Making Smart Choices at Recess + a Freebie :)

This year, I have switched my Class Rule #4 from "Raise your hand to speak or stand." to Whole Brain Teaching's Rule #4 "Make smart choices." I like this quite a bit because I think it can be more easily incorporated into lots of different lessons and teachable moments throughout the day. Plus, we move around a LOT in our class, so this fits my style a bit more :)

PS- This gesture is tapping our index finger to our temple three times.
This rule was quite nice when it came to nipping some daredevil-ish behavior on the playground the other day. I came up with a quick worksheet and we have been discussing as a class what smart choices on the playground look like using this Making Smart Choices at Recess sheet.

I partnered up the kids and we went outside to hang out in the different areas of our playground. We focused on our four main parts of the playground: the swings, play structures, field, and four square. Partners walked around to each area and jotted down 3-5 bullet points about what smart choices looked like in these areas.

I then had them work on the back side of the page and brainstorm what smart choices looked like when it came to behavior with friends, other grade levels, and what we should do when the bell rings to come inside. The last square was their best parting advice about what to "always remember" when it came to recess choices.

Some of the great "Always Remember..." responses included:
  • Be kind
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated
  • Don't cheat
  • Say nice things
  • Don't whine (lol!)
  • Be safe
  • Follow the rules
  • To have fun and just be kind to one another
It was a great activity and gave us the chance to get outside, go over the rules in a kid-focused way and reiterate some of the rules in a way that was geared towards "smart choices" as opposed to me lecturing for hours on end- yay!

I have posted this for FREE on Google Docs HERE. Since I know that your playground probably has different areas, I left the last page blank so you can add in four sections of your choosing.

Happy Wednesday!


  1. great activity! Yep. I think rule 4 and 5 cover it all!

  2. I'm glad to hear that you just switched back to the Make Smart Choices rule b/c it fit better. This year I've changed grades and have kind of gotten in the mode of everything needing to be new for some reason. I feel the same way about RULE #4 though because it covered everything! Thanks for the free supplement activity to use with it!