This is an excerpt from Assessments and Activities for Teaching Swimming by Monica Lepore,Luis Columna & Lauren Friedlander Litzner.
Once you have obtained as much information as you can from the modified TWU aquatic assessment and from the interviews with the student and, if applicable, the family, you are ready to determine the level the student should be working on (i.e., the level at which you will begin teaching). At this point, write a paragraph about the student’s skill level, list his strengths and needs (weaknesses), and write a few goals for him to achieve based on what he has not completed at that level. If you are an instructor, discuss your placement decision with the family and the student, if appropriate, and come to an agreement on what you will teach.
For Allie, the instructor wrote the following about her present level of performance and her strengths and needs:
Allie is a five-year-old entering the WCU swim program with all skills complete in level 1 and 50 percent of the skills accomplished in level 2. She is comfortable in the water, excited to learn new skills, and practices skills when given motivation to stay on task longer than two minutes. Allie loves submerging to the bottom of the pool in 3 feet (1 m) of water and grasping a ring, and she is able to complete 12 of the 24 skills in level 2.
- Independent entry and exit including using the pool ladder and sitting on the side of the pool and sliding in
- Independent locomotor skills in 3-foot (1 m) depth
- Submersion in 3-foot (1 m) depth
- Floating facedown and faceup with assistance
- Floating facedown and faceup independently
- Jumping in from the side
- Exiting the pool without the use of the ladder
- During the next eight weeks of swim lessons, Allie will do the following:
- Improve her pool exit on the side of the pool until she can do it independently at least one out of five tries by the end of the eight-week session
- Improve floating faceup and facedown independently and perform both for at least five seconds by the end of the eight-week session
- Improve her water entry by jumping into chest-deep water independently at least once in the eight-week session
Assess the level of comfort of a child in shallow water before moving on to more difficult skills in the deep end of the pool.
For Toby, the instructor wrote the following:
Toby is a five-year-old boy who is entering the WCU swim program as a novice without any prior swim instruction. He was able to complete 13 of the 24 level 1 skills; most of the skills require instructor assistance. He is not able to submerge his face or perform any of the locomotor skills independently. Toby was cautious during the assessment. His attitude suggests that he is fearful but wants to learn to swim.
- Independent entry and exit using the ladder
- Performance of locomotor skills with instructor assistance or using the pool wall or gutter
- Positive attitude
- Being comfortable with water on his face
- Submerging underwater
- Being independent moving about the pool
- During the next eight weeks of swim lessons, Toby will make progress toward the following:
- Submerging his full body underwater for three seconds by the end of the eight-week session
- Performing independent motor skills in the shallow end of the pool as shown by running the width of the pool and hopping three times in 3-foot (1 m) depth by the end of the eight-week session
Once you identify the skills and the level at which you need to work with students, you need to plan the activities to which you will expose them to improve their aquatic skills. Now it is time to teach your students the skills they need to improve or develop.
Learn more about Assessments and Activities for Teaching Swimming.