Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Favorite Subject Returns to Schools: Recess - WSJ

A Favorite Subject Returns to Schools: Recess - WSJ:

A Favorite Subject Returns to Schools: Recess

After playtime was dropped amid focus on academic performance, educators now take playground breaks seriously

Kindergarten students take to the playground at Oak Point Elementary, in Oak Point, Texas, where recess went from 30 minutes a day to one hour a day.

Three kindergarten girls looked close to taking a spill as they sat on the high back of a playground bench at Oak Point Elementary. Feet away, several administrators didn’t make a move to stop them because at this school outside Dallas, playtime is revered.
“As long as they’re safe, we allow kids to be kids,” said Daniel Gallagher, assistant superintendent for educational services in the Little Elm Independent School District.
That’s the mantra in this small school district, where schoolchildren are transitioning from one daily 30-minute recess to one hour a day, taken in 15-minute increments. School officials say children are better focused with more unstructured breaks and do better in school.
School districts throughout the country are reassessing recess—with some bringing back the pastime or expanding it, citing academic and health benefits.
The Minneapolis school board on Tuesday approved a proposal to require 30 minutes of daily recess in elementary schools, moving away from just recommending 20 minutes daily. And in Florida, parents are hoping the governor will soon sign an education bill that includes a required 20 minutes of daily recess for elementary-school students in traditional public schools. 
In the past year, the state of Rhode Island and school districts in Dallas, Portland, Ore., the Jefferson Parish Public School System in Louisiana, and the Orange County and A Favorite Subject Returns to Schools: Recess - WSJ:

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