Could More Recess Time Make Your Kid a Better Student?

posted: 09/22/16
by: Blythe Copeland
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For teachers trying to stick to a strict curriculum and schedule, increasing the time that kids spend outside during the school day may seem counterintuitive. But four Texas schools found the opposite: When they increased recess time last year, they found that kids were more focused and better behaved during their lessons.

The Washington Post reported on the schools' new approach, which is part of the LiiNK Project, developed by Debbie Rhea at Texas Christian University. Inspired by Finland's approach to education, Rhea designed a program that increases recess time to two 15-minute breaks for students in grades 2 through 5 and four 15-minute breaks for kindergarteners and first graders, with the breaks spread throughout the day. The program also includes four activities each week "focusing on positive character and ethics development."

Principal Bryan McLain of Eagle Mountain Elementary School in Fort Worth told the Post that when they implemented the program for kindergartners and first graders last year, teachers reported more time spent on learning -- not less -- "because the kids come back in and settle down and get to work because they know they will receive another recess before long." The teachers also sent fewer students to his office, finding that "kids are solving their own problems much more independently."

"Kids aren't hard-wired to sit still all day," he said. "We believe in essence we are giving children back their childhood."

Via Scary Mommy