This year I have been blogging about the PE Professional Goals that I have set and my journey as I chronicle my way through the cycle of writing these goals, the actions needed to be taken to implement them, the student learning I have worked towards and then the lesson series and now I would like to share some of the reflections and teacher learning that I have taken away. This is not the end… I have the next phase of this work which is to teach it all again to a different Grade 7 class in the coming months and to see whether the learning that my students take away is any more effective based on changes made from the last teaching of it and with guidance and feedback from an expert in this field.
Firstly I will start by saying that I am a very lucky PE person. I have a go-to collection of people who are always willing to share their time and expertise and without their care, time and knowledge I would not be able to extend myself and in turn extend the student learning – a big thank you to that group and especially to Dr Stephen Harvey and to Shane Pill who have provided me with resources and lots of considerations in this unit. Dr Harvey in particular has been a strong advocate of this work and I continue to really be guided by his thinking and research and collection of data to see growth in this body of Game Sense work and this inspires me to use it more and to consider how I can be a part of growing my students in PE.
Dr Harvey took time to watch the post-game videos in a number of students that I identified across a spectrum of my class. I had chosen them in Lesson 1 and took 1m30s of video of about 8 students ranging in ability in Badminton. In Lesson 1 I did not say anything, other than safety and care of equipment, about the unit and gave our the racquets to see students go and play. I then videoed the students based on what I saw and coded these videos based on skills and strategy. After teaching the lesson series, I videoed the same students again and independently of each other both Harvey and I watched these post-lesson videos and coded their skills and strategies based on SOLO rubrics that we had written for this unit.
Last night in a 2 hour long epic Skype session, we discussed what we had seen in these students. Except for one student, Harvey and I agreed on the level of student evaluations on this rubric. The student we didn’t have the same grade for was very close and with Harvey having only viewed him for 1m30s, it was decided that professional judgement of the teacher who had worked with him over the unit would be okay – as I said our notes and overall grades were very slightly different. This gives me really strong coding that my professional judgement in this unit and of the skills and strategies of my students over a differentiated range is effective. I am seeing the same as an expert in this field. I will add that Harvey is also a very experienced Badminton player and I would argue probably ‘sees’ more than I do and so it reassuring for me to know that what I am doing and how I am viewing student work is not disadvantaging the students (as I am not a Badminton expert or coach but have enough view to see them against the rubric).
However there were some areas for discussion. The rubric that we wrote was far too advanced and detailed for my Grade 7 students to effectively use. There was too much text and too much to read through for the students to really focus on an area of specificity. We discussed that it was important to have explicit learning outcomes and that these would tie directly to the Focus and Inquiry of the unit so that it was very clear to students what they were working on and that this was timely for our 6 lesson unit. Dr Harvey and I spoke about changing the rubrics to also be progressive to enable them to be use for G6-7 and G8 as a slight change in focus would enable students to grow on the concepts studied over multiple units. For my next Grade 7 class (starting in Feb) I am intending to look at:
Model: Game Sense – priority remains on Cognitive learning and creating student intelligence about Net/Wall games, specifically Badminton through tactically changing games. The secondary focus is Movement skills and growth in these to enhance the cognitive learning.
Focus: Decision making and strategy are vital for success. Students will learn about moving their opponent from their base position/ How to create space – and then how to hit into the space.
Learning Outcomes: Create Space!
Assessment: Movement Strategies (Decision Making/ Shuttle Placement); Movement Skills (Service/ Shots/ Phase of movement); Knowledge/Cognition (transfer of knowledge); Affective (intrinsic motivation, interest, effort, competence) as well as for my school Student as a Learner (Attitude, Responsibility and Collaboration).
I am still debating on the Affective assessment as I am not sure I have the time to set up all base-line data as part of this unit, but I am investigating this.
The plan runs the same for content:
Lesson 1 – Video, and quickly take some notes on 8-10 students to set some base line work and to see where to begin my lesson series. Discuss safety and equipment care and then let them play. Introduce the pyramid of learning. Take base data on Affective (?) and Knowledge (rules/ understanding of the game)
Lesson 2,3,4,5 – Warm ups/ students play a Game Sense game with focus on creating space. I have a variety of these that we can work with that involve Singles games and work sometimes on full court and sometimes on half court. There is a feedback from a student coach and from me looking at a Heat map of where students move to and the kind of shots that they take. Students will then need to identify the Must/ Should / Could skills that they would like to work on. They will have 10 mins in each lesson to work on this purposeful and coach assisted practice and then put it back into game play to see how they are growing.
Lesson 6 – video and final tournament work. Final Knowledge and Affective domain assessments.
The other Elephant in the room for me is the specific coaching of Movement Skills. I recently attended a Tennis workshop with Dr Mitch Hewitt and it was clear for me (as a non-tennis person) that there are a lot of analogies and very specific phrases and movements that can clearly coach a skill. I don’t have a very strong working knowledge of this in Badminton. I talked to Dr Harvey about this and he shared some ideas here. This is an area of focus for me, and Harvey and also @Sporticus have both shared resources about Non-linear pedagogy for skill acquisition, @Sporticus has blogged about this topic with a list of resources to better understand this concept (note to self, lots of reading to do here!) I am hoping that just a handful of these will be much more effective for my teaching of these skills. I have also a YouTube playlist of Badminton videos and will go back to creating some photo diagrams as well to help my students with their skill development. One example from Chow et al’s book is the idea that as the player is about to make contact with the shuttle, they say ‘hit’ and if they say ‘hit’ as they make contact then their processing and ability to move and to make contact at that time is strong. But if you say ‘hit’ and miss or make contact later or earlier than your proprioception and preparation needs some work. The other is to say ‘Move’ as the opponent hits the shuttle so that you are now moving to the next location and preparing your racquet for the next ‘hit’.
I have a lot to do here to be ready for this unit but am already excited at seeing where it leads to!