Saturday, October 29, 2011

When Fun Is Allowed

Yesterday, I read an article, Solutions When Recess and Play Aren’t Allowed from The Cornerstone Blog.  It was about children going without recess and play time.  Interestingly enough, yesterday was the day for our class Halloween Parties. (Yes, we're still allowed to have them!) 

Since it was an exciting day, as well as the first snow here in New England, I knew the kids would be wild.

Of course, I've been teaching a long time, and I know just how to handle kids the day of a party:  you convince them they have to earn the party!

All day long, they'd talk about the party... how much longer?  Where will we have the party?  What will we do?

Every time I saw something non-educational, I'd remind them they had to EARN the party.  They pulled themselves together and gave me their very best!

Every single child completed their written math work on time for the first time this year.

I went out of my way to make sure the party was worth working for.  We had healthy food, games, music, and lots of laughter.  Lots of happy children!

I was thinking back to the article I read before school from The Cornerstone.  In the article, they managed to squeeze in recess time while increasing test scores.  Those who know brain research know that the brain needs oxygen to function.  Exercise helps that oxygen get to the brain.  And we also know that fun is a much greater motivator than test scores!

I was thinking, I wish we had a party every day!  It certainly has a lot of power!

2 comments:

  1. I think if the party was every day it would lose some of its power. Part of the power is the specialness of the party.
    I am so glad I have a principal who knows the importance of recess, and actively encourages active physical play even though the available space is very limited (under the main building with the motos parked on one side, and posts at regular intervals). I hate it when I need to take recess from my students as a consequence of uncompleted homework, but it's a consequence that generally works well, so I rarely have to use it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Karen,
    Good point about losing its power. After having the party on Friday, then a snow day on Halloween, the kids were amazingly focused today.

    The party definitely was worth it!

    Sally

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