Recess

Explainer

7 Things to Know About School Recess
Why is recess important? Here are 7 findings about recess, the role it plays in the development of children, and how it's evolved over time.
First-graders Kavin Prabu, left, and Vasu Selvakumar, select activities from the “recess kit” during a break at Centerville Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Va.
First-graders Kavin Prabu, left, and Vasu Selvakumar, select activities from the “recess kit” during a break at Centerville Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Va.
Julia Rendleman for Education Week
Student Well-Being Doubling Recess Time to Put Play Back in the School Day
The Virginia Beach City schools decided to make a big change, doubling the amount of recess the district offered.
Alyson Klein, February 25, 2020
3 min read
Fifth graders, from left, Lenorah Hunt, Brooke Clark, and William Shortt, play during recess at Centerville Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Va.
Fifth graders, from left, Lenorah Hunt, Brooke Clark, and William Shortt, play during recess at Centerville Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Va.
Julia Rendleman for Education Week
School & District Management There Are Smart Ways to Use Time to Aid Learning. Why Do So Many Schools Ignore Them?
While a growing body of research offers best practices for using time wisely in schools, a range of barriers often get in the way.
Alyson Klein, February 25, 2020
11 min read
Best-selling author Daniel Pink breaks down how schools can improve the use of time during a keynote address at Education Week’s 2019 Leaders to Learn From event.
Best-selling author Daniel Pink breaks down how schools can improve the use of time during a keynote address at <i>Education Week</i>’s 2019 Leaders to Learn From event.
T.J. Kirkpatrick for Education Week
Teaching How Schools Can Spend Time More Wisely: 4 Big Tips From Daniel Pink
Move heavy thinking to the beginning of the day, make recess sacred, let higher schoolers sleep in, and mandate choir, says the author.
Alyson Klein, May 13, 2019
6 min read
School Climate & Safety Report Roundup Recess
Longer recess and more adult involvement are a recipe for getting students more active during recess, finds a new study in the journal Preventative Medicine Reports.
Sarah D. Sparks, August 28, 2018
1 min read
Professional Development A Multimillion Grant to Repurpose Recess
Thanks to a $4.5 million grant, the nonprofit Playworks will expand opportunities for purposeful play to more than 130,000 kids in 350 schools in southeast Michigan and western New York.
Brenda Iasevoli, August 9, 2018
2 min read
Illustration of a playground.
Oleksandr Pupko/iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being Opinion Kids Need Play and Recess. Their Mental Health May Depend on It
Superintendent Michael J. Hynes provides insights on how his district is responding to the decline of free play and recess.


Michael J. Hynes, E.D., August 1, 2018
4 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Arizona Gov. Ducey Signs Law Requiring Recess Time for Students
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey last week signed a proposal that requires schools to expand recess for young students, a measure that aims to give kids more time for unstructured play.
The Associated Press, April 10, 2018
1 min read
Student Well-Being Watch: Parents Push for (and Win) More School Recess Time
Why a pair of moms set out on a mission to ensure that every elementary school in their state offered recess.
Evie Blad, January 16, 2018
1 min read
Families & the Community Video Parent Changemaker: Fighting for School Recess
“We were upset that our children weren't getting what they needed. We were determined to get to the bottom of it and to change it,” said Florida parent Angela Browning. Browning became alarmed when her 8-year old twins came home from 2nd grade stressed and crying. A little investigation uncovered that their school had dropped recess, meaning students often had little open time during the day. To Browning, that was not acceptable. She and fellow parent Amy Narvaez began an effort to bring back recess, never imagining it would take them three years and hours of advocating both at the local and state level. Narvaez and Browning are featured as part of a series we are calling Parent Changemakers - parents who became troubled about a school issue and tackled it head on.
January 16, 2018
3:10
School Climate & Safety Opinion The Importance of Play, Recess, Mindfulness and Leadership
Common sense and a plethora of research demands we think and act differently in order to stop the growing stressors on our children and we must learn how to help them deal with this environment more effectively.
Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers, October 22, 2017
4 min read
School Climate & Safety News in Brief Florida Educators Told Indoor Recess Permissible Under New State Law
Florida schools can comply with the state's new recess mandate without having to take children outside.
The Associated Press, August 22, 2017
1 min read
Education Opinion Recess Is Not a Frill
Playtime enhances academic learning while building social skills.
Walt Gardner, June 16, 2017
1 min read
Teaching Rethinking Recess (Video)
Playworks, a nonprofit working in 21 states, promotes structured recess, complete with designated staff that runs games and promotes leadership and conflict resolution for students.
Carmen Rojas, May 15, 2017
1 min read
Student Well-Being Video Rethinking Recess
Schools have sometimes trimmed recess to make more time for instruction, or withheld the daily break as punishment for misbehavior. Yet research shows this time can be used to reinforce a positive school culture. Playworks is a national nonprofit that promotes organized, intentional recess. A study of the model shows that children learn and practice conflict resolution, compromise, and self-regulation, as well as leadership and physical activity. Essential components of this model include treating recess with the same intentionality as academic lesson plans, having dedicated staff to organize and model games, establish common rules, use simple tools to resolve disagreements such as rock-paper-scissors, and foster positive language.
April 25, 2017
2:15