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Recess in the cold?
Old 01-06-2010, 03:05 AM
 
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Just wondering....Do you all go outside for recess if it's cold. I teach in the South and it has been below 40 degrees everyday. My fellow teachers thinks it's too cold to go out. What do other schools do if it's cold, especially where it's really cold all the time?


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Old 01-06-2010, 03:34 AM
 
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I teach on NY just outside of the city. Our determining factor is supposedly 32 degrees. If it is above 32 and especially windy they might decide to keep them indoors. I would rather them go outside even if it is just 10 minutes to run and then come inside. I find that indoor recess gets them crazed. Parents should be sending kids in gloves, hats and big coats and should be reminded of this.

I would guess at just below 40 you are still fine. They play in below 40 in the snow for hours!
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Wow!
Old 01-06-2010, 04:03 AM
 
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I guess it's all relative. I am in Wisconsin and if the wind chill is below 0, then we stay in. Our kids all come with proper outerwear (or the office has extra gloves, etc...) so we are OUTSIDE! If we stayed in at 40 or even 32, we'd be inside for 5 months!
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:19 AM
 
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In my dictrict (NJ) we stay inside if it's 32 degrees or below. The children would definetely go outside if it was 40 degrees here.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:21 AM
 
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School rule is if it is below 40 you can not go outside.


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0 degrees
Old 01-06-2010, 04:31 AM
 
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In my district in South Dakota we also stay in if the wind chill is 0 degrees or below.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:55 AM
 
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Y'all might laugh but at my school in Texas, we are told to stay in if it is 55 or less. However for an outdoor field trip, they can go out in just about anything. I grew up in the north and I agree, they do need to be out and running off that energy.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:38 AM
 
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In our district we go out unless it is below 10 degrees. I wonder how districts make this determination...
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So Much Depends . . .
Old 01-06-2010, 06:58 AM
 
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. . . on what the students have in the way of outer clothing. My experience was that students in the South often just wear enough outer clothing to dash from the car to school and school to the car, so 15-30 minutes outside in 40 degree weather would be very uncomfortable.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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I am in no way, shape, or form poking fun here...but this just makes me giggle! I truly do understand how that would be cold for you when it is not a typical temperature. However, my first thought when I read that it was below 40 was being a college student and seeing students wearing shorts and t-shirts when it hit 40 after a long winter of below zero's. I sure hope the cold snap ends soon. Our kids were able to go out for the first time this week today because the wind chill finally climbed over zero. I'm enjoying it because the really cold stuff is coming back tomorrow.


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any time!
Old 01-06-2010, 09:48 AM
 
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We go out in any weather!! If it is bitter cold we only stay out for 10 minutes. We have a small covered area that the children stay under when it is raining. I let the children go out and play in the snow, with proper clothing. Snow is fun and great sensory : )
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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If the temp/wind chill is below 32 we stay in. We were in a week before Winter Break and have not been outside all week and not it's not looking like we will get to go outside anytime soon.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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I'm in Western NYS, and right now we have almost 3 feet of snow!

The kids go outside all year long, unless the windchill or temp is below 15 degrees.

It's GOOD FOR THEM!!! I can't believe you guys don't go out if it's below 40 - !!!
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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Wow! I am in awe! We go outside unless the temp. is 10 or below. Students are expected to dress accordingly. We keep extra winter clothes in the school in case students forget.

Going out for recess is an expected part of the day and students are required to be prepared to go outside.

If we stayed in for temperatures 40 and below we would be stuck inside from November to March!
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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We go outside as long as the windchill is at zero or above at my school in Wisconsin.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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We got out if it is above freezing. The prince likes the windchill to be above freezing as well but we push it if the wind isn't blowing. Like yesterday the temp was 35 and windchill was 25 so we went out. We know we will be in Thur and Fri so we really wanted to go out.
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This is SO funny!
Old 01-06-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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I live in MN and we were just debating whether or not to go out the other day when it was -8 with a winchill of -19!!!! Our new principal is a little whimpy so we have had to stay in when it has been -10 this year. We like to get them out and play if only for 5 or 10 minutes. They love it and it's good for them to use up some energy!!!
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This is SO funny!
Old 01-06-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I live in MN and we were just debating whether or not to go out the other day when it was -8 with a winchill of -19!!!! Our new principal is a little whimpy so we have had to stay in when it has been -10 this year. We like to get them out and play if only for 5 or 10 minutes. They love it and it's good for them to use up some energy!!!
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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The same here as for many - if the temp or wind chill is zero or below, we stay in. My school is on a hill where we get a lot of wind, so we rely on our own thermometer and anemometer to decide if we can go out. Children here are prepared for the weather and everyone has snowpants, boots, hats, mittens, warm jackets, and sometimes scarves. The office does have extras if stuff is forgotten or has gotten wet. We also have a fund that has been used to purchase winter clothing for families that can't afford it.

