Importance of Recess!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I know that I'm probably going to be in the minority here, but I'm going to go ahead and state my opinion. Please provide your input:

    Recess is important. Our kiddos need to release pent up energy and the social skills they learn (sharing, taking turns, interacting positively with other) are invaluable.

    However, there are teachers at my site who take away the same kids' recess EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We have two boys who haven't had recess all year long due to incomplete homework.

    Personally, I don't believe in punishing for incomplete homework (again--I know I'm probably in the minority on this one). As a teacher, I used to provide an incentive for completed homework for the entire month (I implemented something called "Lunch Bunch" where the kids would eat with me on the last day of the month, we'd watch a video together, & enjoy a special treat).

    Yes--I know it's frustrating when the kids have chronic issues with incomplete homework. But do you really think taking away recess every single day is going to solve the problem??? :confused:

    ETA: I just got back from recess yard duty and noticed that a certain (very hyperactive) student was missing from his group of friends who play soccer every day. I asked, "Where's so-and-so?" His friends said, "Oh, he has detention since he didn't do his weekend homework!" :(
     
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  3. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    As a PE teacher I agree with you completely. I let teachers try taking PE away sometimes to get a kids attention but everyday is insane. Children need that time outside to socialize and burn off some energy. It is proven that exercise each day is conducive to better classroom performance.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I don't think you will be in the minority from teachers around here.

    I took my kids outside for recess last year even though it was banned in my school. I was ready and willing to discuss the need for recess with any admin who questioned me. Luckily, no one ever said anything.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I teach HS now, but the need to let down, get out of the classroom and just see someone else's face for a while seems like a no-brainer to me. Honestly, having to keep students in for recess is a punishment for student and teacher, and neither one of them has an improved attitude when the recess is snatched away. I favor recess, and I have been known to walk my older students away from the classroom just to break the routine.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I wish high school students could have recess.
     
  7. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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  8. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I think the important thing is to have a balance. I take away lunch as a consequence for certain things, but it's never the whole lunch, and I probably only have a kid in my class for lunch like once a week, and it's rarely repeat offenders.

    If I give a lunch detention, and nothing has changed in behavior, I won't do the same thing again, and would instead just move to parent calls, or something else.

    Taking away recess sounds like it could be an effective consequence if it's not over done.
     
  9. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    IA. I wish HS had recess too. Personally, I never like take away students' free time to socialize during the day, such as lunch or gym class, unless they want to come to me to finish up some work.

    I also don't think students should be punished for not completing homework.
     
  10. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I agree that kids need recess, however, I am not opposed to it being used for consequences from time to time.

    With that said, I find it sloppy that a teacher will keep using the same consequence over and over again that IS NOT WORKING.

    What did Einstein say?, something like "insanity is doing the same thing everyday and expecting a different result", something to that effect.
     
  11. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Exactly.
    As a school, students who do not complete homework finish it at their lunch recess time in a specified room (they have two other 15 minute recesses, so they still have plenty of other time of guarenteed recess!). That being said, for students who are consistently in there, we have to look into alternate ways to help that student reach that goal of getting their homework turned in. I had about 3 kids who were in there consistently (i.e. almost every day) last month, who, using a variety of strategies, I have been able to help them make it to the point that they are only in there once a week at most.
     
  12. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    As I tell my students, I will only take recess very rarely, and only for major offenses. If you take the same thing everyday, students don't care anymore. Taking recess doesn't bother them because they never get it anyway. There's no incentive. As an admin, is there anything you can do to help these chronic homework students get recess?
     
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I am in favor of recess. Possibly that teacher could take away 5 minutes of the 15 minute recess instead of the whole recess. I can understand consequences are needed, but always taking away a full recess isn't the right way to go IMO.
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I think the thing is that most times teachers are making the kids do the homework during recess. Not that they just have a punishment.

    If I knew as a kid I could avoid recess by not doing homework, I can assure you there were times I would have failed to do the homework to stay inside and avoid the drama of the kids on the playground. :rolleyes:
     
  15. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    YTG, I agree with you!!!

    At my old school, teachers took recess away for homework all the time. It made me so mad. I conformed for a bit because I was new and thought I had to..but then I was like forget it, go to recess! It was a K-2 school. In K-2, if the kid doesn't have his/her homework done, that is NOT because of the kid, it is because of the parent.

    We have very little homework at my new school, and definitely none on the weekend! (Old school had mandatory weekend homework and WAY more homework than I wanted to give). My kids do their homework because it's manageable.
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I don't necessarily agree with taking recess away for homework, but I think it can and should be used as a consequence if it makes sense to do so. For example, I think that if a kid is refusing to work in class or just spending the entire day goofing off, a logical consequence is that they then have to spend their free time doing the work they refused to do earlier. I have found "complete this now or at recess" to be incredibly effective in the past. Unfortunately at my current school we're not allowed to take away recess except in extreme circumstances (like if a child is being too unsafe to go out and has to go to the office or something). At my first school we had a big square that kids walked around if they were not allowed to play, so they were still moving which was good for the kids that need to get the energy out. Especially at schools with strict instructional schedules, what other consequence can you really give? Someone will always have an argument against whatever you come up with- can't make them write/do extra work because then they'll get resentful of writing, can't do time out/removal from classroom because then they'll miss instruction, can't write their name on the board/flip a card because they'll get embarrassed, can't keep calling home because you'll create a negative relationship with the parent, can't take away a "fun" classroom activity or field trip because then they are missing the educational objectives for those activities, etc.
     
