Reading, Writing Arithmetic and... Recess?

Going back to the NY Times well again today (What can I say? The first days back after break can be exhausting) this article on the importance of recess was interesting. It seems to confirm common sense and the general suspicion of teachers, that recess is more than just a break from learning. In fact, studies show that recess supports student learning and provides an essential part of the overall academic experience for children.

I wonder if the recess my students enjoy during lunch time, approximately 20 minutes of movie watching in the auditorium, provides the same benefits. It's doubtful, since recess in the context of the article seems focused on physical play. Another reminder that the gap between suburban and urban schools extends beyond new books and computers, to the space available for play.


Maybe you can hold indoor recess for your kids? I teach first graders with mild to profound Autism and so we work a lot on social skills, both in discreet trials and in natural settings. I wish my school had a playground, but I guess we're lucky to have an open spot with pavement that's fenced in.

We go out whenever we can, usually 2-3x per week when the weather's nice. Everyone in my school seems shocked that I take them out so much but I think it's super important. When the weather isn't cooperating, I either check with the gym teacher to see when the gym is open or move all of the furniture in my room to create indoor recess and we play ball games and pretend hopscotch and the like.

I wish my kids could have recess like I did when I was their age. :-/

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