It’s the first day of a three-week volleyball unit. As the teacher you begin to teach the most basic skill, the forearm pass, to your first-period class of seventh graders. After a few minutes of practice you quickly notice that your students struggle to successfully perform the skill. What surprises you even more is that a number of your students begin asking "can we play the game now?"
This is a common scenario experienced by many physical education teachers. Students want to engage in game play, yet they lack the requisite skills to successfully do so. Most often game situations do not allow students to engage in an appropriate type and amount of practice to build skill, yet students may lack the motivation to improve skills prior to engaging in game play. Coupling this problem with the pressure to assess student learning based on state and national standards creates a very stressful situation for teachers.
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