This is a great thing. It’s a monster (70cm diameter!) balloon ball, beautifully fabric covered.
I’ve been using it with one of my classes - a P1-3 - during PE to help improve co-ordination and confidence; it stays in the air for ages and takes (virtually) no effort to get it airborne or move it about.
In my planning for the term, I imagined it would be useful in helping me allow the kids to experience the following outcomes (see what I did there?)
I am learning to move my body well, exploring how to manage and control it and finding out how to use and share space.
I am discovering ways that I can link actions and skills to create movement patterns and sequences. This has motivated me to practise and improve my skills to develop control and flow.
I am developing skills and techniques and improving my level of performance and fitness.
I am aware of my own and others’ needs and feelings especially when taking turns and sharing resources. I recognise the need to follow rules.
…and whilst it’s undoubtedly true that playing a variety of games with the “Big Ball” did just that, the best outcome (for me, and hopefully for the children) was an unplanned one which accompanied our “keepie-uppie” game. Using only their hands, the children - arranged in a circle - simply had to keep the ball in the air for as many touches as possible. From little acorns - 3, 6, 10 touches - by the end of the second week the group had managed to beat the big ones’ total (34) and were motivated enough to keep going until they had managed 50!
I’m all too aware of the current debates and discussions around competition but the simple fact is that it was incredibly motivating for these children to try to beat first of all their own “best score” and then to try to beat the “school record”*
I couldn’t find an outcome relating to motivation but it’s certainly implied within the Four Capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence; however I think I could once agin get out the metaphorical highlighter for these outcomes:
I make full use of and value the opportunities I am given to improve and manage my learning and, in turn, I can help to encourage learning and confidence in others.
I value the opportunities I am given to make friends and be part of a group in a range of situations.
*awaiting independent verification ;-)