I guess it is truly relative. As said earlier, if we stayed in at a warmer temp, we'd never get out. As it is, a day or two of indoor recess and the kids go stir-crazy. We have often said we should let them out for a little while even at colder temps, but I guess you start to run the risk of frostbite if it is much colder. However, any day that we've made them stay in, on the following day every kid tells me they went outside to play after school!! We're used to this up here. We have snow on the ground from early Dec. (last year mid-Nov.) until mid to late March (or later), so we all adapt to it. Next week the sliding hill on the playground will be open for the season, and the fort-building is in full swing.

On a funny note, I was delighted today to hear that my kids were playing "Michigan history" on the playground at recess. The girls were the French and they were working feverishly to prevent the boys/British from taking their fort!! Yay for transfer of learning!!!!
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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20 degrees is our cut off here. 40 degrees is downright balmy this time of year!
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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I think it has to do with clothing that the students wear. I lived where it was cold and snowed a lot but the students came prepared in snow pants, boots, etc. It was a rare day that there was inside recess. Then I moved to a warmer state and the students here come to school without coats on even the very cold days. I think the rule where I am is stay in if the temp. is below 32.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Our school (maybe district) rule is 34 degrees. I would like to take them out if even just for 10 minutes and then finish up with indoor recess. But, my P is very concerned with asthma kids and the fact that a lot of our kids (here is the southern part of VA) do not wear proper coats much less gloves or hats.
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cold recess
Old 01-06-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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I am from New York...Rochester...this week has been extremely cold with temperatures in the teens. We go out everyday as long as the children are dressed appropriately. No hats or mittens and they have to stay in. We go out each day unless it is extreme lows and the windchill is real low. Our recess is 1/2 hour but we end up outside for avout 20 minutes by the time they get dressed. It is much better than the crazed recess when staying in.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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As long as the wind chill is 20 or higher, we go outside. In the morning, students can be dropped off beginning at 7:50, the bell rings to go in the building at 8:10. Same rule: wind chill at or above 20 and they wait outside. Many are in sweatshirts, no coat, hat or gloves....I am bundled up!
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Frozen Tundra
Old 01-06-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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I am in the midwest; our winters are long & cold. I agree w/ Chronic and other pps- if we stayed in when it was freezing, students wouldn't have recess half the year! We go usually go out if it is above 12 degrees.
I personally strongly dislike recess duty- winter recess duty is the worst! But I did buy a dory parka which helps a bit- thanks to PTers recommendations.
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In Canada...
Old 01-06-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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we have to stay inside if the temps. reach -13. Otherwise we are outside for sure!
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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I think it's funny to read about what constitutes cold in different regions. We're on the coast of California where it never actually gets too cold by any real standard, though that doesn't stop us from being cold and complaining about being cold.

The only time we do not go outside is if it is actually raining. Drizzle or sprinkles are still outside recess weather.
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Outside Recess
Old 01-06-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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I live in CT and if it is 40 degrees or higher we go out. I might even take the kids out if it is in the high 30's. But I live in CT and right now we are averaging 25 degrees with a wind chill that makes it feel like it is in the teens. So for the next 2 months I think we will be staying indoors. However I have a class that loves indoor recess, so it works out well.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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I'm in Canada. The cut-off in my district is -13 F (or -25 C) at that point we have shortened recess. A few degrees lower and we stay in altogether (-27 or -28C I think). If kids have asthma, we allow them to stay in. If they don't have mitts, they aren't allowed out at recess.

However, I have taught in places north where the cut off was -35 C. And at -50 C there was no school that day! We had no school for almost 3 straight weeks once.

Yep, it is definitely all relative!
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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Our principal has us stay in when he/she sees one dark cloud, the smell of rain is in the air, the weather report says it has a 10% chance of rain!

