Idea for helping students cope with the Recess break
Stephanie Pain, a B.C. kindergarten teacher, shared an idea that she uses in her classroom to help her students cope with the Recess break as well as promote relationships with the other students in the classroom. This approach creates situations where the students have to interact with someone they don’t know as well but the teacher has found it very successful in creating a class community that knows and supports each other.
Starting at the beginning of the year in September, the teacher first has the students choose a partner to go outside with. The teacher would ensure each person had someone to go with. Next, to promote relationships with the other students and not just have students always choose the same partner, the teacher draws nametags to partner the students together. They partner first for just recess and then for a variety of activities within the class.
In October, the partners get picked for two-day partners rather than each day. Some partnerships can be more difficult, but the teacher found that they usually succeed. The students learn they are not alone, they can help each other, and listen to their partner.
Mondays and Tuesdays are partner draw days; Wednesdays is their choice day; Thursdays and Fridays are partner draw days. This continues until the end of the rotation when there has been a partnership with everyone. The teacher may have to choose partners at this point to make sure everyone has had a chance to get to know the other students in the class.
By the second term, the teacher has the students choose their own partners as well as have some partner draw days.