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What About Recess?

Chloe Miller
Alysse Blain
Meagan Grubbs
Jasmine McSwain

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What is recess?

Oxford Dictionary Definition:

  • Recess is a regularly scheduled period in the school day for physical activity and play that is monitored by school staff. During recess, students are encouraged to be physically active and engaged with their peers in activities of their choice.

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Why is recess important to students?

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Play has many benefits for students...

* Building self-confidence
* Boosting creativity
* Developing social skills
* Helping memory, language, and symbol recognition
* Teaching stress management
* Promoting healthy physical development

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Why Recess Should Never Be Taken Away As Punishment

"Experts argue that recess is necessary for a child’s social and academic development, and skipping it as punishment for misbehavior or to accommodate more seat time is a serious mistake."

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Statistics on why recess is beneficial

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Should Recess Time Be Longer?

Creative Play:

- A total of 45-60 minutes of recess a day can help children develop problem-solving skills.

- Recess currently isn't long enough because it takes time for children to figure out whom they are playing with and develop a plan of what they want to do during recess

- A longer recess would benefit children's imaginative play opportunities.

Social-Emotional Development:

- Demonstrates empathy, and effectively socializing with their peers

- Creation of "Social skills groups" which help us develop social ques

- Allow children to learn social skills through real-life scenerios

Physical Regulation: 

- Regulate their bodies and prepare for learning

- Increases activities levels

- Regulates their movement and brings their activity levels back down again, ready for them to learn in the classroom

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Importance of Outdoor Recess

Recess is usually moved to indoors when it is below freezing or raining and snowing. But going outdoors when it is even below 20 degrees allows children to problem solve and teaches children how to deal with cold weather.

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Benefits of Play

According to 2021 Article by Waterford

Play also has the following benefits for kids:

  • Building self-confidence

  • Boosting creativity

  • Developing social skills

  • Helping memory, language, and symbol recognition

  • Teaching stress management

  • Promoting healthy physical development

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Recess Shouldn't Stop After Middle School

Focus in the classroom

High Schoolers need at least 25 minutes of recess or a break outside a day. Many high schoolers have trouble focusing and often some out, fall asleep, or walk the halls during class. Recess is like a reset button for them

High School Teachers Need a Break Too

Having this break allows teachers to plan classes, grade papers, and relax. Teachers can interact with their colleagues, get ideas, or just talk and destress. They can talk to someone who isn't a student.

Recess Can Be for Anything

High schoolers can use this recess time to go outside and play with their friends from other classes. But they can also use this time to get an assignment or two done, especially if they are an athlete this time is crucial. Student-athletes would not have to stay up late after practice to complete this, giving them more time to rest and sleep.

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Recess and Mental Health

  • Increasing their level of physical activity

  • Improving their memory, attention, and concentration

  • Helping them stay on-task in the classroom

  • Reducing disruptive behavior in the classroom

  • Improving their social and emotional development (e.g., learning how to share and negotiate).

“Being physically active can improve strength and endurance; help build healthy bones and muscles; help control weight; reduce anxiety, stress, and depression; improve academic achievement; and increase self-esteem for children and adolescents.”

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What Can Schools do to support and environment encouraging physical activity during recess?

Create an Environment Supportive of Physical Activity During Recess
Provide adequate physical activity equipment.
Add markings to playground or physical activity areas. 
Create physical activity zones.
Provide planned activities or activity cards.
Provide a combination of recess strategies.

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