March 4, 2009

Recess Alternatives

Last week I posted about recess and it seems to have struck a chord.  Many responses from people who realize the need we all have to take a good solid fun break, which actually increases performance.  I wanted to follow up with some further thoughts and throw out some ideas.

I usually delete comments when someone is selling something, but Melinda Bossenmeyer commented with a link that is relevant.  She has a website called Peaceful Playgrounds that seems worth looking into.  I say this because just yesterday in a faculty meeting the issue of behavior on the playground came up again.

As for recess alternatives, their site has some ideas on this as well.  Ideas for alternatives to recess when it's cancelled due to inclement weather and alternatives to taking away recess for discipline.  There's an idea worth sharing!

Another great resource is the book The First Six Weeks of School which includes ideas about making recess a more positive time for all.  First of all, they suggest having recess before lunch if at all possible.  This gives the kids a chance to wind down before returning to class.  They also say it's worth the time investment for the teachers and PE coaches to give up a little free time at the beginning of the year and take the students to recess and teach them different games to play for a few weeks and initiate them into proper techniques of choice and turn taking, making the time far more positive for the rest of the year.

Any other ideas?