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taking away recess
Old 04-04-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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Hi,

I teach 5th grade and my class is very talkative and disruptive this year. They are out of their seat a lot and spend more time talking than getting work done. It is very hard for them to focus and whenever we do collaborative, more engaging activities it gets out of control.

I feel like lately, I am having to threaten taking away recess frequently. Other teachers have said that it is not ok to take away recess,but it seems to be the only thing that gets them to focus and take me seriously. I don't like having to be punitive, but I'm not sure what else to do. I have also set up a reward system, where they can earn prizes and free time.

Is it wrong to take away recess for excessive talking?

Thanks


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Well...
Old 04-04-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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You have described my class to a tee this year. I will typically take away the activity that is causing the problem, put them on silence, or pick up my stop watch and start timing how long it takes them to get on task. They notice that very quickly and get each other to quiet down. Then that time accumulates throughout the day. They pay that time back at recess by sitting silently doing nothing while I get to some of the work that I need to do. I explain to them that they wasted my time so they owe it back. It never ends up as more than a couple minutes, but to them it drags on as they hear the other 3rd grade classes heading out to recess.
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I don't like to take it
Old 04-04-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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I don't like to take it away but I have been kown to on occasion. I don't think you should do it on a regular basis. You don't want that to be you "go to" disciplinary action, but ut doin it sparingly des sometimes shock them into compliance.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:34 PM
 
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I do take it away and I also will take away a Specials, gym or art because that is what they like. It is amazing how they will do work when they know they might lose something they want.
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I will on occassion
Old 04-05-2012, 01:39 AM
 
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take recess away, but never the whole recess. I've been subbing, and another teacher has told me that when the regular teacher gets back, she will be taking a lot of recess away for misbehavior.

I really think that kids need to move a lot during the day. I know sometimes it works, but I have never seen the good effects last very long.


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I have made
Old 04-05-2012, 02:35 AM
 
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kids walk laps during recess (for part of recess only). Maybe 1 or 2 or 3 laps depending on why they are doing it, then they can play. This way, they are still getting exercise, but they are not playing with their friends and doing what they want to do.
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State Law
Old 04-05-2012, 02:48 AM
 
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where I live forbids the act of taking away recess or running laps. Usually what I do is have them spend part of recess practicing the skill they failed to exhibit in the classroom. We do it outside so they haven't lost recess but are spending part of it with me practicing.

If they are being mean or hateful to their friends they have to play alone, again they have recess but are not with their friends. I know a fine line but it works.

Usually the class doesn't resent the fact that they are practicing but I have a good class this year and have only had to do this a couple of times.
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I don't like too
Old 04-05-2012, 03:12 AM
 
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But that's because if I take their recess, then I only get a few minutes to eat. And I need that break from my naughtier ones. I do keep kids after school. I tell them I hold "active listening or quiet classes at 2:40." Usually this works better than threatening recess.
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Alternative recess is an option that works
Old 04-05-2012, 04:13 AM
 
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for me. We still go out, have silent relays that are BORING, and get some physical movement, but it is not necessarily fun. They still get recess, but I retain control. They do not like it and usually only need one reminder that Alternative recess is possible to settle down in class.

I also have alternative recess for individuals who need it. They practice soccer dribbling a ball, dribbling a basket ball, jumping rope in a small designated area away from the others. No talking here either. It has been a wonderful solution for me.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:10 AM
 
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Our upper grades do a study hall for the recess that connects to lunch. Kids who haven't turned in homework or finished assignments get their lunch and bring it to study hall. They eat and finish work.

Personally, I don't have a problem with taking recess once in a while, but if it is a regular thing then something else probably needs to happen since they aren't getting the message.

We also have discipline slips that result in having to walk laps during a silent recess that is held once a day. That way misbehavors still get moving, but miss the fun of recess.


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Old 04-05-2012, 05:26 AM
 
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It's my school district's policy that recess is not allowed to be taken away. You might want to check with your district first. It may not be an option.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:39 AM
 
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I have them do laps. They have a choice of walking or running but they can't walk together and talking is a no-no. They get fresh air and a bit of exercise but no one enjoys it. My point is made and it usually nips the behavior in the bud.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:14 AM
 
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I can see where taking away the odd recess may help, but it often comes down to EVERYONE suffering for the behaviour of a few. I also agree with the poster who said that it often punishes US as we need the break as well.