Can you imagine what would happen if our kids looked out the classroom window and saw 3 feet of snow? They just go ape when it begins to drizzle!! (So does my princ).
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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I'm in Florida where we are having crazy cold weather (at least for us). I think it reached about 42 today (typically our high is in the lower 60s this time of year). My students are like pp mentioned- they wear just enough to dash from the car/bus to the building. Most have a thin long sleeve shirt or a short sleeve shirt and jacket. My recess time is before lunch and so it hasn't warmed up yet. We stayed inside. Our low will be in the teens this upcoming weekend and a high in the 30s (at least that's the prediction for now). So, I think it's all relative to where you live, what you are used to, and having the appropriate clothing. As a Floridian, I am cold and ready for spring to hit!
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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When I taught preschool in upstate NY, we took them out as long as it was above 20. Like someone else mentioned, the time spent getting all that gear on and off (have you ever tried to get 15 3-year-olds into snowpants, boots, and mittens?!) shortened recess to a timeframe that was appropriate for the weather.
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Wow!!!
Old 01-07-2010, 03:02 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies. You helped me not feel so guilty taking my poor children outside in the cold. I too feel like they need to run around and get some fresh air. After reading these post I guess I am glad I like in the South!!!! We have a 40% chance of rain/show today. If it snows I will certainly take them out to play in it. Well, it won't be enough to play in, but at least they will get a chance to SEE snow. Many of my students have never even seen it.
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:)
Old 01-07-2010, 03:08 AM
 
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40 would be a heat wave up here---students would run outside in shorts for recess! No....I'm exaggerating.

Our recess rules are as follows:
1.) If it's in the 30's the teacher on recess duty makes the call whether or not it's indoor/outdoor recess.
2.) Any student not properly dress has to get a coat from the nurse, or does not participate in recess.

For the past few years "indoor recess," has been held inside our classroom. It's simply irritating. The kids run around the classroom, and continuously bother you. Not Fun.

Some of the other teachers and myself are looking into taking different classes into the gym everyday, thus giving them the freedom to run around and giving the classroom teacher a break.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:53 AM
 
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I just wanted to add to my post that the teachers have to go outside with the kids everyday--we don't have recess monitors or duty free recess or anything like that. So, if we stay inside (which we have to do often here) then we are in charge of indoor recess anyways. I just make sure I train my kids really well at the beginning of the year--how to play board games, use the computer, draw etc...in a reasonable tone. I would HATE to go outside for 30 minutes if the weather was bitterly cold or it was raining. I can actually get a lot accomplished in that time if I am inside!
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:08 AM
 
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OMGGGosh that is considered balmy here in Rhode Island! 55 degrees that is!
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:37 AM
 
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In our district we have about 20,000 kids. They go outside all year long, unless the windchill or temp is below 20 degrees. We are happy to have them go out any chance they can, even for 10 minutes! It just lets them run, play, and get some of the excess energy out.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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We've usually gone out if it was above 20. The teacher on duty would decide whether to come in early. Usually it's the teacher, not the students, who gets cold. This year we have decided not to go out when there's snow on the playground. Getting boots on and off little kids and keeping them from getting wet clothes is too much of a chore!
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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We are not allowed.
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cold
Old 01-07-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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They stay in if it is 0 or below. 40 is not cold. I think they should go out and get some fresh air-just dress appropriately. We never stayed inside when I was growing up-even if it was below zero-raining etc. We've been babying them now IMO.
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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In Wisconsin, the kids go outside unless the windchill is below zero. So we have gone out in temperatures as 0 degrees. Of course, kids have boots, snowpants, warm jackets, mittens and hats. It's expected they have them. If they don't, we have a stash for them to use.
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minus 15 windchill
Old 01-07-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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We go outside until the windchill is below minus 15 degrees. Yup, 15 degrees BELOW ZERO windchill. It doesn't take much wind when the air temp is hovering around 0.
Some students don't have the all proper clothing--hats, mittens, etc. The school office has a wide variety of hats, mittens, snow pants, and even a few coats and boots for those children. They can borrow them on a daily basis.

Some of those temperature cut-offs were HILARIOUS. Wait until I tell the recess supervisors that some places stay in if the temp is less than 40. (I know, it's all relative!)
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:45 PM
 
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I'm south GA, my school policy is no outside recess if 50 or below. We have been inside for 4 days straight. My kids are getting very restless, and so am I.

Our regular recess lasts 15 minutes--10 minutes outside and 5 minutes at the restroom.
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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It's sounding a little Canadian on this board what with all the talk about weather. I know it's all relative and the children you're talking about probably don't have appropriate outdoor clothing but this makes me laugh out loud. 40F is about the same as +5C for me here in Canada. That's about what the average temp is from Nov to March and I live in what my dad refers to as Lotus Land. He lives in Alberta where the temp this year went as low as -45C (about -50F). That is just grotesque.

