Recess "workshops" are one of the many new things I'm trying out this year. I wish something like this had come my way before year 25. It's kind of brilliant.
This summer I read Purposeful Play by Kristine Mraz, Alison Porcelli, and Cheryl Tyler. They recommend setting aside time for an additional period of recess where the teacher teaches a mini-lesson, the kids go play with that lesson's focus in mind while the teacher monitors, and then the class shares afterwards.
I'm using the book's ideas a guide...
On day one we learned that we all have feelings that make our faces and bodies look certain ways. This chart comes directly from the book.
On day two we learned that faces and bodies tell us how other people are feeling. We use that information to help us act differently. Again, I borrowed (and slightly modified) the chart below from the book. We sorted pictures and talked about how a person's face and body show us if that person is fine with how we're playing or if we need to stop.
There's more to come, but I wanted to share the beginnings of what we've been up to. I know it will take a lot of repetition, practice, role playing, etc. but I do believe this kind of intentional teaching will help kids not only on the playground but in life. I'm excited to see where this goes.