Saturday, September 15, 2012

Some Recess Tips

Sorry I haven't been here for a while...but, I've been back to school!  I have a lot of ideas in store to share and hope to be on here often over the next few weeks.

I want to share with you something my wonderful team did this year.  Every year our fourth graders play outside at recess at the same time.  We have a HUGE play area.  Let me show you a picture of half of the space....the kickball field....
     We also have to the right of this space a blacktop for basketball and then our huge playground area.(with 3 different play ground structures).

Then we have a space on the side of the school where we also like to play soccer.
It's a LOT of space and there are only 4 of us to police it (monitor it). 
This year we decided to introduce each area with a daily recess chat.  We took all four of our classes into the cafeteria and went over our expectations. We wanted to stress that recess is supposed to be fun - not full of arguing!  Fourth grade is an extremely competitive age and in the past we have spent more time fighting (arguing) than having fun.  We wanted to change that.  In addition to creating these anchor charts with our kids, we also positioned ourselves at specific locations to supervise and monitor what is going on. I have to say has really worked smoothly!  I have enjoyed watching the kids who choose to play soccer.  They are having fun and know that bad sportsmanship is not acceptable and they will have to leave the game if they can not play fairly.
Here are our anchor charts...
 One for each day....
During our recess talks, we asked the kids what it should look like on the equipment.  We also stressed activities that are not allowed because they could be considered DANGEROUS...for example, pushing people off the zipline (#1 way we have broken arms at our school!)
When we introduced Soccer we also introduced where we play it and where the materials are.  I have a basket that includes cones and pennies to wear as teams. Next up... the Black top.  We decided that we needed two sets of rules...because it will look different when the blacktop is wet and when it is dry.

And finally....Kickball.  This is the game that can be so much fun, or so much trouble.  If you have competitive kids (ummm...if you have kids at your school you have some competitive kids!) then you really have to monitor the game.
It has been fun!  like recess is supposed to be...
  By the way...I am linking up with the Clutter Free Classroom to share a Peek into my Week.


  1. Love the proactive process you use to ensure recess is fun and safe for all! Play time is so important to learning and research shows that a healthy recess can actually improve academic success. Thank you for being a teacher that values this!