After our fantastic field trip to watch an Illinois Women’s Volleyball game on Friday, I decided I wanted to take advantage of the volleyballs we have in our P.E. supplies and have my students work on learning how to pass the ball from one person to another. The other fourth grade class has been doing volleyball for the past couple of weeks. (Their teacher is, or was, the UMS volleyball coach). I would love to have them play an actual volleyball game, but the system for setting up the volleyball net is complicated and would take up too much of our time.
We started our volleyball unit today. After the students did their five-minute warm-ups, I had them line up and then randomly assigned groups by handing each student a playing card. Then they formed groups according to suits. It is a great way to group students randomly!
For about half an hour, students passed the volleyballs within their groups of five or six. Because this was our first time, they dropped the ball far more often than they successfully passed it to another, but they kept trying the whole time. As they practiced, I circulated the gym and offered tips and advice, using the Illinois game as a reference point. For example, when I saw some students staying in one place and having the ball fall to the ground near them, I pointed out that the Illinois and Arizona State volleyball players were constantly moving around the court, going to the ball. One of the best parts of this activity was that all of the students were participating and taking my advice to heart, actually trying to move around more and keep the ball going.
We will continue volleyball for a couple of weeks and then we will move on to something else, but I am excited to see how my students grow in their skills!
(By the way, I finally got the photos for my previous post uploaded!)