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After Recess Check-in

in GVTA News, Vol 9 Issue 1 Sept 2002

Amber Harvey

How many of you spend the first tenminutes after recess trying to help students who had problems during     recess?

How many of you want to get on with the ‘real lesson” while you’re helping sort out problems?      

How many of you worry about what the other students are doing while you’re busy dealing with after-recess problems?

In my class, we meet in circle after recess and have a quick check-in time.

I ask the students to:

a) tell us what worked best for them at recess, or

b) tell us what didn’t work and what they did about it.

Most children answer with a quick, I had fun playing tag with James and Sandeep or, “I played on the swings with Ashley.” I might ask them if it was something they’d like to do again, seeing as it was so successful.

The children who had problems will tell about what went wrong. My question for them is" And what did you do?" At this point I might have to re teach the steps in "WITS" ( reference?) I might ask other students what they would have done. I might have two or three children participate in an impromptu role play.

All the children get to review their successes or lack of them. The children learn from each other. They get a quick review of school expectations and strategies for dealing with problems. The learning is very relevant because it is based on their recent experiences.            

Why not formalize this time, write it on your timetable? It might be called Personal Planning time. It might be part of your Communication goals for Language Arts. Whatever you call it, make a time for it. All your students will benefit.