To most teachers, the idea of fitting in more recess time seems scary, especially given how much most curriculums require them to get across in such a short period of time.
To most students, more recess time is a desirable figment of their imagination, as I truly believe you will be hard pressed to find a kid who doesn’t enjoy their daily time outside of the classroom.
To Eagle Mountain Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas, more recess time was an initiative worth pursuing and several months into the program, it’s proving to be a strong decision.
The school recently decided to start giving their students four recess periods a day: two fifteen minute breaks every morning and two fifteen minute breaks every afternoon. The results so far have been incredible, and teachers, students, and parents have all chimed in with nothing but praise for the new system.
“There was a part of me that was very nervous about it. I was trying to wrap my head around my class going outside four times a day and still being able to teach those children all the things they needed to learn . . . [but we’re seeing really good results.” – Donna McBride, first grade teacher
“You start putting 15 minutes of what I call ‘reboot’ into these kids every so often and . . . it gives the platform for them to be able to function at their best level.” – Debbie Rhea, professor working with Eagle Mountain Elementary
Even though I personally am long removed from the education system, I can still vividly remember the anticipation of waiting for the recess bell to ring — an anticipation that would inevitably prove a major distraction from the task at hand.
The idea of students being given more recess time seems like a truly wonderful idea, especially given how important physical activity and social interaction are to our development and happiness.
If you too are long-removed from your school days, think about how your work environment feels to you. Would you not enjoy the opportunity to more freely roam, interact, and stretch those legs a little more often?
That’s one thing in particular that I am extremely grateful for here at Collective Evolution; we give ourselves the freedom to take breaks and move throughout the day, which is something that you would think would decrease productivity but in fact does just the opposite. Not only do we accomplish more, but we are a tight-knit group that supports one another and almost always leaves work energized rather than drained.
Several parents of the students involved in the academic experiment have accredited the change to such welcome developments as increased independence, creativity, and social skills in their children.
What are your thoughts on the idea of increasing the amount of recess time that elementary students receive while at school? Do you think it would be beneficial? Or do you feel that the current amount is more than enough? Let us know via the comment section.
Image Credit: Aaron Burden
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