Building Skill Through Play: Using Positive Communication

  1. Updates

“Good job, nice try!” That’s one of our favorite encouragements at Playworks and you’ll hear it a lot out on a Playworks playground during recess. We utilize this phrase during game play and other activities at school as a replacement for  “you’re out,” shifting to a positive affirmation vs. a negative comment that can result in a student disengaging. In March, Playworkers in schools have been working on lighting lingo: positive communication at school.

This means they’ve been placing extra emphasis on being kind and encouraging to one another. They’re doing this by equipping students with a multitude of encouraging sayings and also modeling that for them.

When students are using positive and encouraging language, they are creating a safe, inclusive place at school for every kid. When established during play and out at recess, these practices and phrases show up in the classroom and start to become embedded in overall school culture/climate. Last school year, 94% of the educators at our partner schools reported in the Annual Survey that Playworks improved their overall school climate.

Creating a positive school climate means that  students can come to school with less stress and fear around being bullied, or not being picked for a game, or yelled at for missing the ball, and are able to relax and have fun knowing they are in a safe place. Then they are all ready to go back to the classroom. 

This is just one way Playworks is helping to support a positive school environment for every student. Check out our last blog post about February’s skill focus, managing disappointment. And check back soon for April’s skill focus! 

More Updates


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