recess before lunch

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissFroggy, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 12, 2008

    http://www.eatsmart.org/client_images/recess_before_lunch_wa_final.pdf

    Does anyone do this? We discussed this at the beginning of the year this year and opted not to due to schedules. However, after the first week of school we were already running into problems where the kids weren't eating and getting cranky later in the day and there were behavior problems at lunch (my students eat in the classroom with a TA while I have my lunch.)

    My class switched to recess before lunch and the TA no longer has behavior problems since they are hungry and actually eating! No one rushes to go outside and no one misses recess because they are a slow eater. After they eat, she reads a story, and the kids who are still eating can listen while they finish.

    If you have the ability to try this, do it!

    http://www.opi.mt.gov/schoolfood/recessBL.html
     
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  3. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Sep 13, 2008

    We did this at my last school. There was rarely a problem getting kids to come in because they wanted to eat.
     
  4. michelleann27

    michelleann27 Cohort

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    Wow I have never heard of recess before lunch even in the lower grades. All of our schools have our recess late in the evening. I can see where they would not eat or get cranky at lunch time.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    It is not school policy, but we do have recess directly before lunch this year.
    Personally, I liked out recess time better last year- we had it at the very end of the day.

    Of course, recess and lunch are separate things at my school...
     
  6. grade2rocks

    grade2rocks Rookie

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    We do not have recess (second grade). The kids eat, and then go to a computer lab for 15 minutes of a program called Skills Tutor. It is ridiculous and developmentally wrong.
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Wow!! That is crazy. North Carolina has a law that requires 30 minutes a day. It is amazing to me that other places don't require (or even allow!) any recess!
     
  8. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Our school tried this year. We sent the kids to recess and then a bell rang for them to come into eat. The problem was when they finished eating they had to sit in their class line until lunch was over. They were bored. In 3 days we went back to eating lunch and then going out to recess.
     
  9. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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    at my school the 4-6th grade has recess while the 1-3 graders eat, then for the second half hour they switch and the older ones eat and the younger ones go out to play.
     
  10. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Our kids eat their snacks at recess so if we did this then they would not be hungry before lunch. They take the last or 1st 15-20mins of PE to play and eat snack. There is always one grade every year that has PE before lunch and they don't eat much. We don't agree they should have a snack but they do.
     
  11. DaTeach

    DaTeach Comrade

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    I like this idea.

    We were having our recess right after lunch, and the kids would complain every day of a stomach ache. They are required to exercise for at least 15 minutes daily. It would make them sick.
    Now we go an hour later.
     
  12. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    We've done recess before lunch for the past 4 years. You do see that kids behavior during lunch is better, and that they eat more of their lunch.
     
  13. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    It depends on which grade you are in at my school. K and second go after lunch, first and third go before. When K is eating first is out and when second is eating third is out.
    I actually bring my class out to play at before lunch than we go in and hear a story, wash hands and use the bathroom. So they are getting two recesses very close together.
     
  14. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Sep 13, 2008

    We have recess right after lunch but I can see how this would help switching them around - it might be something I could bring up at the school for next year.
     
  15. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Yes, the most important thing is for them to have something to do when they are done eating. I wouldn't make them line up, but would think it would be better to have them stay at their tables and talk quietly.

    I like that my students hear a read aloud right after eating. It seems to be calming them down.
     
  16. LonGuy

    LonGuy Rookie

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    In our school, upper grades have a recess before lunch. My students follow this schedule. I personally do not like it because many students come back to my classroom with unfinished lunch, and it is very hard to start a lesson.
     
  17. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I'm for it. My school discussed it but somehow the district-paid yard duty schedules made it impossible (???)...

    The K/1 kids go out 10 minutes early for snack/recess so they'll sit and eat before playing. They have to sit there at the table even if they don't eat so at least they COULD eat. At lunch, everyone sits at the tables until recess starts.

    I have kids tell me, "I'm hungry! When's snack??" as they come in from lunch/recess. We're trying to help them be responsible for their bodies and eat during lunch. Oh well...
     
  18. cruiserteacher

    cruiserteacher Comrade

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    All of our grades have recess before lunch. It's great! The lower grades, I believe have another short recess later in the afternoon as well.
     
  19. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Our school switched to recess before lunch halfway through last year after my principal got her hands on an article like the one you posted, and so far it has been great. The only exception is kindergarten and first grade- we have lunch first and recess later in the afternoon, otherwise we wouldn't have the kids in our classes in the morning for more than 30 minutes and they would have 2 hours straight in the classroom in the afternoon. I like our new schedule much better!
     
  20. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Last year our food services staff brought research to show the benefits of having recess before lunch, and our entire school tried it. It ended up working out wonderfully, but because of numbers and staffing this year, only 2-5 student have recess first; K-1 have lunch and then recess. Hopefully next year's schedule will have more flexibility so we can also have recess first.
     
  21. swtteacher

    swtteacher Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2008

    So they don't stay at the table when they are done eating? We have always had the kids sit down and stay sitting until the lunch period is over. Then, the entire class gets up at one time to put up their trays and leave the cafeteria.
     
  22. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I love the idea!
    Are there problems getting slow eaters to class?
     
  23. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Sep 15, 2008

    We do this. I love it. The kids rush out of my room (always a bonus), and play hard for 20 minutes. Then they line up to get their lunches, sit on the picnic tables, and we eat for 20-25 minutes. I eat with them, and it's usually pretty nice. They are slooow eaters, but if they get done early, they can grab a jump rope or ball and play a little longer. They rarely do, though. They usually just sit with their friends and talk. We let them sit anywhere, so that helps. The girls always sit under the trees, although last week they built some kind of fort out of the jump ropes and orange cones, and ate in that.
     
  24. wiscteacher

    wiscteacher Rookie

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    Our school just switched this year and we're trying recess before lunch - so far, so good. I see a lot more kids actually eating (some actually finishing - gasp) their lunches.
     
  25. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    This is our second year with recess before lunch. Most kids do eat their lunch. What I don't like is the noise level. We have been talking about staggering the grade levels by 10 minutes for lunch. (K-1) Right now one grade level is very noisy and bored waiting to get in line. Then 20 minutes later the first kids who went through the line are finished and are extremely bored. The noise level is on them. Some days are better than others. We don't have the staff to handle a lot of kiddos. Now it is exhausting to have cafeteria duty. We have to think about games to keep them quiet. I have thought about playing music etc.

    How do any of you handle cafeteria noise levels? We need help!!!
     
  26. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Yes! Usually 10 minutes late during the first couple of weeks. It does get better!
     
  27. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    We have signs for each table. One side is green go and the other side is stop red. The sign is stuck in clay so it will stand at the end of the table. For the first 5 minutes of lunch the red shows and there is no conversation. Then it is turned to green and it stays there until 5 minutes before cleanup. Our students are taught that they can talk with people near them, not at a different table. If it gets too loud, the red sign is turned facing them again and they can't talk. It takes training but we have used this plan successfully for the last 2 years. We normally have 2 grade levels in the cafeteria at once ( about 200 students).
     

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