Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Balancing study and play

Most U.S. elementary schools are shortening recess and ramping up the Ritalin so children will be less fidgety, but Eagle Mountain Elementary School near Fort Worth, Texas, is trying a different approach. They tripled recess time in kindergarten and first grade. Instead of 20 minutes of playtime per day, they now get a full hour, divided into four 15 minute periods, in addition to lunchtime.

Some teachers at Eagle Mountain admit they were nervous about how they would keep kids on track academically with all the lost classroom time. But now they say the extra recess has transformed their students. "Their teachers say extra recess has "transformed" the pupils. First grade teacher Cathy Wells told NPR her kids are "way ahead of schedule." Another teacher said she no longer has to continually sharpen pencils for children, since they no longer snap the lead or chew on the wood. Instead they use the pencils for their original purpose -- to write something.

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