Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What, No Recess?!?!

I was horrified to read that 40 percent of American schools have or would be eliminating recess! I couldn't believe it! In Changing The Recess Paradigm?, it talks about how quite a few schools want to cut down on recess in order to increase more academic instruction.Now, you and I both know that young children thrive on being able to wiggle around and let their ball of energy explode during recess. This is the only way that they can concentrate better in class, as a result even do better as mentioned in that blog.Once recess is taken away from them, then how can they let out that energy? They'll just start looking worn out from all that work, lack focus and concentration in class, and end with their grades dropping and having poor academic performance.I appreciate the Parent Teacher Association, National Education Association (and various associations mentioned) in working hard to bring recess back for the children! Parents of all people know that their children are balls of energy that need to be released, so they appreciate the balance of academic studies and playtime. Even parents at some point went through recess in their childhood, so it wouldn't be fair to take away a childhood experience that young ones remember and enjoy so very much.There are many statistics and empirical evidence that support the idea that with having recess students are able to score better and do better in their general education. So, schools should take this into consideration before making their decision. Do they want to have more time for academics but have students fare badly and performance levels drop, or do schools want to keep recess as a time to release energy and have alert students performing well in their academics?It's a question worth asking that I hope schools look at, because as a student I know that recess may have been playtime but it was a good break to take from the work we got in school.


Charli3 said...

I completely agree with Priyanka! There needs to be some form of outlet for all that pent up energy!!! I genuinely believe that students will do much better academically not only if there is a designated time slot for physical activity but if teachers also found a way to incorporate physical activity into their daily lessons. That does not mean that there needs to some form of activity for each lesson, but maybe a two or three minute break to stretch or play a quick mini game (i.e. one round of hangman that relates to the topic currently being focused on). Moreover, a recent study has found that students who sit longer than 45 minutes without intaking water, tend to be more restless than students who did not sit as long and who drank water with that 45 minute period. Supposedly, our attention span decreases noticeably when we fail to intake water, which in turn will result in a decrease in the amount of information retained by our students. Overall, recess will burn off excess energy, refresh the inquisitive minds of our students, and increase the chance that might intake water!!! :-D

Anne Davis said...

I couldn't agree with you more! I still remember how much I looked forward to recess and how I returned to the classroom ready to get back to work! As I have observed children over the years I've taught recess I have seen students learn how to share, how to get along, how to make friends, how to organize, and oh so many other things. And that is not even mentioning how much better they will do academically with exercise!

Here is a link to Take Ten ( which is a way to incorporate physical activity in the classroom, if recess is not an option in the school you are in.

I'm glad you blogged about this issue. Here! Here! What other important issues do you plan to blog about?

Angel said...

I definitely agree with you Priyanka. Recess is definitely needed in our schools, as well as other activities that will keep our students moving throughout the day. I have children and know from experience that when they sit in one spot for too long, they become irritable and will not listen to ANYTHING!!! Children ove moving around and if activity can be incorporated into daily lessons, they will be more eager to learn and extremely excited about doing so. I'm sure that any school that implements a "No Recess" policy will quickly see the negative effects and reinstate it.

Moturoa said...

What a silly idea.

Sometimes playtime is the highlight of our day.

Children NEED time to play and walk and run and go to the toilet and get into arguments and solve arguments and practise being children- not just learning buckets that need filling up with knowledge!

Thanks for bringing this folly to my attention.

Allanah K

Primary school teacher in NZ