Need Ideas for an Alternative to Losing Recess! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-18-2006, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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My twins are at the end of their Kindergarten year and I was given an end of the year survey by one of his teachers. On that survey she asked what one thing we'd change about the year if we could. My response was that I'd like to see P.E. or a secondary recess period incorporated into each day. Our kids get one recess each day and P.E. twice a week. And that if that weren't a possibility, to at least ensure that no recess would be taken as punishment. Today she sent me a note thanking me for my comments and asking if I had suggestions to use in place of taking recess.

So, I feel that this is a good chance I have to help turn this thing around for our elementary school and I'd love to hear all the suggestions you wise women have to offer.

Thanks in advance!
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#2 of 4 Old 05-18-2006, 08:03 PM
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Taking away recess? That is so sad.

Anyway, I don't know if it's taken away for individuals or the whole class, but maybe the child/children could do some kind of duty outside instead? (Like picking up trash, weeding, or raking sand or woodchips or something?) At least they'd still get some physical activity outside.
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#3 of 4 Old 05-18-2006, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
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In our school it's generally as a result of a child landing themselves on their red card so it's on an individual basis. They use the colored strips that are moved from green to yellow to red when breaking a rule. So the actual behavior that gets the recess taken away varies.
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#4 of 4 Old 05-19-2006, 12:46 AM
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As a former teacher who hated to lose her own recess time just to watch a bunch of kids who hated their punishment, I can tell you there are a lot of alternatives to taking away recess. But, they involve some creativity on the part of the teacher who really should make the punishment fit the infraction. If the child is fighting on the playground or somehow misusing recess, then take away recess. Otherwise, the punishment should fit the infraction. Thus, making a list of alternatives for this teacher is really unnecessary. I would, instead, print out the article linked below and tell the teacher that it is a much more effective teaching tool to give the child a punishment that actually teaches them how to change the unwanted behavior.

The only reason a child should loose a recess, imo, is if there is something the teacher really wants to teach that individual child and it will only take one recess to teach them this one thing. Children should never miss recess repeatedly to make up work or to learn new concepts.

A good article about the importance of recess

a link to a group devoted just to saving recess

However, I would also like to add that there are many schools today where children get no recess so you might count your blessings that they have one still. Bummer world we live in, when children have to think of one recess as a privilege instead of a right.
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