Building Skill Through Play: Cooperation between Adults and Students

  1. Updates

Our Playworks staff are leading the change when it comes to creating a safe, healthy, and inclusive playground, and none of it could be done without the support of our partner school staff.

While our impact focus is generally on our students, adults are a huge, necessary component of a healthy and positive school climate and recess. In April, our staff is leaning into the social emotional skill of cooperation, specifically between adults and students. 

One of Playworks’ key inputs of programming is providing a kind, caring, consistent adult at school for students to connect and build trusting relationships that support their development. When students come to school, it is important for them to have daily routines and consistency so they know what is expected of them and they can successfully navigate their day.Through Playworks programming in schools, Playworkers are able to provide predictability for students through common language and systems used during play, recess, and at transition periods along with a dedicated staff person that is modeling inclusive play, positive language, and simple conflict resolution skills. Over time, this ensures school is a safe space for every student and somewhere they want to be and a requirement for academic success. 

It’s important to Playworkers that we are not only teaching students about healthy and inclusive play on the  playground, but also teachers in the classroom. By doing this, the adults and students can work together to make sure that students are solving conflicts on their own, encouraging others, and getting the chance to play everyday. 

Student/teacher cooperation on the playground is great for rapport building, which often gives back to instructional time and its efficiency. During recess and CGTs, I often lead one team in a game and ask that our teachers lead the other, or I encourage them to stay passively engaged by at least organizing a game (making teams, signaling the start of play, etc.) even if they don’t want to or can’t actively participate.”- Nicholas Pointer, Program Specialist 

By including the teachers in game facilitation, everyone is able to  at recess and in the classroom. This is just one way our school staff ensure a more positive and healthy school climate for every student. To learn about February’s skill focus, managing disappointment, here! And to learn about March’s skill, lighting lingo, here!

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