Peaceful Playgrounds – Lord, help make it so!

Miss Z and Miss Kopf stenciling

Miss Z and Miss Kopf stenciling

Spell away!

Spell away!

Made for playing!

Made for playing!

Miss Z and Miss Kopf stenciling

Miss Z and Miss Kopf stenciling

Adding up the numbers

Adding up the numbers

Big kids, too

Big kids, too

Four square in action

Four square in action

Stenciling

Stenciling

Recess serves us in many ways here at school. Besides providing an opportunity for physical activity and socialization, it helps hit the reset button for the children to come in renewed and ready to continue learning. We are also putting into our daily routines the research that reinforces the use of movement with education and learning.
Principles around which the program takes shape include:
1. Have plenty of activities for the children to do.
2. Keep the game moving and lines short (four square, hopscotch, etc)
3. Common rules throughout the school are important so we can play together.
4. Teach procedures for playground expectations.

1. Ample activities – many of you have noticed the games painted on the new parking lot. We will be adding a few more after we find out how the children vote with their feet. In other words we will add more of the games the children consistently gravitate toward.
2. With plenty of game grids and equipment there should be ample opportunity to join in a game easily. When lines are short transitioning to a new game is easier, and children are moving, not spending time waiting in line.
3. Common rules for games are being taught both in class and at PE. There will be a rule book with the equipment to enable checking the guide when necessary. All children are welcome at any game. You can’t say, “You can’t play.” Other rules help keep the children moving such as, when you wish to debate a call or rule, you step out of the game and the game goes on while you resolve the situation. When resolution is achieved you return to the game.
4. Guidelines for our expectations as well as conflict resolution are another key to harmony on the playground. Conflict resolution guidelines are:
Walk – Talk – Rock is the key phrase the children are taught.
• Walk – if you are frustrated with a game, walk to another game. If lines are short, entry is easy.
• Talk – If you need to resolve a situation step out of the game to talk (see #3)
• Rock – We have established a common way to use “Rock-Paper-Scissors” when it’s time to draw lots and get back in the game.
Procedures for ending recess, borrowing and returning equipment as well as the use of supplies are in place.
Were they at recess when Cain killed Abel? Since then there have been problems on playgrounds. We are not under the illusion that this will solve all problems, but it is clearly a step in the right direction. May God enable us to continue to take good steps.

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