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Kids in Texas School Learning More Since Recess Time Was Tripled

By: Krystle Crossman

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. We all know the phrase and we all know that the sentiment is correct. People need time to take a break, relax, and play a little to recharge themselves so that they do not burn out. The same is true for children. They need breaks. They are not meant to sit for hours upon hours listening to lectures and doing workbooks. They need to move and expel some energy or else they will lose focus. A school in Texas is recognizing this and has come up with a new policy that is helping the students and teachers immensely.

In Fort Worth, Texas, Eagle Mountain Elementary decided that they were going to see how their students did with additional recess time. They give the children four recess periods through the day. It may seem like a lot of time spent out of the classroom, but these extra breaks have brought about positive results almost immediately. The children are able to focus better when they are back in the classroom. They don’t fidget. They don’t act out. They sit and concentrate on the task at hand. Every morning they have two 15 minute breaks and every afternoon they have two more 15 minute breaks. They get to go outside and have time to play and run around on the playground.

First-grade teacher Donna McBride stated that she was nervous at first. She and many of the other teachers didn’t think that the additional breaks would give them enough time during the day to complete their lessons with the students. After a few days they found out that this was not the case at all. The teachers were happy to see that they had more than enough time and the students were actually learning more than ever because they were concentrating and were focused. This focus saved valuable time because the kids were not interrupting the teacher at all and they understood what was being taught so there were less questions during class.

Not only are the additional breaks helping the students to learn more while they are in class, but they are giving the kids more physical activity during the day as well. They are getting a full hour per day of physical activity which is crucial to their health and well-being. The initiative may have been a risk but it seems like it is paying off in a big way.

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