Playworks is a new program being implemented at Cambridge Elementary School for the 2022-2023 school year. This program focuses on making impactful changes to recess to ensure all students and staff feel safe, feel included, and have F U N!
How does Playworks positively impact recess?
Recess Announcements – each morning before recess students gather together on the blacktop where all available games are announced. This ensures students are aware of all recess choices and feel welcome to join in on the fun
Inclusivity – all core recess games such as four-square, switch, tetherball, basketball, soccer, tag, and the game of the week are available to every student. Students are not only welcome but encouraged to participate in these larger group games with their peers.
Game of the Week – every week Student Support Specialists choose a game or activity to highlight at recess. Castle Dodgeball is one game in the rotation that is a school favorite!
Leadership – Junior Coaches are at recess each day working on their leadership skills to help everyone play safely and fairly in all new and old games
One component of the Playworks program is known as Junior Coaching. Junior Coaches at Cambridge are 3rd through 6th grade students who have both volunteered and been selected for their qualities of leadership and responsibility inside and outside the classroom. These Junior Coaches work hard to keep recess safe, inclusive and fun. Some of these responsibilities include setting up and putting away recess equipment, leading games and modeling school rules for all of our Cambridge Cougars. Junior Coaches meet monthly after school with the Student Support Specialists to collaborate as a team, practice leadership skills, and learn new games to lead at recess.
Playworks Inside the Classroom
Rainy days do not slow Cambridge down! Junior Coaches have learned several indoor games to lead in their classrooms during indoor recess. Heads up Seven Up, Four-Corners, and Silent Ball are three great inclusive indoor games that are played at Cambridge.
In collaboration with Playworks, Cambridge’s Student Support Specialists Sophia Lavin and Shellie Glaister offer Recess 101 sessions throughout the year for teachers and their students. These are 30-minute opportunities for individual classes to come outside, learn a new recess or rapport building game, build leadership skills through collaborative discussion, and work together as a team to improve our school culture.