  17. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I would agree with having kids complete work at recess that they don't complete during class - I think that's logical! It's easy to get the kid to see the connection too - "You wasted your work time, so now you'll use your play time to do work." I think the homework issue is different. At my last school, teachers kept the same first graders in day after day. These kids generally did not have much parent support at home, and that's why they weren't getting their homework done. I always felt like these kids were getting punished twice - first by having a less-than-stellar home situation, and again by losing recess.
     
  18. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    You are most likely correct. I feel a portion of recess could be used to finish missing HW (not sure if I agree with this though). Still, I do feel strongly that students should be able to get at least 1/2 of their recess to play.
     
  19. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    I like using loss of recess as a potential consequence for many things. I think teaching is hard and we should let teachers do whatever it takes to get the job done.

    However, I agree that if a kid is getting held from recess every day it is probably not working. I once held a kid every day for the first week of school and then never had to hold him again. I think if they do not get it by November, it is time to move on to other consequences or higher stakes incentives. However, some schools do not allow after school detentions or other kinds of support for higher level consequences. In this case, the teacher should just do what they think is best.
     
  20. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I think another problem is holding a child for recess also hurts them socially. While a willful child might understand that he can't play because he didn't do the work so has to use playtime for the work and it will turn him around. Often children that get held in all the time also end up with a social stigma attached to them and sometimes they are already struggling socially because of the reasons that some kids fail to do homework. The school that holds them every day just rubber stamps "social problem" on their forehead.
     
  21. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    What can you do as an administrator to get recess back for those children?
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I have to tread lightly in terms of how I approach this situation.

    My district has a very strong (and incredibly vocal) union presence.
     
  23. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Parents are your friend. In our state (fla) PE is mandated 30 minutes a day. So lawfully they are not allowed to keep them in from my class. I work with them.
     
  24. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Unfortunately, in most of the schools I have worked at in Fl, that mandate was met by adding the walking time it takes to and from specials and lunch. They told us to walk slowly so the time would add up.

    I did work in one wonderful school in the Panhandle where the PE teachers offered to double up their classes so every child in the school could have PE every day.
     
  25. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Terrible terrible. That is not the intent and the admin. knows it. If I was the PE teacher I would probably send an email to Tallahassee.
     
  26. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I've known teachers who tell kids that are refusing to work: you can have recess now or later. If you have it now, it's at your desk doing nothing.
     
  27. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    As another poster stated, in California it is law they need 180 minutes of PE every 2 weeks...or something similar...you will have to look it up.
     
  28. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I agree with you YTG! And to take away recess for incomplete homework...well I think that's silly! There could be numerous reasons why that child isn't completing that homework that has nothing to do with their cognitive ability to do so. To punish them for something that might be out of the control is wrong.
     
  29. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    So, what are your strategies to deal with missing homework? Especially from the ones who chronically don't do it? My biggest issue is that our homework is usually unfinished classwork. If they don't waste their class time, they have very little to finish at home. How would you deal with those who waste their class time and then don't finish it for homework (and not because of an inability to do the work, either...)?
     
  30. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Personally, and as a school, homework is not unfinished class work, but rather work that asks students to practice something they have learned in class. In many cases, those students who take longer to finish an assignment are ones that struggle with the concepts more, and thus it is not fair to them to have more homework because of that, especially when they might not be as successful at home. Similarly, if a student is taking more time with their work and doing an excellent job with it (I have some that tend to go well above and beyond expectations), they end up with homework because they chose to do a better job on it than someone rushing through it.

    With unfinished class work, or those that waste time, I ask them to finish it up at the beginning of a recess (as previously mentioned, we have an hour of recess total throughout the day, so taking a bit doesn't severely limit their time), or they are asked to complete it during a time when we are doing a more "fun" activity in the classroom, such as our class game. I also send "progress reports" home each week, and the kids are very intrinsically driven to be achieving their best throughout the week.
     
  31. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I feel that the resultant grade reduction will get the parent's attention, opening a dialog about lack of preparation with parents or caregivers. I do favor consequences, but I don''t feel that keeping the student out of recess forever will teach the lesson we want learned. Just my opinion.
     
  32. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Exactly. Since HW is done in the home and it's work (maybe) the teacher has no direct control over when and how it gets done. Not only do some kids not have support but it is very likely some of the kids who do "get it done" are not completing HW themselves anyway. They are possibly getting a free ride to recess when a parent, sibling or friend could be the ones who deserve recess.

    Pashtun makes an excellent point regarding the test for any intervention - self-elimination. If it's a good intervention one should have to use it less and less until it goes away. If the same kids are missing recess over and over a red flag should go up signaling the system isn't working.
     
  33. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    My opinion - whether you agree with homework or not, you hopefully agree that rules should be followed. Homework is a rule and if there are no consequences for disobeying rule, rules have no meaning.

    Also, if you're going to tell teachers that they can't give a missed recess as a consequence, are you going to give them an alternative consequence? I find that there are few other consequences - including calling home - that have little impact.

    Btw, I don't have students miss recess for missed homework. I do call home and alert the parents, but it usually doesn't have much impact. I do have them miss recess for serious misbehavior or refusal to complete work. We use that time to write a note to parents explaining why they missed recess for the day if it's the former or completing the missed work if it's the latter.
     
  34. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I am not sure it is about A missed recess, it sounds more about NEVER getting a recess..ie...the consequence is not working(recess is not having an impact in this case).

    I would also be careful about setting rules that children do not have control over yet. Punishing a kid for not doing someting at home when they are 7 years old.....
     
  35. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I take up work at the end of work time. If they were playing around and not working, I mark the unanswered questions wrong. That usually gets their attention pretty quickly and reduces the behavior. If it's a child who isn't motivated by grades, I have them finish the work instead of playing partner games the next day since partner games are review.
     

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