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Would you, or could you do this?
Old 08-20-2018, 05:51 AM
 
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I have been thinking a lot lately about the Finnish recess model. It works, data backs it, and anecdotal report as well as full out studies done by the university of Minnesota prove that it works here in the U.S. too. One Texas school that I know of embraced it and found success.

However, as much the talking heads like to preach about the importance of data back strategies and methodology to improve student achievement could you really get away with having a 10-15 minute recess every hour.

I like the idea of shutting my door and doing my own thing, doing what works for my kids. And I have a very supportive admin who allows this but I also know how often my admin likes to casually walk through. I think that if they kept coming by and we were regularly having informal unstructured time-"aka not efficiently using out instructional time" regularly I think this would be an issue.

I would love to see if I could get the pay off that people get elsewhere from this. But I dont think I could every try it.

So, would you or could you?


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recess
Old 08-20-2018, 07:33 AM
 
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Quote:
could you really get away with having a 10-15 minute recess every hour.
What?? No way! I wouldn't even want to do that. Even I think it would take too much instructional time away. I honestly have never heard of that program, so I'm uninformed. I see nothing wrong with a movement break each hour or period or just when the kids need it. A movement break takes 1 minute and does wonders.
Somtimes kids need a minute of silence break instead of movement. Being silent for a full minute with a time and breathing does wonders!
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:25 AM
 
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I think 45 minute classes with 15 minute passing time is fabulous for kids given the passing time can be spent outdoors for a portion of it. However, many schools are no longer designed for this type of recess break. They are just too big and there are too many rules about grade levels being on the playground at the same time.

Do you have more info about the Finnish system? I'd love to see more detailed information in the form of links. I am curious because I do think that one of the reasons kids don't attend is that they don't get enough break time in addition to the fact that all of the things that schools used to do to help kids learn to attend have been eliminated for things that require them to have these skills already.
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I wouldn't want to...
Old 08-20-2018, 08:48 AM
 
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JMO, but I wouldn't want to. Even though it would only be scheduled for 10-15 minutes, think of the transition time. I know our normal recess is 15 minutes, but by the time the kids get their gear off and on, head outside, line up, come back in, etc. it ends up being more like 25!
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:04 AM
 
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I worked at a school where we had a 10 minute recess break every hour. It was especially good for my first and second graders who needed to move.


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Old 08-20-2018, 09:52 AM
 
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There is no way I could bring my kids outside that often, but I do GoNoodle breaks in the classroom to get them moving.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:58 AM
 
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There is no way I could bring my kids outside that often, but I do GoNoodle breaks in the classroom to get them moving.
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Do you have more info about the Finnish system? I'd love to see more detailed information in the form of links. I am curious because I do think that one of the reasons kids don't attend is that they don't get enough break time in addition to the fact that all of the things that schools used to do to help kids learn to attend have been eliminated for things that require them to have these skills already.
https://www.theatlantic.com/educatio...ocused/373544/


https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2...2rhea.h33.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016...-for-the-brain

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0107031
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:22 PM
 
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There is no way I could bring my kids outside that often, but I do GoNoodle breaks in the classroom to get them moving.
I think that that is what most of us do - but according to the data, particularly the research done by at Minnesota State University and with brain imaging studies done at Ohio State University GoNoodle wouldn't work. You dont really see the gains across the board until their break time is unstructured, not teacher led.

According the several studies, you dont need to go outside for it to be effective-you just have to let them play non structured un-lead way. For example they would get the learning gains, and increased attention from drawing and playing with legos but not from teacher led "brain breaks" which-if they have to pay attention to follow along dont actually give the brain a break at all.
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:31 PM
 
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I personally don't know that I'd like all of those transitions- I would be in favor of something like two 20-30 minute recesses per day. I've certainly never worked in a school where it would be allowed- especially my current school and the one I worked in before this one, where using every instructional minute (to the point of having really set routines for things like handing in papers so as to not waste even seconds of extra time) is heavily emphasized.

I know we love to look at Finland's education system because it does seem great, but we also have to keep in mind that their population is nothing like ours. It's mostly homogeneous and their poverty rate is among the lowest in the world. If we only look at middle and upper SES data, our kids are wildly successful as well.

