The Right Equipment to Solve a Playground Problem
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The Right Equipment to Solve a Playground Problem

– Can I show you this
or how can I do this? So I have data that we use
every year for what’s going on in our health rooms. – Hi guys, I broke my arm. – And I noticed that in September
we had about 300 injuries. Then in October it bounced to almost 400. – Sprained my knee again. – [Narrator] Why are you crying, bud? – Every minute it seemed
like there would be another kid in here, another kid in
here, another kid in here. So I knew right away we
were way busier than we have been in the past. So that’s why I started thinking about what is going on in here? (indistinct talking) – We were having issues on our playground. We had a lot more students
that were getting hurt. Part of that is we
changed from a K5 building to a K4 through second grade building. So we didn’t have those
upper grade students to help our younger students learn the behaviors and be good role models. That’s the goal that we needed to work on, was how are we going to
decrease the number of incidences on the playground
so not as many students got hurt? – I guess if I was gonna
define continuous improvement at Ben Franklin, I would just
say that it’s essentially what it is, it’s continuous improvement. It’s just giving you a little
bit more of a framework on how to organize your thoughts
around problems you have and it gives you some structures
and some starting points so that you can really dive
into those conversations you’re having with people. So you can identify root
causes and what your next steps are gonna be. Our project really started
developing around our playground and making sure that kids
were being safe and felt safe, both emotionally and physically. – My first thought was we
need different equipment. This is too big for the smaller kids, but it’s really not, it’s
more about teaching the kids how to behave on the equipment, what they need to do to be safe. It’s all about the teaching part of it. – We told the students
that we definitely need to have better behavior so we
initiated a social story that one of our K4 teachers wrote for us. And it was a great way for
everybody to be on the same page. – So it’s basically a
story about what we expect children to do. And it really allows the kids
to understand what play is and how much more fun recess
can be when you’re not trying to navigate, either
being physically safe, or fighting over a game. – We want everybody to be
safe, but we also want them to enjoy the playground. So we have to make sure
there’s rules in place for them to still enjoy it. – The biggest accomplishment
I’ve seen through continuous improvement and what it’s
done for the teachers and the kids is it’s
really made their learning very visible. Everybody is growing and
everybody is learning every day. Nobody should expect
perfection from anybody else, nor would we want perfection
’cause then we can’t learn and learning is, we’re in education, that’s our whole premise,
that’s why we do what we do. Who doesn’t like to learn? (chuckles)

About James Carlton

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