In “Give Students Time to Play” Debbie Rhea explains:
Kids are built to move. Having more time for unstructured outdoor play is like handing them a reset button. It not only helps to break up their day, but it also allows them to blow off steam, while giving them an opportunity to move and redirect their energy to something more meaningful once they return to the classroom.
When a human sits for longer than about 20 minutes, the physiology of the brain and body changes. Gravity begins to pool blood into the hamstrings, robbing the brain of needed oxygen and glucose, or brain fuel. The brain essentially just falls asleep when we sit for too long. Moving and being active stimulates the neurons that fire in the brain. When you are sitting, those neurons don't fire.
In another article I found that Anthony Pellegrini, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Minnesota, emphasizes that the new science of recess says that recess isn’t a waste of time at all:
Having recess is much, much, much better than not having recess…That’s unequivocal, I feel. That’s a no-brainer.
Pellegrini says, “because attacking recess has got this sort of intuitive feel: If you give kids more time doing something, they’ll do better in school. When in fact the opposite is probably the case.” Repeated studies have shown that when recess is delayed, children pay less and less attention. They are more focused on days when they have recess. A major study in Pediatrics found that children with more than 15 minutes of recess a day were far better behaved in class than children who had shorter recess breaks or none at all.
One more fascinating article I found was “Get Tech out of Schools.” Researcher Patricia Greenfield argues that:
Precisely because young people spend so much time with digital media outside of school, schools must offer them a very different kind of education in order to even the cognitive scales. In Greenfield’s view, this means reading copious amounts of old-fashioned literature—just what young people are not doing (according to research) on their own time…. schools could also strive to provide more of the face-to-face contact, the in-person social interaction, that has been largely displaced by young people’s use of Facebook, Twitter, and texting in their off-hours.
Now, if you’re still reading my blog at this point, I must admit that you can find anything on the internet that supports your point of view. I’m obviously a believer in play, recess, and hands-on learning, and you must be as well if you follow my blog. You might want to share these articles with your parents and administrators. It’s good food for thought!