Physical Education is approached from a sequential direction of learning based off of age and development. Our volleyball unit gives the perfect example of how these skills are broken down into developmentally appropriate levels.
The youngest members of our school practice volleying with balloons. They try to keep the balloon in the air and eventually volley it over the net for their partner to catch. The use of the balloon is a wonderful adaptation that allows for a slower fall. This allows the students time to react to the balloon coming towards them.
As the students get older we switch out the balloon for a volleyball. They practice some of the same skills and also work on catching, passing, and setting the ball to team members.
Students in 2nd-4th grade play a game called Newcomb. It is similar to Volleyball but includes catching the ball vs hitting it. This modification allows for the game to be slowed down so the students can strategize their next move.
This year we also explored other versions of volleyball. Students in grades 5th-8th were able to also play a game called Hoover ball. This game is similar to Newcomb but is played with a 6lbs weighted ball instead of the volleyball.