For us, unless it's raining, the kids play outside. I tell them to bring mittens and hats and about 3/4 of them do. They don't seem to feel the cold as much as I do.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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I'm in Georgia, and we don't go out if it's below 45 degrees. And even when we are in the upper 40's it's cold to me. It' s amazing when you compare that to schools in the north. It's all relative to what you are used to.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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Luckily the teachers get to make the decision about indoor or outdoor recess in my school. My rule is that it has to be 25 or above with the wind chill factor simply because it takes so long to get 19 4 year olds in winter clothing so we lose some play time just getting dressed and i have found that some four year olds just can't handle the cold. When it is below 20 and I used to go outside I would get tons of complaints and lots of whining.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:29 PM
 
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Our policy is that we don't go out if the temperature (including wind chill) is below 0. Today it was sitting at 0 and for once the wind wasn't blowing so we went out. It's good to get them out to run for at least a few minutes.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:24 PM
 
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We go out unless it drops below 10 degrees, but then again if we didn't we'd be in quite a bit of the year. Of course I really don't like that rule on my recess day!
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In South Too
Old 01-08-2010, 09:39 PM
 
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I am in the south too and today was the first day that I have taken them out this week. In the south they do not wear (some do not own) outer wear that is appropriate for this kind of cold. We did not stay out long, but the kids needed it. I am from the north and remember going out and playing in the snow, but it is different here. I had one little girl come to school this week in a small, thin, t-shirt, capri pants and a light winter coat. No way could I take her out in this!
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lessons
Old 01-09-2010, 06:01 AM
 
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Edistonian, did you ever think your post would prompt so much response?!

I was thinking that the info in all of these posts could make for some interesting math and geography lessons, using a topic kids love - recess.
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:40 AM
 
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I'm in OH and we go out until it's *BELOW* 20 degrees. We still go out at 20, just not below 20.
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chiming in late
Old 01-09-2010, 09:03 AM
 
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We are in New York where it hasn't stopped snowing for 8 days, we have well over 4 feet, and my class has been SO sad as the school nurse came on the announcements at 10:30 each morning M-W to say the wind chill was below 15, so we couldn't go out. When we COULD go out Thursday, they were thrilled. And these are kids who are USED to the weather, go out afterschool each day, so it's not like it's something new to them getting them so excited. Elementary schoolchildren NEED to be able to run it off every day. Yes, I could get a lot more done in my classroom while they played board games, etc., but that would be a focus on me, not them... Our parents are told from day one each year that we go out NO MATTER WHAT (except in a downpour or a below 15 windchill), so their children need to be dressed appropriately. Students are NOT allowed to borrow from a stash of extras, as there is no way we could supply that many extras (we have almost 600 students). If they are cold, they go home and tell mom & dad I NEED MITTENS. (We tell them to keep their hands in their pockets!) And we are a Chapter I school, so we do have families of poverty, but in NY, appropriate outerwear is essential. My entire class comes in each day with snowpants, boots, etc. It does take my first-graders 10-15 minutes to get dressed themselves, but they are ready to learn after getting all that energy out, and their rosy cheeks show how healthy they are. Today's kids are way too coddled == get outside and PLAY!!
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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Here in my area, we go out as long as it's above 15. We have extra mittens, snow pants, coats, etc. We also make sure to remind parents that we go outside for at least 20 minutes every day.
I've found that the best way to ensure the kids have the appropriate winter gear is if they have to use a "school" pair of mittens or snow pants. Usually it's a color they don't like, or is too big, so they remind their parents to bring better gear the next day!
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No Freeze for Little Ones in Northern VA
Old 01-10-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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In our Northern Virginia school system, recess is indoors if the wind chill is below 32 degrees.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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It's up to each teacher in my school. I'd love to take them out, but they aren't allowed to play in the snow on school property and half of the playground is still covered in it. The entire recess period would sound like a "No, David" book! We also have a uniform which has the girls in skirts and dresses, and most don't wear snowpants or even sweatpants.
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Be glad you're not in Alaska!
Old 01-12-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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You need to read your class the story, "Recess at 20 Below". It's a story written by kids from a school in Alaska that go out for recess unless the temperature gets lower than -20. It shows the kids, what they wear, the school and their playground. It's a great story and lets the students know that going out to recess in California when it's 48 is NOTHING!! ha!
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My district
Old 10-10-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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keeps the kiddos in if it's 18 with wind chill. I always thought it was some official U.S. declaration since it's a weird number. Now I know my district likely just chose the number randomly.
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