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Playground Behavior for First Graders in School

by Kristine Tucker

First graders must learn to participate in playground behavior that centers around sharing, cooperation and kindness. Older elementary playground rules often address vulgar language, bullying and the prohibited use of electronics, but younger elementary students aren't usually exposed to those types of issues. First graders must learn to take turns, respond when their teacher calls and practice self-discipline during recess time. The playground is the ideal place for first graders to socialize and build friendships as they learn to interact in healthy and productive ways.

Cooperation

First graders learn to cooperate with their classmates on the playground. Interactive games, such as tag, hopscotch and hide-and-seek teach young elementary students how to communicate, solve problems and negotiate, according to Tom Jambor, associate professor of early childhood development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. First graders also learn to share by taking turns on the swings, sliding down the slide the right way, rationing recreational equipment and taking turns being "it" in tag. Playground behavior for first graders encourages teamwork, give-and-take and friendly cooperation.

Safety

Playground behavior for first graders must revolve around safety. Youngsters are adventurous and often press the limits when it comes to playground rules. Teachers must ensure that students obey equipment guidelines, safety rules and playground perimeters. Without established recess rules, first graders may try to climb on the outside of equipment, stand on swings, throw hard-sided balls at classmates or wander beyond the boundaries of the playground. Unsafe playground behavior must be addressed immediately and may require teachers to penalize non-compliant students with the loss of playground privileges.

Creative Play

Playground behavior for first graders includes creative play. According to the education website Bright Hub, young elementary students use recess to create fictional stories, using playground equipment as props for their story plots. This type of behavior is fun and creative as long as it doesn't create cliques or encourage exclusivity. Teachers must make sure students don't feel rejected or left out and encourage students who are leaders in the class to include everyone who wants to participate.

Tattling

Most first graders haven't matured enough to handle playground conflicts on their own. They often feel compelled to tell the teacher if a peer breaks the rules or behaves inappropriately. Playground behavior often includes tattling since many first graders want fairness but don't know how to enforce it without the teacher's help. Teachers must respond quickly to tattling if a child's safety or well-being is at stake, but for minor issues a teacher can serve as a moderator, encouraging young students to work out disputes between themselves.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

Photo Credits

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