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More recess is better for education
By Jinny Throup
The Eagle Mountain Elementary school in Forth Worth, Texas (US) has tripled recess time by giving children four 15 minute breaks per day, and the results have proven to be very positive. There were initial worries from the teachers about losing classroom time, and thus not being able to cover all the material they needed to in the time left. However, they have found that the kids are actually learning more because they are better able to pay attention in class without fidgeting. In addition, the children follow directions better, attempt to learn more independently and have fewer disciplinary issues.

And it is not only the teachers who are seeing good results. Many of the parents say they have noticed their children being more independent and creative at home. The extra recess time seems to have helped their kids socially, as they are able to make friends more easily. These results make sense when taken in the context of studies which have supported the idea that unstructured play time is a necessary component of a child’s development. Giving them regular breaks that allow them to exercise and blow off steam is good for their minds as well as their bodies. School children have a lot to learn in a short amount of time, but it seems that giving up class time for regular, short recess breaks is an exchange that is well worth it.


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