I have written previously about a Badminton Unit I trialed last year with Simon Mills where we focused on Mastering skills starting with basic and then moving to progressively more difficult skills as the unit went along. I should add that these skills came from a book (yes a book!) from our office – Badminton: Steps to success. This unit was harsh – we expected students to Master a particular skill before they could progress and we pushed them hard on peer coaching and had frequent teacher assessment as part of this unit.
This year I am taking my G8 students a step further. Many of these students were a part of this pilot as G7 students, and the feedback was either very positive or very negative but as the unit is about mastery of skills, it is important for students to recognise that if they want to be good at something they have to earn it. I gave some examples on my MS PE blog to kids of athletes (old and young) who had worked hard and trained hard – whether you are gifted or not, you still have to train and train hard if you want to be a Master in any sport. With the Google age this mindset has been deteriorating, many of my students give up when things get hard or they have to work at something that isn’t easy – perseverence is not a skill they are used to anymore.
This time around I have added some new components to this unit. I spent some time talking with Liz Halina and she was good enough to share her resources. I have developed this program and am happy to share all the resources with other teachers who may be interested in a similar unit.
1. Badminton Handout (Google Folder) that contains:
- 12 levels of skills – students have 12 levels to work through. I had 27 last year and it proved to be too much. I have taken the challenging ones so the students still need to work hard at this, but this will allow quicker progressions I hope. The levels are divided into Footwork drills; Grip; Coordination drills; Service; Shots (smash, clear). The levels are progressive and we will also play games to practice these outside of a skill drill environment.
- Evaluation sheets – record keeping on peer coaching in game play
- Level Spreadsheets – to record the work done in the skill drills
- QR codes that link to the exemplar videos and tutorials
- Assessment documents
- Court/Line markings
- Information on the unit.
- This information is available digitally to students and I print out and make a booklet that contains the levels, spreadsheet, evaluation sheets, QR codes, images of grip, court lines etc for record keeping.
2. Peer Coaching – the students are divided into pairs every lesson. The pairs change based on the day so that they get to see a different person each lesson. The athlete completes the skill drill while the coach watches and provides feedback then they swap over. This is important so that the coach can practice watching (and also take a break) and the athlete can get feedback quickly after each skill attempt (they have to get between 10-20 skills correct in a row before moving on).
3. Teacher Feedback – 7 of the levels demand a teacher assessment to check technique before moving on. This involves me watching the students work on the skills while the peer coach stands next to me and offers the feedback and notes, we have a discussion allowing me to see the athlete and listen to the coach. This has been the most valuable part of this unit in the past – listening to what the coach says and checking that they are really watching and taking notes on their athlete. This has built up unit specific language and also allowed me to help them to ‘see’ what people are doing and help them to grow as coaches of tomorrow!
4. Technology – this year I am going to trial using Ubersense and CoachesEye in my classes. We will focus on Serving (Long Serve and Short backhand serve) as well as the Smash and Clear shots. We will work with our peer coaches and take video, discuss the work against an exemplar film (thanks Liz, Luke and Adrian Hubbard for sharing) and then take another video after practicing to see any change in these four areas. I will ask the students to create a short screencast and then save this work to be uploaded onto their blogs as part of their reflection assessment. I have also created a Youtube channel of Badminton movies (I have made and others) to go with this unit.
5. Apps – I have created a class app using ibuildapp.com that I will share with the students. I have 4 class iPods, so am taking the big step of asking students to bring their own portable devices to class to use – not done before here at UNIS. We shall see how this goes, it has taken a lot of time, but I think it will be quicker next time!
This unit will run for 4-5 weeks and this year instead of letting the kids get stuck on levels, I will tell them that each week we will be working on set levels. If you don’t get through, that is fine, but we move next week. Lessons 1-3 is about Grip and Footwork; Lessons 4-5 is about Coordination and then Lessons 6-9 about Service and shots and Video work.
As always it is good to share ideas and resources, please do let me know if you have any questions about this work.