Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Not All Fun And Games: New Guidelines Urge Schools To Rethink Recess : NPR Ed : NPR

Not All Fun And Games: New Guidelines Urge Schools To Rethink Recess : NPR Ed : NPR:

Not All Fun And Games: New Guidelines Urge Schools To Rethink Recess


What's the best time for students to have recess? Before lunch, or after? What happens if it rains? If students are misbehaving, is it a good idea to punish them by making them sit out recess?
Those are just a few of the issues addressed in new guidelines designed to help schools have good recess. The recommendations come from a group called SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recess might seem simple — just open the doors and let the kids run free. But only eight states have policies that require it, according to last year's Shape of the Nation report. And when researchers started looking, they found very little consistency or guidance about what makes recess effective.
The new guidelines, in two documents, offer educators a list of 19 evidence-based strategies and a template to show them what a good recess policy looks like.
Some of the suggestions seem obvious, like "promote a physically active environment" or "designate spaces for outdoor and indoor recess." But there's a point there. Without a designated indoor space, for example, schools might just cancel recess when it's raining or snowing.


Oh, and the answers to those other questions aboveBefore lunch is better, the guidelines say, because recess can make kids hungry, and thus more likely to eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. And maybe they won't throw food away uneaten. And they say recess should never be used as punishment, because it deprives students of physical activity — which can be a much-needed outlet.
"There's a lot that has to be squeezed in[to] that time a student is in class," says Michelle Carter, senior program manager at SHAPE who helped develop the Not All Fun And Games: New Guidelines Urge Schools To Rethink Recess : NPR Ed : NPR:


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