Helpful Recess Words

by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller


Please feel free to pass this on to recess monitors or others who could benefit.

"If you tell him what you want it words, you will have a better chance of getting it."

"If you choose to play rough you will be choosing to play alone."

"Can I help you find a way to get what you want without hitting?"

"Please allow snow to stay on the ground."

"I believe the other kids would respond better if you used a quieter voice with them. Check it out.

"We don't use that type of language in this school. Please make a different choice."

"I noticed you've had the swing for a long time now. Is there a way you could make sure others get a turn?"

"Telling me is telling the wrong person. Edmundo is the one who would benefit from your words. If you want I will go with you to help you feel heard."

"Opportunity equals responsibility here. If you choose to lower your responsibility with the baseball bat, you will be choosing to lower your opportunity to use it."

"That's teasing. We call that verbal violence. Please talk to each other respectfully."

"Sounds like you have a problem. What have you thought of so far?"

"You always have more choices than you think you have."

"Check yourself to see if you are respecting the equipment."

"Every problem has a solution. Let's think of some."

"How can you both get what you want?"

"On this playground we observe healthy limits. Here is one of them….."

"You seem extremely frustrated. It could be time for a break from that activity."

"If anyone can handle this, you can."

"Tevi, give me a high-five."

"I'm concerned that…."

"Would you be willing to….."

"I would rather hear what you WILL do rather than what you WON'T do."

"What do you think would have happened if…..?"

"Today seemed a lot better than yesterday. What do you attribute that to?"

"I've been hearing some nice things about you."

"It's nice to have you back. I missed your smile yesterday."

Being a recess monitor or having recess duty is not always an easy assignment. Use some of the language above to put the Teacher Talk Advantage to work for your benefit in that situation.

"We know you can handle it."


Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are available to meet with your Discipline Committee or staff to examine this issue in more depth. A consultation day with one of them could be the jumpstart your discipline program needs to put the emphasis on responsibility and help your students take increasing amounts of control over their school lives.


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