Jefferson Elementary School is rethinking how recess is done this year. Our goals have been to create more play opportunities, decrease behavior problems, increase responsibility, and promote lifetime wellness. We feel we are meeting these goals!
At recess, there have been fewer discipline referrals and fewer visits to the school nurse. We have added a sandbox, 4 square, hopscotch, an organized game, a walking club, and a Peace Bench. So far in the walking club, Jefferson students have logged close to 500 miles! At the Peace Bench students are able to calm down, talk about feelings, and think of solutions.
We have also moved recess to before lunch. In the cafeteria, students are calmer, eat more food, and drink more milk. Research has also shown that when recess is before lunch, students return to the classroom ready to learn.
The concept of recess has changed from a break period for teachers and students to a valuable opportunity to promote physical health, social-emotional well being, and teamwork in school.