Thursday, August 11, 2016

Hey--bring back recess

Remember recess--twice, or at least once, a day outdoor playtime? Run, play, run off energy, stay healthy?

The website Education Dive says USA TODAY reports that in 2014, fewer than two-thirds of middle schools and one-quarter of high schools offered breaks for physical activity outside of PE class.

Schools are busy replacing recess with more "instructional" time.

Parents are fighting back, though. They say free time is essential for kids to stay focused, hang with friends, and maybe work up an appetite (studies show recess before lunch is better).

Legislators in Florida, New Jersey and Rhode Island have introduced bills requiring recess. (New Jersey's made it all the way to the governor's desk, but Christie vetoed it.)

Don't forget teachers also need breaks. In Finland, known for a high performing educational system, students and teachers get a 15-minute break for every 45 mins of instruction. Recess, by the way, does not have to mean going outside--it can be unstructured time in the classroom, too.

Maybe if the emphasis on testing--and cramming for those--eases, recess will make a comeback.

I sure liked recess better than PE. But maybe that's just me.

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