Ready, Set, Spike! - A Net/Wall Games Unit
Most recently taught: January 2020
Key Concept: Connections
Related Concepts: Refinement, Movement
Statement of Inquiry: Refining specific skills in team games will create connections between the movements and success
Global Context: Scientific and Technical Innovation (risk)
Learner Profile: Risk-taker (emphasizing the global context, students will be encouraged to go outside of their comfot zone, trying different techniques and strategies)
This unit we will learn the skills and strategies necessary to find success in net/wall games. We will start by learning the game of Spikeball, before moving on to Volleyball. Each lesson will include fitness, skill-building, and transferring these skills into modified games or full games. As the unit progresses students will spend time researching the key points for different skills (underhand serve, overhead pass, underhand pass) and create a visual with this information. The last week of the unit will have the students split into teams, playing a tournament and allowing the teacher to observe their skills and strategical decisions.
Spikeball rules and basics
Spikeball passing practice
Spikeball strategies and gameplay
Volleyball skill research
Volleyball isolated skills practice and modified gameplay
Volleyball 1 point rubric creation (teacher, then small group, then individual for summative)
Volleyball gameplay and teacher pocket assessment
Teacher introduction of key points for performing the various skills. Observation and individual discussions to correct misconceptions.
Class discussions on the key points for skills throughout the unit.
Skill rubric creation as a class and peer assessment. A week later small groups will create a skill rubric.
Starting each class with isolated skills practice to allow the teacher to observe which skills need greater focus.
Criterion A: Knowing and understanding
This will be assessed in two parts, the first part done halfway through the unit, and the second part done towards the end.
First students will create a 1 point rubric on volleyball skill of their choosing. They must include 3/4/5 key points from the skill that should be performed to do the skill technique correctly. This will then be assessed for Criterion C.
The second part has students creating skill cards for the 4 main skills we learned in the unit. These are underhand pass, overhead pass, underhand serve, and spiking the ball. Students can display this information through google docs, Canva, video, or another way but should include the following information: Main key points for each skill, the purpose of the skill, and risks involved when it is performed (ie: underhand serve is more accurate but easier to return than overhand serve)
Criterion C: Applying and performing
Students will perform the skill they chose to create a 1 point rubric about in Criterion A.
Students will be assessed on their underhand pass, overhead pass, underhand serve techniques, and strategical decisions while they play volleyball games and in a class tournament. The teacher will have a pocket assessment to tick skills that students have done well and when they show proper communication and understanding of the rules/strategy. This will take place over 2-3 classes of gameplay.
ATL’s focused on in this unit
Communication - Make inferences and draw conclusions
Day to Day Connections: Partner/Group discussions on strategy purposes and successes. Concluding why we perform the different passes and when. Analyzing their skill technique and inferring where they can improve.
Summative Connection: Concluding strengths and weaknesses when performing different volleyball skills as well as choosing the essential key points for each Criteria A volleyball skill.
Social - Make fair and equitable decisions
Day to Day Connections: Making fair officiating decisions when playing vs opposing Spikeball pairing. When completing peer assessing tasks giving fair and equitable feedback.
Summative Connection: During the gameplay when the teacher is assessing Criteria C skills, students are ensuring everyone plays the correct positions and allows teammates opportunities to succeed.
Self-management - Focus on the process of creating by imitating the work of others
Day to Day Connections: Opportunities for students to learn skills through imitating the teachers isolated movements. Using Youtube and other internet sites to find drills they can practice to create more success in their techniques. Watching confident students perform the skills while class is ongoing is encouraged.
Summative Connection: As part of Criteria A assessment students will create a rubric for a volleyball skill, as will have been done previously in class as a teacher led, and partner activity. Students may also use the internet to gain ideas for this requirement.
Research - Access information to be informed and inform others
Day to Day Connections: Students will research information on the main points of volleyball skills to support their rubric and performance. During peer assessment students will inform their partners of areas for improvement using video and internet sources to back up their assessment.
Summative Connection: Students will create a google doc/Canva poster/video or other form of media to inform an audience about important volleyball information. This will focus on the key points for performing various skills and the purpose as well.
Thinking - Identify obstacles and challenges
Day to Day Connections: Identifying the challenges students faced each lesson through partner, small group and class discussion. Strategies will be identified for students to attempt during skill building activities and gameplay. The obstacles that occur when you try and use more power, vs when you try to be more accurate.
Summative Connection: For Criterion A assessment students will need to identify the challenges that can occur when performing different shot techniques.
Having soft volleyballs is vital! Especially to those who are learning the game for the first time. Our resources involved about half, soft and new volleyballs, and half older and harder volleyballs. The students had a tough time dealing with striking the harder volleyballs, while the softer ones allowed students to be more of a risk-taker and willing to take a chance striking in the game situations.
Having students create their own rubric for a skill (Crit A) increased their focus on using proper technique and the ability to give meaningful peer reflection to a partner.
Spikeball took some time for students to get excited about and understand the connection with other striking games but was a regular recess activity they were playing by the end of the unit.
Pocket assessment was an easy and effective way to assess the student’s abilities in relation to Criterion C. The students were able to focus on playing and having fun rather than feeling the pressure of being individually watched.
Seeing the physical skill growth that occurred over this unit was amazing to experience! What started with students barely able to get the ball over the net, ended with students trying different strategies and communicating throughout.
Thoughts, questions, concerns? Let me know on twitter @tannernickel, I am always looking for ideas and ways to improve my inquiry teaching.