A bit of a philosophical thread with plenty of room for those who want to chime in with experiences. I've never been in a school, growing up or teaching, where recess was nothing but free play with monitors around to keep kids from killing themselves or each other. I was talking to a teacher who works at a Playworks school where recess is completely headed by a trained teacher who teaches games and organizes the kids to play them. I found that interesting and started reading about what turns out to be quite the debate. My personal philosophy is that kids learn better socially when they can direct their own play and deal problems with other kids, but I can also see how this would be good in places where the general culture never allowed kids to really learn social skills and/or their own games prior to entering school; they need to be explicitly taught games and social interaction. Thoughts and experiences?