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Fit to Be Taught, Vol.26

Fit To Be Taught: Is Recess Necessary?


Does it make sense, educationally and developmentally, to eliminate recess for students in elementary school? That question is the subject of debate among educators. What do teachers and parents have to say?

"What's your favorite subject?" asks the ancient joke.

"Recess!" is the reply.

But, today, some students -- and teachers -- might not find the joke funny. That's because some cities, have eliminated or cut back on recess in elementary school to free more time for instruction.

So why cut recess? With widespread stress being put on standardized tests throughout the United States, students need to prepare by spending more time on academics, the general argument goes. The extra time has to come from somewhere, and recess seems like a good place to trim.

"The big thing in this country now is standards," Marie Diamond, former president of the Connecticut Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, stated in a Hartford Courant interview.

"We've raised the bar; our standards are higher," said Diamond. At the same time, she adds, "The majority of kids need some time for recess, just like people in offices need coffee breaks."

Read the full article on Education World

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Celebrating Benefits of Calcium

The Principal's Pledge for Good Nutrition was a week-long program at Bettendorf Middle School in Bettendorf, Iowa, focusing on nutrition and the need for calcium in a healthy body. It was presented in a positive and fun format that involved daily activities and was tied together by nutritional announcements as well as multidisciplinary classroom curriculum.

A core group, consisting of a nurse, teacher, administrator, parent, nutritionist, and food service and district public relations employees coordinated contests, high school and community ambassadors programs, a milk and cookie break activity, posters, and publicity in the school and local media. Staff members and students also were photographed with milk mustaches and different nutritious lunchroom food choices.

All students and faculty participated in this program. The community was kept informed through various types of media exposure.

As a result of the program, milk consumption increased sharply and was still up by 15 percent after six months. This equals 75 more students a day who were purchasing milk than prior to the program (milk sales were used to provide statistics).

Read more about this program at: Principals Pledge for Good Nutrition.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

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