February 24, 2009

Recess


Turns out, it's just as important as the rest of the academic day.  How important?  We shouldn't even take it away as a punishment.

"Also, teachers often punish children by taking away recess privileges. That strikes Dr. Barros as illogical. 'Recess should be part of the curriculum,' she said. 'You don’t punish a kid by having them miss math class, so kids shouldn’t be punished by not getting recess.'"

Thoughts?



(image cc "day 51")

10 comments:

C. B. James said...

Recess is not part of the curriculum. Take it away and you'll see behavior improve almost every single time. Just threaten to take it away and behavior will improve.

I connect it to direct consequences. If you waste class time then you'll lose recess time because you'll need it to finish your class work. My middle schoolers understand this and generally do not waste class time.

Jenny said...

I guess it's possible that the age of the students is a factor here. As an elementary school teacher I've come to the conclusion that taking away recess is a mistake. I almost never do it. The children whose behavior warrants missing recess are the kids who most need that opportunity to run around and release some energy. I've found myriad other ways to improve behavior. I think recess is critical.

Christine said...

Recess is so important for all the reasons listed in the NYTimes piece, but also, I think, because it is an opportunity for kids to exercise authentic choice during their day. Shall I go on the slide or play tag? Should I play kickball or trade Pokemon cards? Many kids feel that they don't get to choose much of anything during their hours in school.I know my kids often get off the schoolbus and report what they did during recess before any other detail from their day.

Melinda Bossenmeyer said...

Thanks for posting on this important topic. We at THE RECESS BLOG share you concern regarding daily recess for children. http://blog.peacefulplaygrounds.com/

Something you and your readers might be interested in is: 60 Alternatives to Withholding Recess. http://www.peacefulplaygrounds.com/recess-alt.htm
RECESS DOCTOR

Ms. Yingling said...

We don't even have recess in our middle school. We have 30 minutes for lunch, and that's it.

Teacherninja said...

C.B., it probably is effective, but the alternatives Melinda mentioned seem worth trying.

Jenny, I agree that the "frequent offenders" are the ones who need it most!

Christine, "authentic choice"--I like it!

Melinda, the links didn't work for me, but I found them--good stuff. Also, the book The First Six weeks of school have some good recess suggestions.

Ms. Yingling, AHHHHHH! I'd find a way to get them out anyway. I'd have to...

Harrell Elizabeth said...

That large motor movement is so important to the brain restoration and keeping it working well in order to produce the work we want from them. I wouldn't have dreamed of punishing my own children with no outdoor play, that I know as an educator is good for them, I certainly won't punish another's child with no outdoor play at school.

Kim Kasch said...

Without recess, school would turn into Charlie Brown's world: and just be wah...wah...wah

or

blah....blah...blah...

JK said...

no recess?!?!? when would I get a moment to hear my thoughts? Not that the class is continuously loud, but I need a breath and chance to adjust and look forward, without 60 eyes watching me.

that, and I need to go potty...

Teacherninja said...

HE: Good on you!

Kim: I know! We ALL need frequent breaks.

JK: Yes, indeedy. Those kinds of breaks too!