Recess optional?

Readers have commented about scheduling school lunch in relation to recess and how it’s better to have recess before lunch…. Um… Tell me again what this “recess” is that you speak of? My school doesn’t have recess. The kids get gym once a week. That’s it. (Revised: the preschoolers get recess but not in the winter.)

It bothers me because kids really have the need to move. And kids want to be outside even in the cold: they want to run around. With ADHD diagnoses increasing every year, it makes you wonder if we are requiring them to sit for too long.

I love watching kids run around, going wild, hair flowing in the breeze, playing tag, laughing and smiling. Being kids. I love seeing their pink cheeks after gym class. That’s increased blood flow to their brains!

Recess in not optional. Recess needs to be required.

Once I was testing a student He has test anxiety. His eyes were wide, he was fidgeting with his shirt, and his hands were trembling. We started the test and he started tanking right away. So I stopped it and said to him, “Let’s do some jumping jacks!” He was confused at first, but when I did a few jumping jacks, he did some too. He had the biggest smile on his face. We sat down again and I could see that he had less tension in his body. We returned to the testing and his scores went up. A little common sense goes a long way.

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57 Responses to Recess optional?

  1. Ellie March 18, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    I agree with Astrid. no recess is reprehensible and worse than these "lunches"

  2. Anonymous March 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    No Recess. I was a calm child growing up but I can't imagine sitting in class all day with some of the more active kids I grew up with and them not having a some kind o break. No gym??? They complain about child obesity but they take away physical activity. Gym is where I learned how to play a little bit of every sport. I loved field day!!! I commend you on your out o the box thinking on the jumping jacks! That was great!!!!

  3. Anonymous March 19, 2010 at 1:02 am #

    So glad and disturbed to have found your blog. Not only is recess a chance to move, learn and reset, but being outside we now know contributes to attention, calmness and clarity. How sad we take that from our kids.

  4. MoonEagle March 19, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    I knew of a teacher who taught in a school without recess too. She scheduled 2, 10 minute "yoga" sessions right in with her school day sessions. Her kids did GREAT!

  5. Cora March 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    The horrible lunches and no recess make sense in a sick way. Keep chemical-filled cows in pens. Process the cows and feed them to kids. Keep the chemical-filled kids in pens. The more inactive the kids become, the more they crave the cows. The cycle continues.

    Welcome to the Feedlot Generation.

    And people protest to let livestock move around. Whatever happened to free-range kids?

  6. Steph October 7, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    i have gym 3 times a week, and some kids have it every day. our lunches can sometimes be good or look like rubber. it surprise me you only have gym once a week.

  7. Kristina October 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Wow, I can’t imagine not haveing Recess when I was in elementary school (2 x for when I was in kindergarden) plus 3 days a week of gym.

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