What I do not agree with is taking away Art or Physical Education. These are part of the curriculum and should not, in my opinion,be used as leverage.
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Nope
Old 04-05-2012, 09:06 AM
 
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Students need to burn energy so I would have them walk laps so they have that opportunity. Also I would explain to them that as it is important for them to burn energy and practice the focus that walking laps will be instituted. I do not like the students standing at the edge but busy. This soon will become boring. My playground was large enough that they could do this at the edge so none of those playing were disturbed.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:39 AM
 
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If students decide to take their recess early in the form of goofing off/talking instead of stying on task then we can have those students sit outside and finish their work while the rest of the class enjoys recess. All of our classroom teachers supervise their own recesses. Recess is not mandated but special areas are so they may not be taken away.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:47 AM
 
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I hate taking recess away! I'm a substitue teacher, and I do so when instructed - if a child has already lost recess and I come in later in the day, or if it written into the classroom teacher's discipline plan for a specific offense - but otherwise, I try hard to avoid it.

I believe recess is a very important part of the day. Children need exercise, they need to learn how to socialize, and they need down-time in order to cope with today's face-paced world. Those things are not privileges in my book.

But, I understand how we are stuck. So many other punishments are not allowed that people must feel there's no alternative left!

I'm certainly not saying we should be hitting kids! But I know some teachers are not allowed to use writing of any kind - no "I will not talk in class" 50 times, or two paragraphs on "I should not have (blank) because....", some are not allowed to do anything that could be embarrassing, some are not allowed to move a child's desk out of the group, etc.

I'm curious to know if anyone else only takes recess away because you have to? And if so, what you think would be better?
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Recess
Old 04-05-2012, 01:47 PM
 
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When I had a sixth grade classroom, we took partial recess time... so many minutes per infraction - but we also had 30mins for recess. Everyone got at least the last ten mins; however, depending on their behavior during the day, they could lose anywhere from 5 to 20 mins of their recess time. When we went out for recess, students lined up based on how much recess they had, those will all of it, were first - those who'd lost 5 mins were next, then 10, then 15, then 20. Every five mins the teacher dismissed the next group to go. Because there were four of us, we'd just leave our list with one teacher, and the other three of us supervised the students on the playground.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:56 PM
 
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We walk laps. Our recess is also our 30 min. mandated PE, so no sitting.(It is also the other teachers' lunch.) I agree they need recess, but there needs to be some consquences for the offenders. I do positives, etc., but sometimes more is needed.(Plus, the other kids see the consequence!)We don't have many options.....
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:00 PM
 
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I teach first grade and there's no way I could take away their entire recess. If I do have a child stay in it's just for about 5 minutes max (so they still get about 25 minutes of recess). Also one day a week I have a grade level meeting, and the other 4 days per week are prep time for me. I don't want kids in!

I have a free choice time on Fridays (sometimes it's on Thursdays) at the end of the day, and I use that time to have kids make up for misbehavior or work that lacks effort. I do not feel bad taking this time away, because I have made the expectations crystal clear. Actually they really look forward to this time so it seems to have a deeper impact on them.
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Here...
Old 04-06-2012, 04:54 AM
 
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We don't have recess to take away. I wish we did...it would be a great bargaining tool
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Against taking recess away
Old 04-06-2012, 04:21 PM
 
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When I was in the classroom, I used to take part of a recess away. It's what everyone at my grade level was doing. Now I have a son in 5th grade. He's very quiet, rarely acts up or talks in class but sometimes (once a month) has trouble getting all his work finished in class. Then he has to miss recess to finish. It upsets him for the next 2 or 3 days. Seriously. Sometimes his entire class has to miss a few minutes of recess, or the class is "threatened" with missing recess. It upsets him to think that anyone will have to miss recess. To the point that I know it affects his work.

My point is, as teachers we don't always realize how our actions are harming some students. I know my son's teacher has no idea how this affects him, and I won't tell her because it's something he has to learn to deal with.

