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Updated June 2008



Who would have thought that recess would become one of the most controversial subjects of the school day? While some schools have eliminated recess to make more time for academics, other health and education experts argue that students need time during the day to be active, particularly when childhood obesity rates are climbing.

If you're looking for different recess strategies and perspectives -- don't miss the following articles:

Sports4Kids: Reforming Recess by Teaching the Rules of Play
Is recess the most harried time of your day? A time when fights and visits to the nurse's office skyrocket? Before you eliminate recess, consider these principals' thoughts about Sports4Kids, a program that has reformed playgrounds and restored order to recess.

Is This "It" for Tag?
Schools in Wyoming, Washington, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and elsewhere are making news by banning tag, especially during recess. While these schools are seeking to make playgrounds safer for children, experts say this may be going too far.

How I Handled: Bringing Order to Indoor Recess Time
Soon after I took over this K-3 school, a first-grade boy "stabbed" another child with a pencil during an indoor recess. That event, which almost spurred parents to file charges with police, prompted me to revisit our plans for recess on inclement days.

Mr. Ivan, The Principal Poet: Inside Recess
We can't go out for recess!
It's raining cats and dogs.

Recess Before Lunch Can Mean Happier, Healthier Kids
Recess follows lunch almost as predictably as four follows three, because it always has been that way. Principals who have put recess first, though, have noticed children eat more and behave better after lunch.

Should Schools Take a Break from Recess?
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?

Playground Pass Creates Recess Success!
If you've done recess duty, you know the playground is not all fun and games! Wouldn't you love a simple, straightforward teaching tool that steers students away from trouble and into recess success? The Playground Pass does just that!

Dr. Ken Shore's Classroom Problem Solver: Playground Problems
Recess is the favorite school activity of many students. Not so for their teachers, who must monitor the activity. A highly physical, yet unstructured activity, recess typically is fraught with disciplinary problems.

No Break Today!
Faced with a need to find more time to meet educational standards, at least 40 percent of schools in the U.S. have either cut recess or are considering doing so. Dropping recess, some say, gains more time for learning. But does it gain more learning time?

Recess: Necessity or Nicety?
The pressure for schools to improve student test scores is so intense that some are abandoning the childhood treasure of recess in lieu of more on-task time. Education World asked educators about recess practices at their schools and the importance of free time for kids to be kids.