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How Kids Learn Better By Taking Frequent Breaks Throughout The Day

KQED News Mind/Shift – Timothy D. Walker

“Although I favor the Finnish model, I realize that unleashing fifth graders on the playground every hour would be a huge shift for most schools. According to Pellegrini, breaks don’t have to be held outdoors to be beneficial. In one of his experiments at a public elementary school, the children had their recess times inside the school, and the results matched those of other experiments where they took their breaks outside: after their breaks, the students were more focused in class (Pellegrini, 2005).”(more)

Lawmaker: Make recess mandatory for schools

WSB TV – Richard Elliot

“A state lawmaker wants to make recess mandatory for school children from kindergarten to 5th grade. State Rep. Demetrius Douglas, a Stockbridge Democrat, introduced a bill that would require school districts to allow children recess time. The bill would also prevent schools from keeping students out of recess as a punishment.”(more)

Designing School Recess To Helps Kids Learn, Play And Eat Healthy Foods

KQED News Mind/Shift – Sophia Boyd

“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 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 guidances about what makes recess effective.”(more)

Health Experts Release New Guidances for Improving Recess in U.S. Schools

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“Health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) have partnered to release a series of guidances intended to help both elementary and secondary school leaders improve recess for the benefit of U.S. students. The first guidance, Strategies for Recess in Schools, provides 19 evidence-based recommendations designed for leaders interested in “making leadership decisions, communicating behavioral and safety expectations, creating a supportive environment, engaging the school community and gathering information,” said the American Academy of Pediatrics.”(more)

America’s kids aren’t getting enough play time

The Week – Todd Oppenheimer

“Several years ago, Janice O’Donnell, the director of the Providence Children’s Museum, conducted a survey of public school superintendents in her community to see how much recess time was available to students. Virtually everyone who responded said they considered recess important, but only a tiny percentage of the schools actually offered it anymore. When O’Donnell started looking into why this was happening, not only in Rhode Island but elsewhere in the country, she was stunned by what she learned. Over the last 10 to 15 years, many teachers felt their students no longer had time for recess. With the increased emphasis put on standardized testing, their primary job now was to make sure students got high scores. Playtime could be handled after school. At other schools, especially those in crowded inner city neighborhoods, there was no longer any space for playgrounds, or even a basketball hoop..”(more)

Go Outside and Play: Tips to Get Kids Moving

Live Science – Cari Nierenberg

“Making fitness a regular part of a child’s day has its challenges. For one, kids today have replaced outdoor play with sedentary pursuits, such as computer-based games, texting or Instagramming…In addition, schools might have only limited time set aside for students to have recess or physical education classes…For all of these reasons, parents should try to provide children with as many opportunities as possible to play, move and be physically active before school, after school or during weekends…Live Science asked these two fitness experts to suggest ways that parents can help kids, from toddlers to teenagers, to get outdoors and be fit. Here is what they said.”(more)