5 lessons.
Lesson 2 was all about unveiling our Concept focus – Decision making, prioritizing and strategy and vital for success (under time pressure). We played games for warm up and then we discussed things that we noticed about our warm up buddies. This lead (with me carefully leading) to looking at how to be totally prepared for hitting (ready position) and how to cover the court (foot work). I went through the Knowledge assessment from Lesson 1 as a lot of the students had noted that the effective players were moving so well to cover the court. We then played one game to really look at our and our opponent’s ready position and after prompting, we used our iPads to go through a footwork training drill. We looked at a strong student example and it is clear that we need to look at footwork and return to centre court ready position as a focus for some of our students.
We then played singles games where the front and back of the court was worth 3 points if you hit winning shots into those areas, this garnered a lot of conversation from students and prompted them to think about how they were going to play. I made a few notes in my student analysis about some of the questions and clarifications they asked as this is clearly demonstrating a knowledge of rules and how to use the rules of this game to their advantage. We established, through game play, that moving backwards from centre court, was challenging, and hitting to the back of the court and then drop shots was also challenging which lead to discussion about use of wrist/ turning the body and how to move to cover the court. It also has opened up a conversation about 2-hit strategy and setting yourself up to move players to one side or front/back to open a big space for your second shot. We made much more impressive observations about our opponents by quickly discussing 3 things that we noticed about them and how we could use that to our advantage in game play. I have already built up a pretty big picture of where all of my students are at in this unit through these conversations and observations. I have also played in games rotating through about 6 students in this lesson and challenging them in different ways and trying to model constructive conversations with them and thanking them for each game we play.
I will blog next about lesson 3 and 4 in this series.
Anyone else with Badminton information to share? I would love to hear of your lesson progressions.