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Successful Intramural Play

Jennifer Christenson,   Madison Middle School
Physical Activity Participation

Madison Middle School students love recess, but found playing with one another difficult at times and often games ended in arguing and tears. Mrs. Christenson, the physical education teacher was approached by her principal to help the students learn cooperation and teamwork skills so that the fights and arguing would stop during the lunch hour. Being a Fuel Up to Play 60 school, Mrs. Christenson knew that Ramp Up for Recess was the Play to help her students. In the fall she began by observing the students playing and creating opportunities at recess and her classes to work on cooperation skills. She wanted to begin an intramural program, but knew the students needed to learn greater teamwork and cooperation skills before they'd be ready to play competitive games. Through her physical education classes, students learned how to cooperate and learned how to play fair through individual and small group games. As the students began to develop these skills, Mrs. Christenson taught basketball lead-up activities to help prepare her students to play intramural games at recess time. As the students began to create their teams and creative team names, Mrs. Christenson put the brackets together and she had her Ambassadors take turns being involved as scorekeepers. Also, as part of the intramural program, the students were taught to monitor themselves in game play. They were taught through their physical education classes to learn to call their own fouls and to know the game rules. Students also had been taught if there was a disagreement, they should have an adult help them resolve the conflict.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

Our principal and lunchtime duty staff have collaborated with Mrs. Christenson to help our students learn how to work cooperatively with one another and to become good sports. Through their partnership, they have helped their students learn these skills.

How did you accomplish your goals?

Mrs. Christenson worked with her students to develop these skills in her classes, then they transferred this learning to the playground and intramural game play.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

Madison Middle School's principal reported fewer arguments and fights since we started the intramural program.