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Recess laws
Old 10-20-2007, 07:56 AM
 
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My principal recently included in a memo to remind us that we are not allowed to keep students from recess because of behavior issues, incomplete work or helping a student with work. It's against the law. (students must have 30 minutes of execise daily) She supports students walking the playground as a behavior consequence, but what about students who need a little one-on-on help? Time is so limited during the day. This is not a vent about my principal. She is great and I know she doesn't have any control over this. So, just curious, do any other states out there have a law that protects students from missing recess?


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Old 10-20-2007, 08:51 AM
 
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But then we have 20 minutes of PE every day. I use recess time to catch kids up nearly every day. Some of my kids ask to stay in at recess if they have work to catch up on. Others are told they have to stay in because they didn't use time wisely. Either way, I don't think I could be an effective teacher without being able to use that time when needed. Honestly, they seem to want to take away every tool the teachers have to keep kids on target.
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:56 AM
 
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Ii don't know about any law, but we have 30 minutes of PE, 15 minutes of recess, and 30 minutes of lunch recess (after 15 minutes of eating). I have no problem with keeping a kid in for both recess and lunch recess if it's a consequence.

For extra one-on-one help, I would rather ask the student if he wants to give up his recess (very often they do) or figure out a way to get more help to him outside of recess. Because taking away recess is a consequence (You chose to play during work time, so now you'll work during play time) it makes needing extra assistance seem like a punishment. Some of the ones who need help are trying very hard in class and not wasting time.
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:08 AM
 
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I'd have to see a copy of that "law." I think your principal is confusing your state's mandate for organized, structured physical education with recess. They are NOT one and the same. It says a lot about her understanding of both her job and children.

Unfortunately, many administrators are "political" appointments who know beans about their profession and send out stupid, misleading memos regularly.

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Old 10-20-2007, 09:15 AM
 
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We have PE twice a week for 45 minutes. I guess this covers our requirement, because we are allowed to keep kids in from recess for behavior reasons or to finish work. Recess is one of the only times during the day that I can actually work one-on-one with some of my lower students. so I am thankful for that time.


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District Mandate
Old 10-20-2007, 09:22 AM
 
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We have a mandate for the district that says we can not REPEATEDLY withhold recess as punishment.

That kid that never does his homework can't be kept in consistently. If they miss once in a while we're ok..
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:34 AM
 
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The "law" the principal cited referred to 30 minutes of exercise. That sounds more like organized PE. which is not being followed in a lot of schools. (As the country becomes more concerned about childhood obesity, this will probably change.)

Many districts (like Margaret's) create district policies, not laws. The operative word in most is "repeatedly" which can be defined and redefined. Your repeatedly and my repeatedly may be two different things.

Our district has not intervened in the recess issue. We do have organized P.E. for 30 mins./daily taught by certified P.E. teachers. Our recess is only 10 minutes and having children sit down for recess has been an extremely effective behavior modification tool.

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Old 10-20-2007, 09:39 AM
 
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No law I'm aware of in Michigan. My principal usually waffled on it as a school policy. She encouraged kids missing recess as a consequence, until parents complained about it and then she'd say not to. We were not encouraged to withhold recess for the whole class.

In Michigan, we do have laws about how much physical activity they must have. Under our law, recess CANNOT count towards that-- I imagine because in Michigan many of our recesses end up indoors due to inclement weather. Only structured PE and related activities count towards the required minutes. (This is what I've been told anyway-- haven't actually read the law)

I'm always torn on the recess thing as a consequence-- so often the kids who end up missing it most often are the kids who need it the most. At the same time, what else are we allowed to do? Writing assignments can be frowned on because it makes kids hate writing. Time-outs don't work as they get older (and other than recess, when can you do one where they aren't missing instruction or work?). I find myself making up privileges for the class so I actually have something to take away!
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Copy of Law
Old 10-20-2007, 09:46 AM
 
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I found this under NCDPI site:

Section 3. RECESS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

(a)Structured/unstructured recess and other physical activity (such as, but not limited to, physical activity time, physical education or intramurals) shall not be taken away from students as a form of punishment. In addition, severe and inappropriate exercis may not be used as a form of punishment for students.
(b)A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity shall be provided by schools for all K-8 students daily. This requirement can be achieved through a regular physical education class and /or through activities such as recess, dance, classroom energizers, or other curriculum-based physical activity programs. However, such use of this time should complement and not substitute for the physical education program.
(c)The physical activity required by this section must involve physical exertion of at least a moderate to vigorous intensity level and for a duration sufficient to provide a significant health benefit to students.

I just have to laugh at this. While many of my students do play basetball or kickball during recess, there are several that just sit.
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:54 AM
 
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Section b? Are they saying schools have to have a physcial education program or not? In addition to? I am a fairly talented reader of gobbledegook. But this stymies even me.