All that to say that when I have my own classroom again, I'll NEVER be taking away a recess!
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:18 PM
 
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I feel your pain. My class is much the same this year, as a matter of fact they lost recess Thursday. We had to finish the lessons that we couldn't when they were not willing to stop talking and staying on task. They have come a long way though, and days like Thursday are rare at this point. It is not often I take recess for the whole class because there are those that are always on task and respectful. Something that has worked in the past is to have students submit names or come to me with names of those they feel really deserve to go outside. I already know who these folks are, and it is amazing how honest the talkers usually are about it.

As far as feeling bad for taking time, I don't ever feel bad for something the student earned. Recess is fun, it is that time to have a break and move around. As I always tell my students, you know exactly what you need to do to earn recess not earn detention. What I do try to do daily is incorporate movements into lessons and allow for times for students to talk and share. This cuts down on silliness. In the beginning of the year, I had several at detention now it is just a few.

My daughter is in my grade, and boy does she HATE when she comes to me on the days I have the detention room. Thankfully for her it has only happened a handful of times. She has ADHD, but I hold the same expectations for her that is held for other students. I don't fault her teacher at all for sending her. If she fails to finish the work assigned to her because she is goofing off, then she has earned that detention. After all, if she was acting up at home would I let her play and have fun? Of course not!
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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IMHO taking away recess is a valid method to have kids make up work that they have not completed because they have been goofing off. These kids must learn that there are consequences for slacking off and you will hold them responsible. This s called growing up. Dont apologize for expecting students to respect your right to teach and other students right to learn and dont settle for anything less. This is what you are expected to do and what you get paid for so do it now.
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no recourse
Old 04-08-2012, 06:05 AM
 
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As an elementary teach I really have no recourse for bad behavior. I can't make a student come in early or stay late. I'm not supposed to take an activity period away. When I call the families I get the same message "I'll speak to ____ and it will never happen again." Well, it happens over and over again.

The only recourse is to take away recess, but that in itself causes additional problems. One, the students need to run and move. They are little and need to get the ants out of their pants. Two, it means I end up losing the little time I have for lunch because I have students with me. We can't send students to the office. We have to keep them with us. Three, it means the students are even more off-the-hook than before recess.

So who is the person that gets punished? ME, the teacher.

There has to be some other way to get the students to behavior. I haven't figured it out yet, but there must be a way. I have denied them rewards. I have rewarded others. I have had them write essays on how they will behave in class. I have even kept them off the computer and put someone else on the computer in their place.

It is very frustrating not to have any recourse.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:42 AM
 
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Our teachers are required by law to give "physical activity" period each day. I would imagine that it would not be required on days when there is PE class, though. Taking away recess is not an option. If students do not behave, then they have to walk the track instead of getting free play.

Another suitable punishment is silent lunch. They have to sit at the sad table and can't talk.
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Probably minority here
Old 04-08-2012, 06:29 PM
 
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But with my students it seems that sometimes recess is all that matters to them, thus the only thing that makes an impact. My students go outside with the class but have to walk laps rather than play for a certain amount of time. That way they are still getting exercise. Only in extreme cases do they walk the whole recess. Once a student who had laps smarted off about it: "I like laps." So I let him walk...and walk... and walk. Finally he said, "Can I play now?" I told him no... remember you said you liked laps so I'm letting you walk them. He didn't smart off to me about laps again!
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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I work at a school where many of the kids live in apartment houses and are in school all day long, from 8:00am breakfast - 6:00pm. That is to say, they don't have free time.

My co-teacher is very no-nonsense and she'll easily take away recess, but I hate to do it. I especially dislike taking away recess for the whole class if only a few kids were not paying attention or were talking. Some of the students have asked to be in my class because they are scared of the other teacher (but I think that's also because I focus more on what/how they're learning and not just their behavior), yet some others seem to need and respect that tough-line. I guess it just depends on the particular student if this punishment has an impact.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:06 PM
 
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NO you shouldnt take way the recess because that is their only time to get out all of the craziness they have inside of them.If they keep talking use a method of ....1...2...3...and let them say shhhhhh if that does not work take away most activities and some of the recess but not all.Thankyou
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