Hot Topic: How Important is Recess?
May 31, 2011
Many schools that are not at the highest status rating have been required to to cut back their recess time or cut it out entirely. As parents, how important to you is it that your child has recess?
With my first teaching job, I taught Kindergarten at a school where our status was just Acceptable. With Recognized or Exemplary ratings as our goal, we were strongly encouraged to use recess as a reward for our students--no matter their age. I remember most of the teachers that taught K-2 would only take their students out on Fridays and the teachers that taught grades 3-5 would only take recess in April and May--after the big standardized test was over. As a new teacher, I stuck to my beliefs that recess was necessary for my Kindergarten students, even though I could see the other teachers whispering to each other about me taking a 20 minute recess with my students after lunch each day.
In Illinois, Chicago's Public Schools are considering extending the school day to allow for students to get in their active free
playfor the day. Some people feel that if you are going to extend the day the focus should strictly be academic.
Is it necessary to prolong the school day if the amount of instructional time is not increased and just stays the same?
- When schools cut out recess aren't we neglecting children of physical activity, social interaction, and causing kids to "burn out or check out" earlier in the day?
- Does your child get recess? If so, how long does their recess last?
- Some schools require a structured recess game, rather than just free play. How do you feel about each?
With summer around the corner, children everywhere will be getting that recess they may have been deprived of
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