I do notice that it seems to me the kids who most need the "brain breaks" are the same kids who refuse to do them . I was just noting this in a classroom I was in today. The kids who seemingly can't sit still to save their life are suddenly the only ones who want to sit in a chair when the class gets up to do a brain break. I've seen this over and over again. I've also noticed that in general many poorly behaved kids can't handle unstructured time- this is often the cause of the behavior in the first place. They do much better in a heavily structured environment, including having available structured activities at recess to choose from.


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Thanks
Old 08-20-2018, 05:45 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing that information. It is frustrating the lack of understanding of research. The research around GO Noodle and Brain Gym show no efficacy!
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:00 PM
 
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r9miles's- you are right. Brain Gym had 20 years of anecdotal reports of people saying that if you led kids in specific exercises it would boost concentration and learning. When it was put to the test, scientifically up against a control group, it was very clearly shown across multiple studies and meassures that it didnt actually help.

This is a snippit from an article in the International Journal of Special Education Vol. 29, 2014

Quote:
Results
Results for each subject are presented in Figures 1 – 3. Academic engagement for Jason (Figure 1) ranged from
20%-50% during baseline with a mean of 37%. Baseline data showed a clear downward trend. During sessions with
Brain Gym®, academic engagement ranged from 28%-35% with a mean of 32%. Control intervention data ranged
from 0%-51% with a mean of 24%. Both Brain Gym® and control data show an increasing trend over time.
Although Brain Gym® had a slightly higher mean, the control data indicate a steeper increase in the trend. By the
end of the intervention phase, percent of engaged time during the control intervention had surpassed Brain Gym®.
Neither intervention produced substantially better academic engagement when compared to baseline.
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:38 PM
 
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At my previous school we had both a morning and afternoon recess. However, it was a very small school and we went an hour later than Schools in the area go.
The first recess was 20 mins long and incuded snack. The afternoon recess was after lunch, actually they could just go to the playground once they finished eating as we had lunch monitors and recess monitors. I loved it!

Our recess is at 2:45 this year... kids go home at 3:00, how’s that for a break? It’s awful!!
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:55 PM
 
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Thank you so much for the additional information. I will take time to read them all.

I do agree having down time every hour is essential to learning.

I wonder how schools are structured in Finland since it takes a good 4 minutes or more to get our students out to recess and then a good 4 minutes to get them back in. The schools are large and who can be on the playground at the same time is limited. I suspect that Finland doesn't have the same legal issues we have in our schools.
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:30 PM
 
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I teach K and start my day with 30-45 minutes of unstructured play in the classroom. Then we do calendar and math, then snack and then out to a 15 minute recess. Then the ELA block, a 15 minute lunch, and then 30 minute recess. Then we have an hour of thematic and then a 15 minute recess. Then an hour of specials (art, library, PE) then go home.


I love our schedule! Mine is one of the few schools left in the district with an hour of recess a day. And we are consistently an A school, so I think it is working!
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Old 08-21-2018, 06:55 PM
 
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Zia - that’s exactly the model that has been adapted in some Texas schools. 1 hour a day not including meals time. People are seeing the pay offs. I think it would work, I just don’t think I’d be allowed to do it.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:34 AM
 
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It makes me sad we know the right thing, but so rarely do it.
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Old 08-22-2018, 07:59 PM
 
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I would definitely do it! And in actuality, I come close.
  • 30ish minutes unstructured play
  • morning meeting (10-15 min)
  • 45 minutes of language arts
  • 20 minutes recess
  • hour of language arts
  • 45 minutes of pe
  • 30 minutes of writing
  • 45 minutes lunch/recess
  • 15 minutes quiet time/mindfulness
  • hour of math
  • 10 minutes recess
  • 30 minutes ELD
  • 20 minutes closing/go home
Looking at that, I should really give 10 minutes unstructured before they go to pe. I might need to try that this year!


It all goes back to the fact that if we had developmentally appropriate curriculum and expectations, a lot of our behavior issues would decrease which would in turn increase the academic learning. I really hope that someday everyone is back on board with this!


ETA: If an admin ever said anything about our unstructured time, I can absolutely back it up with social/emotional learning as well as improving fine motor skills.
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