My next class was a group of energetic third graders who had already had one introductory class in the tennis unit. In that class, they learned some of the basics of the forehand and back hand swing, as well as some of the rules. Since they had all of this information in the last class, the teacher started the lesson with more rules, and formalities of the game. Today the students were going to get the opportunity to try out these skills in a modified game. Students were split into groups of 3 and assigned to a small modified court, with a short net. Students played on point sets and rotated out, so each student got a lot of opportunities to play. Since games were only one point wait time was short and everyone played a lot.
There were some behavior issues in this class that I had the pleasure of handling, and after a quick reminder of what we were supposed to be doing, the students were back on task and having fun. I was also given the opportunity to help lead the demonstration and aid in some of the rules. Another thing I liked was that the students were given a choice of what type of ball to play with, the first choice being a balloon. The second choice was a balloon based ball as well, except this one had a thick cover that went over the balloon giving it weight and the ability to bounce more like a real ball. This ball still floated more than a standard ball, but moved slow enough for the students’ skill level.
I feel that the standards were also taught in this lesson, and there was also a student in the class who received an alternate adapted lesson, but that was done by a separate teacher. The teacher also stopped the lesson a few times to check for understanding and ask to see if there were any questions. He also took this opportunity to move students around in the groups based on skill level, and how the groups were working together. I thought this was an excellent way of managing the class, because no student felt singled out, and everyone thought of this as a natural transition. With all this being said, I can’t wait to get back in the class with these students next week.