Assets School K-8 Principal Blog

Rules for Play


K-4 Rules for Play

Since the early weeks of the school year, our counselors have been supporting our K-4 students in the process of developing their own Rules for Play.  Our counselors visited each classroom with Ms. Peggy’s shark puppet (named “Trouble”) and discussed what kinds of problems “Trouble” causes on the playground.  Then, the students brainstormed a list of rules that would solve these problems. The counselors took all the suggestions and categorized them.  Finally, the students were presented with the categorized list of rules and voted on the ones they felt most strongly about.

I’m happy to announce our new K-4 Rules for Play are:

  1. Be nice and let people play
  2. Hands to yourself
  3. Be kind and listen to one another
  4. Listen when people say stop
  5. If you disagree, use “Rock-Scissors-Paper” or “Jan Ken Po”


I’m proud of our students for nominating and deciding on such respectful conduct with each other.  We chose to use the student-created process because it’s a practiced endorsed by both the Responsive Classroom and Developmental Designs approaches, which we’ve started to pilot and implement in select classrooms the past two years. I briefly wrote about our summer training in Developmental Designs in my first blog post.  By having students generate their own rules and in turn use them to assess their own behavior, we are helping them “connect-the-dots” between their behavior and community ideals. In a sense, they have created their own social contract. Also, research would support the notion that students are more invested in rules that they have a voice in creating.


As Ms. Peggy reminds us, developing the rules is only the first step. Now we need to “bring them to life.”  We have started by posting the rules in strategic locations throughout the playground and K-4 hallway.  We are also trying to be mindful of referencing the rules when discussing behavior situations with students.

K-4_Collaboration05 K-4_Collaboration02

Lastly, in an effort to help the K-4 students visualize what these rules look like in action, we asked our high school students who are participating in a photography mentorship project to take photos of students modeling the rules.  This lets us show students what “Listen when people say stop” looks like.  We will use these photos to post on campus, along with the rules, so they can be a visual reminder to all of us.

‘Ohana Wall

IMG_0560If you happened to be on campus this week, I hope you noticed the unveiling of our ‘Ohana Wall near the front lobby.  So many students and teachers stopped by the wall and searched for their photo or one of their friends. It was a real joy to see all the smiles and hear the oohs and aahs. These photos serve as a standing reminder that our families are a source of great strength for us, and as a celebration of our school community’s diversity. Mahalo to all the students and families who have already contributed to this new school installation. All families are always welcome to participate! If you’d like to submit a photo but would like a refresher on our ‘Ohana Wall, please reference my Family Photo Letter.

MS Open House

Mahalo to the middle school parents who were able to attend Open House this past Wednesday. We started the evening by listening to a presentation on the fabulous Project Based Learning course that all MS students participate in. After the PBL presentation, parents visited with Resource Teachers, followed by Classroom Teachers, and finally Math Teachers. Similar to K-6 Open House, it was great to see parents read the letters and journals that their child left to welcome them.

Many teachers chose to present their material to parents using the format of the morning meeting circle that students participate in daily.  This is called the Circle of Power and Respect (CPR) in Developmental Designs and is an important aspect of the Middle School program. Daily CPR consists of four components:  (1) Greeting, (2) Sharing, (3) Activity, and (4) Daily News.  I was lucky enough to be able to join class 72 in one of the students’ favorite CPR games:  Count to 10.  Much like the school day edition, the parent game was filled with laughter, strategy, and rapport.  Now I’m not sure who enjoys this game more, students or their parents!  Congratulations to Mrs. Gardiner on her well-earned victory!

Mahalo to all our middle school teachers for planning such an informative evening for all of us!

In closing, I want to extend a big mahalo to our wonderful Assets Parent ‘Ohana (APO) for generously providing pupus and beverages for both the K-6 and Middle School Open House events!

With aloha,


3 thoughts on “Rules for Play

  1. And, between nations – globally…


    • Yes! Your comment reminds me of the book & poem, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” The wisdom of children and primary school teachers, and the power of kindness!


  2. Great process. This could work at home too 🙂


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