Wondering what happens when children get a little extra recess time during the school day? Well I was, too! After trying all strategies I could think of and those of others I consulted, I still had not been able to consistently have the children in my Primary class focused and working through our morning work cycle.
Granted, I did take over the class two months into the year and some bad habits had been created. But I do feel that these young children are able to learn new patterns and I had high expectations that we could steer the behaviors into more focused and motivated ones. We have practiced lots of calming activities such as the silence game, walking the line, and regular practice of yoga’s “child’s pose” over the last few months.
I did wonder what would happen if the children were able to run and play freely for just 15 minutes before we started the work cycle. With the OK from administration, we gave the choice to either stay in and start working, or to go out and play before starting to work. Well, not too surprisingly, all of the children have opted to have extra recess time!
Of course my experiment is in no way scientific, just purely anecdotal. But here’s what I’ve noticed in just a few weeks:
- the children come in from outside and get right to work
- they are more focused for a longer period of time
- they are less chatty
- our room is more peaceful during work time!
Extra recess time will continue to be a part of our morning routine and I look forward to seeing if there are other longer term results!