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I haven't looked it up, but...
Old 10-20-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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We've been told here in NC that as a part of the Healthy, Active Kids Iniatative (sp?) we are required to provide 180 minutes of physical activity each week. We automatically have 90 minutes covered by our scheduled P.E. time. We're told that the additional thirty minutes for the other three days of the week may be done as one recess time or as smaller increments of energizers or other physical activity. We've been told that we are not allowed to keep students from receiving this mandated physical activity time. Some teachers had students who were walking laps the whole time as a consequence, but even this is being discouraged by our admin.
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exercise, Ha!
Old 10-20-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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Yes, I have kept students out of recess time. Correction...the rest of the class gets "extra recess" for having good behavior. Anyway, I have to keep telling my students to go and play. They spend a lot of time surrounding me, leaning on me, sitting on the ground beside me or asking for water/restroom. When I ask them why they aren't playing, they tell me they are too tired. So, for this mandatory physical activity, what do we have to do? Chase them around the playground?
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Old 10-20-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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"Chase them around the playground."

In their wisdom, our recess is scheduled immediately after lunch. When the children do run around or exercise vigorously in 80-90 degree weather, they end up puking all over the place.

Ever had that happen to you?

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Arizona- yes
Old 10-20-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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And our principal is also very passionate about this. So am I. I refuse to take recess away from a child. The kids driving me nuts are the kids that need to go outside and run around the most~ even at the start of the year when it is 112 degrees in Phoenix. The only way to sit out of a portion of recess with me is for a playground infraction (for a few minutes right after it happens). We also are allowed to have them walk laps. Some teachers do that and I think it is a better alternative than the bench. The obesity in this country is disgusting. Not all kids are running around and playing as much as they should at home. This gives them that opportunity. I also like how unstructured play encourages friendships and problem solving.
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Chase them
Old 10-20-2007, 04:19 PM
 
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I hope no one thinks I was advocating chasing students around. I would not do that. Joke only. When it is too hot outside, we play games in the gym or go to our classroom for inside activities. As for taking recess from a student...MY diciplinary decision. I don't take the whole recess time, and I don't tell them I am taking anything from them, I just reward the others with extra time. We are mandated to give our students so much time per week for physical activity and we do our best to make sure they get it in and out of the classroom.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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I actually thought that chasing them around the playground would be quite funny! Be honest, there are a couple that we would like to do that to some days .
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Old 10-21-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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We also are not allowed to keep children inside at recess time. While doing so can be an eye opener to dilly dallying students, I also agree that the children all should be encouraged to be active during that recess period.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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We were told that we couldn't call our 10 minutes outside "recess", because it covered our mandated "physical activity". Whatever- I could care less what its called.

II'm just happy we have some time...2 yrs ago our principal didn't allow recess.
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Old 10-27-2007, 06:58 PM
 
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It really upsets me to hear that recess is being taken away from students. When it comes to what is best for the child having recess is very important. Not only is it important for physical activity, but also for stress relief and socialization. Current brain research shows us that a recess is very important for student learning in the classroom. When I was teaching in the elementary school. I made it a point to schedule my day so that I could have one-on-one time with students daily. And it was no during recess. This time is possible no matter what the grade, it may just take some more work and creativity on the teacher's part. It just really upsets me that students are not being encouraged to have recess.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:53 PM
 
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If keeping a child in at recess as part of behavior management is occurring regularly, then keeping him or her in isn't effective and something needs to be changed for more reasons than recess is missed.

But for many children, one or two times of realizing that the work has to be completed and they have a choice - play during class time or play during recess time -- stops the disruptive or time-wasting behavior. And missing one or two recesses every once in a while is not going to stunt anyone's social growth or cause obesity.
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No recess
Old 10-28-2007, 09:19 AM
 
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Apparently our P.E. classes cover the requirement (45mins, four times per week, the other day is music), or else Texas has no requirement, because there are MANY schools around here who have no recess. We aren't required to have recess at our school, it's the teacher's choice if/when the class has recess. Since my class is a one-day pullout for GT, I never have recess. I only have four hours, I'm not wasting it on recess! They get a break (games, puzzles, etc.) for about 15-20mins after lunch, but even those things are specifically selected to challenge (chess, tangrams, logic puzzles, etc.) them while I have them there.
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I agree with Teach 'N Learn
Old 10-28-2007, 02:50 PM
 
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If I take a recess or two away from a child when I first notice a problem, I rarely have to take it again. Once they know you will, it usually takes care of the problem. We have other systems set up for those who have severe behavior problems that one or two recesses don't cure. We have PE every day, and our PE teacher REALLY works the kids, so it's not a matter of whether or not they will get enough exercise. Kids HAVE to know there are consequences for their actions. If they mess around in class and don't do their work, the loss of a recess is a natural consequence of that action. I spend a lot of one-on-one time with my first graders who need help understanding concepts. I don't take class time to spend one-on-one time with a child who refuses to do his work during class time. That child needs to know that he's being held responsible for his work. Taking a recess is not a punishment. It is a lesson in itself. BTW, the kids are encouraged to take recess. They just have to see that the top priority is their work.
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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I worked in an elementary where only Kindergarten had recess. We were not allowed to have it in Grades 1-5, except for testing week.
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